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Men and Dating: 5 Lessons I Learned from My Dad

Men and Dating: 5 Lessons I Learned from My Dad

With Father’s Day coming up it’s time to give dad thanks, recount memories, or reflect on the relationship that you wish existed. If you have a relationship with your dad or a father figure then you know that as an adult, daddy doesn’t always know exactly what to say to his little girl turned grown woman. That’s why I’m grateful I can talk vulnerably and candidly with my dad on our podcast, Girl Talk With Pops.

I believe every woman deserves a relationship like the one I have with my father. And it’s not because he’s perfect, it’s because he’s imperfect and willing to live in his truth. He’s flawed, has made mistakes and is not afraid to share them, but that’s what makes him a great teacher. 

Whenever we talk he’s all ears. We don’t work in the same field, live in the same city, or have the same life experiences and because of that he has a deep interest in learning more about my life. He’s intrigued by and supportive of my individual life journey and that makes him a great friend and confidant too. 

Just like I would with my girls, On Girl Talk With Pops we talk about dating, relationships, love and life. These conversations are so valuable because fathers play a crucial role in who and how we date. Here are a few lessons from my Pops:

  1. Follow your gut — This is a motto that my dad lives by. In love, I think we can feel many feelings in our gut, from butterflies to anxiety, so it’s important to be discerning, but this lesson is all about listening to the spirit within you, your intuition and following your first mind. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.” 
  1. Demand respect — Which means demand the truth. And if you’re not getting it, leave. Period. As the father of two successful women and the son of a strong woman my dad believes women are stronger than men in countless ways. He reminds me that women are goddesses and deserve to be treated as such.
  1. Communication is key — Men and women are different, especially when it comes to communicating. My dad always says “You gotta be able to talk about it.” I’ve learned that what he means is that it’s important to be with someone who is open and receptive to how you feel and what you have to say. Acknowledging, understanding, accepting and remembering each other’s perspective is how you grow together. Bonus: All individual needs, wants, and desires are fair and up for discussion.
  1. Write down your feelings — Again, men and women communicate differently. I’ve found that many men like to think and process things alone, and then deliver their [final] thoughts. On the other hand, women like to think and talk outloud together; sharing and talking through their varying, unsettled feelings and thoughts. That confuses men. My dad suggests exchanging written letters/emails (not texts) when you feel you’re not getting through to him, which I’ve found to be effective.
  1. Sleep in a queen size bed — There are 16 additional inches of space between a king and queen size bed. “That’s too far away to be from each other when you’re mad.” He said this jokingly, but I think it came from a real place. When you’re mad at your partner there’s already enough emotional distance and silence to keep you from each other. In a queen size bed at least physicality is in your favor. Sometimes a little physical touch or a soft embrace can break the ice.

On this Father’s Day my hope is that these lessons move you to strike a meaningful conversation with your dad. Healthy adult father and daughter relationships matter. If you want conversation starter ideas, check out previous Girl Talk With Pops episodes. Girl Talk With Pops is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.

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Brittney Gwynn

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