Why it’s hard to find love as a daddy’s girl

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They say little girls grow up to marry men just like their fathers; though I guess your belief in this depends on how much you like your dad.

I’ve always admired my father. His work ethic, seemingly infinite patience, honesty and trivia knowledge never cease to amaze me. He used to drop me off at school in the morning, take me to swimming lessons and netball games (and ALWAYS remembered when it was our turn to bring the oranges).

I remember him reading Encyclopaedia Britannica… for fun. We had a glossy set of the red and black tomes in this fancy little stand in the lounge room. Many school assignments were copied out of those pages, but I loved them for a different reason. I knew Dad read them and he always seemed to know everything. And this made me grow up wanting to know everything.

I guess I am a Daddy’s girl but, on most days, I look and sound like my mother. I’ve seen how the two of them have interacted for the past thirty years and it unconsciously shaped my perception of relationships. So for the last ten years, when I dated guy after guy without it going anywhere, I wondered what I was getting so wrong.

My parents were great role models, I had a job I loved, friends to go out with and a mortgage to boot. So why was I having such terrible luck with men boys?

People would tell me that no man could live up to my expectations and I should lower that bar quick-smart. A therapist even told me once that having a good relationship with my father would ruin all my future relationships. I think she had misdiagnosed me with the Electra complex.

It was after one particularly awful fling that I knew something had to change. The fling was too young for me, too quick to judge and dumb. So dumb. Why did I even go out with him? And for over a month? Did I enjoy knowing I was smarter than him? Not thinking too deeply with him?

Then I ordered all the guys I’d dated in my mind like some twisted identity parade and was shocked at what was revealed. Shocked because I already knew the answer, my lovely Co-founder Anita had already told me, not one of those guys challenged me.

So that was the answer. The intelligence I admired so much in my father was the one thing missing from my relationships. I took my realisation, tucked it under my arm and ran with it.

Now what’s a girl to do? Join Mensa? A chess club? Nah, I went online.

I joined a site (okay, several) and ended up finding someone who met my high expectations and ticked my obscene amount of boxes.

When I compare him to my father there are alarming similarities, but there are also distinct differences too. They are both honest, but have different political ideologies. They are both fiercely intelligent, but find different things funny. And they both love me, but in very different ways.

Ten years, two therapists and a helluva lot of bad dates have taught me a lot. But not nearly as much as my Dad has.

Happy Father’s Day. Xx



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Fi is a writer and editor for The Merry Go Round. She enjoys sunshine, singing in the car and viewing the glass as half full (of wine)