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Michelle Turnberg, Published June 16 2012

Turnberg: Dads teach us expectations and value in ourselves

Growing up as an only child I would sometimes be asked the unintentionally insensitive question, “Did your dad ever want a son?”

To that I would say: “He has one – me.”

That’s because growing up as more tomboy than girly girl, my dad and I did just about everything a father and son would do together.

As in, I know how to throw a spiral.

Anytime I wanted to work on my shooting form, or throwing mechanics my dad was there. We would lift weights before school. We explored the woods, worked in the yard, went fishing, camping, even hunting. We’ve rafted on white water in the summer and gone ice fishing in the winter.

My dad is a Marine, a football player and coach. He’s an athletic director, golfer, fisherman, hunter, churchgoer, Master’s degree graduate, husband to my mom for 43 years and friend to many.

He was the teacher you didn’t want to cross and the coach you wanted to please. And I’m sure he frightened more than one boyfriend of mine.

He is my biggest supporter. And I would guess the reason we sometimes butt heads is because we are so much alike.

I’ve read research on how a woman relates to her father forever influences her interactions with persons of the opposite sex. The father-daughter bond plays a significant role in her dating preferences and determines the quality of her future romantic relationships.

Psychologists say this is because a father is the first man in a woman’s life. Her relationship with him is usually her most enduring male love relationship. The father becomes the earliest standard against which every prospect will be judged.

She learns her worth to the opposite sex and self-worth from her father.

If a woman had a good relationship with her father, she will be attracted to men who are just like him. Studies suggest that women who experienced a positive relationship with their fathers subconsciously tend to be attracted to men with strong physical similarities to their father.

This would explain a lot.

It’s no wonder I like fun, athletic types, have high standards and won’t tolerate being treated poorly.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I am so blessed to be your daughter. Thank you for teaching me to value myself and expect more.

I love you, Turko.

Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column for SheSays.