Im dating your dad

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Sarah, 27, didn’t meet her father until she was 16.‘As a teenager, I always defended the fact that I didn’t have a dad and insisted it didn’t matter.I don’t have any male friends and I’m sure that’s because I have no template for what a non-sexual dynamic with a man would be like.’ Wright points out that women who haven’t had a male role model tend to be attracted to older men, not just because they want someone to fulfil that stable, powerful, father-figure role, but also because, as young girls, they might have imprinted on a grandfather, who was filling in as their primary male caregiver.Mirroring your parents’ dynamic doesn’t just happen to heterosexual women, either.Previous studies have shown that women use their primary father figure as a template for picking a mate even if they are adopted, suggesting that sexual imprinting is led by experience and not simply genetic.* While I can’t say that any of my boyfriends have physically resembled my dad – balding and bifocals?

I think queer women grow up surrounded and inundated by heterosexual culture, so really it’s no wonder if we imitate what’s around us as our model of relationships.’So what can you do if you feel you’re stuck in a rut of dating people just like your parents?Growing up, I idolised my father, but his alcoholism and my parents’ messy divorce made me determined not to end up with anyone remotely like him.And yet every time I’ve fallen for a guy who on paper seems completely different, certain characteristics – whether it’s an addictive personality or a similarly dry sense of humour – eventually come to light.But while that might sound like a slightly creepy cliché, for many of us, a quick tally of our exes will bring up some uncomfortable similarities with the first man in our lives – whether you were aware of it at the time or not.Relationship therapist Dr Judith Wright says it’s quite straightforward.

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