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Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsSingles & Dating · 1 decade ago

I'm dating a single mom, who has a 2 year old son. Do I act like a dad or friend?

I've been dating this girl for about 3 months now and everything is going great. I currently go to college in the city we live in. This semester she is going back to college for her degree. We are in our early twenties. I love her son more then I think his actual father does. His dad always gives the son false hopes and is a jerk to my gf/the mom. Her 2 year old son the other day said that his mom loves me, i love her, and that we love him. He asks about me when i'm not around is always excited to see him. I get excited seeing her and him. He's never a burden and I like spending time with both of them. But my question is do I act like a father figure or just a friend to her 2 year old. Honestly I wouldn't mind being his father, I care about him as if he were mine. The mom/my gf is just amazing and we have fun together. Am I just his friend or a temp dad?

70 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Be a friend and a mentor. Do both of you a favor and don't try and be the dad, he already has one of those. You can spend all of your time together and be best friends, but untill you two get married, don't try and be a father to him.

    If anything should happen between the two of you and you split up, then this poor kid will lose two dads instead of just one. Then her next bf will confuse him even more. I wrote numerous papers on this in college. He is young, so he could adapt to you being his father, but since the real dad is still around it will be more trouble than benefit. If you aren't living together, then he will be more confused.

    Be there for him as a big brother to look up to and hang out with. Build his sense of security and self esteem. Just don't make promises about the future because there are always unexpected things in the future.

    Three months may feel long, but it really isn't. As time passes, and if you do get married, you can slowly step into that role. The last thing you want to do is let him down. Don't create a situation you later feel obligated to stay in because of the child, either. Good luck! It's a tough situation.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Be very careful. Three months is not a long time to you, but it is a large chunk of the boy's life. If you go down this road, you and your gf had better be serious. You could really hurt this kid in a lasting way. You also need to talk this over with you gf. She is his mother, and she decides what is best for him. You have no legal place unless you adopt him or become his legal guardian.

    Take a parenting class. Do not get between the father and his son. He may come around, but that is not for you to determine. Do right by the boy no matter what. You don't need to have a title to define your role. He looks up to you, so lead by example. He trusts you, so be worthy of trust. You cannot be a temporary dad. That is like saying you are a pacifist serial killer. Be a good man, and the rest will follow.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think that you can do both, with caution. If you can fill a place in the little guy's heart and life that his father is leaving vacant, you can add to his life in a profound way. However, if he feels that you are trying to replace his father, no matter what kind of low-life he is, he may resent you...if not now, later on.

    I would set out to be everything that I could for both of them. If it is meant to be, then you will end up being the best father the boy ever had, because you started out being friends first. If you break up with your gf at some point, you will still have added to both of your lives (you and the little guy), and he will always have a place in his heart for you, and you will have added to his life in an immeasurable way.

    A lot of people will tell you to hold back, and prevent yourself and him from being hurt in the long run. I disagree. It IS better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

    If the worst were to happen, and the two of you became totally sold on each other (in a father/son kind of way), and the relationship doesn't work out, you will STILL have given both him and his mother a vision of the sort of husband/dad they are looking for!

    Take a chance!

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  • 1 decade ago

    At three months into the relationship, your focus should still be on developing the relationship with your girlfriend. You are definitely not the dad. Continue to get to know her and look seriously at the issues you will face as a couple, because no matter how close you are to the kid, the adult relationship will determine whether you are there for him or not. Feeling like a part of the family can be distracting. You want to know how you and she will deal with large and small problems, handle money, dream and plan for the future, etc. Until you have both made a serious commitment, you do not have authority over the child. And he will always have a father that is not you who will be a part of the picture. I wish you well in this.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you love them both, marry them both. A father should love his children, and if you are given a gift of a loving young son, then by God take advantage of that. The boy certainly deserves your love and you should give it freely. Right now you are his father figure. If his bio father is not around and doesn't give him the attention he deserves then it's really up to you. You should discuss this with your gf though. Many women with children get offended when a man enters the home and "takes over" with the kids. You should be up front about your feelings for the little guy and how you percieve your role in the household. You should both be on the same page when it comes to rules and discipline as well.

    I have 3 kids, my oldest was my wifes daughter when we married. She was 18 mos old. She's my daughter now and always has been.

    This sounds like the beginning of a wonderful life. Good luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is a tough question, but I think I have a good answer. Being the son of a single mother myself, I think I can give a good p.o.v.

    I think the answer to your question depends on a few things:

    1) How serious are you and your gf/the mom? This is a tough questions in and of itself because you have to be able/willing to be honest enough to say that there's no future for the two of you if that's the case. The reason I say this is because if you two share mutual feelings of staying together/getting married, then you are committing to being in the boy's life for the long haul and therefore you will play a HUGE role in molding the man that the boy will eventually become (whoa!). If you think there's no real chance you will stay together/marry, you might want to avoid getting much closer to the boy because the likely separation will have a DEVASTATING affect on the kid. Nobody needs a temp dad, that would just be unfair to the boy and it sounds like life been pretty unfair to him already. Gotta go back to work. Hope this helps. Let me know if you're interested in listening to more of my opinion on this. Good luck.

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  • Karen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    My mother was a single mother of two(me and my brother) from the time that I was only about 1 year old, like your son , and my brother was about 4. She worked in a hospital laundry room and then was a nurse's aid. She eventually went back to school to become a computer programmer. We lived on state support till she got out of school. She had to pay off her school loans after school. She did find a job when she graduated but not right away. It was like 8 months after. She told me it was very hard raising me and my brother by herself but she would not have changed anything. We did go without all the "frills" growing up but my mother did her best. She is my hero. You can only do your best hun. I am not ever going to say that raising a child on your own is going to be easy because it is not unless you have unlimited money and not many of us have that. Do your best and I would say try to go back to school. The more stable of a job you can get, the better. Your son is the most important thing and as long as you two are safe and you can keep a roof over your head and some food on the table that is all that matters. You are doing good by sending resumes out. Keep at it. I wish you the best of luck and always look for the light at the end of the tunnel because it is truly there, always!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Honey, you are in your early twenties, in college, smart and single. Why are you so adament on become a father to some other guys child. Did you not know that there are plenty of single girls out there with no children, who you could have a fun and spontaneous relationship with? The girl you are dating grew up fast, but you don't have to. There is so much more for you to experience in life. I think that guys like you have some type of subordinate or low self-esteem issue. You probably do not have much experience wih women, which is why you feel such an attraction to this single mother, who is probably just glad that someone will date her with all her baby mama drama.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You're one in a million! He needs a good dad, not a friend right now. I have a lot of respect for you and what you're doing, and I think they're both very lucky to have you. I'm in this situation myself, except my son is now 10. My boyfriend and I have been together for 15 months, and my son adores him. He wishes he could be his dad, and isn't afraid to tell anybody. I know it's been a hard transition for my boyfriend to go from being single and alone to having this instant family, but he has done a great job and I tell him how much we appreciate him every day.

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  • 1 decade ago


    If things are going as well as you say, why don't you marry her? If things are as good as you say that is what I would do.

    In any case, little kids are tricky in situations like this. Kids NEED a Dad, and from what you say this kids Dad isn't just a looser, he's an idiot too (for not marrying her (or staying married) to this great girl and cool little guy ). He's NOT the best role model in the world, and even a 2yr old can see that if he has been let down enough times. He's going to get REAL attached to you. He wants you to be his Dad.

    If you break up with Mom, that's going to nuke his little world. Kids don't understand adult relationships. All he'll know is that he was hurt, again, and that he is 0 for 2 on the Dad front. Not a good thing to have happen in his formative years. What's worse is he looks up to you. If you wind up taking off you will be showing him, and teaching him, that that's what guys do... run away from commitment; and he will wind up doing the same thing when he gets older. Running away does not get you anywhere in life, and it is not a key to a sucessful and happy life; so unless you are sure this little guy is going to have a career in the French Army I wouldn't go teaching him that "When the going gets tough, the men get running."

    So if you are just hanging out, I'd stay his friend. You AREN'T anything more than that anyway, you're not his Dad, and you have yet to assume the responsibility of being his Step-Dad. If and when you get married then you will be his Step-Dad and you will have the right to start acting like his Dad, but you only get the right to be his Dad when you accept the RESPONSIBILITY of being his Dad. Until you stand up and say "...till death do us part..." you are retaining the option of cutting and running if things get rough. Sorry to be rough, but as long as you are holding on to your right to cut and run, he (and his Mom) can't count on you; and it is wrong to tell him or lead him to believe otherwise. That's why we say "I do" and "till death do us part", so we can show everyone by our actions that we WILL be there when things get rough.

    So stay his friend until you are willing to get married and become his Step-Dad.

    BTW not to pick on you, but there is no such thing as a "Temp Dad". (I'm sorry but that phrase just really hacks me off. )

    Temp Dad" is like saying you are a "Hippie Marine" or a "Jewish Nazi". Can't be done. The central definition of a DAD is that he is in it for the long haul. The difference between being a male and being a Man is that a Man accepts his responsibilities and can be counted on to stick it out when things get rough. Someone who is just "Temp" can't be counted on, so he can't be a Dad. The two ideas cancell each other out, like "Dry Water", or "Cold Fire".

    Sounds like you are onto something really good here. Don't mess it up.! Good luck!

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