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Because he didn’t acknowledge us, we broke up. Then the next day he apologized and made it sound like he was going to try to work on our relationship. A week later, he decided he doesn’t want kids, saying he is stressed because he is pulling from savings now to keep his house and pay other bills.
Now I don’t know what to do. He acted committed to my daughter and me and took good care of us. Then it all went away after 4-6 months. He says he thinks of my daughter as a pal or friend but that he doesn’t see himself as a father figure. My dad is mad that Shane won’t step up to the plate and be the dad. And Shane is saying we rushed everything and he isn’t quite ready to be a father. And he doesn’t know if those feelings will change, but he wants to take it slow. I agreed to take a step back if that’s what he really wanted. But my dad is saying I should give him an ultimatum to be with me, help me raise my daughter, and be a step-dad — or I’ll leave.
I want my daughter to have a step-dad since her real dad isn’t around. But Shane fears my daughter will yell at him and say, “You’re not the real dad” and not listen to him. I say that won’t happen because my daughter doesn’t have a dad to compare him to.
My dad is basically saying I’m blind. What do you think? Do you think Shane will ever step up to the plate and be a role model/father figure? I know it was rushed. But he took care of us for 4-6 months and then just stopped. He also doesn’t tell me he loves me first. I’ll say it and he will say it back. — Looking for a Step-dad
You’re 26 years old and have a 4-year-old daughter to take care of: grow UP and quit depending on other people to take care of you. Saying you rushed things with your boyfriend is an understatement. You moved in with him less than three months after you became exclusive? That’s fast even when there isn’t a child in the picture. You rushed things because you wanted to lock down this father figure without even getting to KNOW the father figure, and in doing so you risked hurting your daughter, confusing her, and rocking whatever stability she may have had. And not only did you rush the relationship, but you immediately started depending on Shane to support you and your daughter. No wonder he wants to put the brakes on. He is telling you every way he can that he’s not ready for the responsibility and commitment of caring for a young child. At 35, he should have known enough not to allow you and your daughter to move in with him after a couple of months, but what he didn’t know then he soon figured out: HE IS NOT READY TO BE A FATHER TO A LITTLE GIRL HE’S KNOWN A HANDFUL OF MONTHS.
And speaking of fathers, your dad needs to mind his own business. He is way out of bounds insisting you give this boyfriend of a few months an ultimatum to either be your kid’s step-dad or say good-bye to your relationship. What kind of nutso talk is that? Save yourself the time and trouble and skip the ultimatum because Shane has already made clear what his choice is. HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE YOUR DAUGHTER’S DAD.
Please, shift your focus from locking down a step-dad for your daughter to being the best damn mom you can so that the absence of a father figure for now isn’t a big deal. Stop waiting for someone else to take care of you guys and provide for your daughter yourself. And tell your dad that, if it’s so important to him that you have a man in your life who “steps up to the plate,” he can fill that role for you and your daughter. He can be a loving paternal figure. That way the next time you become romantically involved with someone you can first focus on building a relationship with him before you start pressuring him to be dad to your daughter.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.