Who's Your Daddy?
I wrote about male attraction a few weeks ago, and now I'd like to tackle female attraction.
I have a lot of attractive female friends, and one connection I notice is that many have a distant or poor relationship with their father.
Freud argued that the daughter/father relationship was crucial to understanding women. If daddy is their hero, they'll want a man like him. If daddy was abusive, they'll find a jerk to change to win the emotional war they lost with dad.
There are 5 basic types of dads. This is a generalization. But here it goes.
1. Great dad. Great role model. Great husband.
2. Great dad at first but then becomes distant or sadly dies.
3. Bad dad. Around but not "present" - ignores daughter due to work or personality.
4. Abusive jerk - either verbally or physical abusive
5. No dad at all. He might be known. Might not. But he's not there.
So so what does this mean for a woman? I'll break down why many girls like bad boys, etc. and why many are picky and why some settle horrifically.
1. The Good Dad
You can usually tell when a girl has a great dad. There's a way about her. Her standards are high. Silly boys don't impress her. She knows what a man is and she's not settling for less. This girl knows that a guy who is flakey and inconsistent is not worth her time. Her boyfriends and eventual husband are always model guys. She dates in longer terms and usually marries younger because she's excited about having this new man treat her like the queen she sees herself as. She likes stable men. Looks are important but not crucial. She waits to have sex until the relationship is established or they're married. Sometimes she doesn't get married because no man can measure up. It's extremes in this case.
2. The Ghost Dad
This is the most complex father. This is the dad who fawned over his little princess, but around 12 years old backed off. What I'm about to explain is very complex and words cannot explain fully, so allow for general grace.
Around the girl's 12th or 13th birthday, the father sees his little princess becoming a woman, so now the attention and affection he was so freely giving becomes awkward. When they hug or she sits on his lap, she's slowly becoming a woman, and it's uncomfortable. In no way is it sexual, but he views her differently.
He also views her friends differently. Suddenly, by high school, she's bringing beautiful young ladies over. They're giggling, bouncy, cute women. He's conflicted. So he backs off. Now she's confused. Why doesn't daddy hug me? Kiss me? Tell me I'm beautiful?
Please understand that male sexuality is the closet to animal behavior that we as humans share. If women understood what sex does to men, they'd be less likely to wonder why the man got weird after sex and why we can't be friends.
Now, after being innocently physically neglected, she pursues the boys who do touch and caress. Overly confidant, reckless, horny bad boys who will say anything involving the words "baby" or "beautiful" or "love" to get what they want. Now she's fighting with daddy, who feels helpless, and that break becomes what drives her to the men who promise what daddy used to and can't anymore.
So when I meet a girl dating her drug dealer, but her dad is still paying for bills, but she thinks he's weird, I can usually map out what happened quickly. He wants to love her, but can't out of his own misunderstanding of the female/daddy relationship.
In many ways this dad "ghosted" their daughter. The only other situation is if dad passes away and so there is a cut off of relationships. That might have no fault at hand, but the results are similar.
3. The Distant Dad
There are work-a-holic and emotionally distant dads who were there but not present. Many times mommy raised the children and he didn't take an interest in the kids until the boys played sports.
For years I met dads like this while coaching wrestling. The wrestlers would tell me that they didn't really see their dad except at sporting events. And their dad never took an interest in their sister's lives.
These girls can go either way in picking a man. Some pick great guys to make up for years of neglect. Some pick guy's who ignore (but not abuse) them in hopes of changing him so she can claim a victory over the distant men in her life.
Fathers who are there but not "there" actually do less harm than ghosting dads, because they never created a standard that they neglected and she seeks.
4. Abusive Asses
These dads are just the scum of the earth. They cause insurmountable insecurity and issues in daughters that many don't recover from. Drugs. Alcohol. Very early sexual encounters. A tolerance toward being mistreated.
And how can you blame those girls? Drugs and alcohol numb the pain. Sex creates a false intimacy. And if he's a jerk...well aren't all guys? That becomes the prism in which they view men.
So while these girls can have functioning lives, they can't find men who treat them well, because they assume those men are faking it. They lost hope early, and now they subconsciously aren't looking for anything more than "a guy." And since the standard starts low, a douche doesn't have to change much. So physical attraction trumps emotionally masculine men.
5. The MIA Dad
This is the guy who pumped, dumped, and jumped. This leaves a vacuum and so many variables now come into play. If mommy brings in a rotating door of men, a lot of damage can be done. While mommy was looking for love, the daughter becomes the consumer of a bad image...the woman who thinks any man will do.
I've known a few girls who had "step dads" who were never legally step-dads but acted that way throughout their lives, helping them even after the mom dumped him. But the lack of a solid father figure becomes a cloud hovering over that no sunlight can break sometimes.
So what now?
That's a lot of information.
Its based on articles I've read, theories I've studied, and anecdotal stories I've heard and seen. Regardless, I'm pretty sure if you look at the types of women you know and look at dating/marital outcomes, you might see the patterns I described.
All I can say, is if you're a father, you have a responsibility. You must be the best you can be and maintain a loving relationship with your daughter.
As a teacher, I can tell you I've heard stories of girls wondering why their dad got weird in junior high. I've dated girls 10 years younger who got drunk and said "You're just like my dad..." There dad was out of the picture. I've also known girls whose dad was so chivalrous they would only settle for a Disney Prince.
Either way, the only solution is to be aware of how past experiences frame today's attitudes. Then and only then can the circle be unbroken.
Dating isn't simple
Here's the thing. If anyone thinks that they're in control of who they like, there're fooling themselves. Attraction is too complex.
While men have a moment where hormones meet the first woman they find "hot," woman have attraction deeply rooted in fatherly relationships.
Assuming all guys like "boobs" or all girls like "bad boys" is wrong. There are complex backstories and conditions.
Women are also naturally attracted to power, wealth, and other social statuses. Height and looks play a part, but women can overcome those if the guy offers other bonuses.
In the end, I wrote this not to judge but to help. To clarify questions. In the end, fathers be good to your daughters like the John Mayer song suggests.
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Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.