DEAR ABBY: I went through a divorce recently and have already found a woman I love. I have children -- three boys and a daughter -- I love very much. I'm currently paying child support to my ex for my 15-year-old daughter. The boys are grown and on their own.
I'm a first-generation American from Latin America, and I have a question regarding holding hands with my daughter in public. I spoke with my mother about it and she told me she hugged, kissed (pecks on the cheek) and held hands with her father until the time she moved away from home. My significant other says holding hands with my daughter is not appropriate in public.
As a father, I want my daughter to feel she can hold my hand if she's inclined. I will not discourage her because I love her. I understand that one day she may no longer want to do that, and I would accept her wish. Because I live in the United States, I need to know if the custom of daughters showing affection for their fathers is acceptable here in the U.S. -- DIVORCED DAD IN COLUMBUS
DEAR DIVORCED DAD: I'm glad you asked. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a girl holding her father's hand or demonstrating affection by hugging or kissing him on the cheek!
Your new love interest may be jealous of the relationship you have with your daughter. And if that's the case, it is a red warning flag. Explain to your girlfriend that this is how people act in the culture you come from.
And one more thought: You mentioned that you are recently divorced. Please take plenty of time before you plunge into another marriage -- with her or anyone else.