It’s often said that the first man a little girl falls in love with is her dad. I never gave it much thought until I ended up dating my dad for over a decade. Let me explain…
I started dating my dad as a teenager, not literally dating him of course. Every guy I liked, dated and fell for possessed qualities that resembled my dad. Now, this would have been great if my dad actually raised me and was the active, supportive male figure that I needed as a young girl who would one day become a young woman. For my dad, money was easier to spend than his time so there were no daddy-daughter dates, but plenty of clothes, toys, and even jewelry. Material things took his place for years, then at the age of nine and right before Christmas, my dad was arrested. I couldn’t quite wrap my young mind around what that really meant or how it would affect me. Little did I know that his absence in my life would shape my perception and expectations of men. This is how my dysfunctional, decade long relationship with men began.
“For a long time, I was attracted to the guys who made fast money, minus the typical 9 to 5, if you know what I mean”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but these guys were knock off versions of my father and they would all eventually disappoint me the same way he did. I would often find myself with what seemed like a nice guy who never seemed to have enough time for me and was emotionally unavailable. As sad as it sounds, I honestly thought that all men were like this. I thought all men substituted quality time for material things. I had grown accustomed to the men in my life being financially available, but emotionally disconnected.
As a result of this, my heart became hardened towards men and I never allowed myself to get emotionally attached to anyone due to the fear of being let down or heartbroken. The relationships seemed fun at the time, because I had tricked myself into believing that I was happy with all of it, but I was empty. Eventually, I got tired of dating the same type of men and decided to give myself some time to figure out what exactly did I want from a man and why was I continuously attracting these types of guys. Fast forward to today, I do not attract these kind of men, but I never quite understood my relationship with the “money over time” type, or how it all started.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized, that I had daddy issues…
You would think that I would have known this, right? No. I never thought I was a woman with daddy issues. Was my dad not around? Yes. Were my past relationships with men exactly like my relationship with dad? Yes. I never connected the two, because this was MY NORMAL. My dad set the stage for my relationships with the men and it wasn’t a good one. I didn’t have a man in my life as a child to show me how I should be treated by the opposite sex, and as a result all of my interactions with guys started and ended the same as my relationship with my dad. It’s funny how whenever I would hear people talking about daddy issues, I would be like, “I don’t know nothing about that.” Yea, right. What did I do when I realized I had daddy issues? I began working through it by first evaluating my relationship with my heavenly Father and I realized I was treating God the same way I had treated my dad. I hadn’t been fully trusting God unless I saw Him working with my physical eye. I didn’t fully trust issues with my earthly father was affecting my relationship with my heavenly father. Over the past few months, I’ve allowed God to work on me and heal me spiritually and emotionally.
My dad is no longer in prison, but we still don’t have much of a relationship. I’m not sure if we ever will, but I do know this: I’m putting all of my trust in God to mend this relationship if that is His will, because I can’t do it alone. I am completely putting this in God’s hands so that He can heal our broken bond. It’s so important to be aware of our issues with our fathers, otherwise it can affect us for a lifetime.
Your dad may have been in your life and you could still have daddy issues…
It’s possible. You have daddy issues when you unknowingly are attracted to or you attract men who demonstrate unresolved issues you have with your dad due to your relationship or lack thereof. Having daddy issues sucks, but it sucks a lot less when you realize the issue and you are intentional about resolving and healing from the hurt.
I want all of us with daddy issues to heal from this and have healthy relationships with our fathers if possible. I’m sure there will be a part 2 to this. Feel free to comment below and share your stories as well. You can also shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to you soon,