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Is It Wrong to Be Attracted to My Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Single Dad?

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From a woman in the U.S.: My 27 year old daughter and her 34 year old boyfriend have been together for almost 7 years.  Recently his father came for a visit and he was instantly attracted to me and we did hit it off even though I kind of felt that it was wrong.

I am usually the pursuer; but this time I was blindsided; he is everything that I have been looking for in a man.  I have been married twice before and I have had several failed relationships in the past; it is so refreshing to have someone that truly cares for me.

It’s just such an odd situation; I’m friends with his ex, which is my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom.  But that’s only because we share a grandson together.

My other daughter, who is 23, says as long as I am happy, but it is a little strange.  I don’t want to step on any toes; the boyfriend’s dad and mom haven’t been together in over 30 years.  But I’m ready to be happy; I lost my mom almost 7 years ago and I have just been so lonely.  I have been praying for someone to come into my life; I just didn’t think it would be so close to home.

Is It Wrong to Be Attracted to My Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Single Dad?

Answered by on -


You are right to be cautious. I appreciate how you are trying to deal with this situation sensitively. On the face of it, though unusual, this situation makes a kind of sense. Your daughter is with a man who was raised by this man. It makes sense to me that you and your daughter are attracted to similar qualities that the two men possess. Since the man and his ex have not been together for 30 years, it’s likely he has resolved his own divorce and is ready for a relationship.

However, there are two red flags in your letter. One is your history of failed relationships. Unless you have done some meaningful therapeutic work, you may be overlooking some red flags of your own. Further, you reported that you have been lonely since the loss of your mother 7 years ago. That suggests that your grief is unresolved. Your judgment may be clouded because you are aching for someone to fill that emotional hole in your life. However wonderful he is, he won’t fill the hole left by your mother.

For those reasons, if you want this relationship to have a chance, I do think a few sessions with a therapist is in order. You need to resolve your grief around the loss of your mom. And you need to be sure you aren’t finding another repeat of your mistaken choices of men.

If you do that and you and the therapist agree that you are truly available for love by a different kind of guy, by all means explore what could be a promising match.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is It Wrong to Be Attracted to My Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Single Dad?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Is It Wrong to Be Attracted to My Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Single Dad?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Aug 2020 (Originally: 16 Aug 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 Aug 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.