I once walked round an Ancient Ruin in Greece. From afar, the stature was artistic and humbling to the history witnessed before my eyes. But up close, the framework was cracked and missing the love that was originally crafted. That’s the relationship I have with my dad. We are like Roman Ruins – no longer at our glory, yet still a sight to see. How much does a father-figure affect a young woman’s life?
I’m not alone in describing the connection to my dad in a way that’s more complicated and twisting to the one I share with my mum. My childhood best friend lost her dad when he left the family home to remarry a Thai bride – he thought nothing of seeing his children again. My last best friend had a dad with mental illness who refused his medication and turned violent.
Another friend had a permanent fall-out with hers after she chose to embark on a gap-year – something her father refused to understand.
The father-daughter dance scenario sounds like a Hollywood notion. The world has spent the past week gawking at the tumbling relationship between Meghan and hers. Why did her statement not use the word love?
Does a father-figure affect your future partners?
Stylist magazine recently wrote a piece on how a relationship with your dad affects your love life. The psychologist explained that every woman uses their dad to either find someone with similar characteristics, or someone with the exact opposite.
Whichever way you go, you are still basing a choice around the man who helped bring you to life.
I am the traits of my father. I’m quiet, relaxed – I rarely raise my voice and easily go out of my way to try to please people. Instead of relying on bubbles and outspoken-charisma, I opt for humour, – I subtly warm others towards me, always leaving a hint of mystery as though they didn’t catch my last name. My partners are a reverse.
They are confident, charming; they know how to say what they want. I have a hunger for a boyfriend who possesses ridiculous intelligence and power – my ex is a hugely prominent lawyer and before him, I was dating a guy at uni who taught me everything I didn’t know.
While my love for older-men might easily be tied to my dad, I think it’s more based on me and my need for approval. People think complimenting me on my looks is desired, though I spent my life pleading for a link to intelligence.
I didn’t hear the word as a child. Even as a teenager when I originally wanted to study journalism, everyone told me I didn’t have a chance. When I changed my mind to makeup, people acted as though that was more me. The girly girl fixated on her appearance – of course she’ll work in cosmetics.
Why do some women with good dads have bad relations?
We know some dads leave, disappear or suffer from alcoholism and drugs. We’re even aware of childhood abuse – whether aimed at the child or the mother.
But what about the dad’s who are seemingly great?
Is it just a bad stereotype that girls grow older and naturally develop a stronger bond with their mothers?
In the Washington Post, psychologist Ana Nogales notes the high statistic of men and women who have suffered after seeing a father commit infidelity.
The after effect is a lack of trust – which I’m not sure I possess because I overly trust others and then struggle to admit my faith was wrong.
I’m cynical however – I believe in the fairy-tale – minus the mush. I don’t like overt public displays of affection or people non-stop gushing about their spouses. The Royal Wedding doesn’t excite me and I don’t get the thing about weddings in general.
My dream is that my greatest moment in life is not in marrying a man, though in fulfilling my actual dreams and ambitions.
I think a father-figure has various representations throughout a woman’s life. What we are noticing, is men creating another family when the girl is perhaps a teen or an adult. And sometimes a man’s way of balancing this adjustment, is by not necessarily balancing.
A father-figure and Hollywood
What struck me with American sitcoms, is the ever-apparent need for a dad to get involved with his daughter’s personal life.
They never want to let them go – they beg for an ounce of attention or an evening together as a family. Usually, the man is leader of the household and cannot bear a boy dating his ‘baby-girl’.
Hollywood is full of the epitome of how a father-figure is – maybe in a land of Disney.
I don’t remember the last time I spoke to my dad – possibly a couple of weeks ago. Though I know that if I needed him or had a problem – regardless of how small, I can call and he will help.
If I write an article – whether it’s on makeup or fashion, he will want to read. And he will then me how good my writing in.
Do we need films to help figure our relationships?
Do movies like Father of the Bride really shape our comparisons? Or can we accept that we all have our own definition of a father-daughter bond?
To answer Carrie Bradshaw’s question – a father-figure figure is quite substantial.
How do you view a good father-figure relationship? Do you know more women with good one’s or bad?
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