As women, we know how we can be ridiculed for being fatherless. We hear so much talk about how hard it is for the fatherless woman to love and to sustain healthy relationships. “Women with no father are always insecure when dating!” Don’t we just love the stereotypes that society gives fatherless women? (sarcasm at its finest). What about the men that are fatherless? Contrary to popular belief, being fatherless doesn’t only negatively affect girls; men have daddy issues, too!
A father is to a man as Van Gogh is to an aspiring artist; he’s the blueprint. Fathers play an important role in a man’s development, or lack thereof. Men without fathers usually get their idea of what a man should be from outsiders, and these outside influences aren’t always positive i.e. “all real men lie”, something he learned from friends. He may be insecure in his ability to be a man and/or confused about what the role of a man is in a relationship if he didn’t have his father as an example; without having an example of how a man should manage his emotions, he may even be the man that ignores his feelings or has a hard time showing them.
We wanted to hear what a man would say about this, so we asked Corey, 29, from Philly, for his opinion on how being fatherless affects men in relationships and his response was supportive:
“I think having a father or lack thereof not only affects a man’s ability to successfully emulate a masculine role in a relationship, it also affects his confidence in that role. A father figure serves as a guide book for a male child, the child tends to model his behavior after the example set forth by the father figure. It also depends on the emotional intelligence of the son. If a child has a positive reinforcement in a father then it boosts his confidence and that confidence boost could also boost his sense of self worth.”
Corey mentioned that being fatherless can affect a man’s confidence in his role as a man in the relationship. Most women have experienced how difficult this is when we date “momma’s boys” who don’t know how to take their place as head of the household. So, if we choose to date these men, how do we deal with their difficult behavior? Here’s a few tips to help:
- Get him feeling confident – Make him feel confident by talking about your feelings a lot, especially when he’s made you happy. Let him know he’s doing a good job as your boyfriend, which is the reinforcement he’ll need so he can feel secure in his role.
- Find out how he expresses his feelings – Don’t be afraid to ask him if he’s uncomfortable talking about his feelings. Maybe he’s better at writing how he feels, or has specific actions that show how he feels. Make him comfortable with showing his emotional side in the best way you can, as this will make him less confusing and you’ll be on the road to understanding him better.
- Try to reverse roles – Sometimes a man won’t lead if he isn’t put in the position to. If he’s a momma’s boy, he’s used to a woman being in control, so try to be more submissive with him. Let him make important decisions, cook dinner, run the errands, handle finances, etc. This will give him more responsibility and allow him to take on more of a masculine role.
So, when dating a fatherless man, be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that he may put you through as he learns how to be a man. To be truthful, you’re doing the job that his father should’ve done a long time ago. Frederick Douglas stated, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Some men with daddy issues are broken, so try to build him with your love, sweat and tears. It won’t be easy, but if he’s a good man, it’ll always be worth it.