Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Follow Boyfriend's Lead in Meeting Child

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been somewhat casually dating a guy for more than a year now. We like each other a lot, but we see each other rarely. He has a young son, and he has primary custody, so between family and work, he is busy. I had the thought recently to tell him that I would be fine with spending time with him and his son if it meant we could spend more time together. I'm a little nervous about suggesting it, though, since he has never brought it up. What do you think about this idea? -- Next Step, Memphis

DEAR NEXT STEP: Leave it alone. I generally recommend to anyone who has children and is dating that you do not introduce the date until you feel that there is potential for the relationship. It can be unnerving for children to meet a range of dates and not be sure who is important to the parent. While you shouldn't wait until you are about to get married, you should feel that the relationship is more committed than your description -- casual. Follow his lead on this.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I wear a weave in my hair. I spend a lot of money on it, so it looks just like my hair. I've been dating a guy for a few months now, and it has gotten a bit intimate. So far, whenever he kisses me, I make sure he doesn't touch my hair. He has complimented me on it a lot, and I am always grateful. I wonder if he finds out that it isn't my real hair if that will turn him off. Bottom line: I need to tell him, but I'm not sure how to broach the topic. Help! -- Woven, Detroit

DEAR WOVEN: Chris Rock made a compelling documentary called "Good Hair" that explores many of the nuances of the hair industry, including how men and women deal with women who wear weaves. One of the men in the documentary pointed out that he doesn't touch his partner's hair without permission -- ever!

Jokes aside, this is a fair question. Because so many women wear weaves these days, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that your guy is not new to the party. That said, in order for you to be comfortable with him touching your hair, you need to let him know what's there. It could be presented in a casual conversation about going to the hairdresser. As you talk about your schedule, tell him that you go to the hairdresser once every six or eight weeks to have your weave refreshed (or whatever your timetable is). You can mention how long that appointment is, and note the commitment you make to keeping your hair looking the way you want it to look. This will open the door to a candid conversation about your hair. If he asks to touch it after that, by all means allow him to do so.