Question: I truly enjoy dating the woman I am seeing, but dating her is like dating her entire family. Whenever we are together, she is 57, her kids constantly stop by and interrupt our night. She is a kind woman and I don’t want to say anything to upset her, but how can I get her to know that we are constantly being sabotaged by her children?
Answer: This is such a great question and I completely understand the frustration you have that every time you want to have a romantic evening or one of deeper communication or connection… you get interrupted by the adult children stopping by, yes?
It’s curious, she is a kind woman and you don’t want to say anything to upset her… yet if she’s kind… wouldn’t she be more open to hearing your truth and not overreacting? Or is her flavor of kind more of a wall flower where she is the very same way with her children…kind to a fault? Letting them walk all over her? Is her kindness a front so as not to upset her children when in fact she’s giving her power away to them… kind of like you are doing with her? Giving your power away in fear of upsetting her? Am I totally out to lunch here or is this what’s going on?
If so, what a wonderful opportunity for you both to move beyond fear of upsetting each other! Whoohoo! Time for you both to open your courageous hearts and speak from your truth for the highest good of your evolving relationship AND the unleveling of her relationship with her kids so THEY can also have healthier relationships.
Healthy boundaries are required for anything to truly thrive, yes? It certainly wouldn’t work if I was interrupted during my coaching calls or an interview, yes? Those kind of examples I’m sure the adult kids would understand… so if you presented date night as an uninterrupted sanctuary of connection first to the woman you’re dating, then perhaps it would be quite easy for her to speak to the children to support that and for this issue to dissolve with grace.
However if she and her children don’t have healthy boundaries and have more of a passive aggressive or codependant relationship as I was mentioning above where nobody really speaks their truth, nobody wants to upset anybody and the kids have the power position in the relationship… than we have a larger issue on our hands.
In all transparency, when I was early divorced… I didn’t have healthy boundaries with my son… I only saw him half the time and wanted our time to be ‘perfect’ and didn’t want anything to get back to his Dad. Wow did that ever backfire into my son becoming entitled fast. I changed my ways and sat in the fire of him ‘hating’ me… yet over the years… he grew to respect me and become a respectful young man.
Great man, bottom line is that what you’re asking for isn’t unreasonable from time to time. Exclusive evenings to deepen your relationship and support a sexual connection is totally understandable and required for your relationship to thrive.
In the same breath, it sounds like family family is a big priority for her. Being open and available for her children is something that seems to bring her joy. So what if it’s not either or… she can have both. You can have both. The children can have both.
I would recommend beginning a weekly dyad with your girlfriend not just about the kids, but about everything from date night, money, sex, dreams, fears… so the two of you can easily hear each other, feel understood and gotten… and be able to create both a healthier dynamic between the two of you, and with her children.
Lastly, if you approach her annoyed by her children’s behavior, she’s only going to get defensive, yes? Thus I recommend releasing your irritation and frustration about them before engaging in this conversation… you could even be so bold as to see them as a gift to inspire you to be courageous, speak your truth and take your relationship to a deeper level.
Really excited to hear how things go when you begin to connect heart-to-heart, truth to truth. See the kids as a catalyst to take your relationship to the next level 🙂
Humungous blessings, Allana xox
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