What Is the Appropriate Title to Introducing Your Child's Father to Others?

Updated on September 27, 2017
N.F. asks from Albany, NY
15 answers

Hello, I am a little bit concerned about how my partner wants me to introduce him to other. I normally as say "this is my boyfriend", or "partner" but because we now have our little princess, he feels like me introducing him as my boyfriend still isn't good enough for him anymore and that he rather me say "father of my child" or "baby father". We have been together about almost 4 and a half years now and we are common law.

Just a few days ago I had a family event and I introduced him as my boyfriend and he got upset because he is more then that... We are not engaged or married so I don't understand what he thinks we are. He is still my boyfriend and I find introducing him as my boyfriend is an appropriate title but because we have a daughter together he feels it's not the right title and that I should say father of my child or common law.

How else would you introduce your partner to friends and families?

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Just use his name, "hi I'm Mary and this is Steve" problem solved.
If he wants to be more than a boyfriend he should have put a ring on it.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Just introduce him with his name.
“Hi, I’m Tashyy and this is John.” End of subject.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

Personally, I think that the person introducing (in this case, you), would speak to their relationship with the person they are introducing (in this case, your boyfriend). Not their relationship with a 3rd party. I wouldn't introduce my husband as "this is Joe's boss" or "this is the co-leader of Pack 123". You introduce what YOUR relationship is to that person. So, boyfriend, partner, love of your life, whatever, all work. Common law sounds stupid in my opinion, and probably not true anyways.

Even introducing someone as "husband" doesn't guarantee that you are the child involved's father, anyways. If he wants a different "name" other than boyfriend, then he needs to put a ring on it.

Good luck!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Well I always say "Hi, this is my husband".
We met in high school and dated through college and married about 9 years after we first met so he and I were well known to our respective families.
When our son was born (9 years after the wedding) there was no doubt as to who was the father.

Some people would call him your significant other.
Baby father or daddy is kind of derogatory in some circles.

Your family is evolving and growing.
If you plan on being together for the rest of your lives and raising kids together why not consider getting married?
It makes you both officially next of kin to each other and it needn't be anymore complicated or expensive than a trip to a justice of the peace.
Wife and husband are well respected time honored titles that transcend culture.
Give it some thought.
It's a lot better that 'this is the guy that knocked me up'.

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C.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

His relationship to you is that he is your boyfriend. is relationship to your daughter is that he is her father. What he is asking is that you put telling people about his relationship to his daughter ahead of his relationship to you when you introduce him. You should find out why that is so important to him.

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K.D.

answers from Sheboygan on

Common law is not recognized in New York so I'm not sure what you are thinking there. If he wants to be more than a boyfriend/partner-he needs to make it so. Ask him how he wants to be introduced, I guess?

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I'd probably continue to introduce him as your boyfriend or partner. You could throw in after that he's princess's dad. If he wants more of a title then he should pony up and make more of a commitment.

Please for your own sake look into what common law really is and see if it applies to you in your state. You may be under the impression that you have certain rights that married people have however if things go south in your relationship you'll be shocked to learn something different applies.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Just say, this is Bob. And this is our child Sally. You don't have to give a title. When I introduce my husband I just say, Matt do you know so and so...So and so, this is Matt.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

First, there is no common law marriage in NY.
You are boyfriend and girlfriend.
I suppose that if you both would like to be more then that....you could get married.
I don't see anything wrong with saying, "This is Samantha's dad" if it really bothers him.
But really? Is there a reason that you are living with this guy, having a baby with him, and you don't want to get married? (not judging!! Just curious)

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C.C.

answers from New York on

New York State does not have common law marriage unless you established a common law marriage in a different state and are just continuing to live that way in New York.

If you established a common law marriage in a different state, then you can say "my husband".

If you have only been together in New York, then you are not "common law" anything. He is your boyfriend, your significant other, your partner.

Also, though, it is great that he is proud of your daughter!! If it is important to him to be known as your daughter's father, maybe you could come up with a "cute" way to introduce him, like: "This is Steve - my boyfriend and a great father".

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

To mention, there is no such thing as common law, nearly every state got rid of those laws back in the 80's and 90's. IF you live in a state where it is the law and you and he both agree that you are married, you file a joint tax refund with you using his last name and you are listed as his spouse and dependent, have joint checking accounts and own property together with you using his last name, he calls you his wife, everyone knows that he considers you his wife, not a girlfriend, and you call him your husband too, then perhaps you do fit into the ideal of common law marriage. But it's still not a legal definition anymore. It doesn't exist.

But I suspect that you would find your state doesn't have those laws anymore. They went away with the dawning of everyone living together and some never marrying.

So, how does he introduce you? His girlfriend? His wife? The mother of his child? Child's name mother? Like This is Sally's mom, Mary?

You have to find out what his opinions on this are and what he calls you to others will tell you a lot.

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E.J.

answers from Chicago on

Introduce him by his first name.
Then he can explain the relationship however he wants.
Why is this your problem to solve when it's his issue?

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I think it's up to him to pick the title. But the problem with saying, "This is Susie's dad" is that it's the same phrase people will use when the ex husband comes to the school play. So introducing him that way says only that he has a relationship to your daughter but not that he has a current relationship with you. If that's the connotation he wants, then you have a bigger problem.

I don't think anyone uses "common law" in their introductions. There are still people who don't know what that means. "Significant other" is a little cumbersome.

I don't think there should be any pressure to get married if that's not what you both want. There are plenty of people with no legal relationship who are together for decades (think Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, among others), although that works best if each person has plenty of independent money, or if there is some legal arrangement (will, power of attorney, health care proxy, and more) so that you each have a right to the other's estate, the ability to make health decisions and even visit the other in a hospital, as well protection for your daughter if either parent should die.

I'd be more concerned that you have nothing in place in case of a dire and unforeseen circumstance than I am for what you say in social situations. That he's not thinking about this is kind of a red flag.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

If you are at an event where people know your daughter, then I would go with "This is Janie's dad Joe."

In an adult situation where your daughter is not present, introducing him as your daughter's father is awkward, and I would stick with boyfriend.

ETA: As I read other responses, I realized that like others, I never give my husband a title. I just say "Mary, this is Joe. Joe, this is Mary." And leave it at that.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Reading this, I realize I just always introduce my husband by his name. I don't think I ever say "This is so-and-so, my husband". Maybe it is just assumed.

I never used 'finance' as that's too fussy for my husband and just never felt right. It's kind of like defining your relationship which I never personally felt the need to do. Or I'd be like you calling him "my boyfriend" I think. I know some people use partner - that's fine too.

"Father of my child" sounds like you might not be together any more unless you say "This is my boyfriend/partner AND father of my child". What a mouthful. I agree - I wouldn't do that. I think people would look at me oddly if I were to say that.

My husband doesn't concern himself with that stuff (could care less what other people thought) so this strikes me as a bit odd. How does your boyfriend/partner introduce you? Maybe do the same.

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