“…all he left us was alone…”





Some time ago, I briefly, vaguely, touched on the impact one’s parents has on future mate choice.


“Men date women much like their mothers.

Women date men much like their fathers (especially if they didn’t really have one but that’s for another day).”


Since I tacitly said I’d address my meaning later, I believe now is as good a time as any.


For whatever reason, the imprint a parent leaves on a child is frequently ignored in dating/mating discussions.




This has always puzzled me since it’s the first – and arguably most powerful – influence in one’s choices down the road.


Mothers/fathers provide the example – good or ill – for the romantic relationships in which we find ourselves.


They create the expectations we end up having.


The methods of communications we’ll anticipate.


The manners in which we’ll seek to be treated.


The punishment/reward systems to which we’ll respond.


So deeply does this initial imprinting affect us, it simply baffles me as to how it gets lost or glossed over in conversations.




Keep finding yourself with critical, unhappy, impossible to please women?


Look carefully at your mother.


Keep finding yourself with abusive, dismissive men?


Look to your father.


I guarantee you’ll spot more than you’d expect.




So powerful is this paradigm, so omnipresent, so all-encompassing, it takes conscious effort and action to notice it.


As the old saying goes:


A fish doesn’t know it’s wet.


And, as I mentioned earlier, an absentee father is no escape.


In fact, I posit that it’s even more impactful than one that is present.




As evidence, I offer just how pestilential absentee father epidemics are.


Once they get even the smallest foothold in a community, they spread like the most virulent of plagues.




I suggest a few reasons:


1} A present father can give looks at a spectrum of behaviors. Good and bad; positive and negative. An absentee one teaches only a single lesson: men are meant to breed and leave. Expect nothing but sperm. In fact, if a man stays around, he’s not a real man simply because men (in the girl’s experience) don’t stick around; only boys do.


2} An absentee father triggers the need to prove resilience in a massive – though negative – way. She needs to show she “doesn’t need a man”. She can handle life without such. Of course, this only opens the door to countless disasters but it’s too late by the time the error is realized. Additionally, later errors further trigger the need to prove resilience even more, thus digging an ever deeper hole.


3} The absence of a father causes her to default to her most basic programing of mate selection. She’ll choose the lowest, most easily read denominators: potential for violence, fierce independence, arrogance, et al. Now, this is not to say these things are not sought by perfectly healthy women. I’d be a fool and liar to suggest such thing. However, healthy women are infinitely more likely to seek those denominators with positive nuances that are missing in the cases of an unhealthy female search. If it helps, think of it as eating: dining from both dumpsters and restaurants will feed a person. But one is a much healthier choice than the other.




As a related side note, this leads me to a major reason I try to impart the lessons I do rather than simply teach pick-up lines and techniques; why I teach the physics, if you will, of it all rather than the “actionable advice” so often demanded.


But that’s for another day.




7 Responses to ““…all he left us was alone…””

  1. I suppose I ‘only’ have my Mom to thanks for the two virgins who brightened my life for the brief moments they were part of it.

    Both were similar to my Mom in a few key ways.

    1. Physically very affectionate
    2. Liked to talk every day
    3. Sunny disposition that seemed to feed off my own into an even sunnier one


    • Wald,

      That’s certainly a list for which to be thankful.

      And I’ve no doubt your mother influenced it tremendously.

      Stay well,


  2. I always say I got very lucky I have the mother I do. She is a pretty decent example of a God fearing woman who actually likes my dad and communicates with him frequently plus she’s a great cook. Plus my father told me she rejected the feminist ethos back in the 70s. Her father was a hard working farmer who had 12 kids with my grandmother. Not that she doesn’t have flaws but compared to most women I meet that’s probably why I have higher standards.

    • Earl,

      From the information you’ve provided, I’d agree that you’re quite lucky in that.

      And why you’ve higher standards than many (possibly most) along with managing to dodge a bullet or two, I’d wager.

      All the best,


  3. I was conceived out of wedlock; my parents were barely 18. They got married as was still the custom in ’65 and remain married today.

    My mother constantly told me to be a gentleman. My father is a decent enough guy but overbearing. It’s obvious neither was ready for parenthood as looking back I was babysitting my younger brothers starting about age 8. Lots of questionable literature laying about. Mom and her friends smoking and drinking coffee while we played outside.

    As most ‘Spherians know, being a gentleman doesn’t get you a very good class of woman. So when I got one … and conceived my first out of wedlock … I just assumed I’d be married for nearly 30 years like my parents did. And when it inevitably blew up I felt like an utter failure.

    Not long ago I heard Mom and some of her friends ironically sing some Sunday school songs at Thanksgiving. Their elders tried to pass on their values and it ended with them.

    They never taught them to any of us.

    I dove into the pool of crazy because that’s the only one that was ever full. My parents’ generation let the others go dry.

    • JD,

      Not gloss over the rest of your words here, but this particular sentence hit me hard:

      “My mother constantly told me to be a gentleman.

      Mine did the same, yet it was vocally intoned as a threat (should I fail to do so).

      Every single time.

      Best wishes,


  4. Man, how on earth would you “fix” (for lack of a better word) what’s missing in a woman with an absentee father? Is there any helping that along or is it 100% up to her to figure it out, a “horse to water” situation?

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