Scrolling through the Twittersphere this morning, I came across a series of tweets brought back memories and some realisations. Someone was tweeting about the effect her relationship with her father had on her romantic relationships with the men in her life. She spoke of how much effort her father made for her and her family to live comfortably, how he was there to sacrifice and provide for them and that although she never grew up rich, they were always comfortable. This is something that is rare in the majority of our country.
She spoke of how she always looked up to her father and would consciously or unconsciously compare her boyfriend at the time to her father. She never witnessed any fights between her parents, to her, they never argued and she thought they had the perfect family. This of course led to her not being able to deal with any type of conflict and as soon as any problems would pop up in her relationship, she would bolt for the nearest exit, afraid to fight it out.
This reflection made me think of my own life. I’ve always been close with my father; we’re often told we have similar traits and ways of dealing with things. I have many awesome memories of our childhood and the fun we had on Saturday mornings after dropping my mom off at work in the CBD. We would go out for breakfast, and then stroll through flea markets where he would buy me random, pretty things, he fussed over me and still fusses over me, except once you’re an adult, it’s more annoying than cute. However still to this day, I’ll admit I’m somewhat of a “Daddy’s Girl”.
I’ve realised that I made comparisons between my boyfriends and my father in the past and even at present. I would constantly compare the effort made and the manner in which things were done, often unfairly as no one had the same upbringing and childhood (unless of course you’re siblings). This is only natural I guess, as your father is the first male presence in your life as child, (I realise this is not always the case for some). Generally the perception of who males are and what their roles are in society is shaped by what you see and experience from having your father around, this is how you perceive men to always be when you’re young.
My father was and still is, to me a fine example of the typical doting dad and family man. He has his flaws and failings, but he takes his role in the home and workplace very seriously and I will always look up to him for that. However I have come to realise that I cannot expect the exact same treatment from the guys I date. Sure there are certain values and morals that I refuse to compromise on but they cannot and will not be exactly like my father. There are traits and quirks that set them apart, ways of doing things, as well as how they show their love.
I suppose the sooner I make peace with this and learn to accept and appreciate the differences; perhaps I will open myself to new experiences and a fresh perspective on love.
SG – A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way. – Anonymous