Do daddy's girls own a negotiation power that I do not?
April 30, 2009 7:25 AM Subscribe
30 years after my father is gone, I wonder what intangibles he denied me. How do I get a sneak peak into the world of a daddy‘s girl?
posted by anonymous to human relations (38 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I‘m a 33 year old woman, the only child, and my father left the family when I was 3. I would say I turned out very well in life, all things considered, and I never cared about how not having an active father took something qualitatively from a life of a girl/woman who otherwise got lots of love from her mother and other family members. Until pretty much now, as I start raising question as to why I failed to create family of my own, which has been my desire since my teenage years. By observing other people’s dating-courtship-getting married transitions, I cannot escape thinking that in most of these successful cases, women had negotiation power that I did not.
My family did not condition me to dislike men: I quite like them. But I was raised with this sense of partially removed security where I was constantly aware that if I get in trouble, there will be no one to bail me out. This successfully kept me out of trouble. But it kept me out of marriage, too!
I had two long term serious relationships: both ended at the point where decision needed to be taken whether there is susbtantial future to them or not. In both, men had expressed confidence that they had found in me what they had been looking for for a long time. Apparently, those qualities in me were not enough, and I tend to believe it was because of my lack of the said “negotiation power”. I received a good education, but I am by no means rich, I live in a foreign country which I came for my phd to (hence lacking social support structures). And at some level I harbor this idea that having a strong father to step in (or at least the idea/threat of him stepping in) would have meant a different outcome in my relationships with men.
Am I very much off-base in my thinking? Does the father factor have such real significance? (On my side, I certainly felt pressure to make sure my behavior does not call for the man’s parents’ disapproval, especially in the second case where parents lived in my new country, and the father came off as a resourceful, powerful, controlling and intimidating personality.)
And more importantly, how do I regain what was never part of my informal education as a father’s daughter? Do you have an experience to share? A book recommendation? Would you advice to try to avoid revealing that father factor is non-existent early in dating process, before they get to know me better?