Are You My Daddy?
How My Father Influenced the Type of Men I'm Attracted To, and How He Didn't
The first man I can remember being attracted to was Judd Nelson, and no, not his character from The Breakfast Club. That might have seemed more natural since I was only around ten at the time. I'd seen him in a late night movie and let's just say he was the 'bad guy'. He was also much older than me at the time, well he still is of course. But I was ten and he was in his thirties. You could argue that this was the first emergence of many issues to come for me regarding relationships and men.
I've always been attracted to older men. Always. But, why? I suppose I'm still looking for a father figure. If you've been following my writings up until now, you'll have some background on my issues. I wrote about my father abandoning me and what that did to me. I don't know if I'm being fair blaming all my issues on my biological father but since they all involve relationships with men and one's father or father figure is the first influence of males we get in life, I'll leave it at that.
I hate to perpetuate the stereotype that women who fancy older men must've had a bad father figure or none at all but here I am. Now, there is a confusing bit, at least for me. I wasn't without a father figure, to be honest. Just because my biological father wasn't there didn't mean there was no one at all. My uncle was there. He was great with my brother and I. He bought us things, babysat, took us places, and played with us every chance he got. Then, at age seven, my mom met my stepfather, the man I would later come to think of as my real father. Between my biological father abandoning us and my stepfather stepping into the picture, we had my uncle. So, doesn't he count as a father figure? Well, yes and no.
He never felt like a father should feel. He had no real responsibility toward us. He could up and leave anytime he wanted. He didn't have to help take care of us. I don't know how else to explain it, we didn't come from him so there wasn't that type of bond with him. It felt more as if he were a really cool big brother. Something still felt missing.
Another thing that cemented that my uncle was not a father figure was that when my stepdad came into the picture my uncle all but left. My stepdad assumed all responsibility. And he was a completely different animal altogether. He was strict. He was fair but strict. At first, I didn't trust him at all, can you blame me? It took a long time, and I mean a long time to trust him. Sometimes I still feel uncomfortable around him. Sometimes I still don't want to be alone with him. But I know I can count on him. He did something my biological father never could, he stayed. I'm a grown woman now and he's still here.
You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with anything? Everyone knows that your father or father figure somehow influences who you are attracted to. The same goes for men and their mothers. It might not always be true but in some cases it's undeniable. Most people are lucky and usually gravitate to one type of guy. Not me. I had three men influence who I'm attracted to so here comes the fun.
First, my biological father—deadbeat, lowlife, abandoner, lazy, leech.
Second, my uncle—carefree, responsible, fun, caring, teaser.
Third, my stepfather—hardworking, supportive, caring, strict, breadwinner.
The men in my life that I'm attracted to who are good men are obviously because of my uncle and stepfather. I can tell you now that I've never been attracted to men like my biological father. Now, this is where it gets weird. There is a type of guy that I'm most attracted to and it's not the 'good' guy. It's a man with higher education, humor, passion, danger, who is a little bit too dominant. I don't know where this comes from. But what all these types have in common is that I prefer them as older men and often married.
Now don't bash me yet. Yes, I like married guys, may even fall in love with some but I don't pursue a relationship that would drive a wedge in the marriage. I've thought a lot about why I'm so attracted to married men and I think I've finally figured it out. It's safe. I would never get between a husband and wife. Never. The fact that they're married allows me to feel safe in knowing that he will never leave her for me and he'll never leave me because he's not actually with me. I have the comfort of knowing that he likes me, cares for me, sometimes even loves me but he'll never leave me because he's not with me.
I have two different categories of men that I'm attracted to—real and characters. The real men I'm always attracted to are good, hardworking, 'everyday' stereotypical men—like beer, cars, and sports. The characters I'm usually attracted to are—dangerous, passionate, highly intelligent, cunning, and sometimes downright evil.
The reason that I'm attracted to older men is probably obvious, I feel safe with them, with experience... I'm looking for a father figure... sort of. It gets hazy. The real men I'm attracted to are obviously influenced by my father and uncle. The characters I prefer I believe are influenced by my biological father. All the traits I know he has are bad and disappointing. So I took them and flipped them—laziness to ambition and passion, deadbeat to cunning and highly intelligent. Both my biological father and the characters I'm attracted to are dangerous but in different ways. My biological father is dangerous to me while the characters are only dangerous to other people.
I, of course, have other men I'm attracted to that have clearly not been influenced by any early father figure in my life. I have recently discovered how free my heart is with her love and it's great. So I'm not trapped in that I'm only attracted to 'bad' guys or stereotypical men. I can be attracted to anyone of any gender but the aforementioned are the most frequent. That's the light at the end of my tunnel.
I still prefer older people though.