My romantic relationships have all followed this same pattern: I am "not enough" for the other person's love. Sometimes I blindly pursue men who blatantly tell me I am not enough. One boyfriend told me I would be really hot if I was five inches taller, ten pounds lighter, had broader shoulders (what?) and was Irish. Still, I stayed with him for 18 months.
By unconsciously seeking out unattainable/emotionally unavailable/married or simply not interested men, I can obsessively reenact my father/daughter dynamic in the vain hope that if I can convince said man to love and notice me, then surely my father will notice and love me too.
The romance with the man in Maine was the first time I had experienced the fruition of an unattainable crush culminating in all its dramatic potential. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered I was dating (OK, engaged to) a man who was the epitome of my father, although not as tall. Learning About Love From Dad
I eventually packed my bags for home. It was time to take responsibility for my life, as it was. What had happened in the past with my father was done and gone, but I was dragging it, like a huge bag of rocks, into every romantic relationship I entered. By refusing to let the past go, I was playing a dangerous game of control in my relationships: no man was ever going to measure up and prove my unattainable fantasy true, and meanwhile I could remain "unloved and unlovable" within the safe confines of failed romance and saying "I told you so" to my friends.
Over time, I have cultivated a friendship with my father (maintained primarily through daily emails), and have become a better advocate of personal choice in my relationships. Being aware of a tendency towards unattainable men, I have tried to put action to word, to identify the signals when I am in hot pursuit of a father figure and put the brakes on before getting up to speed. Knowledge of the trait does not bar the compulsion, but self-awareness and acceptance gained by sincerely examining it in my life have given me the tools to sidestep inauthentic pursuit of inappropriate men. One day I might just pick someone both appropriate and available.