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Daddy Issues: 36 Signs, How It Affects You & Ways to Overcome It as a Couple

If you have been wondering about daddy issues, look no further. Here is how it develops, what it means, and how it impacts relationships.

what are daddy 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]

Unlike the popular notion, one of the signs of daddy issues doesn’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 could affect all your relationships growing up. Of course, this doesn’t go for everyone who’s had father issues.

What are daddy issues?

The term “daddy issues” has been around for so long, but it’s had a lot of meanings over the years. The term is often used to describe someone who has a dysfunctional relationship with her father or no relationship at all. [Read: Father-daughter relationship – 15 daddy issues it can lead to]

We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that someone has daddy issues just because they’re unfortunate enough to have complicated relationships with their father. 

Some manage to heal from those complications and live a normal life.

Of course, some aren’t as lucky and have to live with the trauma of having an absent or bad father. [Read: The father-daughter relationship and the issues it can lead to]

A girl with daddy issues has often been either abandoned or neglected by her father physically, emotionally, mentally, or all of these combined. It’s a notion that how you handle relationships may have a lot to do with your upbringing, so for these women, the effects of their father’s treatment usually reflect in their dysfunctional romantic relationships.

It’s also possible for someone to act like they have daddy issues, even if their father was a good parent. These symptoms might just be part of an individual’s makeup and have nothing to do with the relationship with one’s father. [Read: Father complex – the effects of a good or bad father on a girl]

If you’re dating a girl with daddy issues, it’s possible she could either be fast to commit or has intimacy issues altogether. [Read: Intimacy issues – how to successfully date someone who has them]

History of “daddy issues”

The concept of “daddy issues” goes all the way back to Sigmund Freud, who came up with the concept of the “Father Complex.” It was used in the period of 1910-1913 to designate feelings of guilt and castration anxiety relating to the father and, therefore, to the “Oedipus Complex.”

The Oedipus Complex describes a child’s feelings of desire for their opposite-sex parent and jealousy and anger toward the same-sex parent. Freud coined the concept in his theory of psychosexual stages of development.

The psychology behind it is that, in essence, a boy feels that he is competing with his father for possession of her mother, while a girl feels that she is competing with her mother for her father’s affection.

Freud’s argument was that children view their same-sex parent as a rival for the opposite-sex parent’s attention and affection. [Read: Emotional baggage – how to help someone put it down and find freedom]

Most people have also probably heard of the “Electra Complex” and associate it with Sigmund Freud too. However, it was actually Carl Jung who coined the term in 1913.

This term is derived from the Greek myth of Electra and her brother Orestes who plotted the death of their mother as revenge for their father’s murder.

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. [Read: What makes someone an attention-seeker and how to read these traits]

That’s why the term developed into its more casual moniker: daddy issues. When a girl projects her father’s lack of love and attention for her in the relationship, she’s then classified as a girl with daddy issues.

However, you should also know that not all girls who grew up with a dysfunctional father have daddy issues. Some girls are lucky enough to overcome this and still manage to have secure and healthy relationships with a normal attachment style.

What causes daddy issues?

Again, it’s not exactly easy growing up without a father or with an emotionally neglectful father. A parent is supposed to raise and support you as you grow up. [Read: Women’s relationship issues that all men must know]

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 you have a complicated relationship with your father or he 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. [Read: The effects of a good or bad father on a girl]

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.

But what exactly causes daddy issues? Here are some of the main reasons women develop them. [Read: Why do I crave male attention? The truth and your need to be desired]

1. Insecure attachment style

The attachment theory explains how a person emotionally bonds or attaches to other people *or doesn’t.* There are several types, but people with daddy issues may have attachment issues, too, depending on their relationship with their primary caregiver. Usually, it could be:


Many of these women are fearful-avoidant. Women with insecure attachment issues have a strong desire for close relationships, but they don’t trust other people and fear intimacy. 

Because of this, they tend to avoid the very relationships they crave to feel better about themselves. [Read: Fearful-avoidant attachment style – what it is, 39 signs, and how to deal with it]

They also believe that they are unlovable and distrust other people to support and accept them. In addition, they think that others will eventually reject them, so they withdraw from relationships. 

As a result, their behavior seems confusing to other people, especially romantic partners. They might encourage closeness at firsts, and then they will emotionally or physically retreat when they start feeling vulnerable in a relationship.


The anxious-preoccupied attachment style is also sometimes known as an anxious attachment. It describes a person with a sensitive attachment system who desires closeness with other people very intensely. [Read: Attachment styles theory – 4 types and 19 signs and ways you attach to others]

However, it’s so strong that people with this attachment feel very uneasy about relationships despite their strong need to be connected.

Because of these feelings, women with this type of attachment style will have some unhealthy behaviors in order to try to maintain the relationship. 

They might be hypervigilant for anything that might threaten the relationship. They are uncertain about their partner’s feelings toward them, and so they need constant reassurance. [Read: Insecure attachment – what it is, types, 23 signs, and how it affects your life]

These types of women also rely on their external relationships for their own self-worth. This means that their sense of self is dependent on their partner’s behaviors, either good or bad. 

They are usually filled with anxiety about the possibility of rejection and abandonment, so they are constantly trying to maintain relationships to feel safe.

2. Types of fathers 

Ideally, most fathers would be loving and caring and show their children the appropriate amount of attention. But that isn’t the reality for a lot of women.

Here are different types of fathers that could cause a woman to have daddy issues. [Read: How to be a good dad – 25 simple traits that make an awesome father]

Fathers who overindulge their children 

While this type of father might not seem like it would lead a girl to have daddy issues, it can. If the father gave the daughter anything she wanted in a material sense, he might have tried to “buy her love.” 

And if he didn’t enforce any rules, then the girl might turn out to be spoiled and feel entitled to this kind of behavior from men. In addition, perhaps the reason the father acted this way was that he wasn’t physically or emotionally available to his daughter.

Fathers who are emotionally unavailable

Being emotionally unavailable means that a person can’t connect with another person at an emotional level. They are distant, withdrawn, and don’t show a lot of verbal or physical affection to others. [Read: What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable? 19 signs and fixes]

So, if a girl’s father was emotionally distant and unavailable to her, then she might constantly try to get his love – but to no avail. Since she didn’t get daddy’s love, she feels the need to seek it from other males.

Fathers who are violent or abusive

When a girl grows up with a violent or abusive father, then that can create a lot of emotional problems within her for obvious reasons. She might come to associate men with all of these negative behaviors.

So, while she wanted to have a loving, caring father, hers was the opposite. She craves love from another man, but she doesn’t trust that he can provide that for her. [Read: Emotional abuse – what it is and 39 signs this relationship is breaking you]

This is mostly because she subconsciously believes that all men are like her father.

Fathers who are controlling and toxic

Similar to the violent and abusive fathers, a girl who had controlling and toxic fathers in other ways also has daddy issues. Even if he was overprotective of her, that can lead her to not know how to control her own actions and behaviors.

There are a lot of toxic behaviors a father can have that would lead a daughter to have daddy issues.

For example, addiction issues or sexual abuse can cause some major problems in girls growing up and into their adulthood. [Read: 20 traits and signs of a toxic boyfriend that predict a painful relationship]

Fathers who are always distressed and filled with anguish

If a father is depressed, negative, and unfulfilled in his own life, then his children will definitely know this, even if he’s not vocal about it. This kind of negativity will just vibrate out from him and affect the children too.

A daughter wants her father to be happy and to have a positive relationship with their dad. But if he’s not even happy with himself and his own life, he is simply incapable of providing emotional support for his daughter.

Fathers who are physically dependent on their children

Some fathers are physically disabled, sick, addicts, or otherwise need the help of their children to make it through life.

If they can’t function like a normal person, then they need other people to pick up the slack where they can’t do it. [Read: How to spot codependent behavior early and regain your self-identity]

This is understandable if the father has a physical disability or is sick. But if there is another reason, like addiction, then the girl might have to grow up a lot faster than she should in order to step up and be an adult herself.

Types of daddy issues

Daddy issues usually express themselves through a woman’s attachment style. As we explained earlier, this is how a person emotionally connects *or not* with other people.

1. Anxious-preoccupied

The anxious-preoccupied daddy issue type makes a woman clingy and anxious. She fears abandonment, and so she does everything she can to make sure a man doesn’t leave her.

Because of this, their partners usually feel smothered and frustrated by her behavior. [Read: Anxious personality – reasons to date an anxious person]

2. Dismissive-avoidant

A woman with a dismissive-avoidant daddy issue type has serious trust issues. They will try to avoid emotional connection, attachment, and closeness to other people.

This type of woman might not even pursue a romantic relationship and might even actively avoid them. This is the opposite of the anxious attachment style.

3. Fearful-avoidant

The fearful-avoidant daddy issues style is one in which the woman is worried about intimacy. It is a mix of anxious and avoidant attachment styles. [Read: Fear of commitment – 47 whys and ways to get over your phobia]

It occurs when the woman craves and longs for intimacy but, at the same time, does everything she can to avoid it. This can threaten every relationship she tries to create.

The biggest signs of daddy issues in a girl

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. Trouble implementing boundaries

These women who have complex and poor relationships with their fathers have difficulty standing firm to their boundaries. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 19 rules for a healthy love]

Maybe she’s a pushover, and she allows people to walk all over her, or she’ll do everything to please everyone.

People may push things on her that she is definitely not okay with, but she allows it to happen because she’s never been taught to say no. 

She feels like saying no is a crime, so she ends up never doing it to begin with. No matter who it is, she just can’t stick to her boundaries. [Read: The crucial steps you need to take in your life to make boundaries]

2. Low self-esteem

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

In her relationships and even friendships, she feels like she’s always chasing after the love she wants. She’s not capable of saying what she wants and going for what she deserves, which can lead to some toxic situations.

3. Cannot trust their partners

When a woman has daddy issues, she generally has the worst time trusting and relying on people. [Read: Understanding the fear you feel in trusting someone]

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, she either has abandonment issues, commitment issues, trust issues, or all of these combined.

4. Dating older men

Women with daddy issues tend to date men older than them. This is one of the most defining characteristics of a girl with daddy issues. She was deprived of the love and care she should’ve gotten from her father. [Read: “Creepy” myths about older guys dating younger women]

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. If you observe her past relationships, her exes consist of older guys.

A woman with daddy issues might date an older man because the guy looks, acts, and feels like her father. She wants to be treated with lots of attention and love by someone who can protect her and is capable of providing the lavish life she thinks she deserves, just like a dad would.

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 a lot more than that! [Read: Dating age rule – what’s an acceptable age gap for a couple?]

This is just one of the many ways she could project her lack of a father figure, even in her relationships in adulthood.

5. 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 her and them as she fears other men will always treat her the same way her father did – either abandoned or neglected. [Read: Am I emotionally unavailable? 17 signs you are and how to fix it ASAP]

Her father hurt her, and now she’s afraid to love somebody else. It makes perfect sense, honestly.

6. Prefers sexual relationships to emotional ones

Although a girl with daddy issues seems to be sexually aggressive, it’s not because she puts very little value on sex. Rather, it’s the opposite. She thinks that a strong sexual desire defines the relationship and that it can earn things in her favor.

When a guy is dating a girl with daddy issues, she can be sexually aggressive as she believes that without it, he’s prone to abandon her or love her less. She perceives sex as one of the core foundations of a relationship. [Read: Sex in a relationship – what it means to a woman]

As important as sex is, it’s not the basis of a relationship – but a girl with daddy issues has a rigid mindset that values sex a lot. 

She grew up without a father, so she constantly thinks she has to earn her way around any relationship with a man.

7. Fear of abandonment

Being abandoned by her father doesn’t entirely mean he was never physically present. [Read: The insecure girlfriend – 30 signs and ways to help her feel good]

It could also mean having a mentally or emotionally neglectful father who never gave her what she needed. Either way, her father abandoned her, and now she constantly fears it will happen again.

Every time her partner leaves, the little voice in the back of her head says, “he’s not coming back,” even if he has never given her any reason to believe this. 

Even if it’s as simple as not saying “I love you” back, she fears he no longer loves her and is going to walk away eventually. [Read: Abandonment issues and how it affects your relationship]

8. Constantly need reassurance

She finds herself asking for reassurance from her partner often. We can’t stress this enough, but no matter how many times they remind her they love her, it’s never enough for her.

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

9. Tend to be jealous

Jealousy is something that many women are guilty of, but especially for those with unresolved issues with their dads. 

If she sees her partner talking to other women, she tends to get worried, even if they are just friends. She always assumes the worst just because she’s been dealt the worst cards with her father.

That little voice in the back of her head tells her that she isn’t good enough and causes more issues. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal, and overcome it in love]

10. Seek emotionally unavailable men

Since she’s so used to neglect and abandonment from her father, she subconsciously seeks the same thing from other men. 

She grew up with this unhealthy behavior from the one man she thought she could trust, so she winds up looking for that same familiarity in the men she dates.

If her father never gave her the time of day, this is what she became comfortable with. So, she may seek this out in her partners. [Read: Reasons we fall for emotionally unavailable men]

11. Push men away

In line with her abandonment and trust issues, she ends up pushing men away. Even if they show their purest intentions, she always believes they’ll break her heart and abandon her. 

Instead of taking that risk, she tends to run 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. Become easily attached and clingy

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

A girl with daddy issues often has problems with her clinginess. Since she was deprived of attention and love as a child, she ends up clinging to adult relationships more.

This clinginess can often be suffocating to the receiving end, especially when they don’t understand where she’s coming from. [Read: 21 signs of a clingy girlfriend and how to help her overcome her clinginess]

Whether because of childhood trauma or fear, she thinks clinginess will earn things in her favor. Unfortunately, similar to what we’ve said above, it usually backfires because these are done out of desperation instead of affection.

She doesn’t become clingy because she wants to show her love but because she’s afraid he’ll leave the if she doesn’t.

When she finds someone that she really likes, 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. [Read: 37 ways to stop being clingy and holding on so tight you push them away]

13. Seek out fairytales

If you’re asking what daddy issues are, one of the signs to look for is idealizing relationships far too much. She puts her partner on a pedestal, and she has this perfect vision of her relationship or her partner.

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

14. People-pleaser

Her father was never pleased with her, no matter what she did. This is also why she doesn’t set boundaries and can’t say no, even if her life depends on it. 

She generally likes the idea of pleasing everyone, especially the men in her life, so she often goes out of her way to achieve this.

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

15. Excessive friendliness toward guys

Women with daddy issues are easily drawn to men. They 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. 

She’s fond of the idea that men give her the attention she deeply craves from her partner. Even if the attention is not necessarily from her partner, she’s okay with it. 

Even if she’s in a relationship, she always hopes somebody will check her out at the gym or hit on her at the bar. This sounds dysfunctional, but it’s a quality that someone with daddy issues possesses. [Read: 15 must-know facts about dating a girl with daddy issues]

This is why she tends to have closer guy friends than girlfriends in her group of friends. She finds it more comfortable to be herself around men, and she acts completely stiff around women. 

While this can be normal even for girls without daddy issues, her friendliness with men can be excessive. It can even be perceived as flirting, even without her intention, because of how close her relationships with men are.

16. Almost gets destroyed with every breakup

Even with her distant and unaffected nature, she can’t help but feel almost destroyed by every breakup. [Read: Painful stages of heartbreak and grief all of us go through after a breakup]

This is one of the signs of daddy issues to look out for. Even if she’s practically pushed men away and expected the worst, breakups always feel like history is repeating itself.

She’s used to seeking validation and reassurance from her partner, and just like that, they’re gone, and she can’t breathe.

17. Can’t stand being single

It’s ironic, but one of the obvious signs of daddy issues you’ll see is if she can’t stand being single and jumps from one romantic relationship to the next. [Read: Relationship addiction – Are you a serial dater who loves love?]

Even if she’s tried, she always gets into the same pattern. In fact, it doesn’t matter if they’re in dysfunctional relationships with men as long as she’s with someone.

The feelings of loneliness and abandonment get too intense when she’s single that she always ends up distracting herself with unhealthy relationships.

18. Almost always end up with men who don’t deserve her

She’s so used to being neglected and abandoned as a child that she doesn’t know a single thing about being with a good guy.

Unfortunately, it’s a determining sign of daddy issues – she doesn’t know how to accept love. [Read: We accept the love we deserve – why aren’t you worthy?]

She always assumes that love has to be toxic, draining, abusive, manipulative, or always has to end in abandonment and neglect. 

Most likely, she never experienced being with a good man if she has daddy issues, thus why she always finds herself in abusive relationships.

19. Has a complicated relationship with their mother

If a woman has daddy issues, she will most likely have a complicated or broken relationship with her mother.

She tries her best to get what she needs from her that her father should’ve given her, but she always ends up constantly clashing. [Read: How to get through the ice of an emotionally unavailable woman]

She’s most likely always butting heads with her mom. Some even just give up on the idea of a relationship with their mother entirely.

20. Defensive barriers

Remember what we said about commitment issues? A girl with daddy issues tends to sabotage the relationship if they think you’re about to abandon them. She’d rather do the leaving first before giving you a chance to get ahead of them.

Even if this is all her mind that she’s threatened by you leaving her, she becomes defensive and unintentionally sabotages the relationship.

You can expect that any time she feels threatened, she’ll want to sabotage the relationship. [Read: Do people always leave you? Here’s how to stop sabotaging your relationships]

She might start a fight, break up with you, or even cheat just to prevent herself from getting the first cut.

How being attracted to older men affects adult relationships

In terms of dating, women with daddy issues are just like any other girl. The only difference is that you both know where her issues stem from. 

A woman with daddy issues is dealing with the loss of her father’s presence and affection, whether she knows it or not. [Read: Fear of losing someone you love, why you feel it, and ways to get over it]

However, women with daddy issues aren’t the only ones who struggle. This also puts a lot of pressure on guys who date these women. He can expect a lot of clinginess and back-and-forth commitment. One minute she could be all over him, and the next, she could withdraw. [Read: 24 sad signs and consequences of emotional neglect in a relationship]

She also needs someone who constantly reassures her that she’s not going to be abandoned, at least anytime soon. This is a huge ask for a lot of people, and it’s okay to admit that it’s too much pressure to handle.

A girl with daddy issues grew up with a lot of trauma because of that neglect, so she needs a partner who’s willing to go through all her baggage with her and help her carry it. [Read: Do you have an insecure girlfriend? 30 signs and ways to fix it for the better]

Most importantly, the guy needs to know it’s not his responsibility to fix or change her issues as this is her problem – not his. He can help her deal with it, but he shouldn’t control her.

Here are how daddy issues can affect a relationship.

1. Earning her trust will be difficult

If a man wants a relationship with a woman who has daddy issues, he’ll have to jump through a few hoops before he gets anything emotional out of her.

She’ll have the biggest trust issues that her partner might leave or cheat because of her fear of being alone, and it’s going to be a challenge to break down her walls. [Read: How to date someone with trust issues and win their trust and love]

He needs to earn her trust in order to let her love him. Most importantly, he needs to be patient in getting her to put her trust in him. 

It might take months before she trusts him with her entire heart, so he should be patient and understanding.

2. She might push a guy away initially

Having trust issues means she’ll unintentionally sabotage a chance at a relationship with a guy before it even begins. [Read: Reasons getting back with your ex is self-sabotage]

She may reject him, dump him, and push him away as much as she can to see if he’s willing to stay with her. This is one of her self-sabotaging habits that not a lot of guys can handle.

However, if he can stay through all of it, she’ll eventually stop pushing him away with every fiber of her being. She’ll eventually believe that he’s worth trusting and give him her heart.

The only reason she pushes him away is her belief that, just like her father, everyone will neglect and abandon her eventually. [Read: What to do when she plays hard to get]

3. She might chase him down

If she likes a guy and he decides to move on to someone else or decide to end things, there’s a possibility that she might pursue him even harder instead! This is where he’ll notice her desperation and clinginess the most.

If you haven’t guessed by now, a girl with daddy issues has major abandonment issues. If he does leave and decide to date someone else, she’ll do everything to change his mind. 

In this aspect, she can seem like the creepy and obsessive ex no one wants. [Read: How to help a possessive girlfriend go from clingy to amazing]

4. She’ll test him repeatedly

When the opportunity presents itself, she’ll test a guy repeatedly until he proves his trust and reliability to her.

Once he’s in a relationship with her, he might not notice that he’s actually engaged in a series of psychological tests the girl has concocted. 

It can seem exhausting, as it’ll feel like she’ll never really completely trust him, but that’s part of the baggage that comes with dating a girl with daddy issues. [Read: What is a shit test and why women use this on all men they date]

5. She overcompensates

Whatever he needs, she will do her best to provide it. That’s because she wants to reward his affection – or at least buy it. He might see it as selfishness, but he could also see it as desperation.

She gives you everything she can, which makes her all-sacrificing, but for all the wrong reasons. Whether it’s buying him material things or giving him all the affection he needs, she does it so that he doesn’t have a significant reason to leave her.

6. She’ll probably have sex with a guy on the first date… or, at least, sooner than later

Part of her sexual aggressiveness is the need to have sex to secure a relationship with a guy.

She uses sex as a bargaining chip. Instead of doing it to be intimate and closer to him, she’s doing it to make the relationship work. [Read: Having sex on the first date – should you give in to the urge?]

Sometimes, it works… but most of the time, it doesn’t. Even if it initially works, both of you will eventually realize that it was more lust than love.

7. She’s a people-pleaser

She will give a guy all the help he needs, be there when he feels sick or sad, and be more affectionate than his own mother. 

She lacks setting boundaries and sticking to those boundaries for herself. Whatever he needs and wants, she’ll do everything to provide it, even if it destroys her sanity. [Read: 20 clear signs she’s a people pleaser even if she doesn’t realize it]

Women with daddy issues have a tendency to comply with men’s requests just so they can feel wanted and needed. 

They didn’t grow up with a father, so they make up for that lack by being a people pleaser. They can’t and won’t say no, even if their life depended on it.

8. She flirts with other guys

Unfortunately, this is part of dating a girl with daddy issues. She doesn’t mean to cheat, but her natural excessive friendliness with guys always shows.

However, if he can provide enough for her, she’ll be too distracted to flirt with other men. [Read: How to tell your girlfriend she’s too flirty with other guys]

This puts pressure on the guy though, which is also why girls with daddy issues have difficulty managing and maintaining a long-term relationship. Even if she does, it ends up being toxic or manipulative.

9. Inconsistency upsets her

Girls are never fans of inconsistency with any guy, but this is all the truer for those with daddy issues. She knows when she’s getting enough attention, and she knows when she isn’t.

Even one inconsistent action can trigger her anxiety and make her believe that he either doesn’t love her anymore or is breaking up with her.

If there’s something he normally does to show her he loves her, it’s difficult to just stop this. [Read: Blowing hot and cold – why they do this, the stages, and how to handle it]

10. It’s going to be a while before a guy meets her mother

Talk about family issues, right? Women with daddy issues are known to have even worse mommy issues. They seek what they need and want from their mother and end up being constantly disappointed.

This is why a girl with daddy issues end up with complicated relationships with their mothers as well. They will probably let things settle down with their moms before they decide to bring a guy home. This could take a while. [Read: Mommy issues and the signs to look for in a man]

How to resolve daddy issues

If you are a woman and recognize that you have issues related to a poor relationship with your dad, you might wonder what you can do to overcome them. Don’t worry, it’s possible. Here are some ways to cope with those attachment wounds:

1. Reflect on how your father impacted you

Learn how to recognize how your poor relationship with a father impacted you. You need to realize that you are probably “reconfirming old beliefs” by reenacting childhood patterns in your current relationships.

The first step is awareness. After all, you can’t change what you don’t recognize.

2. Mourn what you didn’t have

Let yourself feel the pain of the negative relationship you had with your father. You might not have dealt with your negative emotions when you were younger, so you should mourn what you didn’t have in your life because of your relationship with him.

Go through the grieving process so you can move on in a healthier manner. [Read: 26 honest steps to let go of someone you love and move on and find peace]

3. Apply your knowledge

Learn from your realizations about your relationship with your father and how it affected you in your adulthood. Then, you can use this knowledge to form better relationships. However, it may not be easy. It will take a lot of conscious effort on your part to change your behaviors.

4. Seek help from mental health professionals

Having a father complex is not a serious mental health condition, but if you just don’t think that you can overcome your daddy issues by yourself, then it might be time to get help from a licensed marriage and family therapist. Sometimes our emotional baggage is just too much to deal with by ourselves. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

5. Read self-help books

If you can’t afford to go to a mental health professional, then you can try reading self-help books that were written by them.

It might not be as effective as going to therapy, but it will definitely give you a lot of advice for you to change your life and your relationships. [Read: Reinvent your life – 12 must-read books to read in your 20s]

6. Use online resources

In addition to self-help books, there are a lot of online resources that can help you too. Listen to podcasts, TED talks, and YouTube videos that deal with the topic of daddy issues and other childhood trauma. There are a lot of online resources out there that can help you tremendously.

Final thoughts

As intense as she might be with her baggage, a woman with daddy issues is also capable of giving a guy the best relationship of his life if given the chance.

You shouldn’t stereotype a girl with daddy issues to be complicated, toxic, manipulative, and draining. Try being in her shoes and grow up with a neglectful or absent father. It’s not easy.

[Read: The 16 most important secrets of a very happy relationship]

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 a better awareness of their behavior and insecurities. 

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...