Growing up with your dad beside you is a privilege that many people are deprived of. No one can deny that growing up in a complete and emotionally healthy family is a wonderful gift.

“Do I have daddy issues?” Daddy issues are associated with people who are having difficulties creating secure attachments in adult relationships. Daddy issues could develop if you grew up without a father or lived with a dysfunctional one. 

This is not a serious mental health condition. However, this term is used to put down women in their romantic relationships, or even men assumed to act like their father. This concept is often misinterpreted and misused. This applies to all adults who had dysfunctional relationships with their childhood caregivers.    

Daddy Issues and Its Origin

There is no certainty as to how the term daddy issues came about. But the concept started with Freud’s father complex.

The Father complex describes a person with unconscious impulses because of a deprived relationship with the father. These impulses can either be positive or negative. A negative impulse towards a partner could be fear or distrust, while a positive impulse could be admiration towards the partner.

A Father complex is when a daughter develops unhealthy relationships with other men who care for her. The brain recreates your relationship with your father as a way of trying to fix the broken relationship.   

A similar theory surfaced called the Oedipus complex. This theory explains that children are subconsciously attracted to the opposite sex parent.

Signs that You Might Have Daddy Issues

It is time to look at the possible signs if you have daddy issues. The indicators are listed below:

You Are Interested in Much Older Men

If you grew up with a dysfunctional father or without one, you subconsciously desire someone who can protect and adore you, like your dad.

You think they can provide the lack of affection you missed growing up. Older men are more stable financially and have a more settled lifestyle.

You Are Clingy, Possessive, And Protective

If you are continually anxious that your partner will leave you, you can be very clingy, possessive, and even protective of them. You have developed an anxious attachment style because of the relationship you had with your caregivers in childhood.

You can be very irritable. You always check their phones if they are cheating. You could also be worried if they frequently come home late.

This anxious behavior could suffocate your relationship and leave you abandoned. You wouldn’t want to feel abandoned again.

You Consistently Demand Assurance of Love 

If you grew up developing insecurities, you would consistently seek assurance from your partner about their feelings for you. You tend to compare yourself with your partner’s exes.

Again, this can be suffocating for your partner. Aside from being abandoned, you will also feel unloved and unnecessary.  

You Constantly Love Abusive Partners

You have that subconscious desire to fix your broken relationship with your estranged father. Because of this, you are unconsciously attracted to self-absorbed and abusive partners.

Their attitude represents your father, the person you badly want to please.  

You Seem to Want So Much Sex

You think that sex is the only way you can keep your partner. You build your self-esteem through regular sexual interactions with them.

The feeling of love through sex is like a band-aid to cover the wounds. Sex covers up your emotional wounds. You know you are struggling with attachment issues; you cover it up to feel good about yourself.

If this is the kind of love that you have now, there is no doubt that you will get hurt in the long run.   

You Don’t Want to Be Alone

You are never single, so you ask yourself, “Do I  have daddy issues”? You are jumping from one romantic relationship to another without pause. You don’t care whether you end up with an upright or abusive partner.

If this is the kind of love you desire, you will never discover your unique character. You can never have a healthy and promising relationship.

You Are Aware You Have Daddy Issues

“Do I have daddy issues?” You have to be honest about your relationship with your father. Answer these questions honestly:

  • Did you grow up fatherless? 
  • Have you lived with an abusive father? 
  • Do you have a father figure who is mentally unstable or emotionally unattached?

If your answer is yes to any of the questions, you may have attachment issues that need to be addressed. 

Types of Fathers

There are different types of fathers who are the cause of their daughters’ childhood trauma and adult relationship issues.

The Emotionally Unavailable Father

They are physically present at home but are emotionally unavailable to their daughters. The child feels incomplete and abandoned despite having a parent who is physically available.

The Abusive and Violent Father

They mistreat their daughters because of their impulsive, hot-tempered, and unstable emotional and mental state. Children living with this kind of father grow up struggling with mental health problems.

The Pampering and Indulging Father

Children from this type of father are spoiled and over-indulged. Their father gives them a lot of attention and love. Growing up spoiled, the daughter would want to be treated the same way. 

She will look for a partner who will treat her like a queen. Most daughters end up with older boyfriends who are financially capable of providing the lavish life they think they deserve.

The Toxic and Controlling Father

Have you heard of helicopter parenting? This type of parenting is when parents focus extremely on their children’s activities and decisions. 

These parents are excessively involved in their children’s lives and shielding them from disappointments. Daughters growing up from this kind of parenting often seek very dominating partners.

The Ruined and Dependent Father

These are fathers who are dependent on their daughters for their everyday survival. Caring for a dad who is not working can result in children with low self-esteem. They grow up easily manipulated or exploited by men for sexual or financial means.

The Anguished and Distressed Father

In normal conditions, daughters look up to their fathers with admiration. So, when fathers begin to disappoint their daughters constantly, there is a big possibility that daughters will grow up with daddy issues.

The daughter will grow up rebellious and could entertain suicidal thoughts. They are interested in unprotected sex, drugs, and addiction.

Types of Daddy Issues

Individuals with daddy issues develop insecure attachment styles toward their parents. Insecure attachment results when caregivers are unresponsive to the child’s needs.

Insecure attachment can be subcategorized into the following:


These individuals are very clingy and anxious. They are unsettled because their partner may leave them.


These individuals have trust issues. They are afraid to get hurt because they trust and depend on someone.


These individuals are fearful and worried about intimacy. They avoid being close to anyone. When faced with difficulties, they prefer to run away.

If you are unaware of the medically correct concept of insecure attachment, you could easily ask yourself, “Do I have daddy issues?”

Who Has Daddy Issues?

Everyone can have daddy issues. When individuals are in romantic relationships, they tend to be clingy, protective and seek constant love affirmation. This is but normal in any relationship.

What is abnormal is when it starts to disrupt and suffocate your relationship.

How Do You Choose a Partner?

Growing up, you dreamt of the person you wanted to spend your life with. Often, you want a person who has similar characteristics as your parents. Even if you grow up in a happy or troubled family, you are still inclined to have relationships that you are familiar with.

The kind of relationship you experienced growing up is considered your comfort zone regardless if it is traumatic or not. You are more likely to look for a partner that could give you the same kind of relationship.

Some individuals, who grew up thirsty for their parents’ love, tend to treat their romantic relationships like this. They hope that they can eventually form a bond of love with their parents.

Daddy Issues and Sexuality

Many fathers are unavailable emotionally, can be abusive or absent. Children with less involved fathers develop poorly. They have unstable development, which could result from increasing sexual activities.

Males, who are not exposed to father figures growing up, will have insecurities toward their masculinity. Their insecurities can make them avoid dating or sex altogether. They can even exhibit aggressive behaviors, or worse, become sexual predators.

What Can Be Done?

It’s about time you think about all the relationships you had. Are you mostly happy or, do you constantly end up in unhealthy relationships?

Look at the different couples you see. How are their relationships different from yours? If you have close friends who have healthy relationships, ask for their advice.

If your partner is willing to help you resolve your daddy issues, you can both get couples therapy. The goal of the therapy is to resolve underlying conflicts and come up with concrete solutions to the problem.

It is about time you think about having a better love life. Doing this alone is not going to be easy. You should seek professional help to be able to move forward and not look back.

Final Thoughts

Love should be a two-way street. You love the person, and the person loves you back without any conditions. You should first learn to love yourself and set personal goals.

Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) is here to help you resolve your daddy issues. They will guide you in looking for a partner that is fit and perfect for you.

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