Are Daughters Closer to Their Fathers? [IT DEPENDS]

It is natural to assume that daughters are always closer to their mothers. After all, they are the same gender and often experience the same joys and frustrations of womanhood. But, even if mothers and daughters are more similar, it does not necessarily mean they are closer.

In fact, daughters are often closer to their fathers. This is a good thing, as fathers have a lot to add to their daughters’ lives and they play a vital role in shaping them. Let’s look at how the relationships between fathers and daughters are unique and why it is okay if a daughter is closer to her father than her mother.

Father and daughter practicing ballerina dance in living room

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1. Fathers Provide Protection and Security for Daughters

Though not always the case, men are often physically stronger than women. They have a natural instinct to protect and are generally more capable to protect women against threats. Fathers instinctively protect their daughters, making them less vulnerable to threats. A father’s protection also often extends to their daughter’s emotional wellbeing.

Having a protective father in the home helps a daughter feel safe and secure. A daughter who feels safe and protected is usually less afraid of new situations and more willing to try new things. They are also less fearful of taking risks. A daughter that feels safe will sleep more soundly, which is crucial to their physical, mental, and emotional development.

Being protected emotionally by their father teaches a daughter not to accept unfair behavior and to stand up for herself. It is crucial for a daughter to be able to stand up for herself, as her father will not always be there to do so. A father’s protection also lets the daughter know she is loved and creates a powerful bond between a father and daughter.  

2. Fathers Shape Their Daughters’ Romantic Expectations

Many studies and articles claim that a father shapes a daughter’s expectations of her future romantic partner, and with good reason. A father is the first man she will interact with, and their relationship sets the tone for what she will expect and accept from her future romantic partners.

A father teaches a daughter, consciously and unconsciously, which characteristics to look for in her future spouse. Many researchers have found that daughters tend to unconsciously (and often consciously) seek romantic partners similar to their fathers.

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Having a good relationship with a loving and supportive father will, therefore, increase the likelihood that the daughter will end up with the same kind of spouse. A father can also give his daughter advice when choosing a spouse, especially if this partner will also be a man, since he has experience in that area and can often tell after meeting a potential partner whether it will be a good fit.

A father also unconsciously shapes his daughter’s romantic expectations through the way he treats her mother. Studies have shown that a daughter unconsciously seeks romantic relationships with similar dynamics to that of her parents. Furthermore, as a daughter loves her mother and wants to see her happy, it strengthens the bond between her and her father even more if he treats her mother well.

3. Fathers Instill Self-Confidence in Their Daughters

When a daughter is loved unconditionally by her father from birth, it teaches her that she is important, valuable, and deserving of love and respect. A father’s unconditional acceptance of his daughter also lets her know that she is perfect as she is; regardless of her looks, weight, or academic performance.

Fathers also instill confidence in their daughters by spending quality time with them, encouraging them, and praising them for their accomplishments. Fathers should be proud of their daughters no matter what, which will also aid in building their daughters’ self-confidence.

When a daughter has self-confidence, she will also be less afraid to strive toward challenging goals and is also more likely to achieve them. Studies have also shown that self-confident daughters are likely to achieve a more satisfying life in the long run.

4. Daughters Bring Out Their Fathers’ Emotional Side

Men are known for keeping their emotions bottled up, primarily due to frequently being taught that it is not appropriate for a man to be emotionally vulnerable. Unfortunately, this is still a toxic component of many cultures worldwide. Men are trained and conditioned to be tough and are often viewed as weak by society if they show emotion, such as crying. This masking is often detrimental to their relationships with members of the opposite gender.

For the most part, men are good at hiding and controlling their emotions. However, once they hold their baby daughter in their arms, they often cannot suppress the love they have for them. Also, part of a father’s duties in meeting his daughter’s needs is to give her love and affection. This allows the father an opportunity to express his emotions toward his daughter without the fear of being judged or criticized for it.

Furthermore, since the daughter is usually very receptive to her father’s display of emotions, it can encourage him to be more vulnerable in his other relationships (such as the one with his spouse) as well. Showing affection to his daughter makes her feel loved and creates a powerful bond between them.

5. The Relationship Between a Father and Daughter Is Playful

Most of us are familiar with the term “dad joke,” and fathers are well known for telling these kinds of jokes, being playful, and teasing their daughters. It is quite an endearing trait, and as much as daughters pretend not to enjoy these jokes or find them funny, it is one of the things they will miss the most when their fathers are no longer there.

Fathers also tend to play more physically adventurous games with their daughters. For instance, a father will often cart his daughter around on his back, pretending to be a horse. It is an excellent way for fathers to spend time with their daughters and provides a lot of fun for both of them. It is an excellent way for a father to help build a good relationship with his daughter and a good childhood.

Studies have shown that providing a good childhood is beneficial to your child’s mental health, helps them build good relationships in the long run, and helps them achieve more later on in life. Memories of playing with their father will also be one of the most precious memories daughters have later in life.

6. Fathers Provide a Unique Perspective to Their Daughters

While mothers can undoubtedly provide excellent advice to their daughters in certain situations, fathers can add to this advice from the alternate perspective of a man. Men and women think differently and have different life experiences. Therefore, a father may be able to fill in the gaps of a different viewpoint.

Adding the perspective of a father to that of a mother will provide the daughter with more complete information, enabling her to make more sound decisions with better outcomes. Being able to ask her father’s perspective on situations requiring advice will also build trust between a daughter and her father, strengthening their bond even more.

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Conclusion

In many instances, daughters are closer to their fathers than their mothers. It may be slightly disheartening to a mother or may even make a daughter wonder if it is normal. It is, however, perfectly fine and healthy if a daughter happens to be closer to her father, as he also plays a vital role in her development.

A father shapes his daughter’s romantic expectations, instills self-confidence in her, and can provide a unique perspective in situations where his daughter needs advice. Research studies have found that daughters who have a good relationship with their fathers are likely to achieve more in life. The relationship is also good for the father since it allows him to express his emotional side.

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