America doesn't have unified cultural expectations about this issue, and that makes it very hard. I can't say "just trust your heart," because if he's charming and seems like a good prospect for a long relationship--perhaps even marriage, then your heart might be ready. But charm doesn't guarantee either moral integrity or compatible interests and lifestyle choices.
I suggest that you tell a man on the first date "I want to get to know you" and use that to restrain physical contact. If he doesn't like you enough without being sexually turned on (and kissing or fondling sexual parts), then he probably won't stay long when there's not sex each time he sees you. Some men are so anxious to feel successful that they won't call again if they don't get sex on the first date. Let them go.
My wife told me when we got interested (she was 33, I was 41) that she wanted to find out if we had a good friendship, and she would wait 3 months before having sex. She had changed her mind by the end of 3 weeks. But she had seen that I wanted her enough for who she was to stay interested for 3 months. I've stayed interested for 27 years.
We had a lot in common: teaching and psychotherapy as professions, musical instruments, deep discussions about human issues.
Fooling around my wife did also--so she was hedging her bets by letting me experience how exciting it could be to get erotically engaged with her. But I'd say don't JUST do the normal things on dates (like dinner, a show, a bar, dancing) but instead talk about what you LIKE to do and what's important to you in life. You want to get him to go beyond what he knows any woman will like, and do and talk about things that are important to HIM.
In the case of him having 2 kids, they might be the most important influence in his life, esp if they're always with him. Then he may just want you to do things his kids want to do. Yes, what about texting. (I am trying to tell you how to protect yourself from being dumped after you've had sex--or also you might be used for a very limited relationship, that is rest & relaxation, and play and sex--since he has many responsibilities and he might not be ready emotionally to commit to a new love as the center of his life. You also need to figure out what you are looking for, because you might want that same limited relationship for yourself.
Go ahead about the texting, or comment on what level of relationship you think you want.
Hmm. How long have you known him? So you're being auditioned as the partner who finally replaces his tragically deceased wife after 13 years. Is he also Asian?
Is he able to get very happy? Very excited? How well do his different moods fit with your own mood possibililties? If you were going to take a vacation trip with him, for how long and how far away would he go? [But you can't ask him questions like this until you've found out what activities and interests you have in common.] I'm concerned here that you're putting on a yoke and a leash if you marry him, and you might also have a difficult time gaining acceptance from his twins. These things can be worth the sacrificing, IF you will get some very precious kinds of intimacy. Look thru this list and decide how much each one matters to you, (even if you DON'T want to share that with your partner (like Spiritual/religious concerns, or work for many people--they don't want their partner involved in these with them). 1. Physical (medical, massage)
2. Sexual. 3. Emotional (empathic attunement & expression) 4. Intellectual (what subjects?) 5
5. Aesthetic (appreciating beauty in Nature, in art) 6. Creative. 7. Recreation. 8. Work/
9. Facing crises, problems & pain together. 10. conflict 11, Commitment. 12. Spiritual. 13. Communication
Then reflect on which of these you already have with him. You can also ask him about what he likes to do in these different areas--maybe one such inquiry per conversation, one that you do care about and you therefore want to find out how well he might relate to you in that area.
The texting thing: I know what you mean about texting. My 23 yr old daughter taught me to text, and I find it amusing, and I also do texting a little with a couple of my clients who are distant. And sometimes having to say something important in very few words is good for me. But the phone is much better for me, not for my wife. You could negotiate some rules for when you'll respond to texts and when you won't unless he'll call you--probably when he has more time and so do you.
I gotta go cash a check, & be back in 20m
final thoughts. You're moving into his castle (I picture you in Marin County Calif, where I lived when I met my wife in 1984-1987). That means you don't have ANY territory of your own. You'll need to start carving out some territory for yourself. And that's both actual space of your own AND issues he needs to bend on in order to make room for you AND your personality, not just your warm body in his bed.
It's a good idea to let him see what matters to you and start making room for that. You like to speak Spanish, so does his nanny. So (this is just an example, not a "do or die.") why not negotiate about Spanish. There's a whole wonderful world "South of the Border" (unless you're still in Miami) with cultures, landscapes and zest for life that he's deprived himself of. So you offer to Teach Him Spanish--AND his kids. And enrich his life by traveling to some of those wonderful places, maybe next spring to celebrate his and your new life. Costa Rica is mild all year around in the central valley.
Don't be like a mail-order bride from HongKong or the Philippines. Think about what YOU like to do that you'd like HIM to come on board with you on. If you start out NOT needing any room for your personality and interests, you'll allow him to unconsciously project onto you everything he wants in a woman "a keeper"--and cultural richness is a great value you have to offer, and it makes you a person to be reckoned with.-
Now I gotta go again, cuz my daughter needs me to get her money out of ATM, because I'm controlling it.
Thank you Customer, it's been a privilege getting to know you a bit, and I'll be happy to respond to you again if you ask for me. I also do dream interpretation at JA. And I have my own website that for the same activities that's booting up this month. I hope your own deal goes thru (like Bob Dylan in a recent song, I'd like to "be there when the deal goes down.") I hope all the buds in your garden turn into colorful blooms, with a hint of Cuban Chinese hotsauce in their fragrance.
Norman M. Brown, PhD, LMFT