Ask Dr. Brilliant Cliche and the Granny Doctor: Why Can’t I Find a Guy Like Dear Old Dad?

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I am having terrible luck with relationships and I don’t understand why. I have heard that girls usually look for someone who resembles their father and this is why so many women from dysfunctional families with lousy dads end up in abusive relationships.

But my own father was wonderful! He always made me feel loved and special and listened when I was having problems. You would think I would be attracted to similar guys, right? Wrong.

Just about every guy I’ve gone out with seems as wonderful as my father at first. But the minute I start trusting them and feel close, they start taking me for granted…or just start running after someone else.

What is the deal? Why am I getting the same abusive jerks that girls with awful dads are instead of someone nice like my own father?

 – Daddy’s Girl

Dear DG,

People who come from opposite backgrounds often get the same results on a functional level. Those who are treated poorly expect to be treated poorly so they don’t run from dysfunctional people as they should. People who are treated well expect to be treated well and don’t believe that men could be so insincere — so they don’t run either. Misinterpreting the intent of others can get you into trouble.

You probably give people the benefit of the doubt and rationalize, or make excuses for their behavior. You just can’t fathom how someone can be uncaring, mean or disrespectful behind a polite facade. Unfortunately, as I have seen over and over, they most certainly can. Many people are douchebags, and 25% of people are mentally ill. You need to be more aware and figure out how to read people for who they are rather than what you expect them to be, or your life will be of poor quality and your relationships will fail. Behavioral economics research has shown that humans are not altruistic by nature. People behave well when others are watching, but very differently if they think they are not seen.

Not all people are two-faced. Those who’ve experienced good role modeling and have made an investment in themselves can be genuinely nice. The quality of your life is dependent on the character, and skill sets, of those you surround yourself with. You have to learn how to gauge good qualities in others. Watch for a mismatch between what people say and what they do. Watch not only how they treat you, but how they treat those they aren’t expecting to get anything from. Kids learn through role modeling, so what kind of parents did a prospective mate learn from? Is there love and respect in their relationship?

Don’t give up but also don’t allow anyone to treat you disrespectfully,

 – Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I’d like to know how old Daddy’s Girl is. An unfortunate fact of life is that teenaged girls are, for the most part, unbelievable idiots when it comes to men. Most of them are extremely self-involved and want to believe that they are special in some way. All a man has to do is lay on the compliments and apply some well-paced foreplay…the teen girl turns into silly putty. The only girls who seem to manage to escape this “idiot” phase are the ones who are so engrossed in studies of some sort, be it music, gymnastics or science fairs. They can be oblivious to the social whirl around them. Oh, and teen girls who are locked in cages. They can avoid men altogether. But that only lasts as long as the cage is locked.

If I were to give DG any advice it would be this: Men are liars. They don’t necessarily mean to be, and don’t necessarily see what they are doing as lying. But they KNOW that women want to be special and they know they, the man, are only after sex … and they play the game anyway. This doesn’t make them bad. It just makes them dangerous to listen to. So the next time a man opens his mouth, don’t swallow every line whole and ask for more. Act skeptical. Pull out your device and ask him to wait a minute while you Google his dating history. Tell him you have a concrete rule: No fooling around until he’s met your mother and you’ve taken him to your volunteer nursing home job to see if the old ladies like him. If he has a sense of humor and is genuinely interested, this will be an amusing challenge. If he’s an asshole, he’ll make some disparaging remark about your character, and women in general, and stomp off in a snit. Either way, it’s a lot more fun for you than getting duped by another asshole.

 – The Granny Doctor