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ΑρχικήEnglish EditionNo, its not a trend; The sad and dark reality of daddy...

No, its not a trend; The sad and dark reality of daddy issues

By Maria Koulourioti,

It is no secret that a vast and vague wave of glamorizing and social climbing is, unfortunately, promoting mental illnesses or absences as a personality trait, even though it portrays a lack of personality. For instance, as I have had an explosion of cases in my entourage, a physical or mental absence of parental figures affects in a major way one’s personality, even to development of a persona. We ought to know the difference, however, and the importance of such an event. It is continuous, traumatizing, and dark. It has no business being “advertised” in a careless manner.

The cases that should be examined by a professional or someone who is linked to providing psychological aid. Should fit into these categories. First of all, physical and mental abuse should be placed at the foundation of this behavioral problem. In continuity, being overly controlling and manipulative has a serious effect and could result in any child’s reckless behavior. Examples of absent fathers are also significant to mention, who may not be physically present in the family or are even deceased. Those who yet try to provide emotional support when needed but are unable to due to work-related issues do not deserve to be on this list, as hurtful as it may sound. It is a distinction, however, between working long hours to provide and working towards personal goals to build a career while not working to keep a family together. And lastly, father figures that battle with their illnesses and troubles, such as those who struggle with mental illness or drug misuse.

We see this technique marketed more effectively towards women. To the confused individuals, it is not a race, but some cases should not be in the same sentence, like physical abuse or loss next to “I didn΄t get the newest popular item”. For some pop culture references, no, you are not Iris (Jodie Foster) from Taxi Driver, or Erica (Sami Gayle) from Detachment. No matter how much the film industry and media try to glamorize it, taking a liking to older people is not necessarily an effect of daddy issues. This would be invalid, linking a preference to a psychological issue, like associating homosexuality with mental trouble. See how irrational it sounds? Even though the scenario is not always false, one tries to replace the lost or stolen affection.

Image source: Sara Mac

On the other hand, because of this absence, some people find that men who remind them of their fathers are both attractive and repulsive, less than an Oidepus-Elektra complex, and more like a “patch up the wound” situation. They may punish them by standing in like their abuser, hence being horrified by their sexuality with them. Alternatively, they may subconsciously follow them and push them away if they approach too closely. People may repeat toxic relationship behaviors in an attempt to “fix” a bad relationship they had in the past. If someone has experienced sexual abuse at the hands of their father or stepfather, there may be a more sinister problem at hand, an avoidance or sabotage complex in dating in general,  older guys in particular. At last, there are always two ends to the extreme, and could you guess the alternative? Self-objectification and hyper-sexuality.

In all clarity, and contrast to the whole being attracted to older men problematic, there could be some signs to better portray the effects of the father complex. Such as a love/hate connection with your father, as well as several challenges related to trust. Then, fear of becoming close to someone sexually, a preference for emotionally distant relationships to avoid having to open up too much, serial monogamy or frequent breakups that you start, or any combination of these can undermine successful partnerships.

Most people and sites will tell you to talk to a professional. If anything, it is the obvious key to most mental troubles. However, in my personal view, and not trying to raise any cynical remarks, sessions cannot replace a lifelong parental need. I firmly believe it is up to the individual, to obtain the spiritual means and discover the way to be in peace with themselves. They cannot run and hide forever, and the thoughts are always there, since parents often come out on forums and social media, telling how they are happy that they can give their kids a proper childhood, and momentarily become jealous of them, instinctively, at a glimpse between them and their own experience. Maturity, most of all, aids you to realize that time permitted, you can re-define not who you are, but who you want to be: yourself, or a forever hurt child?

  • Winter, C. (2023). Daddy Issues: Meaning, Types, Signs, And How To Deal With Them. A Conscious Rethink. Available here



Maria Koulourioti
Maria Koulourioti
She was born in Athens in 2003. She is currently studying in the department of International and European Studies at the University of Piraeus. She speaks fluently English and French. She has had a passion for writing ever since publishing short essays for the local journal. She is also studying theater and opts to create her own plays. In her spare time, she practices the piano and ballet. Her other interests include the fine arts, volunteering, and debate. Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, and Hans Zimmer are some of the figures that inspire her.