I've never had a very strong relationship with my father. Because of it, I feel as though I am looking for a father figure in a romantic parter. I am just concerned that this is not normal, so how do I accept it and live my life?
Growing up, my father never spent time with me. He came from Greece, and had a very strong work ethic, little educational background and only a few dollars. He learned how to manage and operate a restaurant by learning from his uncles. So he decided to make a career out of it, working 12 hr days, every day, with the exception of christmas.
Growing up, my mom and I became very close. She was involved in everything from school to ballet to planning my birthdays and taking care of me when I was sick. She was also pretty much the man around the house as well, because my father felt all he needed to do was make the money and anything as far as house cleaning, repairing, or just picking up after himself was something he was not going to subject himself to.
He never supported me with school, ever. For instance in highscool, if I was studying he thought nothing of blasting the tv, even when i asked him to turn it down. When I made the national honor society, he thought it was just a joke, like he was too good to be there at the induction ceremony. He would rarely show that he was proud, but would give me money instead. He would just give me a $20 and just call it a day. Now that I am in college, he still puts me down that I changed majors and didnt graduate in 4 yrs (and will try to compare me to someone) and that I am stupid that I didn't know exactly what I wanted. I'm actually very intelligent, and one day would like to become a dietican.
I also think his ethnicity as a lot to do with things that upset me. I would always worry when I brought friends around b/c if one little thing set him off he would start cussing and embarrass me. Or if I had a little blonde moment he would call me stupid or a******. But I know Greek men have their tempers, and i guess him working in a kitchen for the majority of his life has enabled him to perfect his degrading, filthy mouth.
My father is also very lazy, so lazy that --to this day-- walks around the house naked when it's time to take a shower or walk from the shower to his room because he doesnt feel like covering up (oh, im sorry he does cover his genitals with his hand). My mom and I have yelled and even embarrsed him in front of his mother about this, but he still does it anyway. Now his new thing is peeing in the bathroom sink, not the toilet.
Deep down my father is a good man. He is kind to others and generous, but he still messed up. As a result, I have failed to have a normal relationship with this man. As a family, we have tried to address these issues but he doesnt take it seriously.
So now I am 23 and just got out of a 4 yr relationship b/c he was just too immature, joked 24/7 and lacked the kind of leadership/masculine role I need.
I spend a lot of my free time working out, and so I meet a lot of people there especially guys who are in their 40s. There's something about a 30 - 40 yr old man that is very attractive, personality and the way they carry themselves. Unfortunately, most gym guys are there only to "hook up."
So I wonder if any older guy, say 30+ would take a 23 yr old like me seriously. I dont want to get myself hurt b/c I suppose I am very vulnerable to an older man, considering me and dad's relationship. I wonder if older guys, who are single, are just looking for girls like me who are vunerable and want to take advantage of them. I'm confused and the dating world can be a scary place. I'm actually pretty afraid of starting a new relationship at this point and wondering if it will be possible.
I certainly understand how you feel. The dating world is a scary place especially when there are so many mind games involved.
My relationship with my dad is similar to you, although not quite as extreme as the way you described yours. Whenever I needed my dad to be a father, he would always disappoint me. Because of that I had to grow up pretty quickly. I think it's similar in your case. I think it's because of the way you were brought up, you became very mature at an early age. That's why you find older men more attractive. To answer your 1st question, I don't think your attraction to these men is unhealthy or abnormal.
As for your second concern; having a relationship is risky in general. Everyone is afraid of getting hurt one way or another. Whether they are 20 something or 30 something, there's bound to be a few bad apples in the basket. I know it will sound corny but you just got to go with what you feel/think is right. Have confidence in yourself and have faith that you will find that special someone.
I appreciate you advice and kindness. It really helps to know that I am not the only person with this experience.
It just makes it really hard to accept my dad most of the time. Although he never hit me or my mom, he would cuss her out over something stupid and make a scene. But my mom was a strong woman; she always stood her ground and never took any s***, and I always took her side because he had no right to act the way he did.
My mom said until he really started in the restaurant business, he never acted like that. But you still have to be your own person; however, I guess it was hard for my dad to b/c he didnt have a choice as far as a career path; he had to make money with having little if any education and money became his priority. But it doesnt take money to love and respect your family; however, I realized that through all of these years he has tried to buy my love. I guess he knows no other way.
Friends of mine would always say how lucky I was, having the best birthday parties, so many gifts as christmas etc but at christmas my dad was always so tired from getting home at 4am from work that he was asleep while mom and i opened up gifts.
It just frustrates me that I could never have a normal life. We never had meals together as a family, had movie night, or could go to a restaurant like a normal family w/o my dad saying the place was no good and his food was always better.
It really distorts the way I see marriage, and maybe thats why I am afraid to have a relationship. But to me, there is nothing better than the nice attention I get from older guys. However, I started dating 2 guys at the gym before and they turned out being jerks. The both seemed very normal, had their s*** together, but a lot of times they will just tell u want u want to hear and now I am starting to put up my guard. I found out these two men were abused as children and most of their life by their fathers, so you really dont know if thats how they would treat a girl they were dating, especially a younger girl in my predictment.