• Melissa Kartini

How Your Relationship with Dad Affects Your Love Life

Updated: Jul 4, 2018

As it turns out, there is a lot of truth in jokes made about "daddy issues" when it comes to dating.

Whether you like it or not, your relationship with your father will play a role in the way you perceive and interact with men in your life- even going as far as influencing your romantic relationships with them. Creepy? Maybe. But with good ol' dad being the first male role model in your life, there's just no other way around it.

After all, humans learn through modelling behaviours. If you had a positive relationship with your dad, it is likely that you will seek partners who have the same desirable traits your dad has. Unfortunately, the inverse of this is also true.

Understanding how your relationship with dad affects your romantic relationships with other men can be difficult without professional help. However, there are a few signs that you can look out for that may help you understand the romantic choices that you are making.

You have an emotionally distant dad

It is one thing to be ignored or to be treated coldly by a random person on the street, it is a different matter altogether when that person is your dad.

When your first male role model is emotionally distant, you may (wrongly) assume that you are unlovable or unwanted. Which, in your mind, is a reasonable conclusion to make when it is expected that fathers love their children unconditionally. So what gives with yours? Feeling hurt, you may keep your distance from men to avoid experiencing the same treatment.

You have an absent dad

One of the many drawbacks of having an absent father is that this may lead you to becoming clingy. And coupled with the wish to be with him all the time is the fear of abandonment or rejection. Codependency and a strong desire to please your man are also potential effects of having an absentee father.

Due to these effects, you may enter unhealthy relationships or bounce from one relationship to another, for fear of being without a man. This is no joke either, because we all know that one person who can't seem to stand being single.

You have an abusive dad

When you have an abusive dad, it stands to reason that you'd think that all men are the worst. Women born in this scenario are likely to either choose someone who is just like good ol' dad, because that is what is familiar to them, or someone who is the extreme opposite, because yeah, they don't want someone like dad.

But for those who choose the latter, the effect of dad still follows. You may have problems committing, trusting others, and you may, having already expected the worst, ruin your own relationship by creating conflict.

You have a loving, supportive dad

You'd think that by having a loving, supportive dad, you'd have no problems whatsoever in the dating department- at least in terms of your choice of men. However, there is a downside to having a loving, supportive dad.

On one hand, you might end up with someone who has these desirable traits, which is great. On the other, you might compare other men to him and have unrealistic expectations, expecting them to take care of you. Perhaps even as early as the initial stages of dating. Yikes. Talk about demanding!

While it is a good start to be self-aware in regards to how your dad influences your relationships with other men, it is always best to seek help from a therapist, especially if said influence is negative. Many women are unaware as to how their father influences their lives, so if you recognise how he has impacted yours negatively, don't be afraid to confront the problem and talk about it with someone.

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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