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Why I Have a Hard Time Socializing with Men...

Another Tall Tale About Daddy Issues

How My Daddy Issues Cripple My Dating Life...

Flirting has always been a struggle for me. There are times that I'm too aggressive and times when I'm too modest. I am woman with desire, but I have difficulty showing it. I've read books on how to flirt. I've bought programs to help me understand men. Going out always feels gross to me. Men in clubs/bars are usually very aggressive and I scare easily. What usually happens is I end up falling for one of my guy friends. Most of the time I end up in the friend zone because I can't show that I'm a sexual person. Flirting can come naturally when I feel comfortable, but even then I get anxiety about what to do next. I freeze up.

Whenever I'm around a man I'm attracted to, my face turns red and my body temperature rises. There is this guy I work with. He's so attractive and he scares me to death. Any time he's near me I have to fan myself with any pile of papers I can grab. He probably thinks that I hate him, but I really can't focus around him.

I'm a social person. It's not hard for me to get comfortable with people and get to know them. Then all of a sudden, some blue-eyed silent type comes by and I fall to pieces like a school girl.

I mean if we really got down to the root of it we could probably trace it to my father somehow. (Let's see if those psychology classes helped out.)

My father. Yeah, that's an interesting conversation. My dad was your typical angry, middle-aged white guy. (IRS, taxation is theft, why do gays need to get married, etc.) I should probably mention that he was a political activist. So I was taken care of but I wasn't given enough affection. My dad never hit me, but I was always scared of him. When my father was alive, he was angry about 70 percent of the time. Once he screamed (and I mean SCREAMED) at me for finishing the last of the orange juice.

Let's jump into what it means to have "Daddy Issues."

My best friend once told me a definition:

"When your own father doesn't make you feel like you're enough then you go out into the world not knowing how to men are supposed to treat you."

When she told me this definition, it hit me hard. That's exactly what Daddy issues are.

Having emotionally immature parents makes it hard to navigate adulthood. Children need to be emotionally supported. They need to feel safe. As I've gotten older, I've realized that I have very little compassion for my family. I've never felt like I could confide in them because they would always give me a negative reaction. So I have felt alone for a very long time.

I grew up with the philosophy of "take responsibility for who you are." Which is a good moral to stand by, but it also creates a mental blindspot. The more I stood by that morale the less I was able to find the root of my insecurities. Fortunately, college and life experiences have opened my eyes. Slowly I have been able to pick myself up and learn who I am.

I want to be in a relationship, but I also want to feel safe. I can't do that if I don't feel safe when I'm by myself...

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