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my (younger) boyfriend confused over his role

5 replies

emsk · 26/11/2009 13:48


i am seeing a guy who is 9 years younger than me. i have a 3 year old daughter. my boyfriend likes kids and is really good with her but he is worried that he is too young to become a 'step-dad'. he's just turned 24.

my daughters father is involved and he and our daughter have a great relationship. he is very hands on. he and i haven't always got on but have had a course of counselling and things have improved. my boyfriend was aware of (and daunted by, to some extent) these problems also.

my boyfriend and i have split twice over the issue of him feeling overwhelmed by being in a relationship with a single mum. we just got back together because we really love each other but i sense he is still worrying, and he is open about the fact that he is stressed about it.

i have explained that he does not have to act like her dad. he likes her a lot and understands that me and her are a package deal. we try not to do everything as a threesome but sometimes it's unavoidable. often it is him who suggests days out with her. i think he really enjoys being a positive role model, and is always teaching her things. she really likes him.

i think he is just worried he may leave one day to be a young man with no responsibilities and that it will affect her. he is worried about the commitment- he wants me to be happy.

i love him so much but i worry about this all the time. i don't want him to leave but i think one day it'll all get too much for him.

some people say i need a more mature man but i think he is very grown up for his age and it is obvious he is in love with me. he is so attentive and loving. i have been with guys who are my age and they have been dismissive of my situation and of me.

i guess i just need to see what people think about this, and if anyone has any ideas about how to make this situation easier.

OP posts:
sparkybint · 26/11/2009 13:59

This is tricky. But I think YOU need to decide what you want. How long have you been together by the way and are you living together?

I think you have two options - either just go with the flow, enjoy eachother and take each day as it comes with no plans for the future. I think this is what's bothering him, he's only 24, very young and has his whole life ahead of him and understandably is not ready to parent or step-parent. That might be difficult for you but it would take the pressure off him and who knows, he might become more comfortable with the idea.

Or really do some soul-searching yourself and decide what it is you want. If you're looking for a long-term relationship with the possibility that you'll be with someone who's happy to step-parent your child, then you need to be clear with him about this and prepared to move on.

Basically, you have an issue becauase you're at different life stages - you have a child and he doesn't. It's not the age difference, 9 years isn't really that much at all.

aseriouslyblondemoment · 26/11/2009 14:26

agree with sparky here
in a sense it is good that he is concerned about dd and the full implications of being a SD
but he cannot continue to dither and as you've said you've split before because of his concerns
where does this leave you?
and what is this doing to dd who is presumably quite attached to this man?
obv.i can't tell you what to do only tell you what i think from what you've said and my immediate reaction is that this man isn't ready for the whole family thing yet
nor can he be made to or prob.talked into it either
sorry to sound so harsh

emsk · 26/11/2009 14:34

thanks for replying

we've been together a year. we don't live together.

when we first broke up it was because we had our knickers in a twist about me wanting another child before i'm too old. i realised that it's ridiculous to worry about this, what will be will be. i do want another kid, but at that time i think i was scared about 'what next' ie going back to work. another baby fixes that problem, saves you from introspection.

i feel we resolved that problem, but then we split up again because an opportunity to live together arose and he freaked out. in hindsight i realise that it would have been too soon, and again that i was looking for solutions to my problems in the wrong place.

we broke for 4 months and i did a lot of thinking. i moved into a much more appropriate house and feel so much happier about where i'm going. getting a job doesn't feel as daunting and i have been visiting schools and am proud of myself that i have changed my situation all by myself.

i realise that when i was with my boyfriend before i was quite down about stuff. i think i expected him to make things happen for me. no wonder he got scared.

now i feel that we can have a really great relationship. it's me saying let's take it easy and not worry. i think he is still a bit spooked from before. i want to prove to him that things have changed.

i did miss him while we'd split, but i saw my friends and got on with things. i am quite happy being single so i don't feel this is about me pretending to myself i don't want a life-long commitment. in some ways i do (like everyone), but i am happy for the relationship to grow naturally.

it's sometimes hard when you are a lone parent- the minute you see someone you like getting on with your child you start going all brady bunch.

OP posts:
anothermum92 · 26/11/2009 20:46

This reply has been deleted

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Biobytes · 29/11/2009 15:42

I think he looks a very responsible person worried that your dd may be hurt if she gets attached to him and then things don't work or it may be that he has some doubts on the relationship too. Difficult to know.

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