Buyer Beware… of the Other Daddy Issues

 

A few weeks ago I traveled to North Carolina to lay my grandfather to rest. While there I reconnected with family members I have not seen or spoken to between four and fourteen years. In the midst of our grief, cousins, uncles, and aunts reunited and filled each other with so much love, it felt like no time had elapsed at all. It was a healing experience for all of us.

After the funeral I drove to South Carolina and spent a couple days with my Dad, and was showered with love and chivalry. Growing up, the relationship I had with my father was perfect, and those two days spent with him brought back some of our best memories.

As a kid I bonded with my Dad over Yankees baseball, football and professional wrestling. I remember taking the ferry and train to Yankee stadium to watch games, skipping church on my 16th birthday to see the Jets play at the Meadowlands, and driving to Atlantic City to attend a live taping of WWE Smackdown.

Every Valentine’s Day my Dad bought me chocolates. He attended all of my band concerts and softball games. Every year that the Yankees won the World Series, my Dad surprised me at school with the official championship t-shirts and baseball caps. He even let my sister and I skip school to take us to the World Series parades.

I talked to my Dad about everything, from drama with friends to heartbreak by boys. Every decision I made was motivated by my desire to either make him proud, or keep him from being disappointed. That’s not to say my Dad spared the rod and spoiled my sister and I. He was strict and set high expectations for us. But anyone who knew him could see that his love for us was strong enough to move mountains. And though we’re all grown up now, not a day goes by in which he does not communicate how much we mean to him.

So I spent the first five days of 2015 surrounded by my family, being saturated with one-hundred percent pure, unequivocal, unconditional love and acceptance. The same love that I grew up with. A love so strong that time and space could not diminish it. And when I returned to normal life, I had an epiphany.

“Oh boy. My husband never stood a chance, did he?”

During my most recent self-reflections, I’ve come to understand that a lot of my crazy stems from my relationship with my family. More specifically, my Dad’s love for me created a standard in my mind of how men are supposed to treat the women they love. Growing up, my sister and I were my Dad’s entire world, and so I naturally assumed that whomever I would eventually spend the rest of my life with would make me the center of his universe, too.

Truth moment: even after all I have come to learn about love, I am still failing miserably at dissolving this assumption.

We all know about women with Daddy Issues, right? About women who “grow up looking for love in all the wrong places because they were raised without a father-figure…” I’m not making fun; I honestly believe a little girl’s relationship with her father can impact her future relationships with men.

So for the Fellas, at first glance it would appear that choosing to be with a woman who had an incredible relationship with her father would be ideal. But in my opinion, the woman who grew up without the love of her father, and the woman who grew up being the apple of her father’s eye may both end up seeking the same exact thing: a knight in shining armor. A man of perfection. A man who will protect her, provide for her, and love her more than anything else in this world.

Fellas, as your best girlfriend I feel obligated to give you some advice. If you meet a woman you really like, and you are considering taking your relationship to the next level, do yourself a favor and get as many details as possible on her relationship with her Dad.

What I’m about to say does not come with a money-back guarantee because women are so complex, and our crazy can stem from multiple sources. Nevertheless, I do believe that in most cases, learning about a woman’s past and present relationship with her father may give you valuable insight into what she is expecting from you.

If a woman’s past relationship with her father involved pain and brokenness, and their current relationship shows that there was never any reconciliation, then my advice is to run away. There is a high probability that she is still in need of healing, and will rely on your relationship to make her whole. I cannot emphasize this enough: as amazing as you are, you do not have the power to make anyone whole.

On the other end, if a woman’s past and present relationship with her father was nothing short of pure gold, if Daddy was and still is her hero, then my advice is to run away. A father’s love for his daughter cannot be replicated or duplicated. So on the slight chance that you happen to be perfect, that your nickname really is Mr. Wonderful, that you really are a knight in shining armor, your love will still pale in comparison to a father’s love for his daughter. This means that on the more likely chance you are human, that you will drop the ball sometimes, that you will make mistakes, then your failures will just remind her that in comparison to Daddy, you will never be good enough.

I hope my story helps you understand why learning about a woman’s relationship with her Dad can help predict what she will expect from you. For the most part, women open up and reveal pieces of who they are pretty early in a relationship. So Fellas, it is your responsibility to look beyond a woman’s beauty to examine those pieces. I promise, it will save you a lot of time, confusion and frustration in the long run.

~Love and Happiness from Your Best Girlfriend~

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