Duke It Out: Daddy’s Girl?

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. Sometimes with mean words. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like don’t ask, don’t tell!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

In ‘studies that make my skin crawl’ news, researchers at the University of Pecs (please excuse me while I go find a school transfer form. Pecs, here I come!) in Hungary found that most people they studied wind up in long-term relationships with a partner who resembles their opposite sex parent. Basically, that means that most women end up married to a man who physically resembles their father, which is… ick. Just ick. The question is, do we think this is really accurate, or did something go horribly awry in this study?

On the one side, the people we grow up around naturally shape some of our ideas. I, for example, come from a family of big burly guys, so if you asked me “what does a guy look like” my baseline would be 6 feet tall, 200 pounds. Since our parents are with us since, well, birth, it’s natural that their influence would be stronger still. These people shape, not only our personalities and our ideas, but also our aesthetic preferences. Maybe it’s not that we go for someone who looks like our dad, but just that we’ve learned to see our fathers as handsome and by that virtue, men who look like dad are good-looking too.

On the other side though, I question whether that really defines who we end up with. Like I said, my baseline for a guy is reasonably specific, but not all of the guys I’ve dated actually fall into that range, and I certainly wouldn’t avoid dating guy for that reason. In fact, in my experience, women are much less likely to abide by a ‘type’ than guys are, so ultimately it seems really unlikely that we all happen to end up with guys who look like our dads.

There’s also something in there that’s maybe even more disturbing than the Freudian implications of this study, which is – it suggests that the person we end up with is largely predetermined by their looks. Because I needed a nice dose of ‘you’re biologically shallow’ for the day.

What do you think? Do you go for guys who remind you of dear old dad? Do you find that too creeptastic for words? Do you have a type? The future of our relationships hang in the balance – duke it out!



  1. Timothy says:

    I think you're probably looking into this more than is really necessary. When they say "look like" are they talking about the same height, +/- 1 or 2 inches so, if your father is 6 feet tall, are you interested in guys who are between 5'10 and 6'2 as opposed to people on their side of that range, or if you're used to people with stocky builds would you be interested in someone who is slender?

    I think the survey is 100% correct, it is just a question of what degree you consider "look like" to be. Parents definitely influence their kids' decisions.

  2. Andrea says:

    I agree that us girls are looking for someone like our dad but not physically. I think we are looking for our dads same personality traits in our guys. Ive dated the same guy for almost 3 years now and he has almost exactly the same sense of humour and the same kindness my dad has shown me growing up but they look absolutely nothing a like. My dad is 5'9" and lets just say on the rounder side. My boyfriend is 6'2" and way too skinny for his own good. Everything about them physically is the complete opposite.

  3. Hilary says:

    I think this also depends on how close you are with your dad. I have a pretty close relationship with my dad and I always seem to end up with guys resembling him in personality and appearance AND career field (it just happens!). Whereas my best friend has an awkward and academics-talk-only kind of quiet relationship with her dad, now she is engaged to a guy who is the dad's complete opposite in looks and personality AND career. Weird.

  4. AC says:

    Uh, didn't Freud already do this study, like a century ago?

  5. CR says:

    I can only hope whoever I end up with is half as great as my dad!

  6. Asia says:

    As a woman who doesn't have the type of father that should be the model for ANYONEs significant other, I have to disagree. I make a conscious effort to not date my father over and over again.

  7. Matthew says:

    I think it's more about personality than looks. For looks we're probably more influenced by celebrity culture, entertainment, advertising, and trends. However, for personality, it seems the relationship that the person whom you have the longest/most intimate relationship with is possibly comparable in personality to the parent you least identified with. Therefore, if you're more like your mom in personality then you'll be drawn to someone more like your dad's personality, and vice versa.

  8. bri says:

    freud didnt do a study, he did very few in fact, he just sort of…said things lol

  9. […] Unsure of what your “type” is? It’s most likely the kind of person your mom or dad (depending on the gender you’re attracted to) is.  – College Candy […]

  10. Amelia says:

    Well, I do have a thing for guys with the same kind of silly humor as my dad and a view of the world similar to mine (and I inhereted mine from my father, so yeah…). But when it comes to looks… no. I prefer guys who are tall. My dad isn't. I do have a thing for not-so-skinny guys, though, which is like my father.

    Although I did once have a crush who looked quite a bit like my dad but younger and with darker hair.

    I think my stepfather would be a better example of the guys I'm attracted to in a physical sense (do note that I'm not physically attracted to my stepfather. That'd be creepy).

  11. Whitney says:

    I think you're reading into this way too much. People are comfortable with what they know, its natural to gravitate towards a figure that reminds you of someone who took care of you during your formative years. It's not gross unless you read into as a Freudian sense, which in my opinion is out of context.

  12. motoaavtar says:

    My best friend is a difficult and researchers to speak only in a normal relationship with his father, is now accompanied by a guy who is the exact opposite of his father's appearance and personality and the career. Weird.

    Motorcycle Parts

  13. Anna says:

    Ha! My BF is not even the same race as my father.

  14. […] discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I'll be featuring a hot topic (like whether we date men like our dads!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the […]

  15. Lola says:

    I don't know that it goes one way or the other, but I think it's safe to say that our fathers influence our taste in men. I see my father as being the ideal father and so I think I generally am drawn to, for long-term relationships but not for flings, guys who share his personality traits. I think that often extends to physical traits but within a broad spectrum. On the other hand, I know that my mom, growing up, thought her father was a horrible husband and so she made a conscious effort to marry his opposite.

  16. Grace says:

    I think in my head I have a type, and then it never works out that way. At all. Anything close to it. I haven't dated yet, but all the guys I've been attracted to-so not what I'd envisioned. I'm tall, athletic, and strong, so I always envisioned what I'd want is someone equally athletic, tall, and strong(or taller/stronger), so that I don't feel too manly or anything.

    But I've been attracted to guys smaller than me(sometimes much smaller), and almost entirely on the basis of personality. They just made me happy. I can't explain it.

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