When the need to want to be close to dad was there, it showed up in the mates I agreed to date. I didn't seek out these men, they came to me which was quite bizarre just how much they reminded me of my dad. So for me, if there is something that I like or I found missing in my life related to my father, I tended to gravitate to it. However, as I mature, I am recognizing this and finding more healthier ways to cope since the truth is, I have no desire in the future to date any more men especially with a large age gap--five years tops! I am married now and I see my dad in some ways.
1. Skin Tone
It all started with skin tone, I personally like my own father's color, so if a guy was similar to his shade, I would be more open to talk to him then someone with a darker skin tone.
2. Occupation and Hobbies
If the man had a background that was close to my dad's like a white collar job, military service, and hobbies that reminded me of him, he also got the VIP treatment. (Mind you, at the time, I didn't knowing that my criteria in meeting someone was based on my dad's lifestyle).
I realized that most men who are older are more settled. I didn't experience any hurt growing up such as, a father who ran the streets like a young man, partied, concerned about "his boys" or acted wild. Yet, my experience with younger, unsettled men was just that. They were often uncaring and wasted money. My dad and other older men I knew didn't do this, so the age gap was a plus for me. However, I had a strict upbringing, so I felt comfortable with controlling types which caused me much heartache with one older man.
What was strange was I really wanted men who got out and explored their local areas and elsewhere, yet I kept giving many dates the pass on this who didn't get out much! I would eventually get frustrated with these men. When I reflected back, my dad didn't leave the home to do recreational activities or vacation much either.
I found that when I talked with my dates, I often over did it and I wondered why. I felt like sharing so much of myself with these men. The truth was that at home with my own father, we rarely talked and he spent much time on off days staring at a television screen. So of course, where did I find I had most of my conversations with these dates? Seated next to them while they watched TV with no eye contact. They didn't seem to care too much about what I said, just like my dad.
If you should find that there is much going on with a date that is somehow connected with father blues or daddy issues, know that the young lady really can't help herself. Her dad dropped the ball. She still has more maturing to do so that she can find someone who she likes that doesn't consciously or subsconsciously remind her of her dad. This comes with being exposed to men at work, school, church, and elsewhere. She doesn't have to date much, but she will need to establish friendships in an effort to learn what she likes or doesn't like in men while breaking the wish for having a relationship with her father. Sometimes talking with dad about issues helps quell some childhood woes too. Also, a simple hug can do wonders. But what I will not advise is taking advantage of the wish for daddy's communication, affection and more, becoming like a dad to her. That relationship will soon fizzle especially when she begins to bond with her dad.
As for the young lady, continue to learn more about yourself and your needs and when you recognize you are choosing a mate based on what you did or didn't have with a dad, think deeply and be sure it is a healthy connection.