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What are Daddy Issues? 19 Signs to Recognize a Girl with This Issue

What are daddy issues? You hear this term constantly without knowing the signs of daddy issues. There’s more than meets the eye on what this really means.

what are daddy issues

What are daddy issues? As the name suggests, it’s derived from a girl who has complicated issues with her father. Unlike the popular notion, one of the signs of daddy issues don’t automatically refer to having an absent father, but it can also mean having a bad one.

A parent’s role in a child’s life is very significant so if you had an absent or bad parent, this can affect all your relationships growing up. Of course, this doesn’t go for everyone who’s had father issues.

What are daddy issues? They are issues or difficulties that a woman has, while developing and withstanding romantic relationships in her adult life, based on the poor relationship she had with her father.

[Read: How certain father-taught dynamics can lead to daddy issues]

What are daddy issues?

Daddy issues seriously vary from person to person, and there is no “one way” to have them. It is also not a decision to have these issues, and many women don’t even realize that they exist within them.

We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that we have daddy issues just because we’re misfortunate enough to have complicated relationships with our father. Some manage to heal from those complications and live a normal life without projecting their issues in all their relationships.

Of course, some aren’t as lucky and have to live with the trauma of having an absent or bad father. It is important to remember that these daddy issues are incredibly deep within their subconscious and cannot truly be uncovered unless by a certified psychologist, or the like.

It’s also possible that just because the signs are similar to those who have daddy issues, it can have nothing to do with their upbringing. These symptoms might just be part of an individual’s makeup and have nothing to do with their relationship with their father. [Read: The father daughter relationship and the 10 issues it can lead to]

Why do some women have daddy issues?

Again, it’s not exactly easy growing up without a father or with an emotionally neglecting father. A parent is supposed to raise and support you as you grow up. When you grow up without a father to look up to or with a bad father, it changes the way you view relationships entirely.

Even if it’s not intentional, you end up going for boys who have similar issues as your father, or you project your fear into all your relationships. For instance, if your father wasn’t emotionally present in your life, having daddy issues would mean you’re unable to commit to any relationship without the fear of being abandoned.

You can’t help it – that’s the one mindset you can’t control if you have daddy issues. Another interesting thing to note is that daddy issues are not just reserved for women with absent fathers.

Many women whose father was very much present in their lives also suffer from daddy issues – specifically bad fathers. [Read: The 13 effects of a good or bad father on a girl]

19 signs you’re a girl with daddy issues

Now that we have a better understanding of what daddy issues are, we can begin to determine the possibility of you, or a girl you know, having them or not.

1. You have issues implementing boundaries

In determining what are daddy issues, these women have difficulty standing firm to their boundaries.

Maybe you’re a pushover and you allow people to walk all over you, or you’ll do everything to please everyone.

People may push things on you that you are definitely not okay with, but you allow it to happen because you’ve never been taught to say no. You feel like saying no is a crime, so you end up never doing it to begin with. No matter who it is, you just can’t stick to your boundaries. [Read: The crucial steps you need to take in your life to make boundaries]

2. You have low self-esteem

Whether your father was in the picture or not, he didn’t give you the love and respect you deserved.

In your relationships and even friendships, you feel like you’re always chasing after the love you want. You’re not capable of saying what you want and going for what you deserve, which can lead to some toxic situations.

3. You cannot trust your partners

One of the determining factors on what are daddy issues is the lack of trust for anyone they are with. When a woman has daddy issues, she generally has the worst time trusting and relying on people.

The woman’s father never gave her a reason to trust him, so she learned at a young age that she cannot trust the men in her life.

With daddy issues, you either have abandonment issues, commitment issues, trust issues, or all of these combined. [Read: Understanding the fear you feel in trusting someone]

4. You tend to date older men

Women with daddy issues tend to date those older than them. They didn’t have a father figure to look up to growing up, so they subconsciously choose men who appear as a father figure for them.

Okay, this is kind of gross to think of your partner as your father figure, but subconsciously this could be happening. We’re not just talking about a small age gap of a few or five years, but even more than that!

5. You’re emotionally unavailable

Surprise, surprise. The lack of emotional intimacy for those with daddy issues shouldn’t even shock you by now.  One of the signs of daddy issues is the inability to become emotionally connected or intimate with anyone.

There’s always going to be a wall between you and them as you fear other men will always treat you the same way your father did – either abandoned or neglected. Your father hurt you, and now you’re afraid to love somebody else. It makes perfect sense, honestly. [Read: Am I emotionally unavailable? 17 signs you are and how to fix it ASAP]

6. You prefer sexual relationships to emotional ones

You gotta admit, sex-based relationships don’t have the messy feelings and complications of an actual relationship. This is all the more true for those with daddy issues.

They might even have more sexual needs than a typical person as they think they can hook and keep a man just through sex alone.

7. You’re afraid of abandonment

Being abandoned by your father doesn’t entirely mean they were never present. It could also mean having a mentally or emotionally neglecting father who never gave you what you needed. Your father abandoned you, and now you constantly fear it will happen again.

Every time your partner leaves, the little voice in the back of your head says “he’s not coming back,” even if he has never given you any reason to believe this. Even if it’s as simple as not saying “I love you” back, you fear they no longer love you and are going to walk away eventually. [Read: The insecure girlfriend – 30 signs and ways to help her feel good]

8. You constantly need reassurance

You find yourself asking for reassurance from your partner often. We can’t stress this enough, but no matter how many times they remind you they love you, it’s never enough for you.

Reassurance is a must for you to feel at peace with yourself and your relationships. You constantly second-guess their intentions when they don’t reassure you. [Read: 20 ways your overanalyzing is sabotaging your relationship]

9. You tend to be jealous

Jealousy is something that many women are guilty of, but especially for those with daddy issues. If you see your partner talking to other women, you tend to get worried, even if they are just friends. You always assume the worst, just because you’ve been dealt the worst cards with your father.

When you’re asking what are daddy issues, everything you do in relationships stems from a bad parental figure, such as being obsessively jealous. That little voice in the back of your head tells you that you aren’t good enough and causes more issues.

10. You seek emotionally unavailable men

Since you’re so used to neglect and abandonment from your father, you subconsciously seek the same thing from other men. You grew up with this unhealthy behavior from the one man you thought you could trust so you wind up looking for that same familiarity in the men you date.

If your father never gave you the time of day, this is what you became comfortable with, so you may seek this out in your partners.

11. You push men away

In line with your abandonment and trust issues, you end up pushing men away. Even if they show their purest intentions, you always believe they’ll break your heart and abandon you. Instead of taking that risk, you push them away before giving them a chance to prove their intentions. [Read: How to stop pushing people away – Why you do this and how to fix it]

12. You become easily attached

Instead of pushing men away, you could do the opposite too: become easily attached. Honestly, this isn’t better than pushing them away as instead of being distant, you become extremely clingy to a fault.

When you find someone that you are really interested in, it can be hard to let them go and move on. Especially if they don’t feel the same way, or if it just doesn’t work out to plan.

13. You seek out fairytales

If you’re asking what are daddy issues, one of the signs is idealizing relationships far too much. You put your partner on a pedestal and you have this perfect vision of your relationship or your partner.

When reality hits, it will slap you hard with disappointment and heartbreak. Again, all this comes back to what you weren’t given as a child. [Read: 20 practical things to consider before giving up on love]

14. You’re a people-pleaser

Your father was never pleased with you, no matter what you did. This is also why you don’t set boundaries and can’t say no, even if your life depends on it. You generally like the idea of pleasing everyone, especially the men in your life, so you often go out of your way to achieve this.

On the contrary, when someone shows their disapproval or frustration, this also sets you off. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser but you just don’t realize it]

15. You love attention from men, even if they aren’t your partner

You’re fond of the idea that men give you the attention you deeply crave from your partner. Even if it’s not necessarily from your partner, you’re okay with it. Even if you’re in a relationship, you always hope somebody will check you out at the gym or hit on you at the bar.

This sounds dysfunctional and insane, but it’s a quality that someone with daddy issues possesses. [Read: 15 must-know facts about dating a girl with daddy issues]

16. You almost get destroyed with every breakup

Even with your distant and unaffected nature, you can’t help but feel almost destroyed with every breakup. This is one of the signs of daddy issues to look out for. Even if you’ve practically pushed men away and expected the worst, breakups always feel like history is repeating itself.

You’re used to seeking validation and reassurance from your partner and just like that, they’re gone and you can’t breathe.

17. You can’t stand being single

It’s ironic, but one of the obvious signs of daddy issues you’ll see is if you can’t stand being single. Even if you tried, you always get into the same pattern. In fact, it doesn’t matter what type of relationship it is, as long as you’re with someone.

The feelings of loneliness and abandonment get too intense when you’re single that you always end up distracting yourself through relationships. [Read: Relationship addiction – Are you a serial dater who loves love?]

18. You almost always end up with men who don’t deserve you

You’re so used to being neglected and abandoned as a child that you don’t know a single thing about being with a good guy. Unfortunately, it’s a determining sign of daddy issues – you don’t know how to accept love.

You always assume that love has to be toxic, draining, abusive, manipulative, or always has to end in abandonment and neglect. Most likely, you never experienced being with a good man if you have daddy issues. [Read: We accept the love we deserve – why aren’t you worthy?]

19.  You have a complicated relationship with your mother

If you have daddy issues, you most likely have a complicated relationship with your mother. You try your best to get what you need from her that your father should’ve given you, but you always end up constantly clashing. You’re most likely always butting heads or you just gave up on the idea of a relationship with her entirely.

So, what are daddy issues?

Women with daddy issues are those who subconsciously project their neglecting or absent father into their relationships. Even if this is the case, this doesn’t make women who have daddy issues inferior or worth being judged.

It’s not easy growing up without a father or having a complicated father. In fact, it’s one of the most hurtful things you can experience and not everyone gets to heal from it.

[Read: How to get through the ice of an emotionally unavailable woman]

Now that we answered what are daddy issues, we hope you can better understand the issue. If ever you were to date someone with these issues, at least you have better awareness behind their behavior and insecurities.

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Brett Larabie
Brett Larabie
Brett is a health and wellness blogger who aims to inspire her readers to live happy, fulfilled lives. She follows a plant-based lifestyle and lives in a tiny a...