Dear Colleen,

I have met the man of my dreams - he is from Ireland and lives here in the U.S near me (I don't want to give away too much information, since I know he goes on

We've been dating for a few months, and we are taking it slow since we have both been married before. He is smart, funny, charming, and I am falling in love with him.

There is one major problem - his children. He has two young children and they live in Ireland with their mother, but they visit a lot.

I honestly don't like them. I just don't have 'that way' with children, hence the fact that I haven't had my own, and don't plan to.

I've met them twice and had to pretend to enjoy their company. My man even mentioned them coming to spend Christmas here with us! I dread their visits and he obviously adores them.

The more I see my future with him, the more dread I feel since the children will be part of it.

Should I learn to love them? How? Should I tell him that I don't want to be around when they visit? Should I consider ending my relationship with this wonderful man because of the baggage that comes with it?

Alice*, 36.


I sense jealousy and fear. I think you may be jealous of the children and how much he adores them and how much they consume his world. And I wonder if you are afraid to love them.

Is it possible that you don't have much experience with children and are unsure how to behave around them?

Think about it - What have you got to lose?

Children are the least judgmental people in the world, and they will love you if you let them.

I think you need to make a decision, based on the man. If you think he is truly worth it (and it sounds like he is), then start loving his children. Trust me, it won't be hard.

Take them on a day out to the zoo or to the park yourself, and the more time you spend with them the more comfortable you will feel with them and the more endearing you will find them.

I have a good feeling that if you give this a shot and open yourself up to his children, you will find yourself in a wonderful place - with a great man, and adorable children in your life.