How is your relationship with your dad?
If it's great, you should embrace it as much as you can. But if it's not, this blog is for you.
So today, I want to talk about the importance of father-daughter relationships and how they could affect your life as I share my story.
I hope it gives you a better understanding and different perspective on a relationship with your dad and inspires you to take a step.
My Relationship with My Dad
When I was a kid, I longed for a loving and caring dad. My ideal dad was the one from the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" who does anything to protect his family. I watched the show every day, dreaming of what it would be like to have a dad like that.
My dad was nothing like that.
He rarely played with my sisters and me, involved himself in any events or activities, nor would he show any affection.
Finally, my parents separated when I was about 12 years old. My dad moved out of the house and became almost nonexistent after that.
I have, however, reached out to him a couple of times. I wanted to see him as an adult and find out what kind of person he really was. My mom kept telling us how awful a person he was even after he moved out, but I just wanted to use my own judgment.
I went in with very little exception, but even that did not materialize. My dad still wouldn't show any concern or affection. Instead, he was full of excuses and justifications. Never asked about my well-being — not even once.
The last time I saw him was more than 20 years ago. I haven't seen or talked to him since then, and I have no intention of doing anything about our relationship as of now.
Our relationship may look sad and cold to someone, but I look at it as "this is how it is," so I'm OK with it.
Of course, I've gone through many painful and heartbreaking experiences and have since come a long way to be where I am now.
The Importance of Father-Daughter Relationships
As you probably know, relationships with our parents influence our adulthood, especially romantic relationships. A Father is our first love to us as women, so you can imagine how unlovable and unwanted one would feel if her first love ended in heartbreak.
I didn't know about the importance of father-daughter relationships until I was 22. Until then, I just thought I had bad luck with men.
That year, I was visiting my family in Japan and happened to wander inside a bookstore. One of the books caught my eye. "Women's luck with men is determined by their fathers" was the title. It was so enticing that I couldn't resist buying it.
I read it that very evening. It was exactly what I expected it to be. A person who doesn't have a good relationship with her father tends to attract and get attracted to those who don't give what she deserves. Her very first love often ends in heartbreak. And even if it's not her fault, she blames herself and thinks there is something wrong with her.
The pattern forms. The pattern continues unless it's detected and broken.
I was the person in the book.
By then, I had already been with three guys who didn't care about anything but themselves. They had no respect for me and treated me like crap. I tried my best to pick one who was different, every time thinking, "This is it!" But I always ended up in the same situation — confused and hopeless.
This cycle of unhealthy relationships also affected my weight.
There were some other factors that led to my weight gain, but this was one of the reasons why I struggled with emotional eating.
I often binged after returning from a date with my boyfriend because I wouldn't eat anything when we spent time together. I was overweight and didn't want him to see me eating. I had fear and anxiety of being rejected, so binging was my anxiety reliever.
So the book showed me "the why," but "the how" was up to me.
I had noticed a shift in my thoughts. I became more mindful of my habits of blaming and thinking less of myself. I started nurturing and loving myself. I surrounded myself with people who loved and cared about me, took dance classes, journaled, and bought cute clothes that I'd never worn before — anything that made me feel good.
I eventually came to terms with my dad as well.
I realized that he was who he was, a product of his own past and upbringing, and there was nothing I could do about it. It wasn't my fault that he wanted nothing to do with me, and it wasn't my job to make a concession.
I hope my story helps you understand the importance of father-daughter relationships and inspires you to take a step to break the unhealthy mindset.
Remember, you have the power to overcome and come out strong even if things don't start as you hope for.