I rarely get personal in my blogs. Believe it or not I can be rather distant and introverted. However, there are moments I feel the need to share, and offer my readers a favorable circumstance of  contemplation.

I must confess I am a daddy’s girl. I am fortunate enough to say my father was the first man I fell in love with. I may never know all the details of how he fulfills other roles, but in many ways he was and still is the best father a daughter could have. We have certainly had our fair share of arguments, usually immediately following my many bouts of rebellion. Still, he forgave me, supported me, loved me. I remember when I was a toddler, excitedly running to the door when he’d arrive home from work, the early morning father-daughter breakfast we’d have before he dropped me off at school, or when he would tickle my cheeks rubbing his beard against my face. As a girl I was very proud of my father. He was (and still is) tall dark and handsome, a gentlemen, highly respected among his peers, the leader of his family and in the community, a man of pride and integrity. My father took care of me and my family and I always knew I could depend on him, if not anyone else.

My father set a very high standard. As a young woman I compared every man I dated to my father. Some would say that’s the way its supposed to be. A man should treat you just as good if not better than your father. Yet, what man could measure up to such an awesome example. This became an issue for me. No man was a match. To this day his influence is quite fierce, and for some intimidating. I realized I allowed his influence to hinder me from seeing a man as an individual, instead I was looking for my fathers replacement. My father had somewhat become the partner I sought to have. My failed relationships partly had to do with my lingering connection to the little girl and her perfect daddy.

If a man were to share some of the same great qualities as my father that would be wonderful. But, I had to realize that I must understand what qualities best fit my life as an individual, not necessarily what characteristics are most similar to my father. I also had to learn how to create boundaries for the father-daughter relationship; because my father should only be just that, my father, not my partner. Why have a partner, if I allow my fathers role to be everything a potential partner would be? That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks! I was safe with my father, I could trust my father. I depended so much on him that I did not allow myself to feel safe or trust any other man. I was constantly seeking his approval. Even when making him upset I would attempt to conform out of guilt. He was the only man I saw as important enough or worthy in my life. In essence, he was my man!

I had to figure out a way to support our relationship while simultaneously developing my individuality. I had to let go, I had to cut the cord so to speak. By giving myself space and the opportunity to develop healthy relationships with men outside of him. By not allowing his strong opinion and influence to override my judgement and relationship goals. By allowing my partner to have a role in my life that does not compare to or compete with my father.

I love my father dearly, yet I realized if I want a chance at a romantic relationship, I must not let the love I have for my father impede the love I have for my man.

-Noni Ayana

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