I began dating a part time father about 5 months ago. This is the first time I've dated someone with a child. His son is 9 and stays between the mother's, the grandparents (my boyfriend's parents) and the father's (my boyfriend). My boyfriend and his son's mother dated breifly 10 years ago and were never married.
I have recently been allowed by the mother to be around the child, the first time being Thanksgiving. Since then, I've spent time with my boyfriend and his son, but never staying over night. The child is a bit shy, but definetly likes me a lot. He warmed up to me instantly.
The problem is, when I'm told, "no you can't stay over tonight", or "I have to cancel plans because I'm keeping my son tonight" I get filled with an emotion that I have a hard time describing. It's somewhere between jealousy and resenment, I guess. But when I have this feeling, it's immediately haulted by the fact that it's a child I'm feeling this way towards. I feel like my emotions are null and void because I'm an adult capable of dealing with things, and he is a child, still growing and developing.
How do I deal with this feeling? I love the father very much, and I really enjoy spending time with his son. I am ready to take the relationship forward and move in with my boyfriend, but I know this isn't a reality, because I'm not sure about the effect it would have on his son. My boyfriend is very apprehensive about me staying overnight anytime in the near future, because he'd have to clear it with the mother and he's worried how it may affect the child.
Where are the lines drawn? What is an acceptable time length to date a part time dad before you move in together? Is it too much of a risk that my boyfriend and I may eventually breakup? How do I balance my own needs with those of the childs? Would it really be so bad for the child to see what a healthy functioning adult relationship looks like? Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.