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The first time I attended a school play, David’s daughter came out after the show.

I wanted to run over and hug her, give her the flowers we brought, congratulate her on a good performance — until I saw her mom and realized that my desires were tertiary.

Her sister, silent, looked at me, and tilted her head, as if to say, “Hmmm…

we’ll see about you.”We have tried to do all the “right” things: plenty of father-daughter time without me, consistent respect for their mom, a slow pace and patient approach.

For now, I’m just available, playful in my own way, and practicing patience. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles.

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If your dream man has three kids, you are off the medal stand.The girls come first, their parents second, and I’m a distant third. I took a physical step back and let their mom have the moment. Even now, out of respect for the girls’ privacy, I self-limit sharing stories.I usually sit on the other side of the couch so the girls can cuddle up with their dad when we watch movies.But it’s still hard sometimes, and I think about Jennifer’s advice quite a bit. Instead, I find hundreds of articles about how to advance and evolve, take steps forward.For me, however, progress has come only with a practice of restraint: Relax like a cat and take a step back.

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