Dad or Cad?

QUESTION: Hey guys! I need some help because I think I'm going crazy.

I met this guy, I'll call him 'Robert' about three months ago at my girlfrind's birthday party. It was a nice get together with about 30 people and he was talking to different people all night and so was I. But he didn't make any special attempts to talk to me and I didn't go looking for him either. I just noticed him because he was wearing a bright red shirt and he looked like Maxwell. So, a few days go by and my girlfriend calls me and tells me that Robert wanted to know my name and wanted to know what I was about.

She told him my name and told him he'd have to find out the rest on his own. She had his number and I gave him a call a week later becuase I wasn't pressed. We talked and his conversation was nice and he was funny and we went out on our first date a few days later. He's divorced and has a 6 year old daughter and lives in an apartment in a nice neighborhood. He seems like a great dad and he treats me good.

About a month ago he started talking about commitment and getting married to me and the two of us starting a family and all these great things that I think I wanted to hear. I just didn't want to hear them this soon. And I don't really know what's up between him and the ex. Him and her have joint custody of his daughter and I know they still do things as a family once or twice a month. They go to the movies or they go to the water park or miniture golf and I just don't know what to make of this. He says that him and his wife aren't trying to get back together and everything they do together is for their daughter, but I just don't feel good about it. I'm not used to divorced people being around each other and not having old feelings come back. I'm not happy with him talking marriage to me and still going to the movies with his ex and thier daughter.

He seems like a good man, but I don't know what to do. Can he honestly spend time with his ex-wife and still want a future with me? I am setting myself up to get hurt again?

Thanks for the Luv guys!

GARLAND: Thanks for the question.

I'm more concerned about "Robert" talking marriage and commitment after what? TWO MONTHS? (Three months minus one). Those are heavy issues and need to be given the most attention I think.

If he's already been married and been unsuccessful in that endeavour, then he needs to take his time and approach that subject carefully. If he has a little one, then he needs to be even more prudent and I'm just not feeling the two month sprint to the big big commitment talk. Be very careful on that road.

Okay - about your question. Can he hang with the ex and still be decent toward you? Sure, I guess. I can't say 100% for sure, because only he knows. But, I think trying to maintain a certain comfort level and level of normalcy for his daughter is reasonable. His daughter may have taken the divorce very badly like many kids do, and he and his wife want to help her through it. I think for them to be able to put their differences aside to take her to the movies or the park or the playground is a really great thing.

If you are worried that maybe old feelings will creep back in between them, which they very well could, then you should talk to him. I mean - the two were married and they share a common bond in their daughter, so you are NOT unreasonable to be concerned. I think you should take the time and express your concerns and see what he has to say. He might surprise you with a litany of reasons why he'll never love her again, or he might not. He might tell you that the reasons for their divorce weren't that bad, you'll never know until you talk to him. Keep in mind though, that you are looking out for YOUR HEART and that is always the best cause.

CHUCK: Garland's right. Robert's clock is a little out of whack in terms of what's an appropriate courtship time, but there's no need to panic. Not yet.

A lot of women spend months in the early stages of a relationship, wonder what their man is thinking of, turning over signs and clues like a crime scene technician. This man has laid out his intentions pretty early. Too early. But hopefully, he should understand your desire to take things a little slower, and respect them.

The issue with his ex-wife and daughter is one I don't consider that serious, either. At her age (six), it's probably still important for her to have the illusion that her family is still together, at least for a couple of hours. You wouldn't fault her that, would you?

However, if those family outings change from the movies or the waterpark, to a weekend at the Poconos, or a family cruise to the Bahamas, you might have a little more cause for alarm. Until that happens, just roll with it, though.

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