Although I haven’t given him any responsibility in raising my daughter, I did want to believe that, in the future, he would want to be something like a father to her and I’m not sure what I should do now. He talks about the future with me and says that he can see our relationship lasting for the long-term. But he also says that at the moment he doesn’t want to take anything to the “next step” as in moving in or marriage. And I understand where he’s coming from, but also I kind of want to know if there’s a time frame I should give him or what I should tell him. I have a lot of feelings for the guy and he’s really good with my daughter. So I’m also confused about what he thinks I want from him. I’m so clueless. Any advice? — Looking for Baby’s Father Figure
You and Josh are both so young, you’re a new mother, and your relationship is new. All of these are good reasons to not push any sort of agenda beyond enjoying each other’s company and continuing to get to know each other as you balance motherhood with your social life. Josh is being upfront and honest with you — qualities that are important in a father-figure, of course, but also in a friend. Let him be a friend to you for now. Let whatever romantic future you might have together reveal itself in time. Maybe his role in your life will be short-lived. Maybe he’ll end up being a life-long friend. And maybe your relationship will develop into something more. Maybe, in time, he WILL be ready for the enormous responsibility of fatherhood. But you can’t push that.
On the other hand, Josh has explicitly expressed that he doesn’t want to raise someone else’s baby, and you need to respect that. If your top priority is finding a father figure for your daughter, Josh isn’t your best bet at the moment. Obviously. But if a bigger priority is to enjoy the companionship of someone honest who has integrity and cares about you (and is “good with your daughter,” even if he isn’t ready to raise her), I wouldn’t sabotage that with demands of timetables and deadlines and so on. The guy’s 21 years old. He’s not going to hurry and make any decisions about marriage and family. But if you back off, give him some breathing room, and continue letting your relationship develop organically, the both of you may find that, despite your young age, you have a bond worth holding onto tightly.
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