I call my boyfriend Daddy. Some people think that's weird.
My dad died when I was five, so if you wanna write it off as daddy-issues, feel free.
But there is so much more to it.
My man is SO a Patriarch. His friends casually refer to him as "dad" sometimes. Typing the word "boyfriend" up there felt weird asf. I almost never refer to him that way--to me he is my partner or my Daddy.
The thing about relating to a romantic and sexual partner as Daddy is that it confuses and sometimes disgusts people who only understand one facet of relationship to the father.
They see a Daddy as a father of a child, in which case sex is wildly inappropriate (which makes for a kinky-hot taboo, but one he and I don't personally play with).
This perspective neglects the fact that a Daddy is a partner to a mother and a child to a grandmother. Not to mention a Daddy to an adolescent girl is a trope of bewilderment and loaded weapons and "keep your hands off her," in our society that has such a strange, charged, and skewed relationship with sex.
The truth is that I relate to my Daddy from all of these relationships, and the connection feels different in each one.
To my inner child, he is a bastion of protection and safety. He is my teacher and my leader and the safest arms that hold me. He covers me and I want for nothing. He is gentle, he is slow, and he listens from a state of strength to all my inanities, fears, and hurts. He lets me play and he plays along with me. We talk in weird voices and make dumb jokes and buy toys. He lets me build pillow forts all over the house, and he even buys the pillows. He literally gives me the world.
To my adolescent self, he is a person who will never violate me. My adolescent self is still playing with her sexuality, dressing up, teasing, flirting with other people. Daddy does not shame my sexuality or make it wrong. He NEVER violates or degrades me. I can be as sexual as I want to be and I am always, always safe with him. Safe from predation and projection and shame. Safe from unwanted contact of any kind. Safe from distortions of my sex and sexuality. Safe from his resistance to me being sexual or him implying sex is unsafe or victimizing to me.
To the mother that I am, he is my partner and my lover. He stands by my side and does not violate my sovereignty by taking over the things I need to handle on my own. He supports me in my mothering relationships, praising how I show up for others and reminding me (mostly by example) to pour into myself. I want to share my life with him because I can share it, I don't have to enmesh with him and live in his life, we can both have our own lives that we share with each other. I bask in admiration and respect for the way that he leads all those that he fathers and provides for. I coparent my inner child and adolescent with him, and there's no one else I'd rather have on my team for that.
To the grandmother that I am, he is my pride and joy. I will always see and love the child he is, no matter how big he gets, and I will always be proud of him and stand for him. I point out constantly why he is right and good for what he is choosing and how he is being. I will always see him as the pinnacle of what a man can be. I spoil and dote on those whom he fathers and provides for. In true crone fashion I have not a thought to how I'll be perceived by others, I bring in the savage perspective of old age and if he's acting a fool I let him know it with brief sharp love.
To the Great Mother that I am, he is the Eternal Father, the cocreator of existence alongside me. All things exist because we made them, I do not consider life without him because all life exists by us and through our union. He is the natural consequence of my existence, and I am the natural consequence of his. He is the physical reality and I am the ability to experience the physical reality. He is structure and I am entropy.
Of course there are relationships out there that play with only a few of these archetypes, and I think so long as everyone's choosing it, it can only be right.
But for me, for us, he is the WHOLE package of the Patriarch in integrity.
I realize now I never could have settled for less.