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You Deserve This Man - The Things Your Absent Dad Never Taught You About Men

This article is for all my girls out there who didn't have a dad growing up. They didn't have someone to teach them what a real man looks & acts like.

My dad abandoned me and continues to hurt me to this day by being so absent. Especially during the moments I need him the most: moments of heartbreak, pain, and thinking I'm not worthy enough.

Dad's who aren't present or supportive in their daughters' lives provide them with a great disservice by never being there for them. Fatherless women grow up with a distorted sense of who they are and what relationships look like. Having a supportive father is crucial in growing up to become a woman who knows her self-worth and value.

As we get older and start getting ready to find our husband, we have a difficult time doing so. We pick the wrong men, stay in relationships that aren't treating us right, and we form unhealthy attachments in fear of being abandoned by yet another man.

Apart from that, it's a proven fact that daughters typically pick a husband who has similar qualities, values, and attributes to their dads. But how can we do that if the only thing he taught us was abandonment? A father is supposed to be his daughter's first love. From a very young age, a present dad teaches his daughter what to look for in a man, how she should be treated, and what a healthy relationship with a man looks like.

If a dad is present and showers his daughter with unconditional love ("unconditional": key word), she will realize that she's a woman who doesn't need to "try so hard" to find & keep love. If a dad is supportive in everything she does, it builds self confidence and lets her figure out how to navigate the world with clear and concise decision making tactics. Dad's who keep promises to their daughters are subconsciously teaching their daughters not to be walked on in a relationship and to have high standards. Dads who love their wives unconditionally, show their daughter's how a man is supposed to treat his wife. And if he's divorced from his wife, that's okay, as long as he still shows respect for his daughter's mother.

I, myself, didn't have a dad growing up. The few times we did have plans to see each other, he would leave me outside in the driveway waiting for what seemed like hours, only to say he wasn't coming. I remember the broken promises. I remember sitting next to my suitcase, counting the cars and so excitedly waiting to see my dad. Because I sure loved my dad. He was so fun, and he let me eat candy for dinner, and have picnics on the roof! When we did see each other, I loved it. But more often than not, he didn't show. And then he ran away to another state without telling me in an effort to escape his fatherly duties. I buried that pain away as best I could, until a few years after that when he told me to never contact him or my brothers again. I couldn't hide the pain after that, and I lost what little relationship I did have with him.

So right there, in that little blurb (that I know is so relatable to other girls out there), you will find: broken promises, "convenient" love (love that is only shown when it was convenient for him), lies, and the sprouting seedlings of giving his daughter low self-worth.

Now, as an adult I'm always trying to change myself and 'perfect' myself for a man. I'm sure you do too. We youtube and google "yoga poses to increase flexibility", "the perfect dinner to serve your man", "how to look hott so that he notices you". But what about us? Don't we deserve to find someone who cares just as much about impressing us as we do them?

It's not to say that you should stop trying all together. A relationship is a two way street and both people need to care enough about the relationship in order to make it work. But what if you stop focusing so much on trying to impress him with your flexibility and shiny hair, and instead open your eyes first to see if he even deserves you. Because, honestly, the man you are trying to impress superficially, is not the man you deserve. The man you deserve will love you (unconditionally) and will appreciate you as you are.

Here is a list of 20 traits you deserve to find in a man. Whether you're already in a relationship and deciding if it's time to jump ship, or if you're currently on the market searching for mister right; these are the traits we must hold our real men accountable to.

I'm telling you this because your dad didn't. Please trust me even if you feel you don't deserve a man like this. I promise you, you do.

But before jumping right in, we need to get some things straight. You need to work on yourself too. You owe it to yourself now and in the future. If you want a good man, it can't be all up to him. Most of these traits are things you should strive to be too. And in order to strive for that, you need to work on your self-worth.

Things I want you to focus on:

Being reliable (always be there when you say you will be), being warm and loving (understand that people make mistakes and that's okay), being fair (don't play dirty or expect things to always be done your way), being smart (this comes with learning how to make better day-to-day choices), being knowledgeable (always work on expanding your mind), being conscientious (consider others), being trusting (let him know that you are on his side), and hardworking (find something you're passionate about and commit to it), and secure in everything you do (even if you don't always feel it). You need to relax (breath) and be emotionally stable (don't turn psycho 🤪), and you need to be perceptive to what's going on around you and in your love life (take notice of the little things). You need to be even tempered (don't let your anger get the best of you), while also drawing a positive energy to your life (positive people will attract positive things), and you need to be practical (dream, but know where the line is), but curious (it helps keep your mind sharp). Be sociable (don't give up your friends), creative (it's fun to bring creativity into every area of your life), well-organized (and clean) and at ease (be easy and go with the flow sometimes).

You will find most of the traits I listed above are exactly what I listed below. So you have some homework here. Stop worrying about what other people think, and strive to be the best version of you. Once you become the best version of you, the right man will definitely find you.

Who's the right man?...

He's warm

Most men are raised to be strong & tough 💪🏼, but that doesn't mean he can't be warm and loving towards you. Women need warm and compassionate men, because, let's face it, we can all be emotional at times! We need someone who will understand us, find it in their soul to be compassionate about whatever it is that we're going through, and try their best to be there for us (even when that seems an impossible task at times). We'll eventually get over it 🤪.

He's reliable

When he says he's going to be there, he's there. When he says he's going to do something, he does. He doesn't leave you waiting in the driveway with your suitcase 🙃. He doesn't tell you that he's going to take you on a nice vacation, or to a fancy dinner just to bail on you. Some men know how to hook you. So they'll make promises that they have no intention of keeping. You deserve that freshly painted dining room he keeps saying he wants to surprise you with, or for him to show up to dinner when he says he will. If your man is constantly leaving you waiting, or making promises that he never delivers, it may be time to reevaluate whether his love is true, or just "convenient".

Of course, people have bad days, and life gets busy at times. If he says he's going to be home for dinner at 6pm, and then gets held up at the office, he'll need someone understanding to come home to. Maybe even a back rub, you know. No one wants unexpected inconveniences to happen. And if he's someone who is normally a very reliable guy, then he's probably just as disappointed at disappointing you as you are.

He's fair

This goes for fighting as well as for day-to-day life. Does he know how to fight fair? Or does he fight dirty? A fair fight will end in a compromise and a solution. A dirty fight will escalate the situation until you're both fuming and nothing is resolved. In life, is there a fair balance between the two of you? Or is he the one who pulls all the strings and makes all the decisions? In order to be in a healthy relationship, there needs to be a fair balance of power, love, and commitment.

He's intelligent

I know I may get some flack for this one, but you're dating dumbasses because you don't have a good sense of self-worth. You don't need to be with the guy who dropped out of high school or has no drive for life. You deserve someone who is well educated and knows what's going on in the world. You need someone who is going to make intellectual decisions, and will know how to handle problems that may arise in life. Having someone smart on your side (even if you're not the brightest), is a real weight off your shoulders. It's nice to know that you have someone intelligent who can calm you through your anxieties or solve problems in ways you never thought of.

He's knowledgeable

I know this may seem repetitive, but being knowledgeable is a little bit different than being intelligent, although, they usually do go hand-in-hand. We look to our men to know what's going on in the world. We look to them to understand what's wrong with our cars, or how to fix the leaky faucet. Men who are knowledgeable about how to fix things, take care of things, or what's going in the world is something that can help us breathe easier knowing we are with someone who's "got it".

He's trusting

Not only can you trust him, but he trusts you as well. Trust is something that's so important in a relationship. And I'm not just talking about trusting each other to be faithful (although, that is a huge one). We also need to be able to trust each other with our hearts, our secrets, and our problems. We need a guy who we can trust won't want to hurt us. Someone who we can confide in and trust that our problems won't be laughed at or shared with the boys. Someone we know we can go to with whatever little thing that's bothering us, and he won't freak out or panic. Something as small as, "I accidentally shrunk your shirt" to something as big as "I accidentally crashed the car". We need to know that they are a safe place to go to and that we don't have to hide things from them.

We also need them to trust us. Having a sense that someone doesn't trust you is soul-crushing. Especially if you don't deserve it. If you find yourself with an insecure man who is always questioning where you are, or who you're talking with, you may want to think about things before this turns into a controlling situation.

He's secure

There's a lot of ways a man can be secure. He can be secure in who he is and in the relationship you two have (aka, he doesn't have trust issues like in the example above). He should also be secure in his job, his living arrangements and his overall life. Is he in a place where he's a man's man? Does he own a house (or is he saving up for one)? Does he work in a job that he's had for a few years and is continually climbing the ladder to better positions? How about with who he is as a man? Will he carry your purse if you ask him to? Or is he afraid it'll make him look gay? A man who is secure in who he is and what he does is probably one of the most attractive men. He doesn't let little things get to him, and you don't have to worry about what tomorrow may bring.

He's hardworking

He needs to have a job, ladies. And he needs to have goals and be driven to succeed. Yes, we all start out at the bottom, but which bottom is he choosing to start out at? Is he working towards a promotion? Does he take classes outside of work to help further his career? Is his mission in life to be the man that can support you and your future family? I don't care what your views are with feminism, you deserve someone who will work hard to provide for you. And if he's a hard worker at work, that means he knows how to get what he wants and how to keep it/improve upon it. That is a man that will help you fight for your relationship if times ever get tough.

He's emotionally stable

Emotions are a tricky thing with men. Sometimes they don't have any, and sometimes they have too much. We need a man who knows that it's important to open up and share their emotions, but not to the point where we can't possibly see you as a man anymore. You deserve someone who isn't afraid to share with you how they're feeling and how incredibly in love with you they are. What you don't need is someone who comes home from work with tears in his eyes because his boss yelled at him. A man with emotional stability is also so important to a relationship, because when you're emotional (which, we know you will be), he will have the ability to keep things calm and in check. If you're all "the world is ending, I'm so anxious!", he can comfort you (with that awesome knowledge of his) without getting himself all worked up which would only make matters worse.

He's at ease

We all face stress in our life, but if your man is more stressed than not, neither of you will ever be happy. In order to have a healthy relationship, there has to be a sense of ease. Both in the relationship and in your personal lives. Stress is never going to go away, so we need to learn how to deal with it. Finding yourself a man who is calm and at ease, is something necessary. If there's tension (even tension he's bottling up), it will inevitably leak out into your relationship and your relationship will be full of turmoil and you will have no idea what's causing it. You need a man who can take life as it comes and not be so uptight about everything.

He's perceptive

This one is personally so important to me. When a man notices the little things, it means the world to me. Is he hugging me before a single tear even has the chance to fall out because he knows that I rub my nose and twitch my foot right before I'm about to cry? Can he tell by the way you answer the phone that something is wrong? Does he check in with you on Father's Day because he knows that's a rough holiday for you? If you can find yourself a man who whole-heatedly loves you, these things will come naturally to him. He'll want to protect and provide comfort to you because you're his baby.

He's lenient

If things don't go as planned, how does he react? Does he throw a temper tantrum or let it ruin the rest of your day? Or does he go with the flow and make the best of it? What about if you really, truly wanted to watch something, but he was planning on watching the game. Will he hand over the remote and say he'll watch it later? Or are you always the one who has to compromise and receive nothing in return? Having someone who's lenient in life will make life a lot easier and a lot more fun. Sometimes things happen. The power goes out, the plane doesn't show up on time, but how he handles these situations speaks a lot about who he is. If he changes and becomes angry and bitter and lets it ruin his whole day, that is not someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. What will happen when the two of you actually go through some devastating end-of-life crisis? If he can't control his mood over something that's so insignificant, how can you expect him to be a good partner with something real?

He's conscientious

Does he consider you with the things he does? Does he take you into account before making decisions? Or does he forget about you or not show he cares at all? It can be something as big as planning a family trip without checking to see what your schedule is like (I know you think this is extreme, but my step-dad did this all the time, and my mom was constantly left home alone), to something as small as bringing himself home a candy bar and not considering you may want one too. If a man is self-absorbed, or simply doesn't care, he'll destroy a lot of relationships on his path through life, and he'll drag you down with him.

He's energetic

Does he have good energy!? Good energy in a person is so important in today's world. Someone who can laugh, or jump up and dance will help bring light to your world. Men who get excited over things and aren't afraid to show it are so fun to be around. Energy is contagious and if they're stoked, it'll be hard for you not to be stoked too!

He's generous

Generosity is so important in today's society. There's so much greed in today's world, that it's nice to find a man who is generous to those around him. I'm not just talking about money either. Generosity can be something as simple as him bringing you over the last cookie with a cup of tea (even though you know those are his favorite). It can be lending a neighbor his car to run to pick up her son from school because her car is in the shop. Generosity isn't always about how big of a tip you leave or how much money you throw towards some organization. It's bigger than that and it's smaller than that all at the same time.

He's sociable

Everyone always says never trust a man who has no friends. And while I'm not exactly sure that's true, he does need to be a likable guy. If he's not likeable, well, it's only a matter of time before you won't end up liking him either. A man who can converse freely with everyone around him is a good man to have around. It's nice to have connections and it's healthy to have friends that you can go out with. Friends help put you in your place if you're in the wrong when it comes to relationships. It's also healthy to have different hobbies and friends. It's not good to rely only on each other in a relationship. That's too much pressure on each of you.

He's curious

A curious man won't fight nearly as much as a stuck-in-his-ways man. A curious man will invite conversation that may go against what he originally thought to be true. He is always open to expanding his knowledge, so he listens to what you or others have to say; even if it sounds crazy. A stubborn man, on the other hand, will be limited on his expanse of knowledge. He believes what he knows to be true is the truth and he is closed off to any further discussion on the matter.

He's well-organized

I mean, I'm not always the most organized, so it's nice to have a man that is. But if you are an organized woman, tell me it won't kill you to marry a man who comes in and screws all that organization up. Whichever way you look at it, an organized man, will make a house happy.

He's flexible

This very much goes hand-in-hand with his leniency. Is he able to adapt well to new things and changes. If you have to move, will he be able to handle it well, or will he be too stuck in his ways to have a good outlook on it? Flexibility is very important, because if a man can't be flexible, your relationship is just a ticking time bomb. Something always inevitably comes up in life, and you both need to be flexible enough to get through it together.

He's relaxed

Last, but definitely not least, he's relaxed. Does he come home all strung out? Or does he greet you with a warm kiss and a tight embrace? If your man can't relax, it'll bring tension to both of your lives. I know relaxing is a very hard thing to do in today's society, but a man who is able to compartmentalize his stressors, is a man in a happy relationship. Just because things outside the relationship may be stressing you out, doesn't mean you need to have a strained relationship.

Words of wisdom, ladies: Help your man out. Be there for him. Life is stressful and if he's able to compartmentalize it and not lash out at you for it, he deserves some understanding and respect. Spoil him with food (or sex 🤪) because your poor man needs it!

So there you have it. You deserve that man, ladies. And he is out there. And if by some miracle you found him, treat him right & hold onto him! And then go review the homework I gave you above and see if there's anything you can work on as respect to him and your relationship. After that... aw, you guys are going to make such cute babies 🤗

But speaking as your father here (since, you know, this whole article is for my girls with "daddy issues"), "You are a gem, and no man will ever be good enough for you! But... if you can find yourself a man with those qualities up above... I guess I can give you my blessing" - 🧔🏻 (spoken in the deepest man voice I can possibly do).

Know your worth, my girls. And stay positive!

Lauren Elizabeth

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