Dad behaves so bizarrely around mine and my sister's boyfriends

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE always been really close to my dad, who is very loving and protective of me and my older sister.

After Mum died when we were little, he brought us up on his own.

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I’m 19, my sister is 20 and Dad is 54. We are all still very close but my sister and I find it difficult when we bring boyfriends back home.

Dad becomes sullen and withdrawn around them and makes no effort whatsoever to get to know them.

He always makes up little nicknames for them like “Wet Blanket” or “Brawn No Brain” – it’s never complimentary and very embarrassing

Our boyfriends are always bemused when they actually meet Dad as the man they meet doesn’t match the father we talk about.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Your dad has built his whole identity around being a supportive and ever-present father to you and your sister after the trauma of losing his wife.

Now, as you and your sister are growing up, becoming more independent and developing your own romantic relationships, he is finding it hard to see how he fits in.

He’s no doubt worried the new romantic interests in your lives will replace him.

Reassure him that no one can take his place and perhaps arrange a regular night of cooking where only you and your dad hang out.

Encourage him to socialise more. This is also a good stage for him to start considering new relationships.

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