Ready For Relationship

Dear Annie: I am a 26-year-old gay man who has recently entered a new relationship after being single for nearly four years. I’d kept my distance from dating until I was positive I found a man who was looking for the same kind of life I have been looking for — a life of commitment and honesty so we could build a future together. I have been seeing this man (let’s call him “Doug”) for about three and a half months. He is everything I’ve been looking for, and after the hard life of betrayal I’ve lived it’s taken me a bit to adjust to trusting him, but I’ve finally made it there.

What else is new to me is that he has two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. I have only met them once due to his ex-wife keeping them from him. They will be in court next week, as she’s trying to get full rights of the children. He has done nothing wrong, and from what I’ve gathered she has done nothing but punish Doug out of spite and anger. I have done my best to show my support and let him know I want to be there for him and his children and I welcome this package deal with open arms, as we’ve already fallen in love. However, I feel like he doesn’t fully understand just how accepting of his children I really am. How can I assure him this is the life I want and that I am willing to do whatever it takes to be there for them? — Life I’ve Always Wanted

Dear Life I’ve Always Wanted: If you want to assure him you’re in it for the long haul, you need to stop rushing. This is especially true because of the kids. As protective as you felt of your own heart because of past pain, imagine how Doug feels. He’s got three hearts to protect. So take it slow. Remember that showing means more than telling. Demonstrate your commitment to him and the kids, day in, day out. Like the Grand Canyon, love is a monument built over time.

Dear Annie: I am so frustrated with my son and his wife and their two daughters (ages 15 and 20). I sent Valentine’s cards with cash gifts and spent time to make a card for the 15-year-old, with about 20 pictures of her, from the time she was a baby till now. I taped a $50 bill to the card because she told me at Christmas she likes “instant gratification.” These children never acknowledge my gifts nor do their parents require them to. I texted the 15-year-old if she received my gifts and she said, “I’m not sure.” We otherwise have a good relationship. These girls are smart, and their parents are professionals. I am to the point where I don’t want to send any more gifts. Advice please. — No Thanks

Dear No Thanks: How sweet that you took the time to put together a collage of photos of your granddaughter growing up. How sad she failed to recognize the heart that went into that gesture. It sounds as though “instant gratification” has made these girls ungrateful. No longer sending them gifts or money is probably the best thing you can do for them in the long run.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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