We’re all familiar with those idealized dads.. you know the ones you see in movies that crack corny jokes, reiterate the weather and tell you to be ready 2 hours before an event starts? You know, the ones who let their daughters paint their finger nails and use their credit cards? The dads that coach their daughter’s sports teams, interrogate their boyfriends while they are upstairs getting ready and drop any and everything for an ice cream trip? Well – I’m lucky enough to say I lived that life. My dad is that kind of dad and so, so much more.
He’s my friend, my mentor and I spent my whole childhood thinking he was superman.
Having this amazing relationship with my dad made me realize how important it is to carry myself with pride and poise. It made me realize that losing control of my emotions is the easy way out, and that crying, screaming and pouting rarely yield the desired result. It made me realize that pays to be the hardest working person in the room. But above all else, it made my life solid and secure, and to that – I attribute all my growth and success.
But then there’s dating… and when it comes to dating, let me tell you – having THE DAD of all dads sets the bar so high. It makes having any type of romantic relationship close to impossible. Why? Because you’ve been shown how a man should act and how he should conduct himself around people he cares about. I mean, let’s face it – these days, it can be hard to find someone who conducts themselves with a little bit of class.
How do you find someone who makes you feel a similar security? Someone that makes you feel respected and safe? Someone who makes it past the dreaded dad handshake?
Well, I’ve learned that all you can do is try. You can ask all the right questions – What do you do? What are your goals? Can you change a tire? Do you even have a car? You know, standard stuff.
You can go through hundreds of dates and even long-term relationships with this armor and this shielded mindset, keeping your standards on a pedestal it feels like no one can reach (and I know this from experience). But guess what? There’s absolutely no shame in that. Sure, it sometimes it can feel lonely, or downright hopeless. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the most valued relationships in your life are often the best point of comparison, or vetting process for new beginnings.
I’m not suggesting that it’s ok to (or even remotely possible to) turn away every relationship that doesn’t measure up to the “dad standard,” but I am suggesting that it’s ok to be skeptical. It’s ok to expect fireworks and understanding and above all else, reliability. It’s ok to go out to the club with your friends and be the only one who goes home alone.