Dating a Girl with Daddy Issues: 15 Things You Must Know

girl with daddy issues

You hear the phrase “woman with daddy issues” thrown around a lot in books, movies, and TV, but do you know what it really means to date one?

At some point in your life, you may have heard the term “daddy issues” used in a certain context. Most people use it to describe a woman who tends toward promiscuity.

Is it true? Maybe. Is it the only explanation? No. That’s because promiscuity is not directly linked to daddy issues.

There are a lot of reasons a woman might choose to have multiple sex partners or be indiscriminate about the partners she chooses, but it’s not necessarily related to having issues with her father.

How are “daddy issues” identified?

The term “daddy issues” was coined in Carl Jung’s theory called “The Electra Complex.” This is when a girl displays a form of psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father.

In modern culture, the Electra Complex manifests as a woman’s tendency to seek attention from men in order to compensate for the lack of her father’s attention. That’s why the term developed into its more casual moniker: daddy issues.

[Read: Women’s relationship issues that all men must know]

What are the signs that a girl has daddy issues?

If you’re not quite sure if you’ve ever dealt with a woman with daddy issues, here are a few manifestations.

#1 Sexual aggression. Although women with daddy issues seem to be sexually aggressive, it’s not because they put very little value on sex. It’s the opposite, actually; they are more likely to be aggressive because they think that sex can get them into a man’s good graces. [Read: Sex in a relationship – what it means to a woman]

#2 Clinginess. Due to the warped sense of thinking that came from item 1, women with daddy issues will misconstrue their situation by begging for attention. Unfortunately, both items 1 and 2 usually backfire, because they are done out of desperation, instead of affection.

#3 Excessive friendliness towards guys. Women with daddy issues are drawn to men. They revel in their attention. You will likely see this in her response to men and women; she’ll usually be warm and friendly toward men, yet cold and aloof toward women.

#4 Defensive barriers. When a woman feels threatened by the possibility of losing you, her subconscious will take action by cutting you off. She might start a fight, break up with you, or even cheat, just to prevent herself from getting the first cut.

#5 Dating older men. This is the most obvious sign, but it is also the one that’s prejudged frequently. Younger women can date older men because they want to. A woman with daddy issues might date an older man because the guy looks, acts, and feels like her father. Creepy, yes, but it’s true.

Is it okay to date a woman with daddy issues?

A woman with daddy issues is dealing with the loss of her father’s presence and affection, whether she knows it or not. While this is true, she does not deserve any less of a man’s affection, nor is she subject to the ridicule and judgment that other people place on her.

If you’re a casual observer who thinks you can label anyone with just a glance, think twice before you shoot your mouth off. Most women suffering from “daddy issues” are in a lot of pain–whether they realize it or not.

What’s it like to date a woman with daddy issues?

In terms of dating, women with daddy issues are just like any other girl. The only difference is that you know where her issues come from. Now, isn’t that a breath of fresh air? But for transparency’s sake, here are the things that you should expect when you’re dating a woman with daddy issues.

#1 Getting her trust will be difficult. If you want a relationship with a woman who has daddy issues, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before you get anything emotional out of her.

#2 She might push you away at first. She may reject you, dump you, and push you away as much as she can to see if you’re willing to stay with her. [Read: What to do when she plays hard to get]

#3 She might chase you down. If she likes you and you decide to move on to someone else, there’s a possibility that she might go for you, instead. It’s not so much a reverse psychology thing, as much as a “please love me, I’m sorry I dumped you” thing.

#4 She will test you. Over and over again. Once you’re in a relationship with her, you might not notice that you’re actually engaged in a series of psychological tests your girl has concocted. Whether you pass or not depends on her sunny or stormy disposition.

#5 She overcompensates. She either goes hard or goes home. Whatever you need, she will do her best to provide it. That’s because she wants to reward your affection–or at least buy it. That’s only a good thing if you’re willing to do your part in the relationship.

#6 She will probably have sex with you on the first date… or, at least, sooner than you think. This is where a woman with daddy issues falters. She perceives sex as a bargaining chip, and she thinks that giving in early will seal her fate as a girlfriend. Sometimes, it works… but most of the time, it doesn’t.

#7 She’s a people-pleaser. She will give you all the help you need, be there when you feel sick or sad, and be more affectionate than your own mother. And the sex will probably be awesome. That’s because women with daddy issues have a tendency to comply with men’s requests, just so they can feel wanted and needed. [Read: 5 reasons women fall for emotionally unavailable men]

#8 She will flirt with other guys. It’s not that she wants to cheat. It’s just that she can’t get enough of men’s attention. If you can provide enough for her, she’ll be too distracted to flirt with other men.

#9 Inconsistency upsets her. She knows when she’s getting enough attention, and she knows when she isn’t. You better know how much she needs, or she’ll make you regret not texting at your usual 8 PM time slot.

#10 It’s going to be a while before you meet her mother. Women with daddy issues are known to have even worse mommy issues. They fight or disagree all the time–not because of the Electra Complex, but because their mothers are not capable of providing their need for a father. They will probably let things settle down with their moms before they decide to bring a guy home.

[Read: 10 things men just need to accept about women]

Dating girls with daddy issues sounds taxing, but it’s not a definite letdown. They can be fickle, hardheaded, and complex, but they can also be affectionate, caring, and loving. The last three traits may be enough to make any guy want to date them, despite their issues.

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Danielle Anne
Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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DISCUSSION

  • div

    “Daddy issues” is a pejorative for a lot of social, psychological or behavioral issues that may OR MAY NOT stem from an unhealthy relationship with one’s father. It’s usually used to marginalize issues women are having, though to be honest men are perfectly capable of having “daddy issues” too. “Mommy issues” are also a thing. What causes “daddy issues” covers a wide swath…ranging from psychological issues that were present from the get-go that meant they would have daddy issues no matter what, emotional and social abandonment (not really being very present in the kid’s life), all forms of abuse, physical separation (due to divorce, incarceration or whatever), or even manipulation (like in a divorce where a mother tries to convince the kid that daddy is evil because she’s pissed). The outcomes cover a wide swath as well. Major problems with home life as a child can result in all sorts of personality, depressive, and other disorders, and honestly dealing with these issues in adulthood can be very difficult. Having an argument is tough…having an argument with somebody with a personality disorder can be a minefield. It should be noted that not everybody who experiences childhood trauma will have major problems with interpersonal functioning (they may have some issues…but the kind of stuff where calling it “daddy issues” makes you look like the one who has the problem). Also, somebody who had a perfectly healthy relationship with both parents can still turn out a little underdone, and have issues that may be mislabeled “daddy issues” by the ignorant. “Daddy issues” is a pejorative term for a myriad of psychological issues. People use this term because it’s easier to distance oneself from these kinds of issues than it is to actually try to do something about it.

  • oddparents

    A bad or toxic parental relationship can cause problems in adult life. That’s no secret. However, “daddy issues” seems to have no real behavior definition or is just used as a catch all. I have pretty serious “daddy issues” but don’t hit a number of the things I’ve seen people say are the hallmarks of that. On the flip side, my therapists can spot it a mile away. Both men and women can have serious issues as adults due to parental problems in childhood. Both men and women can get out of a rough childhood totally fine. It depends on lots of factors, many of which aren’t yet known. Severe childhood trauma caused by parents (father, mother, or both) can often been the root cause of: long term PTSD (I think it’s called CPTSD? I forget.), anxiety, personality disorders, and depression. That’s a large range of things even when you narrow to those who did develop issues from childhood. It would be almost impossible to give a personality profile that fit most people who had childhood trauma caused by their father. Oddly enough, despite the severity of my “daddy issues,” I’ve never had a guy put me in that category. I have heard them blindly say other women do based on sexual history when in a number of cases I knew the women in question and knew they had solid relationships with their dads. Seems more like a phrase used to convey “I disapprove of that woman’s life choices” rather than “it would seem that woman sustained some childhood trauma that relates somehow to her father.”

  • MaskedMarvyl

    A woman with daddy issues destroyed my life. Her father had died several years earlier, who she had been “very close to”. She wasn’t that close with her mother, who she described as cold and clinical. She was great fun, very supportive, was awesome in bed, and enjoyed catering to me. When I had a knee operation, she went into overdrive cooking and taking care of me. She insisted on meeting my mother and then other family members. She convinced me she really cared about me. The first time I said “I love you” to her, she immediately dumped me. She said it was because I said “I love you”. I told her I didn’t understand what was happening, and asked her if there was anything she wasn’t telling me. She said there wasn’t. She admitted a month later that she had gotten back together with an old boyfriend….literally. He was ten years older than me! She had gotten back together with him while she was dating me, and juggled both of us. One man’s attention wasn’t enough for her. She put my health at risk with god knows how many other men it turned out. She refused to acknowledge that she had done anything wrong, even after introducing herself to my family while dating multiple men. She wound up with a 400 pound guy literally big enough for her to pretend he was her daddy. She finally found a way to be “daddy’s little girl” forever. When I contacted her again to talk to her, she got a restraining order against me, and fabricated a list of bizarre accusations against me that could not have happened. The female judge took her side and upheld the restraining order, and ignored all of my evidence proving she was perjuring herself. I can no longer work in my field because of the restraining order, and am no longer able to support my mother who my crazy ex had introduced herself to.
    Older men take note: your younger girlfriend may replace you with an even older “daddy”, or someone she can truly be daddy’s little girl with. She may also turn out to be totally crazy, and destroy your sanity and your life in the process.

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