daddy issues: an excuse for bad behaviour?

The girl with daddy issues can get away with murder. She has the best excuse for her bad behaviour. This man, who was supposed to protect her from the evils of the world was her first real heart break. Either he abandoned her from the start, or he just decided one day she wasn’t worth sticking around for. Since then she has either found refuge in any man that shows her affection or she has rejected any man who dared to love her.

For many, having daddy issues is an excuse for erratic behaviour. I googled daddy issues and the images that came up were of strippers and glorified models who look more like porn stars. The picture I settled on was the least provocative so that should tell you something. These however, are not the only breed of “daddy issue girls” that exist. In my lifetime I have come across four different versions of the “daddy issues girl”.

The man-muncher is the girl who most people know. The girl who is not concerned with being a lady or settling down with one man. She decided a long time ago that she will never allow a man to hurt her. Instead, she has the love-hate relationship with men, that Victoria Beckham has with food. Chew for a little bit, enjoy the taste then spit it out. She would easily fall into the category of a sferb but she doesn’t care. Her take on life is “if a man can do it, why can’t I?”

The chappies addict LOVES falling in love. She has made it her mission to find “the one” and to avoid falling into the “single mother” statistic. She fears being alone because she is well aware of the missing puzzle piece in her life. The problem with the chappies addict is that she tends to hold on to fickle relationships with guys that usually don’t measure up to her worth. Chappies bubble gum is not the best gum on the market, and once the flavour has run out it becomes tough to chew. The chappies addict’s relationship usually run the same course.

The heart warden has given a whole new meaning to the phrase “guard your heart”. Her heart has been held prisoner for years and the chance for parole is looking more bleak as the years go by. She, like the man-muncher doesn’t want to be hurt by men. If she even decides to enter into a relationship, she has her own version of the 80-20 rule. In every relationship she’s in she will give 80% of herself. She holds on to the remaining 20% because she has a “set room for disappointment” approach to most things in her life. Her belief is that men will hurt you, it is inevitable.

Then finally we have the antique collector. She is attracted to mature men. Young guys can’t give her what she needs and will never measure up. The antique collector seeks the approval of her older man. She loves it when he is proud of her and the security he provides for her is something she has desired most of her life. The antique collector chases the love of a father in her relationships.

All four of these girls are living a life that stops them from truly loving. Their characteristics are driven by the fear of a ending up with broken heart. I can understand why girls who have been hurt by their fathers would have screwed up perspectives on love and life and men. But I do not think that focussing on your past solves anything.

A wise friend of mine Seneme Mthembu said to me “Love covers a multitude of sins and since love came down for me I refuse to allow sin to stop me from loving.” That statement is so powerful because in it lies a truth I cannot shake.

When we allow the mistakes of another to stop us from loving, we give them power over our lives. By claiming the title of a “girl with daddy issues” you close yourself off from experiencing love free from the chains of pain.

Some of us are not comfortable with seeing a psychologist and others do not have the option of speaking to our mothers about our emotions but try speaking to someone you do trust, and who is willing to listen to your frustrations. Deal with whatever emotions you harbour because of the relationship with your father, whether it be anger, disappointment or fear.

Working through pain is a necessary process, otherwise it will affect your future relationships and that is not worth it.

Refuse to be a statistic.



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