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Does he want a girlfriend or a babysitter

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 July 2022) 3 Answers - (Newest, 8 July 2022)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Dear cupids,

I started hanging out with this guy I met in college a year ago off and on. I was just getting out of relationship and although we discussed being exclusive briefly ;I never took things seriously. One thing led to another and we started having casual sex. Things were fun and passionate.

I knew feelings were developing from the start because he would bring his child and his dog on several occasions.When his brother passed away he even invited me to his annual memorial party which I knew meant alot to him.

He said he wanted me to bond with his child as they were a package deal as he is a single father with sole custody. Recently I began to fall for him deeply I really don't know why it just happened.

I was going to keep these feelings to myself but out of the blue he told me he wanted a relationship and I was so happy. He also said he wanted us to move in together and build a future.

I spent the first solo night with his child recently without him and we had fun. The child is three and was excited to get attention because the mother is absent I assume.

He really wants me to be a mother figure to his child. I told him I would love to be around, just be patient with me because this is new. I don't have kids yet. Although I want kids in the near future, I want the relationship to develop naturally with his child.

Also I have not met the mother and I would like to have her approval before hand.He insists she's not interested in being around.

It seems like he wanted me to spend every night at his house. And he works nights so it's basically me and the child.

This is moving fast for me because even though they are package we have just made things official and I feel like he thinks of me as a babysitter and not a girlfriend. Maybe I'm over reacting but im still getting to know him! I want us to date as a normal couple before getting attached to his child! We need to see if we work together.

He told me he has a new job and if I can support him and sometimes look after his child overnight. He does not have alot of family. His mother is deceased and father in another state which makes me feel bad for him. He's a truck driver and I hate thinking of that poor kid in the truck with him all those hours!

The issue is I want him to want me not to need me. I'm feeling insecure because I don't know if he is with me out of need.

We started looking at houses in the area and now he's starting to pull away. I said I missed him and he just said aww your so sweet but didn't say he missed me back.

Now we haven't talked in days and because I've been initiating all the communication lately. I've stopped because I don't want to chase him.

In the beginning he was more fun if that makes sense.He was putting more effort.I want him to reach out to me first and show me he cares as much as I do.

To make things worse and more awkward he is my neighbor so we will run into each other eventually and I'm his landlord. So there's that.

What should I do? Should I reach out or give him space it's been a week.

View related questions: insecure

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

"The issue is I want him to want me not to need me. "

You said it yourself.

I am married to a man who loves me. But I KNOW that I'm good for him. I KNOW that all of his gfs before me were different from me - needy, voulnerable, petitte... ideal for a man who wants to feel like a knight . I am not pettite. I grew up with a single mom and we had to deal with things ourselves with a man. I wish I could tell you that he would have chosen me despite me being nothing like them even without my qualities that make his life easier, but I'm not sure. He claims that he would. But the fact remains that I do things for him that not even his mother had done. I am always in his corner. I help him with whatever I can. I take care of him... he's depressed, btw and not responding to therapy. And honestly if I had the experience I have know, I would have told him right from the start that I didin't want this role. But that's just me.

And I think that you are like that too.

I would give him space. He has to know that you want a relationship of equals. I think that he's aware that he's hit jackpot with you and he's trying to move things along so that he can have a family he wanted and someone to share responsbaility with.

He is too eager to solve his problems.

There's another thing. You're his landlord, how's that going to work out once you're together-together?

And this too: I don't mean to offend you, but I would never leave my child with someone I don't know EXTREMLY well. And from what you say that's not the case.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

First of all it sounded as if you were being taken along on a rollercoaster ride that you weren't sure you actually wanted to be on yet and now, he's pulled away.

Whether he wants a babysitter for his child or not is something to put to the side right now. The question is, "What do you want?"

If I were you, I would be worried about how fast things were going. You weren't being allowed to let this relationship develop at your own pace. And if you two aren't going to work out, then his poor child is confused all over again.

He says he wants for you both to live together and be 'official', but you still don't know what happened to the mother of his child. Are you not curious? Where is she? I know some mothers don't want communication with their child, BUT it's extremely rare.

Now, he's behaving oddly again IMO. He's one extreme to the other. I can't help but wonder whether he has sensed your reticence and is playing a mind game to make you more keen on something you rightly feel hesitant about.

If you want to know if he's still interested, then you have to wait for him to get in touch. If he does, I would be extremely wary about progressing this relationship at his pace. I smell a rat.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 July 2022):

Honeypie agony auntI'm not sure if he just wants a babysitter or an instant family. It IS convenient for him to have YOU spend the night there when he works. As it saves HIM money and he knows his son is with someone he trusts.

"He really wants me to be a mother figure to his child. "

Kids need to have GOOD role models of both sexes. So I get what he is thinking. The kiddo's mom wants nothing to do with the kid. So your BF thinks that YOU can "just" step in those mom's shoes. A 3-year-old might accept it fairly easily, but YOU might not. It is an adjustment.

"I want us to date as a normal couple before getting attached to his child! We need to see if we work together."

That makes a lot of sense. However, he IS thinking of what HE needs from you (someone safe to watch his kid at night) more than - ARE we a good fit.

His NEED to keep his son safe and be able to work is bigger than HIS want/need to see if you and HE are a good fit long term.

I think you should sit him down and BE honest here, tell him:" I want us to date as a normal couple before getting attached to his child! We need to see if we work together."

On the other hand, YOU are dating a single dad. So he AND his son IS a package deal.

I DO think he is jumping the gun here. It will hurt his kiddo WAY more if he (the kiddo) gets attached to YOU and then it doesn't work out. The last thing kiddo needs is another person to reject him. That is why you NEED to have this conversation.

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