He explained early on that he intended to remain Lucy’s father and to get her on the same weekends as his bio daughter, and I meditated on it and decided I could open my heart to this. His ex quickly became snippy and jealous about me being around her daughter, and Greg told me he had decided the appropriate thing to do was to say goodbye to both of them. This broke my heart along with his because he had previously described Lucy as his reason for living, the only thing that made him happy. He made his choice and said he didn’t want to talk about it.
The ex now has cut him off and vice versa. I’ve reached out asking if we could try to reconcile for possible visits, and he shuts it down and says this is the right thing to do. However, he hasn’t cleaned out her room and still mourns her, mainly in secret. It’s as if he’s mourning a death almost. He raised her for four years so it’s understandable, but I’m not sure if I should pry or let it run its course. I’m afraid he’s trying to fill the hole in his heart with more time with me — which I don’t mind except I worry it’s unhealthy as he sometimes shuts down.
I’ve also noticed he says he’s “proud of me” when I’m doing well and uses flowery compliments like, “you are my whole heart” and I’ve seen on social media that he said the same phrases to Lucy. Should I be concerned? — Dating a Dad
Yeah, there are some red flags here that you shouldn’t ignore. The most obvious ones to me are that he doesn’t seem to have the same interest in his biological daughter as he has with Lucy and also he has told you that Lucy was his reason for living and the only thing that made him happy. Again, what about his other daughter – his biological daughter? It’s weird. And it’s unhealthy to declare one person your “whole heart” and your “reason for living.” Does Greg not have friends, hobbies, or anything else that fulfills him or excites him? It sounds like maybe not. And now that Lucy is out of the picture — without much fight on his part to keep her in his life — he’s directing all his neediness onto you, which you already feel is unhealthy (because it is). Again, what about his bio daughter?
Frankly, I think that you moved in with Greg too quickly. With two young daughters in the picture, he needed to make sure you were well-integrated into the rest of his life before even introducing you to them and fostering a relationship between you and them. It’s obvious that didn’t happen (and how could it in only seven months?). If you both had taken your time and gotten to know each other better, and you had gotten to know the daughters better, as well as their mothers, the chance of jealousy—-on everyone’s part, but especially on Lucy’s mother’s part—-would have been greatly reduced. It’s unfortunate that Greg, with at least two long-term, serious relationships under his belt, didn’t more thoughtfully consider how his actions would affect all these females in his life and how they relate to each other. But it’s also likely that Greg suspects if you had a chance to know him better before moving in with him, you would have lost interest in pursuing a serious relationship with him, and maybe that’s why he wanted to progress so quickly.
At this point, I think there are enough reasons for you to put the breaks on this relationship, back up, and reflect on whether this is something that feels right for you or not. I would tell Greg that you now realize that things moved more quickly than they should have and you want to move back out for a while and let him figure out what’s going on with Lucy. Tell him you don’t want to feel any responsibility in ending their relationship and until there’s some resolution on that front that Greg feels satisfied with, you won’t be ready to live with him again. In the meantime, keep an eye out for other potential red flags, especially in regards to Greg’s relationship with his bio daughter and how and whether he continues to use similar phrases of affection for you that he uses for his young daughter(s).
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.