If you had never discussed marriage/long-term commitment with your boyfriend, why on earth would you move in with him with your daughter? If the topic of marriage is so awkward for you to bring up and you’re so worried about your boyfriend feeling pressured into something, you had absolutely no business moving in with him and making him a father-like figure in your daughter’s life. Something is seriously messed up in your logic and priorities when you’re more concerned about your own discomfort and your boyfriend’s discomfort than your daughter’s feelings. She’s calling your boyfriend her stepdad because he’s a man who’s romantically involved with her mother and lives with both of them. To a young child, that’s a father-figure.
Rather than confuse her further by telling her to stop calling him that, you and your boyfriend need to be adults and work out your own confusion. What are your plans? What do you want from each other? Where do you see this relationship headed? Instead of waiting for your boyfriend to bring up marriage, bring it up yourself. It’s beyond time. Pull on your big girl pants and say, “Hey, Carol’s been calling you stepdad lately. I know that legally that isn’t your role, but you are a father figure to her, and she loves you and I love you and how about we make it official?” If he feels “pressured” a year after living with a single mother and her daughter, then he isn’t the guy for you and you need to MOA. Even if you don’t feel like you deserve the security of knowing the man you’ve lived with for a year wants to spend his life with you, your daughter certainly does.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].