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Mama’s boys have it tough.  A mama’s boy is perceived as being unrelenting in his willingness to appease his mother at all costs, even at the expense of his romantic relationship. A relationship that can suffer when unnecessary competition for said mama’s boy’s time and affection is spurred between the woman who birthed him and his significant other.  This is but one of many stigmas mama’s boys have to contend with.  But as a proud, full on daddy’s girl, I only recently thought about how that label, regardless of it being self-imposed, has impacted my interactions with men when it comes to dating and relationships.

I am not so sure that being a daddy’s girl carries the same kind of weight or negative connotations as that of a mama’s boy.  The worst assumptions I’ve heard about being a daddy’s girl usually portend to financial matters.  There’s a belief that daddy’s girls are spoiled, give-me-everything-I-want children who never had to work for what they want or lift a finger because they were angels or princesses in the eyes of their fathers.  (Apparently the gold digger label gets thrown on us at a young age).  To me, being a daddy’s girl simply means that I’m close to my father and that we share a special and deep bond.  We may not talk about any and everything under the sun, but he encourages both my independence and desire to follow my dreams in a way that only a father can.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for him.

On the flip side, the biggest impediment to being a daddy’s girl is that I’m picky with the men I allow in my life.  Perhaps to a fault, if you ask my friends.  I don’t knowingly or automatically compare the men I date to my father because Lord knows I’m not looking for a paternal relationship of the Woody Allen kind.  But my dad has been a tremendous example of what a real man is – honest and dependable, hardworking, and emotionally supportive.  The list goes on and on.  Needless to say, father set the bar rather high. Consequently, I have certain expectations, and little patience (especially the older I get) for men who lack basic common sense and decency.  Real men lead by example and if your example is showing me that you’re not a man of your word; that you can’t put forth sincere effort into getting to know me, then I have one word for you: next!

To my recollection, I’ve only introduced two men to my father: one he met in person, the other, we spoke about while that man and I were dating.  My mother also met and heard about these men as well. Despite my daddy’s girl status, she and I talk more frequently about my dating life than my father and I do.  My mom kind of passes along the information she deems worthy and shareable to my dad.  I’ve never asked my father directly, but because he still sees me as his little girl, part of me thinks it might be tough for him to hear about all I go through in the search for a companion.  If I have little patience for these dudes out here, his would be at zero if he heard all of my dating stories.

If being a daddy’s girl has taught me anything, it’s the positive impact that having a strong male figure has had in my life.  It’s not something I consciously think about on a regular basis, but I’m grateful for my father’s presence and for showing me what a healthy, loving relationship looks like.  That’s not all on my dad, of course.  My mother is equally responsible for the rich vision I have of the life that two committed people with love and understanding for one another can achieve together.  Just as mothers and their sons are known to share a certain bond, so to do fathers and daughters. And while it’s not always applauded or appreciated, I’m proud to call myself a daddy’s girl.

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