In relationships where there are no kids involved, sometimes it's easy to get upset when the other person needs some "down time," but when you're both busy adults with other stuff going on (and birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese, boy scout meetings, etc.), it's natural and healthy to do your own thing.

The natural space the situation affords is great for the relationship.

This is a great spot in which to find yourself when looking for vacancies in someone’s heart.

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And being able to impress a six-year-old with your knowledge of Adventure Time characters? While 4th grade English might not be the toughest nut to crack, I still feel like a genius when I get to show a kid how to cite sources on a piece of paper (never mind that it's wide ruled paper and it's a paper about photosynthesis).

To a 10 year-old, I am a genius, and that feels great.

As it turns out, there are actually a lot of perks to dating someone with kids. (Besides the kids themselves, obviously.)This one is a little selfish on my part: I can't eat candy anymore (I had weight loss surgery nearly eight years ago and sugar is definitely not my friend), but every now and then, I just really want to buy a bag of Skittles.

It works out, because the kids get special candy, I don't have to eat it, and I'm the hero.

Example: I don't want to date anyone whose parents still pay all his bills, someone who lives a double life as a secret stoner, someone who is intolerant of religion, or someone who rarely showers or trims his facial hair (the lumberjack/rocker thing is sexy until weird smells start permeating the vicinity).

But with the bad comes the good, and my past exes did teach me a few things about what I do want in a relationship: a partner with a sense of humor, and someone who's more than willing to eat cold pizza and marathon watch/geek out over Twin Peaks with me (trust me, not many folks are willing to put up with this). He was funny, had a grown-up 9-5 job (I immediately made note of his Netflix-marathoning potential), and had ridiculous comic book tattoos.

Let me tell you about second place: This is where close members of his family reside.

This is the place he reserves for family or as-good-as family.

Over time, though, the fears have washed away and I'm learning how to be a girlfriend to a dad.

These days, it's pretty common to have diverse families made up of siblings, step-siblings, step-parents, etc. Doubtfire for a second here), and while I may never want kids of my own, I'm pretty stoked to find my own little place in Lunar's family.

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