Earn her trust and she's yours forever.
By Eliana Reyes
The term “daddy issues” gets on my nerve. Some men I know are quick to point a finger and say, “This woman has serious daddy issues,” or “I will never date a woman who refuses to trust me.”
While some of us may secretly seek from a partner what mommy or daddy never gave us, can we agree that everyone faces their obstacles in relationships whether it’s a mommy, daddy, or ex-partner issue?
I’m not ashamed to admit that I once had daddy issues. Growing up, I was attracted to older men because subconsciously I wanted them to be a father figure. I was either too attached or not committed if I didn’t trust them. Eventually, it led to my inability to let men love me.
It took a few years of soul searching, therapy, and healthy relationships to change that. What made all the difference was the way an ex-partner loved me.
I thought this guy was my soulmate who unexpectedly entered my life when everything was great. I had launched my business, a book, and was frequently traveling. This relationship was the cherry on top.
Our intellectual connection had me hooked. It inspired intimate and uncomfortable conversations that forced me to confront some inner demons. I wasn’t ready for this type of “real talk.” His love was like a mirror that pointed to a nastier truth: I didn’t love myself. In fact, I loved the way he loved me, but I didn’t love him or myself. His love healed me and put me on a path to self-love.
If you’re in a relationship with a woman you love and are facing a hard time loving her through some of the messy parts of her heart. Here are three things you can do to change that.
1. Be a man of your words.
Women raised without a father figure or who lacked the emotional/intellectual stimulation of a man value words. But words need to be combined with action. Empty promises are damaging.
Every time you say you are going to do something, and you do it, you increase her ability to trust you. If you are going to talk the talk, make sure you walk the walk. The more you do this, the more healing you bring to her heart and put her desire for this “manly integrity” at ease.
2. Be a man who attentively listens.
I’ve dated men who are bothered by questions. I get it–they can be annoying sometimes. They can also be a way to explore and imagine different possibilities.
You see, women with deeply rooted daddy issues can be very inquisitive and have a bunch of unanswered questions in their minds. “Did my dad not love me enough? Was I not valuable enough for him to be part of my life? Are all men going to abandon me?”
Regardless of the question, give her a listening ear. She may not be seeking an answer from you. She may just need to hear herself explore the different sides to her reality. When women feel heard, they feel loved. You have the power to provoke that.
3. Be a man of consistent patience.
Loving a woman who doesn’t entirely trust you is tough. It’s easy to be frustrated at her doubts and her resistance to just let go and let YOU be the man.
For instance, when my ex-partner would offer to drive my car, I would give him directions and tell him how to drive. Every single time he would gently remind me:”I got this. Let me be.” Letting a man be in control was tough, and I wasn’t accustomed to it. Patience allowed me to blossom again.
Look we want to trust you, but it’s scary. We are afraid to give our hearts to a man. Your patience is a sign that we can slowly open up again. And believe me, once that flower blossoms because of you, commitment and loyalty is what she will regularly give you.
Gentlemen, I’m sure that when you meet a woman your intention is not to be her savior. It shouldn’t be. But don’t underestimate the power of your love.
If you have been with the woman you love for a while, and your level of emotional intimacy has triggered some dark issues within her–love her in a different way. It will set her on the path of self-love. When she loves herself better, she can love you better. And maybe the relationship works out in the long run or maybe you are just meant to prepare her heart for another man.
Regardless of what the final chapter looks like, love her while she’s in your life.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.