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POLL RESULTS: One Step At A Time?: (16 comments)

POLL: One Step At A Time?

Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:00 AM

Since the newspaper column that this comic accompanies is yet again stuck on the "tired wife / horny husband" theme, we'll turn to another question e-mailed by a reader of this Web site...

A reader writes... Q: My parents have recently divorced, and my father has been dating a new woman. I am fine with this, however the woman has two children of her own. I like her, and the kids are fine as well.

The only thing is the older daughter has a huge crush on me. She is about three years younger than me, and finds almost any reason to spend time with me. It started when I was asked to watchdog for my dad over her at a school function, and now she asks for souvenirs from my work, invites me over for things, and finds ways to get me around. I have brought friends with me multiple times, and they all agree she is very into me.

She is very attractive, and under the circumstances, I might take her up on some of her hang out offers. I've asked all my friends, and the results are 50/50. Half think it is weird to even think about doing anything, and the others think there's nothing wrong. We were not raised together, haven't know each other long, and should any status change, I would not be living under the same roof.

As for other relevant info, our parents seem to be semi-serious. They have broken up a few times. Not really sure what to do. Not really looking for feedback regarding legality, more morality if anything.

Names and situations have been changes to protect the innocent.
POLL: Should this guy date his step-sister?
 
9% (131) There are some lines you don't cross. This is one of them.
 
66% (933) What's the big deal? She's not blood.
 
24% (344) You're on your own with this one, dude...
1408 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
betaiotamu
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Posts: 5

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Mar 2009
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:53 AM (#47144)

OK, so the moral thing is not in view if you're not blood relatives but ask yourself this - what if you guys fall in love but your parents flame out and end up hating each other? One thing for sure is when you get into a relationship with someone at least some of that extends to their family. You admit that you're not sure where your parents are at in all of this, but if it doesn't work out the stresses that would flow from that would likely make your relationship difficult if not impossible. Also the reverse situation wouldn't be great either, if your parents end up getting together but the two of you wind up on the outs. I know in-laws can be close, but this could be too close.


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Paulius
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Aug 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 01:00 AM (#47145)

I honestly don't see a problem with the two of you dating if that's what you want. I can understand that it feels weird...but the fact your parents are in a relationship really has nothing to do with it.

Even if your parents end up married, the two of you dating is no different legally or morally than you dating your dad's friend's daughter instead of your dad's girlfriend's daughter.


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Paulius
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 01:08 AM (#47146)
In Response to Paulius (#47145):

PS : I have to disagree with betaiotamu. If you pick your relationships on what makes other people happy, or give up relationships through what might happen in some vague future...you're likely to spend a lot of time alone.

The truth is your parents may hate your girlfriend whoever she is. Your family might not get on with hers...but none of that is a valid reason to not pursue a relationship with someone you like.

In the end, if you like her and she likes you, go for it.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 02:05 AM (#47148)

The truth is your parents may hate your girlfriend whoever she is. Your family might not get on with hers ... but none of that is a valid reason to not pursue a relationship with someone you like.

Paulius, I don't think you understand the issue. If his father and her mother are intimate and remain an item for a while, and then they have a messy breakup, the guy and the girl inevitably will take sides. The odds are he will side with Dad and she will side with Mom -- it'll be far worse than a brother-sister relationship when parents divorce.

If I were in this guy's shoes, I'd take the course that I usually end up recommending here: Communicate, and be honest. I'd tell her that I was attracted to her and suspected that she liked me too, but that there were two issues that we'd have to face -- the "Is this incest?" question and the "What do we do if your mom and my dad fight?" question.

Personally, I don't see it as incest, and I doubt that they would. (Ever hear of the Westermark Effect [wikipedia.org]?) But I'd be tempted to ask her to keep it on a "let's be friends and get to know each other first" level to see how the parents handle things before we started anything serious.

Keeping things Platonic until outside relationships are resolved can be done; I speak from experience. I'm lucky -- she was definitely worth the wait. 8-)


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Lachesis
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Jul 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 09:49 AM (#47149)

she's still in school? how still in school - high school? college? post-grad?

if it's anything less than mid-level college, i'd be tempted to say "back away slowly towards exit, maintaining eye contact at all times". this may be nothing more than a big school-girl crush on a first likely male presence in her life - you know, the kind you always got on the really cool teacher?

i'd say be polite, be friendly, but be a little distant if that's the case. she's likely to get over the "smitten" phase before you know it. THEN talk about awkward......


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Dea_chan
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 10:05 AM (#47150)

RE: Paulius

Last I checked, the laws were a little screwy on this one. If your parents get remarried, even though you're not related, you can't marry your stepsister. However, if you and your ladyfriend get married, and then your parents hook up, totally legal. Just think about that one for a bit... I know the guy isn't necessarily ringing the marriage bell, but it's something to consider.


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ThatJeff
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Sep 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 07:10 PM (#47153)
In Response to Dea_chan (#47150):

Hey, just go for it. Think about it; you could end up marrying your step-sister, could have a daughter with whom your father could then take up relations and marry, thereby:

(sing it with me, folks)

"I am my own Grandpa!"


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meshugunah
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Dec 2006
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 13, 2009 - 11:56 PM (#47154)

Look carefully at what Lachesis and Dea_Chan have to say - Consider this girl's age and the likelihood that the 'rents might marry. You don't really say how old you are, just that she's three years younger. That you had to "chaperone" a school function makes me think she's still in High School and you've graduated, which makes her underage for anything other than casual dating at this stage of her life. Take it slow and cool, no matter what you choose to do. If the parents continue to see each other, there's a good chance you'll continue to see her at family functions, so try to keep it friendly, in any case; that may be enough, without bringing actual dating into the picture. You have work and she has school - good reasons to be too "busy" to date!


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monkeydharma
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Mar 2009
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 09:51 PM (#47158)

It seems like most everyone is jumping to a bunch of conclusions. The OP is asking for moral, not legal, guidance. The 'rents are dating, therefore incest doesn't enter the picture. The OP isn't even asking about dating, just hanging out.

As a previous poster noted, the only active factor is the ages involved. I also got the impression the the girl is a high-schooler and the guy is definitely over 18. Hanging out is OK, but watch out for deeper waters - there be sharks!


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temperjoke
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, March 16, 2009 - 11:00 AM (#47168)
In Response to betaiotamu (#47144):

I honestly think that it might be best to keep a short distance, given how the girl seems to be feeling. Since the parents are dating, depending on how things go between them, it'll have a major impact on both your lives. If the parents get married, its going to make doing anything beyond normal brother/sister socially awkward; if the parents split up, it makes it awkward still because the parents may lean on you two to not be friendly; if they split up in a really bad way, it'll just make things even worse.

I think in this situation a little distance is better than getting too close, especially if the girl is just infatuated with you.


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TheOriginalJes
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Jan 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 09:26 AM (#47180)

I think you already feel it's totally wrong, and here's why...

- You've consulted your brain trust (term used skeptically), and have come up with a split decision.

- You're wierded-out by the situation, and are still giving consideration towards you're hormones.

- You've said she's attractive, but failed to mention if she's even a nice person.

And here's the big one...

- Before talking to your Dad, it seems you're seeking advice from a random pool of strangers. You can't even be sure any of us care about your best interests. Does your Dad?

I don't think Mike and Carol Brady would have really approved of Greg and Marsha openly going at it. And, I think you agree.

You're just horny, and she's a real, REAL easy target.

She's younger than you (you're in work, she's in school), far more naive, and you're already in a position of authority/protection of her.

Her parents are going through the same stuff as your parents. And, girls are far more likely to get into serious trouble just trying to get accepted and find stability.

This next part is important...

YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP! (with anyone)


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 09:28 AM (#47181)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#47180):

BTW - "Clueless" was just a movie/tv show. Not good dating advice.


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Murgatroyd
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Jan 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 20, 2009 - 01:39 AM (#47222)

YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP!

Annnnd ... Jes nails it.


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cycliclife
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Feb 2009
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - 03:26 PM (#47321)
In Response to Murgatroyd (#47222):

I have to agree with both of you completely.


--
"Come on. Somewhere at the edge of the Bell curve is the girl for me"
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lwj2
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Feb 2008
Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 08:31 AM (#47403)

She's not a blood relative, don't see a problem there.

She's three years younger than you -- again, not a problem, if she's 18 -- if she's not (and I suspect that may well be the case) then she's gaol-bait no matter who's daughter she is and no matter how attractive she is.


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CanadianLumberjack
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Re: One Step At A Time? (Score: 1)
posted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 12:27 PM (#47464)

Even if you we're related, as my genetics professor said, "It wouldnt hurt me, only the kids"...


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