Despite all the love, we've been called every name in the book: I must be a gold digger and have daddy issues.
He must be a pervert or be very immature to love me.
Knowing that I was moving back to a small town after years of living in cities, I looked at my therapist and said: "I can't date someone who has children. And while I was in love with both the man and the kid, I was totally lost. There is nothing wrong with single or divorced parents. But my friends back home in the small town I was moving back to? He had a son with his ex-girlfriend, who I also remember from my past.
He spends weekends jumping out of airplanes, and I spend them reading a book at the drop zone waiting for him to land.
And despite Tim's initial blow-off, we have quite a bit in common.
Then I remember that what really matters is that children are born into an abundance of love — and that's one thing our home hasn't lacked since we moved in together just a few weeks after our first date.
Our hearts have shattered over the complicated nature of our relationship, but they have mended with the ease and joy of our love.
He was tall, muscular, and blond, with stone gray eyes and a low gravelly voice. But when I suggested we go out for a beer, he gave a polite yet immediate "no." Tim later confessed he thought I was beautiful and smart, but there was one thing working against me: I was 21; he was 47, and unlike most men who'd be flattered by a younger woman showing interest in them, he thought going on a date with a woman young enough to be his daughter would be ridiculous.
Fast-forward five years and I am insanely in love with this man.
Don't let these issues scare you off if you are really into your man, but do remain realistic.
I was at a crowded bar in my hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, on a scorching July night when I mustered up enough liquid courage to approach the future love of my life.
It turns out there is very little literature on how to date someone who has children. After running into him over a period of months, we began dating.
Overnight, I was thrown into a brave, new world -- one that involved a tween.
At times, both of our families have been embarrassed by our relationship.