I am missing fatherly love
I am an 18-year-old girl who has sought love in the wrong places. I live with my mother and stepfather; however, it is as if I only live with my mom. My stepdad is neither a good role model nor father figure. My mom and dad separated when I was three years old; however, to this day he still holds on to the relationship. He doesn't take care of me. He refuses to do so unless my mother is prepared to be intimate with him and go out with him.
I never had a father figure in my life, and I think I am lacking fatherly love. Because of this problem, I seek love from men and it comes in the form of money and vanity, which still haven't filled the gap. I started sleeping with men at an early age, just because they tell me they love me. Even though I feel loved by my mom, I still think I'm lacking that fatherly love which I know I am seeking in the wrong places. I've tried contacting my dad, but talking to him did not change anything. I need your advice as to how to deal with this because I do not want to end up hurt or abused in this quest for love.
Dear L. G.,
It is very unfortunate that your father abandoned you after your mother and he separated. He wanted her in his life, but she did not want him. And regrettably, your father wasn't wise enough to keep close to you and to extend to you fatherly affection. It is not that he did not love you, it is because he did not know better. You see, some men are ignorant of the fact that children need to be loved and to be told as often as possible by their parents that they love them. I am not surprised that you sought love from other men. The love they extended to you is not fatherly affection and that is why you are so disappointed after becoming sexually active with these men. It would be so wonderful if your father would respond to you and tell you why he has not tried to show you that kind of love.