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Daddy Issues. What does it really mean?

Who came up with this term? It is not entirely clear, however, it has been related to problematic childhood issues with fathers. It is based on Freudian and Oedipus complex, but is not a diagnosis or a valid theory. This term gets tossed around a lot.

Father and daughter
Father checking daughter's temperature

People use "daddy issues" when they are relating it to the relationship that a father and his daughter has, that has negatively affected her. So, she leans on a man to seek a relationship that she never had with her father.

When a girl does not have a father figure in her life growing up, she could have issues with attachment. This could lead to an insecure attachment style later on in life.

Common daddy issues are-

  • Having a hard time trusting men and may even "screen them."

  • Being attracted to emotionally unavailable/Narcissistic men

  • She never feels it's the right relationship unless she is feeling insecure

  • Excessive and suspicious jealous

  • Overly flirtatious with other men to get their attention (Needing validation from other men)

  • Goes through feelings of abandonment

  • Constantly testing her partner's love

  • Uncomfortable with her partner having female friends

  • Can't commit to a relationship, or commits eagerly and very quickly

  • Expects a man to create "happiness" for her and take care of her financially

  • Breakups are the worst because while the average person can move on...she can't

  • Uses sex to get attention or affirm her self worth

  • It can be hard for her to remain single

  • She likes or prefers older men

  • Her dad was not around or present. She never fully felt loved, truly connected, or emotionally attached to him

Most little girls want to impress their fathers. They want their fathers to think that they are amazing as their fathers seem to be in their eyes. Their dad could be the first person a little girl says, "I love you" to.

Can daddy issues be treated?

Reconciling childhood experiences and forging a way forward to deal with insecurities is one way of working through issues around abandonment, abuse, neglect, absenteeism, e.t.c.

A qualified therapist should be able to help with working through and improving emotional regulation, assessing and identifying how it impacts a client's current relationship, and help make changes to those behaviors.

What do you think? Do you or anyone you know have struggles with "daddy issues?"

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Jul 10
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Jul 06
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My therapist says I have an attachment disorder from the void created by my father and so I latch onto my boyfriend like he's my everything. I don't know about that....


Jul 02
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Daddy issues


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