“She has terrible tastes in men.”
The phrase above is often said about women who “just have bad luck with men” romantically speaking. One romantic failure might be “bad luck”. However, if a woman is repeatedly choosing men with the same negative characteristics, it is more than bad luck and it is time she searches within herself for the problem. Oftentimes, this problem can be traced back to her childhood, or more accurately, her relationship with her father in childhood.
The absence of a father in a woman’s life-- whether emotional or physical --can lead to many tragic occurrences in her childhood that can affect her adulthood if unnoticed and unresolved. The romantic partners she chooses is one of those ways it can affect her adulthood.
The father-- the male of the household --is the prime example of what a little girl learns to look for when she begins seeking out romantic relationships. A father is the first male relationship a female will have-- in some ways, he is her first impactful love. It has been proven time after time that she will therefore subconsciously seek out those who display similar character traits, despite whether or not those traits can be considered good ones.
But what happens when the father is not present? When he turns an emotional blind eye to the little girl or is literally not there? “Because they never got the direction needed from a father figure, they learn to make up their own survival playbook,” says Tori Rodriguez in her Woman’s Day article “5 Things Every Fatherless Daughter Needs to Know.”
A daughter with an absentee father who has not resolved the issues related to those absences will inevitably take herself down the wrong sexual and romantic paths. This can manifest in many different ways-- from sexual promiscuity to repeatedly attaching oneself to emotionally distant or unstable men.
An emotionally damaged woman attaching herself to another emotionally damaged person will only worsen the woman’s distress. The only way to cease this masochistic cycle is to recognize the problem at hand and resolve it, preferably with someone qualified enough to provide mental health guidance.
Having an absent father isn’t just a normal absence— it isn’t like not having a television or a pair of trending sneakers. Not having someone in your life who is supposed to be there for you can directly lead to mental health problems, ones that can only be resolved with therapy.
With the right therapy, a fatherless daughter will gain the important things she needs to be an emotionally healthy being; self-esteem, self-love, and confidence. She will learn that she is not responsible for her father’s absence. She will learn that she is more than her father’s absence.
Because she is.