All in the Family

Dear J & J: I have a son from a prior marriage. He’s a great kid, but I don’t like to introduce him to every woman I go out with. The thing is, I like to be up-front about the fact that I’m a father, but I think it scares some women when they find out. When is a good time to let someone know that I have a son? The first date? The fourth?

L.I.G.
Alhambra, CA

JILL: Being up-front is a great policy; it’s also a good way to determine how a woman feels about the fact that you have a child. After all, if she doesn’t want to date you because you have a kid, that’s a pretty good indication that you don’t want to date her, either. I suggest you casually bring up your son pretty early on — like on the first date. Make a casual comment during dinner, along with "he’s a great kid." If she asks questions, go ahead and answer them. If she clams right up, I wouldn’t press the subject.

JACK: I agree with Jill — the earlier the better. Your safest bet is to have all the chips on the table (i.e. divorces, deaths, and children) by the third date. Otherwise you may find yourself investing — financially and emotionally — in someone who sees no future with you.

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