My father got married for the second time when I was 4½ and died when I was 15. He was a good person and he loved me, but I never felt his warmth. Is this why I'm attracted towards older men?

Answer

Most of us women are interested in men who are the same age or older than ourselves. We perceive older guys as being more mature, stable, established, powerful, accomplished, confident, and financially secure. These are all desirable traits, especially when a woman is looking to settle down and start a family. However, when a fatherless daughter dates an older guy, she's often accused of having “daddy issues” and may begin to doubt her choices.

It's fantastic that you're asking this question now, becoming conscious of your decisions and what drives them. There's nothing inherently wrong with dating older men and many positives as I listed above. Only you can discern, based on your past, why older guys appeal to you and whether it's a healthy thing.

Some women date older men (or narcissistic men, controlling men, weak men, etc.) without ever seeing the pattern. They have no insight into their behavior and, therefore, their life feels beyond their control and they can get depressed They complain about their partners but never look inward to find the real answers and the real source of their power.

Many of us fatherless daughters, myself included, have a deep-seated fear of abandonment that influences (and limits) many of our life choices. When we were young, we discovered that a man we loved and depended upon, our dad, could disappear from our lives. That left a crushing imprint on our psyches. We may continue to live in fear that a guy we love will reject us just as our father did.

Some of us believe that dating an older man will significantly decrease the chances of this happening. An older guy represents less of a threat because he's stable, rooted, and less volatile. He's not like many younger men who want to date around, keep their options open, and are preoccupied with building their careers.

Although I wound up marrying a man my same age, I dated older men for many years. Looking back at that time, I realize that my main objective was to be with someone who wouldn't hurt me psychologically. My father had called me names and had checked out on our family emotionally. I was so wounded from that experience and wanted a guy who was safe more than anything else. It was what I needed at that time until I got stronger.

The spiritual teacher, Iyanla Vanzant, says, “All things are lessons that God would have us learn.” What does dating older men teach you about yourself? Sit with this and give it some thought. Become the authority on yourself. You're worth it!

Updated on August 31, 2019

Original Article:

Fatherless Daughters: How Growing Up Without a Dad Affects Women
By McKenna Meyers
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