If you have ever watched a movie or read about pop culture psychology, you have probably encountered the phrase, “girl with daddy issues.” While this phrase is fairly offensive and encompasses a gender stereotype, there is some truth to it. Guys often use “daddy issues” to describe a woman who is promiscuous or who has trust problems related to men.
In reality, promiscuity is not linked to daddy issues. For our species to evolve, some people had to like having sex and want to procreate. This is a normal biological desire, and is not actually where “daddy issues” came from. Originally, the start of the daddy issues story came from Carl Jung. He created a theory called the Electra Complex. Years before, Sigmund Freud had hypothesized that men were secretly attracted to their mothers and rivals with their father for their mother’s affection.
Carl Jung believed that this same type of situation worked in reverse. He thought that women would compete with their mother for the attention of their father. Over the years, the Electra Complex has been used to justify a woman’s desire to seek attention from men as a replacement for her father’s attention. In popular culture, the original term stopped being used and “daddy issues” became the most common term for the phenomenon.
How Do You Know If a Girl Has Daddy Issues?
If you have never dated a girl with daddy issues before, then you not be sure how to tell if your new partner fits the description. The following signs are commonly thought of as indications that a girl has daddy issues. Like any stereotype, these may or may not be true in every case, but they can serve as a general guideline.
1. Excessive Friendliness Toward Men
Women with daddy issues, according to the Electra Complex, are trying to replace their father’s affection. With this in mind, they have a subconscious desire to be around men and get their attention. Often, they will respond differently toward men and women. While she may be aloof toward women, she will seem friendly, warm and likable to men.
2. Sexual Aggression
For a woman with daddy issues, sex is a way to be validated and to get a man to like her. They are more likely to place a higher value on sex as a way to get attention from the opposite gender and win your affection.
3. Older Men
In extreme cases, the woman may even try to date men who are old enough to be a replacement father figure. While some women and men fall in love despite their age difference, other ladies fall in love with an older man because it is someone whose mannerisms, looks or something else remind her of her father.
Because of how the woman views relationships with men, she will need to feel validated and appreciated by a man to be happy. This can end up seeming clingy at times. It will seem like she is begging for attention and needs to be around you constantly. Unfortunately, this approach tends to appear desperate or needy, so it does not always get her the attention that she craves.
5. She Seems Defensive
Since she needs to be appreciated and cared for by a man to feel whole, she will feel threatened if there is any possibility of losing you. Instead of you leaving her, she may start a fight or end the relationship as a preventative measure so that she is not the one who is hurt.
Should You Date Someone With Daddy Issues?
The answer to this depends on what you want from your relationship. Many of the women who have daddy issues are in pain and felt unloved a child. If you cannot handle that, then leave—she has already been hurt enough by men. If you can hang around and love her, then stay. She will gradually learn that she can trust you and that you love her, and this will help to heal the past over time.
Dating a Girl With Daddy Issues
If you are dating a girl with daddy issues, then you should generally follow the normal rules for being a good boyfriend. She has issues, but you know where they come from and can learn how to handle them. Be open and honest with her because hiding information will only make her defensive. Plus, honesty is the foundation for all good relationships.
1. Be Consistent
She needs attention, and she will remember if you normally text her at night. If you suddenly forget to respond to her text, you will regret it. You need to give her a consistent amount of attention for her to be happy. If your attentiveness suddenly drops, she will wonder what went wrong.
2. Work to Gain Her Trust
It may be hard to get her to trust you at first because the key man in her childhood did not deserve her trust. Take your time and be patient. Before long, she will gradually start to trust you.
3. She May Overcompensate
She will always try to be the person that you need and will give you her all. She wants your affection, and she may go to great lengths to try to win it.
4. She May Make the First Move After a Break Up
After a break up, she may go after you again after she realizes what she lost. If you decide to date someone else, that may also trigger her to go after you again to re-win your affection.
5. You Won’t Meet the Family Right Away
A girl with daddy issues probably has a complicated relationship with her mother as well. While you will surely find out about the intricacies of the relationship later on, you will most likely not meet her mother until you have been with your girlfriend for a long time.
6. People Pleasing
It makes sense that someone who lacked love and attention as a child would want to replace it as an adult. She will be a natural people pleaser. In your relationship, this can mean that you tend to get your way because she wants you to be happy and make her feel needed.
7. You May Be Tested
Someone failed her before, so she needs to make sure that it won’t happen again. This means that she may test you over and over again to figure out if you really care about her.
8. She May Be a Flirt
While she may or may not want to follow through, there is a decent chance that she will flirt with other men. This is just because she needs to be validated to feel whole. If you give her enough attention, then she may tone this flirting down.
9. Sex May Be Soon
In keeping with a need for validation, she may sleep with you on the first date or sooner than you expected. Sex is a bargaining chip and a way to win love, so she may feel like it will seal her future.
10. She May Push You Away
Until she finds out that she can trust you, she may push you away or keep you from getting too close. She may even reject you just to see if you care about her enough to fight for her.