Do women really marry their fathers? I don’t mean literally, of course. I mean, do women typically marry the type of guy whose qualities mirror that of their dad’s? Let’s explore.
CNN did a report and cited psychotherapist Elayne Savage of Berkeley, California with an explanation:
When you grow up familiar with a certain type of person, you’re attracted to that same type of person because it feels comfortable, whether you like it or not. That’s what people mean when they meet a potential partner and say, ‘It ‘feels like I’ve known him my whole life.’
There’s also studies that show people marry those with a slight physical resemblance to their parents:
A Hungarian researcher studied the facial features of 52 families and found a significant correlation between the appearance of men and their fathers-in-law and those of women and their mothers-in-law.
And there’s all sorts of anecdotal evidence. Let’s use Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy as an example. We all know she married John F. Kennedy, a charismatic and enigmatic man. Her father, John Vernou Bouvier III, was known as “Black Jack” because of his “omnipresent dark tan” and “flamboyant lifestyle” (Wikipedia) — sound familiar? He was never President of the United States, but he had his own fast-paced, stressful job: a Wall Street stockbroker. My point is, the man wasn’t a slacker.
Personally, I don’t feel I’ve ever been in a relationship or even dated someone like my dad. True, I always go for creative types, and my dad is definitely a creative type — a former ad man, he finds his passion in poetry-writing and theater-acting. So there’s that. And once I dated a guy who wore boat shoes, like my dad, but that’s not saying much considering out of freakin’ nowhere boat shoes became wildly trendy among almost every man living in Los Angeles and New York City (especially Brooklyn).
I don’t believe that subconsciously every single woman is looking to marry their father. In fact, I think that subconsciously many women marry the exact opposite of their fathers.
I think it all comes down to what your relationship is like with your dad. If it’s a good one — he was there for you during your childhood, he was supportive, he was an all-around nice guy — then I think it makes sense that we would grow up with ideals about what makes a good husband based on the good qualities we saw in our own dads, our prime examples of manhood. If you have a bad relationship with your father, you may stray from finding someone like him — or maybe, it has the opposite effect, and you find someone exactly like him, because subconsciously, you still feel like that little girl trying to get dad’s love and attention.
I’ve only got speculation, and it makes my head hurt. What do you think?
Photo of Jackie and John F. Kenndy by Lisa Larsen via LIFE Google images.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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