Dating Men w/o Father Figures…?

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
1257 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I can think of three men in my life with varying levels of male role models/father figures. All three are well-adjusted and good men, but like any person they have their quirks. I would hesitate to draw causation between the lack of father figure and those quirks though as it’s hard to say what’s personality.

My SO grew up with a present but not super engaged father. It did lead to some anxiety/low confidence on his part on what kind of father he would make himself, but I tell him that by nature of thinking about it and worrying about it, it already indicates that he’s going to be a more engaged father then his own was.

I would say that if there are no behavioural red flags and you enjoyed this guy’s company, there’s no reason that his father’s history should affect your present decision. That being said, it may mean that if you two become deeply involved that there may be instances where he will need additional support because of concerns/worries or inexperience.

ETA: I don’t think this support will be anything more then what any partner needs at given points in their life — we all have our areas that feel out of our comfort zone!

Post # 17
1143 posts
Bumble bee

My SO’s father was relatively absent from his life growing up, but he had healthy relationships with his grandpa and uncles. On top of that, his mom was a fantastic role model, and growing up with her and his three sisters has made him a pretty unshakable guy when it comes to estrogen-related topics. 😂 

He did struggle with his dad leaving when he was younger, but was in therapy and overcame the negative thoughts and self-talk associated with those years. 

Also, I’ve dated men from “nice” families who make terrible partners. I would get to know this guy and judge him as an individual, not with any preconceived notions of who he “might be”. 

Post # 18
871 posts
Busy bee

orchid990 :  What does an “All American” family even mean? It sounds like your privileged upbringing has made you judgmental rather than compassionate towards those who have had a tougher time of things. If you’re going to over-think something, start with yourself. 

Post # 19
306 posts
Helper bee

Yeah this post kind of made me feel shocked like a few other Bees it looks like. My husband had an absentee father and we are expecting our first baby in the next few months and he has already been a lovely, very active father. He goes to all my appointments, makes sure I always have enough prenatal vitamins and is very active in asking questions and helping make decisions. 

In fact, several of my friends are unfortunately jealous of his attentive and caring nature as their husbands don’t have as much of those qualities. My husband strives to be the man / father his father wasn’t and isn’t. 

I think it’s gross to judge someone because of their parents.

Post # 20
484 posts
Helper bee

I would be more concerned that he spent 10 years with a woman he thought was “too wild” to marry.  What does THAT say about him?  10 years is a long time to string someone along.

Post # 21
4060 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

If you want to avoid emotional baggage I recommend becoming a monk.

Post # 23
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

My husband’s father walked out when he was three months old, so he’s never had a father figure in his life. He lost his mum at 20. 

He is the most well-adjusted, positive person I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet. We’re going through IVF at the moment and so we’ve been talking a lot about how he feels about fatherhood – his lack of father has made him even more certain that he wants to be the best father he can be. 

Now, ok there’s a difference in ‘no father figure’ vs ‘a shitty father figure’, but I don’t think you should ever write someone off due to their parents poor choices. 

Post # 24
360 posts
Helper bee

orchid990 :  

I understood where you were coming from. On my second date with my boyfriend he casually mentioned he grew up in foster care. A few more dates in it became clear that his parents had substance abuse issues, and both are now dead. I too come from a fairly stable two parent home that, while it certainly had its issues, there was never any doubt that both parents loved my sisters and I a lot. I was certainly aware of our different upbringings.

He continues to be smart, driven, and incredibly caring. What he took from his parents is that he wanted to be nothing like them. His foster mum is lovely. He definitely went through a very rough patch in his teens with drugs, but pulled himself together, put himself through school, and is very stable.

His desire to always help me, and help his friends really stands out. He is very loyal (I think as a reaction to feeling abandoned by his parents and wanting to be different) I am so glad I did not end things early because of concerns over his upbringing. It still colours things (i.e. I call my parents daily, he talks to his foster mum every other month, he hates holidays and is skeptical of the family aspect of them). 

It doesn’t sound as if you are in a committed relationship, so why not keep dating him (as you would any other person) and find out if you have similar values?


Post # 26
4060 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t understand how it’s an adjustment? Adjust to what? Surely in your life you have known people who had a different family background than you?

Post # 27
111 posts
Blushing bee

orchid990 :  I was with someone who has amazing family, both parents are still together and perfect his sister and brother are amazing.. BUT he was piece of sh***t

It’s hard to judge book by it cover and please don’t 

Post # 28
320 posts
Helper bee

My husband has had no relationship w his dad since he was 6. His mom is lesbian and he never had any male role models growing up. Add to that the fact that his mom was pretty much a shitty mom who shuttled him from relationship to relationship. He is incredibly successful (an Ivy League trained lawyer) and more importantly an amazingly kind husband and the best father to our daughter I could imagine. He is the perfect example of the fact that people can and do overcome how they were raised. It’s kind of mind blowing to me that you’re asking for advice on this. 

Post # 29
5558 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

orchid990 :  you are judging him though. “He’s great and we’ve had a good time but his father had a problem with drugs and he was absent so what kind of problems should I expect this guy to have?”

He could have a lot, he could have none, he COULD have had a lot that he overcame

No one can tell you that and the only way to find out is to get to know him

Post # 30
717 posts
Busy bee

My father in-law was basically a stay at home dad raising my husband and Brother-In-Law. My Mother-In-Law was the breadwinner because Father-In-Law only has up to an elementary education because he is from what was a third world country. Father-In-Law did most of the dishes, cooking, etc while husband was growing up. My husband for the life of him cannot cook a decent tasting meal. All this to say, no I don’t think the fact that his father was absent means he’s not a good man to date. There are many other factors to consider. 

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