DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating a woman who has a 2-year-old child. I have no issue with the fact that she is a mother. I do, however, have an issue with the fact that she will not tell me who the child’s father is. Why is it some huge secret? We’ve only been dating for a month now, but I think I have a right to know. What if he’s dangerous and takes issue with me being around his child? Should I be worried that she won’t tell me? Is it none of my business? -- Suspicious
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: It is too soon for you to be placing any demands on this woman about the identity of her child’s father. One month into this bond is still getting-to-know-each-other territory, surely a probationary period for your relationship. Women are often very private about such things for a host of reasons, ranging from wanting to keep that part of her life separate to not knowing who the father is -- and plenty in between.
Your concerns are legitimate, however. Explain to your girlfriend why you are curious about her child’s father, particularly as it relates to safety. Ask her if there is any reason you should be on alert about being in a relationship with her, such as if this man might show up making his own demands, etc. Assure her that you like her and her baby, but if this relationship stands a chance, you will need to talk about her past -- just as you share about yours.