Home Fatherhood Does a Woman’s Relationship with Her Father Affect Her Relationships?

Does a Woman’s Relationship with Her Father Affect Her Relationships?



With Father’s Day coming up this week, there are a lot of questions floating around the web about what makes a good or bad father. I was recently asked if a woman’s relationship with her father factors into whether a man will date/marry her. Like most relationship-based questions, it’s complicated. While a woman’s relationship with her father might or might not have any impact on romantic relationships, generally speaking, women have three types of relationships with their fathers.


As the name suggests, some women are fortunate enough to be blessed with the “Cosby Show” (or Fresh Prince or *insert other TV show of your generation here*) lifestyle. These women are usually the product of a two-parent home, where their family engaged in made-for-TV like experiences where everyone always seemed to be laughing, and life-lessons came in the form of memorable, heartfelt episodes that ended with far more smiles than tears. When you ask a woman like this to name a “bad experience” she had with her father, she has to get back to you later. This isn’t a bad thing. I wish all women (and men) had this type of relationship with their fathers, but…read more.

Fellas, has a woman’s relationship with her father (or lack thereof) ever effected your relationship? Ladies, has a man’s relationship with his mother (or lack thereof) ever impacted your relationship?

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  1. Yes, yes, and yes.
    My mother grew up without her father though he always acknowledged her as one of his own.
    My grandfather loving and caring as he was, was quite the rolling stone; staying long enough in several women's lives to see a child or children born before on to the next one.
    I think her childhood anger at his philandering ways caused her to not trust men and see them purely as objects whose value was matched to the size of their salary. Because my grandfather never financially provided her number one priority in her husbands has been their financial value, and sadly only that. I cannot speak for every woman who has not had a present father, but the resulting impact on my mother was a distrustful, miserly, semi-goldiging, cold person.
    This attitude of hers while not doubt having been influenced by many events over her life time, is at least 50% rooted in her lack of a present father.
    She was with my father when he was flying high, shopping at the finest stores and living in the best neighborhoods. When he fell on hard times she kicked him to the curb and cleaned him out during the divorce. I will admit he made several mistakes (though adultery thankfully was not one of them) but the minute the checks stopped coming in is the very point when their relationship started going south.
    With her current husband they are in the midst of separation and looming divorce. He as well had a cushy job and while he was ballin she was by his side. His latest business venture is panning out as hoped and within a few years she has grown icy and cold. He still provides though not at the level he used to, and has made him to seem the villain when the man did nothing but love her and look out for her.
    Even though I love my mom dearly I know this is not normal behaviour. She treats my brother and I as investments and is for the most part affectionate.
    Like I said though I cannot speak for every case, not having her father around has made her much the way she is now.
    From growing in her presence I know never to date a woman who comes from a broken family.

  2. it was something i hadnt thought too much about until it became extremely obvious. My ex’s fear was ending up with a man like her father, who i was nothing like but problems arose when we moved in together. She didn’t like being “told” what to do, but wasn’t necessarily just seeing what needed to be done and doing it herself. An internal tug of war within herself, do i really want to defer to this man, is he worthy? Soon thereafter she would take more notice of my flaws, highlight them and build her case not to respect me and it was curtains from there.

    1. One thing I noticed was you said ya'll moved in together… *pause*

      I'm from the South and raised from both parents, my Dad would NOT like me moving in with someone prior to engagement/marriage. Just not happening. (I know I'm old-schooled!) I know that's the new trend lately, but already that should have said something. How her Dad felt about ya'll shacking up, and whether or not he had a talk with you beforehand on your intentions. Sorry it didn't work out, but at least you have more knowledge and experience for next time.

      And yes, Dad/Father Figures are very important in women. A noticeable difference amongst my friends that have had good relations compared with bad. Not saying good or bad, just a difference in how they approach men and whatnot.

      1. her father was an…..interesting…character, he himself wasnt doing much so he couldnt argue that i provided a much better alternative than at home, but yeah father figures establish her early interactions with men, whether its what type of man she covets or has no time for

  3. One thing I've noticed in both a positive and negative light is that women often compare me to their fathers. And that's not a bad thing in itself, but when you're trying to guess my next move based on your father's (or any other man's for that matter) previous move, Stop. Please.

    Just let me be me. Let me do things my way. If I'm wrong, hopefully I (we) can grow from it. Hopefully I'll be right more often than I'm wrong, or at least with the big decisions about my life. But if I'm not allowed to try and fail its probably going to leave a bitter taste in my mouth regarding the whole thing.

  4. Yes both ways.

    I grew up with my mom and she never said anything negative about my father. It taught me to form my own decisions about him and taught me a lot about understanding. He could never win a "Father of the Year" award, but I understand his circumstances and am at peace with it. I have never compared a man or boyfriend to my father because I didn't have that reference but I was fortunate to have great uncles that demonstrated what a man is and how a family unit works. My mom did a hell of a job instilling worth and relationship values in me.

    My fiance was raised by his mom and she bounced around from man to man with him in tow. As a child, I saw him lash out and he had a hard time committing and trusting women as a result. It was a hurdle that almost tore us a part several times, but we both made conscious decisions not to be our parents and to break the cycle of hurt.

  5. A woman's relationship with her father or lack of one sometimes affects her relationship with men. They go through a phase of not trusting men[the men aint sheit phase] or looking for love in the wrong men[the why can't i find a good man phase]. But then even the women with a good father in their lives end up with the wrong man or doing twerking vids smh. It depends on the individual and how they were raised. A father is a girls first example of what a man is supposed to be and how she is supposed to be treated. at the same time we don't have to be like our parents and can break the cycle and create a better example for our kids/ future kids.

    1. I think people assume a woman has a positive relationship with her father simply because he's in the picture. Being in the picture is only the first step, having a healthy relationship is the next and even then your daughter will eventually have to make her own choices which will be based on her self-esteem and what she wants.

      1. This. People think that just because my dad is a good father that he's an example of what I would want as a husband but nooo, he's just a good dad, that's it. Other than that he's a terrible person.

  6. Yea most definitely. I have dated women who are on both sides of the spectrum. The one that grew up without her father resented him but had a natural disrespect for men. The whole "yea ill play along in this relationship, but i know you will end up the same way as most guys." Now that i think about it, its weird the way she intertwined how her father was never there, to how most men are or will be. Those are not synonymous to me, but i digress. Anyways DOE lol my last ex of course did nothing but compare me to how her father is. It was expected of me to do the same things he did for her mom which is respectable, but Im not here to mirror another man.

  7. Yes, I made sure the men I dated were the complete opposite of my father. I never wanted to end up with a guy like him. He had the nerve to be mad when I told him that. I just told him if he was a better man his daughters would want a man like him. He's still mad about that. lol

  8. Man…. Yes , Si!, Ah yeah etc etc… I have caught myself giving more effort than the law should allow when courting or now co-parenting with a woman who did not have the male father figure. And to add, my child's mother had a strong willed , independent minded mother who gave her everything (spoiled). So many issues but they have been previously addressed in posts above so I won't beat the horse.
    But not mentioned and was how it could affect parenting. She did not experience a daddy's girl type of relationship ,and has not been the most understanding or empathetic when partaking in our daughter and I's relationship. I attempt to have daddy /daughter time but she tends to to act out or intrude as if she is being left out. Kind of juvenile really but none the less I asked her why and well as admitted

  9. absolutely, I have known women to even say " I see men through my father". It's tough too because if they have a father, someone upstanding, money maker, provider, protector, and an all out man's man they're more than likely will want that from any potential suitors and it will be tough to replicate that. If a woman grew up with an inept father, you will suffer the same as well, because you may get a lot of the backlash for the things her father may have done or not done for her. So all in all it's not easy especially if you are measured up to the standards or lack there of from her father. I'm only talking in experience from what I've seen and went through.
    My recent post If You Like It Then You Should Put A Ring On It – Not So Fast, Is She Worth It?

  10. Anyone who can sit here and say that this topic “is getting old” clearly does not possess the understanding of how deeply rooted the issue is for both men and women. The topic of the absent father can never be old when fatherless homes are steadily increasing, higher in most Black and Latino households than ever; and just as the young man stated earlier for some people it is the hardest thing to get over that first rejection. A father is supposed to teach a man how to be a man and a woman to find value in herself, and although mothers and family members do a great job in filling the void and supplying love, as a child grows older they will always wonder why their father didn’t love them enough to be in their lives. There’s a great documentary on Netflix called Absent addressing this issue, I hope some of you will check it out.


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