By Drew Allen

Photo Credit: Rodrigo Amorim

No doubt, you’ve heard the term “Daddy issues” before, but have you ever stopped to think about what that term really means?  Even better, have you ever taken a hard look at yourself to see if you actually have them?

It’s important to understand and assess “Daddy issues” because, even though the initial seed may have been planted during your childhood, that seed can bear bitter fruit that will have a negative impact on your relationships with men as an adult.  Unless these issues are resolved, you will always feel them.

When a man says a woman has “Daddy issues,” more than likely, he means she’s got abandonment issues.  When I walk out the door to go hang out with friends, do you feel neglected?  If I stay at work really late and I’m too tired to cuddle when I finally make it home, do you feel personally rejected? Or if you hit me on my cell and I don’t respond in what you think is a timely manner, is that gonna lead to an argument?

If you feel like you just can’t live without your man, then you should take a look at where these feelings of desperation and anxiety are coming from.

Abandonment issues can also be seen in a single woman who is very clingy or is overly promiscuous and craves too much attention from men. Now, don’t get me wrong: when a man is on the prowl, a promiscuous woman may be just what he’s looking for. After all, we’ll take easy sex for the convenience – just you’ll take the Drive-Thru when you don’t feel like cooking. But when we’re in the mood for fine dining – or, better yet, good old-fashioned home cooking – a woman with “Daddy issues” usually can’t serve up what we want.

“Daddy issues” can also play a part in the kinds of mates or potential mates you choose. I honestly wish I had a dollar for every woman who compared her boyfriend or husband to her father – both good and bad.  Please understand that whatever standard your father has set for you, no man can ever live up to it. Making him try, will only cause feelings of anxiety for your man and will probably not yield the results you want.  My advice is for you to make a decision: do you want a man, or do you want a Daddy?

Of course, most women want a man who will do the things a Daddy is supposed to do – like providing for her and protecting her.  That’s reasonable.  But the extreme examples are a sign that there may be some unresolved issues at work.  For instance, we’ve all seen women hooking up with men who are a lot older than them or who they don’t seem to have any real attraction to (anyone remember Anna Nicole Smith and her ba-zillionaire 90 year-old husband?)

While we may be quick to label a woman like that as a “gold digger,” it’s just as possible that she’s made the conscious decision to trade in her little red Corvette for the safety and sensibility of a nice sturdy Buick.

The reasons a woman may have “Daddy issues” can be as varied and complex as the way these issues express themselves. Maybe you had a domineering father and you never felt like you could live up to his expectations. Maybe you had an abusive father and the trauma from that abuse has, understandably, left you emotionally scarred. Or, as is increasingly the case, maybe you feel true abandonment because your father left your family or was never in your home to begin with. The point is not to beat yourself up over things you can’t change – what’s done is done. But you can’t move on until you come to grips with whatever your “Daddy issues” may be. Healthy relationships can only come from healthy people.

We’re all familiar with the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  I’m gonna coin my own version of that by saying that “Sometimes a song sums it up best.”  R& B singer Kelly Price released a song last year featuring Mint Condition front-man Stokley called “You’re Not My Daddy.” The lyrics in this song really speak to the heart of this issue to me and I hope it speaks to you.  Obviously, no real man wants to date his mother.  And, at the end of the day, your man wants to love you, not raise you.  It’s up to you whether or not you’ll let him.



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