Since I can remember, I’ve been a ‘daddy’s girl’. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is my best friend- but my Dad and I have always just gotten each other in this silent kind of way. We don’t need to talk about our feelings, but he’s right at my side if I need a good cry (although I’m sure he would prefer I didn’t cry at all). I have a lot to thank my Dad for, however, what I appreciate most is that he has shown me what I need to look for in a significant other. I’ve seen many of my girl friends go from bad relationship to worse, but thanks to my Dad I believe that I have a good sense (most of the time) of what type of guy I should go after (but some of those bad dates are unavoidable). I realize that not every girl out there has a role model like mine, so I decided it would be smart to create a list of the things I’ve learned over the last twenty-three years from my number one guy.
Never let a guy treat you like you are worth nothing.
My Dad tells my Mom how much he loves her every day. I’ve never heard him talk down to her (not that she would let him), and I know I never will. No one, especially the person you are supposed to love should ever make you feel like you are just another thing to them.
If your boyfriend can’t hold a job, and prefers to sit on the couch-ditch him.
I mean I as much as the next person enjoy sitting on my couch for a solid day watching House of Cards to no end, but if that’s your boyfriends every day kind of life, show him the door. My Dad sets the bar pretty high sticking at his job for about twenty-five years, but now I know exactly what hard work and determination looks like for myself and my significant other.
If your significant other isn’t willing to move from the couch to get you something when you’re sick, or to help you in general, etc. you need to reevaluate.
Obviously a relationship is 50-50, but I expect if I am willing to go out of my way for my significant other, they should hopefully want to do the same for me. I watch my Dad jump at the chance to get my Mom something (even if he doesn’t really want to), and drive me all the way to the mall when he needs to get up early the next day just because I forgot to get something.
Be with someone who you’d never want to disappoint because you have the utmost respect for them.
If I ever dropped the ball I always worried that my Dad would think differently of me. He never did, but I always wanted and still do want his approval. The way my Mom talks to me or her friends about how hard working my Dad is, just shows to me that she not only appreciates him, but respects him as well.
A sense of humor is a must.
If you can’t laugh at or with your person there is no fun in the relationship. I wish I could tape record the amount of times my Dad has my Mom (and me) laughing so hard she could cry. They make fun of each other, they banter back and forth, but at the end of the day my Mom is always laughing.
Love is unconditional.
My Dad is not perfect. However, through all of the ups and downs he always chose my Mom and I over anyone or anything else. Even when I am being a pain, I know I can always count on my Dad to be there for me. For twenty-five years he has maintained an unconditional, unwavering love for my Mom. Because of this, I know what love is, what compromise is, and what a beautiful thing marriage can be.
Is my Dad perfect? No. Does he have millions of dollars to give me? No. Does he always make the right choices? No. But here’s what he does do- he cares, he supports me every day, he makes me laugh, he listens, and he works harder than any man I know. So, shout out to all of the #1 Dad’s out there who like mine, have taught their daughters to; laugh, love, fish, drive, and never choose the wrong significant other (because then he might have to break out the shot gun. JK, sort of).