1. You hug. A lot.
Hugs are you and your dad’s thing. You hug after arguments, you hug on both good and bad days, and you hug even when you mess up. (Like that one time when you were six and missed a goal with a wide-open net. Yikes.) There’s no shortage of hugs with your father. He’s never been afraid to give you affection in public, to tell you he’s proud, and to show you, physically, how much he loves you.
Now you hug. Everyone. Even strangers you meet for the first time. (Hugs are better than handshakes, anyways!) You don’t shy away from physical contact because you know the value of a squeezy-bear-hug when you’re down.
2. You are open about your feelings and you expect men to be that way, too.
Your father has taught you that it’s important to communicate. He’s the guy who spent countless nights in the passenger seat of your car, just idling in the driveway and talking. He has always listened to you, and he shares his life with you–stories of what he went through and what he’s facing now. His openness has made you look for, and expect, a significant other who reveals what’s on his mind.
3. You value vulnerability over anything else.
You’ve witnessed vulnerability countless times from your dad. He’s taught you that the most beautiful moments in life come from when you’re in a place where you could get hurt—really giving someone your heart, trusting, having faith in something/someone other than yourself. This has become a trait that you value, above anything else.
4. You appreciate little things.
You have a plethora of stuffed animals that your dad has won at the carnivals over the years. Little things, but wonderful memories. And you value those memories—him paying $15 in throw-darts just to win you the chocolate bear, or trying the machine 6 times until he finally got the rubber ducky—more than anything lavish or expensive. For your own relationships, you don’t expect anything crazy; you just want (and need) effort.
5. You value a man that is strong enough to cry.
Your father has never been afraid to show emotion. You’ve learned from his tears that crying does not make you weak, but shows your incredible strength. It shows how passionate you are about something or someone. So you cry, openly, and without regret. And you value a man that is in-tune enough with his feelings to express emotion.
6. You are not afraid to be honest with someone when you’re upset.
Your dad kept it real with you, especially when you were a teen and acting all sorts of ridiculous. His honesty kept you on track, helped you to check yourself, and taught you that telling people how you really feel when you’re mad is important, if not essential.
7. You keep a journal.
Your dad wrote things down. He wrote about his happiest moments, his worst moments, and everything in-between. Over the years, he sent you emails, notes, and letters that you have saved in a special place. Writing allowed him to be honest and to reflect on life’s biggest challenges. And you’ve taken note. (Literally.)
8. You desperately want to be understood.
Your father has always been there to kiss your boo-boos, to push you when you felt like giving up, and to support you in every decision. He has always tried to understand you. To connect with you through all the girly tea-parties and daddy-daughter dances, but also through fishing and sports and rollercoasters. As you date, you’re looking for that same sort of thing. Someone who will stand by your side, make you better, but also love you for who you are.
9. You are fiercely loyal.
Your father’s loyalty is everything. Never once have you doubted him. Never once have you questioned his integrity, his faithfulness, or his love for your family. Throughout obstacles, he has always been consistent as a husband and a father, and you have translated this to your own relationships.
10. You are stubborn as hell, but you fight for things and people you love.
You have never thought of your father as weak, even with his sensitive side. Heck, he’s probably one of the strongest, most stubborn guys you’ve ever met. But he’s a fighter and he’s raised you to be that way. You might have inherited his argumentative side, but you fight because you care.