The guy I’m dating

He’s never had teen daughters. I’m trying to remember that. He’s out of his element and doesn’t understand the complexity of navigating this minefield.

But they have been through my relationships with me and they do not trust easily. They were never comfortable with my former Sir. They always referred to him as “Mom’s boyfriend”.

I watched the change happen slowly. They referred to us as a couple, grouping our names together. They would complain about going to his house but couldn’t wait for all of us to have coffee in the morning together. They would ask his advice and banter with him. They willingly hugged him and dropped the L word with his mom.

They started to see him as a father figure. Leaning on him for support. He was the grown up who was capable of controlling a situation. They could have easily grabbed someone else for advice or comfort. But they chose him.

I loved that they started to see him that way. But maybe because some of the behaviour is similar he confused father figure with Daddy. He made the comment that they saw him as Daddy. I corrected him, reminding him that I have his collar. It was an akward conversation.

Then a bunch of little things piled up and one fight turned into another. Who my daughter is dating, how responsible they are, shots at my parenting. I didn’t realize he was keeping a tally of all the things he’s done for the girls.

I really did think of him as part of my family. But after a fight about an unfortunate comment I asked him if he wanted to be the father figure, not the “Daddy” to the girls. I told him either he was the father figure or he was just the guy I’m dating. I wanted very clear lines. I was expecting him to tell me he loved me, he was a part of the family and that the weight of my family wasn’t too much. I wanted him to tell me he understood the boundaries of Daddy and father figure.

Instead he said “well I’m just the guy you’re dating then.”

I’m sure this all sounds very different coming out of his mouth. It probably is.

I wanted him to be more than the guy I’m dating.

So I’ve taken steps back. We may rebuild, we may stay at this casual level. It isn’t what I wanted but I can’t be anything but hurt right now.

He told me I was sabotaging us, that I have a self fulfilling prophecy. He told me I was purposefully causing the demise of our relationship so that I can be right in that everyone leaves.

Maybe so.

But I asked him if he wanted to be my Daddy and a father figure to the girls, or just some guy I’m dating.

He chose to be the guy I’m dating. That plays over and over in my head and I honestly don’t know what to do. So I’m distancing myself until I’m comfortable and this no longer hurts.

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