I know firsthand the signs of daddy issues in women. I was 4 years old when it happened. The day the man who was supposed to love me unconditionally rejected me and my life changed forever. I still remember it like it was yesterday. My father walked out of my life that day and was never to be seen again. He didn’t die or get sick. He just chose to be absent from my life. Although I was a little girl, I processed the situation very quickly. My response was to shut down. From that day forward, I chose to not speak about my dad, not to ask my mom about my dad, and to just move on throughout life as if my dad never existed. This is how my daddy issues were formed.
What exactly are daddy issues?
Daddy issues aren’t just the absence of a father. It occurs when the emotional relationship of a father and child is tarnished in some way. That can be through death, absence, inconsistency, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, etc. Parents shape how we perceive the world but more importantly, how we perceive ourselves. In most cases, women are closer to their sons emotionally and men are closer to their daughters emotionally. This is why when a woman has a missing father or tarnished relationship with her dad, it affects how she perceives herself heavily and it bleeds over into her dating life. When a woman never gets to see what it feels like to have a man love her unconditionally, it can have many negative effects on her mental and emotional well-being. This is why symptoms of daddy issues show up more when a woman is dating. Her interaction with men is a reflection of how she interacted with the man who was supposed to love her first; her father. Now that we have covered what daddy issues are, here are 5 signs of daddy issues in women.
5 Signs of Daddy Issues in Women
You Move Really Quickly When Dating…
Since my dad left when I was 4, I never knew what it felt like to be loved by a man. I didn’t have a man to tell me I was pretty or “good enough” so I always felt like something was missing. Once I got old enough to date, I noticed that I would get really excited about men. The thought of a boy liking me would consume me. That feeling followed me into adulthood. I realized later in life that I was attempting to fill the void of my father in my romantic relationships. Subconsciously I figured that if my father couldn’t love me, then I had to get it from a guy I dated. This prompted me to move really quickly when I dated.
If you have a tendency to move swiftly through dating, this is a sign of daddy issues. You meet a guy and on the first date, you’re wondering if your family would like him and if it’s too soon to invite him to Thanksgiving Dinner. You tell yourself he’s different and he’s “the one”. But in reality, it’s just to support your eagerness to settle down and fill that void. Deep down, you know that you’re moving way too fast and something is off but you refuse to acknowledge it. You continue your speedy pace and he ends up just like that last few failed dating attempts. You tell yourself you’ll slow down but then you meet someone again and your “he’s different” cycle continues. This is a huge red flag and a sign of daddy issues.
You are Very Irrational With Your Emotional Expectations From a Man…
Contrary to popular belief, a man is not supposed to be your everything. If he’s your everything then if he leaves, that means you’ll have nothing. Have you ever seen the movie Why Did I Get Married? (Spoiler Alert) Jill Scott’s character is left devastated after her husband leaves her for her best friend. She said, “He was my everything, I have nothing without him.” If you feel incomplete and completely anxious when you lose connection with the guy you’re with, then this is a sign of daddy issues.
This is what happens when you put too many emotional expectations on men in your life. You begin to want him to make you happy 100% of the time and if he doesn’t, you spiral out of control into an emotional wreck. I remember times when I had just started to date a guy and if he wouldn’t text me back or call me within a few hours, I would go nuts. I’d cry and wonder why he was ignoring me. I’d blow his phone up and jump to the conclusion that he was ignoring me. Then he’d respond that he was sleeping or working or just busy living life and I’d feel like a complete idiot. It was because I was expecting him to make me feel whole when that was never his job.
You Require Too Much Too Soon…
You meet him Monday, you want him to ask you to be his girl by Wednesday, and profess his love by Friday. I’m not saying people can’t fall in love that fast but I am saying that it shouldn’t be the expectation of every man you encounter. The thing is, most women with daddy issues develop this thing called Abandonment Schema. It is when you feel like everyone who loves you will leave. People tend to have 1 or 2 responses to Abandonment Schema. They either distance themselves from all love and connections or they cling really hard to every man they meet. If you tend to be very clingy in relationships and want a title in the first week, this could be you. Your mind has tricked you into believing that all men leave like your dad and the only way to show that they truly care is to love you really hard really fast. Unfortunately, most men don’t work this way and you’re breaking your own heart expecting this.
You Search For Validation in Men…
Your best friends tell you that you’re beautiful, your mom says it, and random female strangers say it, but if you don’t hear it from a man then you don’t think it’s true. I suffered from this so heavily in my early 20s. I would get so many compliments from people but when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see it. The only way I’d feel some sort of happiness or validation was when the guy I liked reaffirmed what everyone else was saying. Validation from any outside source is temporary. When you require it from men specifically, it is a sign of daddy issues.
You Refuse to Be Alone…
An inability to be alone is one of the biggest signs of daddy issues in women. You’ve suffered heartbreak after heartbreak with the exact same storyline. You meet someone, they sell you a dream, you fall for it, they fall back, and the cycle continues. Then in the midst of that, you tell yourself that you’re no longer dating but then you meet someone right after you make this declaration and you decide to give it one more shot. Then he turns out to be the opposite of what you thought and you realize you never should’ve done this. You should’ve just been stuck to your guns and remained single.
Constantly trying to fill your emotional void with what gave you an emotional void will never work. You have to learn to be content with yourself. If you have a huge fear of being alone, then it is a sign of daddy issues.
Understand you have a void…
I really wanted to believe that I was okay without my dad. I completely shut down and told myself I didn’t need anything from him, but I was wrong. God never gives us what we don’t need. If we didn’t need a father, He wouldn’t have given us two parents. It would’ve just been one. We need both in order to cultivate the love needed for us to be whole. If we don’t have both, it will form a void. We have to heal or we will try to fill that void with all the wrong things.
I tried to fill it with men, sex, partying, and drinking. These were all temporary fillers that usually left me feeling worse. When I finally reached rock bottom, I accepted the fact that I had a void. It wasn’t my fault, but it was my responsibility to fill it or I would continue to feel empty.
Understand no person can fill it…
Although the absence of someone created this void, no person can fill it. The sad truth is, healing from past trauma is our responsibility. It is an internal job that has to be done. You have to take charge of your emotional well-being and that comes with going to therapy and increasing your self-love. It sounds cliche but it is the path to alleviating the anxiety that comes with daddy issues. You may always wonder what life would’ve been if your dad provided you with what you needed but you don’t have to let it control you. Being aware of how it hurt and how to overcome that brokenness is your path to healing.
You must face the devastation…
When I turned 29, I finally faced the devastation of not having a father. It was a long journey through therapy, reading books, and releasing the negative emotions attached to not having my father. Not everyone’s story looks like mine. Maybe your dad passed away, maybe he was present but he was an alcoholic or he was abusive, maybe he was a hard-working father in the household so he never gave you time or attention, or maybe he gave you time and attention but it was negative attention because he was extremely hard on you and lacked affection. All these things can cause daddy issues. For you to move forward, you must face the pain that it caused. You must let your guard down and be okay that you’re not okay.
It took me a while to admit that I missed my father, that I hated watching tv shows where people had good dads because it made me emotional. I truly yearned to meet my father and develop a relationship and forgive him for his abandonment. If I only had that chance, I would be so thankful. I didn’t want to admit it for so long because I am a strong person. Admitting that would also be letting him off the hook for leaving me and that wasn’t fair. All those things may be true but we all know life isn’t fair. God chooses us to go through certain things because He knows what we can handle it. We must believe that with His strength, we can handle all things. So look that devastation in the face and handle it. You deserve to be free from that burden.
You must NOT only face it, but you must heal…
If you cut yourself, you’re not just going to look at the wound, you are going to take active steps to heal. Facing the devastation is only the beginning, now you must take what you know and work towards healing. Don’t go back to those temporary fixes to cope. I chose to put my nose deep into the bible and went to therapy. I also reached out to a few of my life coach friends so they could help me along with ministers at my church. It takes a community of wholeness to heal your heart. This is self-work.
For those in a relationship or married, you can lean on your spouse but not too much. You really want to use the professionals in the field of emotional healing and go to your Father in Heaven because He really knows what you need. But however you choose to do it, just know it’s necessary to heal fully or it will cause complications in the future.