I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Four Ways Jess & Gabriel Conte Taught Me About Relationships

Jess and Gabe, thank you for teaching me much more about love than any romance novel or television program ever could.

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1. You Don't Have To Do Anything Physical on the First Date

Honestly, with how television and films shape your knowledge on how dating in high school and college is, I am surprised there are boys in this world that know that "hooking up" and having sex isn't a requirement of the first date. Having Tinder and Bumble at the swipe of your fingertip isn't of any assistance with preventing that idea, however, you would like to think that more than two percent of the male population understandings that the physicality of a relationship isn't the entire relationship. Gabe, however, is a perfect example that there are men in the world that accept and respect that you may not want to even kiss on the first date! Coming from a girl with very little experience in the dating and romance area, I really respect and have a lot of gratitude for boys, men, like that, because I feel much more comfortable going out and building a real connection with them. I think more boys should be learning this idea.

2. Dating is Something You Do Forever

We have this idea that you "talk" to someone, you "date", and then you're official with the person and you have your titles or relationship status and move forward from there. One aspect of relationships that Jess and Gabe taught me is so important is that you date forever. We see on television shows and romance movies that two people will go on dates until they become an "official" couple, and then the date nights are rare and made for special occasions or if there is a rift in the relationship. Going out on dates and having date nights with your significant other will only build your relationship and your friendship (which is so important) and allows you to learn more about your partner to better love and understand them. I think that if you are only saving a date night for an anniversary or if there is an argument, you are going to set your relationship up to fall apart because then you are settling into behaviors that aren't going to bring you closer to your partner - you're going to stick yourself into a plateau and that is where problems arise.

3. Have Faith and Remember That God Has a Plan

Jess and Gabe have taught me a lot about my faith. College hasn't always brought me closer to my faith and my belief in God (understanding His plan for me and why things went amuck sometimes made me question my faith altogether - What was I believing in if what I tried to do and what I really wanted never happened?). It's hard to see the bigger picture when relationships and dating and sex are all around you, and your morals and desires in life don't include half of what most (or how it appears to be) boys our age want. Add your family into the mixture asking why you haven't had a boyfriend or why you don't like anyone at school, and the pressure to have a relationship now - whether the boy is a respectable one or not - is overwhelming.

Understanding all of that and every other pressure influencing my ideas on a relationship, I started searching and searching, coming up empty handed every time, and I felt really discouraged. I couldn't understand how everyone was having relationships or seeming to find a person that was the perfect fit for them, and I couldn't find a boy that would talk to me for more than a week because he learned that I wouldn't have sex with him after knowing him for all of five minutes.

Jess and Gabe taught me that God has a bigger plan for me and my life. All of these boys that I have come across, all of the ones that have been rude, or disrespectful, or not cared for me, are all one more closer to the person that will respect me and my beliefs and my wants to have in a relationship.

4. Good Men Exist, Even If They Are Few and Far Between

Peace Out,

From Caitlin (and the Conteam).

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