Dear Miss Emily:

I'm a 18 year old female who is dating a guy with a kid. I understand that his child comes first, but it's very heartbreaking knowing that I am now being placed second. I am aware that there will be changes made, but I feel for the worst. However this is a first time experiences for me. I really like him a lot, but it's a very upsetting situation for me.

-------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------

One one hand, I think it's admirable that he does put his child first. But you shouldn't have to feel like you are being put off, time-and-time again - neglected - if he signed on to a relationship with you.  He should be able to balance you, and his child (with occasional lapses), if he budgets his time wisely. That said, he's probably nervous about his role as a  dad, and isn't good at setting boundaries. On your part, make sure it's not a jealousy issue.  It serves no purpose, and the child is not responsible for dad's behavior. It's usually the parent's inability to set limits -- or parents who are at odds with each other. You are not his child's surrogate mother. Be kind, be patient, but don't be a fool if you, too often, find yourself on the outside looking in.