A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband)

Father Daughter Dance

Photo Credit: patrick_bird via Compfight cc

Dear Cutie-Pie,

Recently, your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most popular searches in the world. Perched at the top of the list was “How to keep him interested.”

It startled me. I scanned several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel smart and superior.

And I got angry.

Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

Little One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)

If you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the most important sense of the word: you will attract a boy who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend his one life investing all of his interest in you.

Little One, I want to tell you about the boy who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because he knows you are interesting:

I don’t care if he puts his elbows on the dinner table—as long as he puts his eyes on the way your nose scrunches when you smile. And then can’t stop looking.

I don’t care if he can’t play a bit of golf with me—as long as he can play with the children you give him and revel in all the glorious and frustrating ways they are just like you.

I don’t care if he doesn’t follow his wallet—as long as he follows his heart and it always leads him back to you.

I don’t care if he is strong—as long as he gives you the space to exercise the strength that is in your heart.

I couldn’t care less how he votes—as long as he wakes up every morning and daily elects you to a place of honor in your home and a place of reverence in his heart.

I don’t care about the color of his skin—as long as he paints the canvas of your lives with brushstrokes of patience, and sacrifice, and vulnerability, and tenderness.

I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion or no religion—as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.

In the end, Little One, if you stumble across a man like that and he and I have nothing else in common, we will have the most important thing in common:

You.

Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep him interested” is to be you.

Your eternally interested guy,

Daddy

———

This post is, of course, dedicated to my daughter, my Cutie-Pie. But I also want to dedicate it beyond her.

I wrote it for my wife, who has courageously held on to her sense of worth and has always held me accountable to being that kind of “boy.”

I wrote it for every grown woman I have met inside and outside of my therapy office—the women who have never known this voice of a Daddy.

And I wrote it for the generation of boys-becoming-men who need to be reminded of what is really important—my little girl finding a loving, lifelong companion is dependent upon at least one of you figuring this out. I’m praying for you.

———

Comments: You can share your thoughts or reactions at the bottom of this post.

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Preview: Next Wednesday’s post is tentatively entitled, “How to Achieve Balance in a Healthy Marriage.”

Disclaimer: This post is not professional advice. It should be read as you would read a “self-help” book. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor, who can become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. Counselors can be located through your insurance network or through your state psychological association.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

1,016 thoughts on “A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband)

  1. I love when you post about your children…I love when you post honestly about your imperfections, and I love when you post how perfectly you love them.

    • Thank you, Kim. As you know, it’s easy to write about it, it’s an entirely different thing to live it day in and day out. She IS interesting and worthy of interest, and I hope I can help her to know that, although some days I know I’m more successful than others.

  2. Kelly,
    I agree with so much of this because having a daughter myself, I want the same for her. However for me, I would change only one part of this. For me I would rewrite it like this.
    “I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion -as long as he knows the Lord and together you can trust in Him to lead your marriage, knowing every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.
    For me and my daughter, being a Christian is important. You have to have the solid foundation to build upon. But the rest was beautiful.
    Thanks!

    • Male headship doctrine is a disgrace to Christianity and a warping of scripture. A husband does not “lead” the marriage, GOD does. Husbands and wives are meant to submit mututally one to another, but American fundamentalist doctrine teaches male hierarchy and does not understand what kephale means. It’s a shame.

      • Julie,
        Perhaps I was not clear, the Him I am referring to is God. My Lord is the only one who leads my life and that is the only one I hope and pray daily that will lead my daughter. Sorry you misunderstood me.

        • There is a great on-going discussion about complementarianism vs. egalitarianism going on over at rachelheldevans.com. I’d recommend every interested party to it.

      • I do not think God leads the marriage. Together you are a unit and you lead the marriage. No one is in a higher position. Not even God.

        • Malisa, I’m so glad you shared your thoughts; I appreciate them. Jenn and I agree on an awful lot and occasionally disagree on a few things. It’s one of the things I’m coming to cherish about UnTangled, it’s a place where disagreement happens and people still stick around to keep challenging each other. So, Malisa, keep sharing and we’ll keep listening!

    • Hi Jenn, I had a feeling you might have some concerns about that sentence. And I had a feeling you would let me know. I like both of those things about you! So glad you’re a part of this community!

    • I don’t think you should change anything Kelly. The way it is put is perfect. “I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion or no religion”. One does not necessary need to know the lord to become the best husband, friend and companion.. Not everyone will believe in Jesus, not everyone will have a religion and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone can have a solid foundation to build that does not necessarily come from faith or Christianity, But it comes from the love you were surrender by threw your childhood. One should always be able to decided their faith. I think the letter was very touching. Thanks Kelly

    • “For me and my daughter, being a Christian is important.”

      How very presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of your daughter, whose beliefs may change as the years pass.

      • oh your right. how DARE she want her daughter to love a God whose love is more abounding than anything. a God who not only is there for you in the good times to make everything THAT much better, but is there when you feel alone, and like life is no longer worth it!! and how dare she want her to have a husband to base his relationship off of God as well so that they will put God first, and therefore put each other first, and put their own desires behind. what an awful thing.

        • Oh ABSOLUTELY! I could not agree more. It is so important that we teach our children to take instructions from the bible with their own children, with their spouses.
          For instance, when visitors come, and you don’t have any cheese and crackers handy, offer them your daughters to rape!
          Oh, and let’s not forget. A good wife is obedient, a husband is lord over her and she should submit.
          MY GOD I almost can’t wait to have children of my own so I can pass on this wisdom.

          “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

          • Yes, because the bible totally says if you don’t have cheese and crackers give them your daughters. If you don’t like God or Christianity or religion. Then don’t comment on anything. Didn’t your parents ever teach you if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all? That’s not just something that Christians follow. The husband is not to lord over his wife, although a wife is to be submissive. In a marriage you are equal. The man is the head of the family and we the woman or wives are the shoulders. We are supporters and love givers, but that does not mean they can control us. Child birth has always been and always will be painful, but people live through it don’t they? It’s not like having a baby is like having some fatal disease. The pain is not going to last the rest of your life. You should be thankful you even have the ability to give life. Because not everyone does. Everyone has their opinion and here I have just simply stated mine as did the woman whose comment your commenting on. If you don’t like it, deal with it.

            • “A wife is to be submissive. In a marriage you are equal.” makes perfect sense. Thanks for clarifying this image and not being contradictory

            • i don’t get why you’re still trying to support that person who clearly is not intending any real passion toward the article other than to advertise christianity so that he’ll change his letter to tailor the Christian God into the mix. Why does that have to be important at all? Many great people in this world who have sinned the least r atheists and non-christians. In fact.s ome of the most violent and immoral ppl on the planet were christian or muslim. why r u mixing all of this stuff into a letter that the dr is trying to put for her daughter? Look at Jennifer and Christina’s comments. they r trying to make an argument and sound logical by putting God into the mix as the entity that will ultimately lead to their happiness.

              Like look at this fucking comment below:
              “oh your right. how DARE she want her daughter to love a God whose love is more abounding than anything. a God who not only is there for you in the good times to make everything THAT much better, but is there when you feel alone, and like life is no longer worth it!! and how dare she want her to have a husband to base his relationship off of God as well so that they will put God first, and therefore put each other first, and put their own desires behind. what an awful thing.” How obnoxious really. yes the previous comment was presumptuous and she was speaking w/o her daughter’s will or volition. sarcastically dimissing it as ‘how dare she do this and that to appreciate God?’ as if it was a crime to say that such thoughts were presumptuous. What they going to dedicate their entire relationship off God? is that you what you’re saying that Christina is right? How about how dare Christina even come up with such a weak argument to support something that has zero relevance to the topic at hand. What does God have to do w/ this letter in the first place? Get out of here you toolbags I can’t believe you call yourself Christians. I’m not as religious but my mom’s a real Christian and real Christians don’t do all it takes to hypnotize everyone into devoting their life to God. Real Christians accept differences and love regardless of opinionated differences. If the Tower of Babel has injected any info on us, it’s that ppl can still be good and find commonground despite the differences.

              How about shame on all you so-called Christians and deep thinkers who really have no moral worth in society because all you do is make petty statements on topics irrelevant to what you’re so anal about. There is no reason to post on this article about stupid shit you just said other than you have all the time in the world to troll around instead of looking for actual places to talk about the issues you are interested in. You want to be obnoxious zealots with no programming above what you’ve been given then fine w/ me. Don’t go bothering other ppl when they r trying to share something wonderful in their private lives. this is why no one takes extremists seriously. my mom is a hardcore catholic and part of a very conservative catholic church. Guess what? they support gay marriage, they don’t go around saying “i think you should change the lines a little bit so that God is mentioned and is appreciated above all in relation to the topic being written about.” it’s like that story w/ the catholic schools teaching false information about history and how dinosaurs were born after humans about 5,000 yrs ago, which is a ridiculous statement since mammals weren’t even evolved until after the extinction of dinosaurs many yrs before that.

              Christina can you actually back up your statement? the mother wants her daughter to believe in allt he things you just said but really the mom should be teaching the daughter morals and not just religion. Ppl forget that faith and religion were created for moral reasons of controlling the evil behavior of human beings. Those who aren’t so weak in faith and have strong beliefs of moral sensibilities r atheists and don’t need something to guide them. I myself have lost hope for humanity because you do such nonsensical things like trolling cleverly as if you are entitled to make such posts, we live in a society wher eno one wants to admit that black ppl r still mistreated and that the claiming of racism on every confrontation is becoming a parody since ppl abuse it, and we honestly forget what is important and in what context that it is important like the way these christian zombies keep trying to make everything into a direct appreciation of God and bible verses. There is little hope for the human race since so many more ppl like these exist and so little ppl like Dr. Kelly r around to keep things in balance.

      • How dare we speak for our children? WOW!! By law we speak for our children until they are 18 and some times even after 18! and if the law demands it…well Morality demands it even more.

        There are things that I will let my children choose according to the maturity level they show. Until then, I will speak for them.

        • ah but do you ask them what they like or love? children are more aware than you realise and they understand despotism

      • it is presumptuous and it will most likely change as the child becomes older – teach the value of your views without preaching and you will most likely find they follow your example without you browbeating them = teach the value of good choices and self respect – not all men professing to be christian (or any other) are good

        • I think this article sums it up well.

          It Matters Whom You Marry

          August 15, 2012 By RVD in Marriage, Women

          My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college student with slightly cooler hair and no glasses. The girl was obviously with him. But while the computer geek was busy serving everyone at the meal, clearing plates and garbage, the college student got angry with the girl for a small accident and poured red juice over her leather jacket and white shirt. She picked the wrong guy, and the juice didn’t seem to change her mind. She is in for some grief if that relationship continues and especially if it leads to marriage.

          So to all the young, unmarried Christian girls out there, listen up: who you marry matters. You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad. It’s not going to get better
          after the wedding. You might think that he’ll change. It’s possible, but most don’t. You might think that you’ll be able to minister to him and help him. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then, and you will be at risk yourself. A husband should lead and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavior issues.

          Unless someone married is very frank with you, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life.
          Next to salvation there is no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply. Here are just some of the ways that marriage will impact every aspect of living.

          1. It will impact you spiritually. If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of
          temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children.

          If the guy is a believer, is he a strong one? Will he lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how it’s going with your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children
          in this, or will you have to spearhead that? In church, is he going to help the kids sit well, pray, find the hymn, or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married
          spiritually immature men, thinking that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change, and they were wrong. They bear the scars.

          The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.

          2. It will impact you emotionally. Is the guy you’re thinking of going to encourage you, love you, be kind to you, and seek to understand you, or will he want to go out with the guys when you’re having a hard night? Will he listen when you are struggling with something or will he be preoccupied with a video game? Is he going to be annoyed when you cry or will he get you Kleenex and give you a hug? Is he going to going to understand that you are probably more tender than he is, more sensitive to issues and comments, or is he regularly going to run rough shod over your feelings? One woman was struggling to breastfeed her new baby, believing that that was the best thing for her, but it was very
          difficult. Instead of giving support and encouragement, the husband would make mooing sounds whenever he saw his wife working at it. We have to get rid of princess complexes, but we do have emotional needs. Any guy who is uncaring
          about your feelings and self esteem is selfish and should be left alone.

          Be careful – a husband can cripple or foster emotional health.

          3. It will impact you physically. Is the guy you’re with going to provide for your basic needs? Will he be able to shelter, clothe and feed you? At one point in our marriage, I was worried that there was no employment opportunity. My husband assured me that he would work at McDonalds, dig ditches, clean up roadkill – whatever it took to provide for the family, regardless of his gifts and training. That’s the kind of attitude you want. A man who doesn’t provide for his
          household is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). You might have to help ease the financial burden, but unless your husband is disabled or there is another unusual circumstance, you shouldn’t have to carry it yourself.

          Will the man you are with care for your body or abuse it? If he gives you little smacks, kicks, etc. when you’re dating, get away. It’s almost guaranteed that he will abuse you after marriage, and stats show that’s especially true when you are pregnant. Is he going to care for and protect your body or will he hurt it? There are women in churches
          across America who thought it was no big deal to have little (sort of friendly) punches or slaps from their boyfriends, but who are covering up the bruises from their husbands.

          Will the man you are with care for you sexually? Is he going to honour the marriage bed in physical and mental
          faithfulness to you or will he flirt, feed his porn addiction, or even leave you for another woman? You can’t always predict these issues, but if the seeds or practices are already there, watch out. I recently saw a newly married
          couple and the husband was flirting openly with another woman. Unless something drastic happens, that marriage is headed for disaster.

          Is he going to be tender and gentle to you in bed? An unbelieving co-worker once told my sister that after her
          first sexual encounter, she had trouble walking for a few days because her boyfriend was so rough. In other words, he wasn’t selfless enough to care for the body of the woman he said he loved.

          Watch out. Your body needs care and protection.

          4. It will impact you mentally. Is the man that you’re thinking of going to be a source of worry or will he help you deal with your worries? Is he going to encourage your intellectual development, or will he neglect it? Is he going to value your opinions and listen to what you are thinking, or will he disregard your thoughts? Is he going to help you manage stress so that your mind is not burdened that way, or is he going to let you struggle through issues alone? Is
          he going to care for you and be thoughtful of you if you are experiencing mental strain, or will he ignore it? I know of a woman who could handle pregnancy and child birth very well physically but postpartum depression took a huge toll on her mind. The husband overlooked it, continuing to have more children, until his wife ended up in a mental institution.

          You might think that the intellectual or mental side of a marriage is small. It’s bigger than you think. Consider it seriously.

          5. It will impact you relationally. How’s your relationship with your mother? Your dad? Do you love them? Does your boyfriend? Fast forward ten years: you tell your husband
          that your mother is coming for the weekend. Is he excited? Disappointed? Angry? Making snide jokes with his friends? Of course, a husband should come first in your priority of relationships, as you both leave father and mother and cleave to one another. But parents are still a big part of the picture. Whatever negative feelings he has about your parents now will probably be amplified after marriage. Your marriage will either strengthen or damage – even destroy –
          your relationship with your parents. The people who know you best and love you most right now could be cut out of the picture by a husband who hates them.

          It’s the same with sisters and friends. Will they be welcomed, at reasonable times, in your home? Will the guy
          who you’re with encourage healthy relationships with other women, or will he be jealous of normal, biblical friendships? Will he help you mentor younger women and be thankful when older women mentor you, or will he belittle that?

          Don’t sacrifice many good relationships for the sake of one guy who can’t value the people who love you.

          So how will your boyfriend do after the vows? Because this is just a sampling of the ways that a husband can bless
          or curse his wife. The effects are far reaching, long lasting, and either wonderful or difficult. True, there are no perfect men out there. But there are great ones. And it’s better to be single for life than to marry someone who will make your life a burden. Singleness can be great. Marriage to the wrong person is a nightmare. I’ve been in a church parking lot where the pastor had to call the police to protect a wife from a husband who was trying to stop her from worshiping and being with her family. It’s ugly. Don’t be so desperate to get married that your marriage is a grief. If you are in an unhappy marriage, there are ways to get help. But if you’re not married, don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t marry someone whose leadership you can’t follow. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love you as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows and demonstrates the love of Christ.

    • Jennifer: If your daughter met a man who treated her with the utmost respect and loved her wholeheartedly. If you could see the happiness between them every time they were around. If your daughter was in a fair, mutually respectful, loving relationship BUT her man was not religious, did not believe in God or ‘know the Lord’ (as you say), you wouldn’t want her to be with him? This is the reason I dislike religion. It saddens me to think of all the wonderful people you are completely disregarding because they don’t believe the same thing you do.

      • Yes, and I know atheist parents who would never accept their children marrying a person who belongs to a religion. It goes both ways, it is not only some religious people who do this, but also some atheists.

        It is not an atheist or religious or atheist thing, it is a human condition. We like to stick to our own kind and are scared when someone we raised who we selfishly hope emulates us starts moving in a direction we have never accepted as True.

      • You see I would want my daughter to be happy. If this person you say loves my daughter then they would want to go with her to church and to share that experience with her. I think faith is personal between you and God so as you say the “perfect” Guy comes along and he is not a christian then I would caution my daughter of the hardships she could face and encourage her to seek his agreement that he would support going to church with the kids and he would attend as a family. Children learn more by what you do then what you say. So Daddy not going to church with the family has an impact. Ultimately it will as you would expect be my daughter choice whom she marries.

        • I suppose the question I have in response to this is how you would feel if she were in a relationship with all the good qualities outlined above by KindHeartedAtheist, but it just so happened that the person she was in a relationship with was an active follower of a different religion. How would you wish for your daughter to respond? Should she give up on the relationship, or ask of her partner to come to church with her rather than follow their own religious practices, or allow her children to be raised in a household where both religions have equal importance? Should she try to experience her partner’s religion in the same way you would expect her partner to try and experience hers?
          (I understand that this may come across as argumentative, but I am truly asking because I’m curious to know your thoughts on the matter given what you’ve said so far.)

      • I’m a christian girl and when looking for a life partner, I made a conscious decision earlier on that I would not get involved with someone who did not share my same faith, regardless of how great or perfect that person might be. Faith is not just a belief, is a life style… it permeates every part of who I am and what I do. Not having someone share that, I KNEW it would only lead the conflict and heartache. How I handle Life, Finances, Education, etc… is all centered in my faith… I have seen many marriages suffer because one of the partners only did not believe in the same faith, but did not support the partner that did.

    • I deeply dislike the idea that someone who loves your daughter may be everything this letter describes, but you wouldn’t approve because he doesn’t have the same religion. So much for unity and tolerance.

    • I agree with you when you say that parents have to have solid fundations when raising their children. Althoughsometimes, “try and error” is another way to manage events that you didn’t expect 🙂

  3. Dr. Kelly, this is something I never heard as a child. I’m hearing it now through my boyfriend and best friend. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has never heard this as a kid. Thank you so much!

    • I hope your move went well, Cherrie. So glad to hear you’ve found a guy who is helping you to know this!

  4. Hey Dr. Flanagan, how about a letter for the son – the handsome chap in your life?
    Hansraj

  5. Why is it a “he”? And why address your daughter as “cutie pie? I get the sentiment, but I think the writer still has one foot stuck in the past.

    • I would say it is Kelly’s letter to his daughter and if he uses he or calls her Cutie Pie then that is what it means for him, his family and his daughter. I can only speak for myself when I say I will love my children no matter whom they fall in love with. But I dont think a letter to your child has to cover all the “correctness for society”.

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  7. Hi There, I am a complete stranger that happened across your page because someone posted this moving piece on Facebook. I think your message is SO beautiful and SO empowering and every young person should be so lucky to have parents as supportive and protective as you.

    I note below that someone else has already caught this, but be careful about assuming that your daughter is going to be with a MAN and that she wants to have children and even get married. A simple adjustment to “Her future partner” still makes all that you’ve written make sense. And maybe even adding to your list that “I don’t care if he is in fact a she, as long as the partner that you choose loves you as much as we do.”

    • I love how people come here and take a lovely message and dissect it to death. And I see someone else is complaining about his nickname for his daughter. Really? I believe there is a name for people like you: trolls.

      • How is this person a troll? She compliments the author for being supportive of his daughter. While I agree that the nickname is hardly offensive, I agree that a lot of assumptions are being made about marriage and partnership that parents should take note of. He mentions leniency and openness to race and religion (an amazingly progressive choice!!) and I think it’s a worthy note that he neglected to include openness to the gender of his daughter’s future partner. A powerful message nonetheless.

        • I guess I’m just drawn to the tensions, because this thread stands out to me as particularly important. I was aware that I was opening myself up to this critique when I chose to focus on a “husband.” And I appreciate the way it has been pointed out in quite gracious ways. A couple points of clarification: I intentionally chose to avoid the references to same-sex marriage because in the current climate, a reference to same-sex relationships immediately turns it into a political post, rather than a post about our humanity. Having said that, the message of the post applies regardless of how my daughter eventually identifies her sexual orientation. She will always be my Cutie-Pie.

          • Well, this properly answers the comment I just made a minute ago! And I do understand, at least now, why you kept it at ‘husband.’ While I am all for marriage equality (kinda obvious with my profile pic!), I can understand why you might want to leave the issue alone in this post, considering how “loud” people can get on BOTH sides of the issue!

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  9. Kelly, Thanks for your courage in putting your thoughts out into the arena of cyberspace. I find something in them that resonates every time, this fabulously loving post included.

  10. I was so lucky to have a Daddy such as you are. He loved me unconditionally and ALWAYS had my back. He was smart enough to keep silent when I first chose an inappropriate man, but he leapt to applaud when I realized in time he was not right for me.

    My Dad had my back until I was 60 years old. Not many “Cutie-Pie’s” are so fortunate.

  11. Dr. Flanagan, I found your post through facebook and, as a woman in her 20’s living in New York, I want to thank you for saying this to your daughter. My sister and I never heard anything like this from our mostly-absent father and both of us have a hard time believing in ourselves and how we deserve to be loved this way. Thank you for being a great dad and for reminding us that there are good men out there.

    • Thank you. You are worthy of love and interest and I’m so glad to hear this post reassured you of it. As for the “great dad” part, I should probably have you ask my family what they think of that on one of my grumpy mornings. : ) Writing this letter has actually been a huge challenge to myself to start more fully living it.

  12. Is it not acceptable that she never meet a boy and get married? Or meet a girl instead? Or never have children? What if she herself feels more comfortable *as* a boy? You’ve pre-normalized your daughter’s life in advance. In your desire to cover all the bases of what you understand as prejudice, you’ve starkly revealed your own, Daddy.

    • If you raise your child in a loving and stable home and stay attentive, you should be able to tell whether your child is interested in boys or girls. I think Kelly here loves his daughter enough to be able to notice any signs and accept her as whomever she may be. Besides, I think the point of this article is to state that he loves his daughter and believes her to be wonderful, and that he believes she should focus first on understanding and loving herself. Too many girls try to change themselves for the sake of others and he simply doesn’t want his girl to fall prey to that.

      • Tom, thank you. Reading your comment, I felt like I was the beneficiary of a fatherly voice, and I’m deeply grateful for that. Zane, I hope you hang around here at UnTangled as we all work together to figure out our blind spots and learn to push the boundaries of the ways we care for each other.

        • I have a female friend (she’s sitting next to me, playing a video game as I type this) who feels deep sorrow over not being desired as a potential mate. Should she be sad about this? Does she require a husband to be happy? It is the existence of careless articles such as this which reinforce potentially harmful cultural norms (such as heterosexuality being the “default”, unquestioned positive evaluation of marriage, assumption of daughter’s gender outlook and predisposition to both agree with and participate in the institution of marriage) and stifle the ability for our youth to understand the flimsy nature of these authorities. One does not need to conform to an ancient institutionalized response to human jealousy (marriage) in order to be happy, and your implication that one does is not only incorrect, it is actively harmful.

          • Zane, I think you are reading to much into what was written. This is a letter from a Father to his daughter telling her that it is not her job to keep a man (or woman) interested in her. That the person she is should be enough for someone to love her, which I think for the most part, is what every parent wants for their child. Everyone needs to be loved, whether it is a passionate love, familial love or companionate love, everyone needs to be loved. So whether his cutie-pie makes the decision to marry, or be in a committed relationship, or to just be friends with someone, that person she designates as being important in her life needs to be someone who is worthy of her, just as any person in your life needs to be worthy of you and you of them. If a person cannot accept you for who you are and love you as you are, then they are not worthy of you.

          • Zane, I’m amazed at how completely contradictory you are being. If your female friend “feels deep sorrow” over not being desired as a potential mate than she is EXACTLY the type of girl who will benefit from this post which is solely and specifically promoting the importance of a woman knowing and appreciating her own worth and NOT depending on “a potential mate” to be happy. This applies to both cases in which she chooses to marry or if she chooses not to “participate in the institution of marriage”. I would like to also point out the fact that he did not once mention anything about marriage throughout the entirety of his letter. Furthermore I find it highly unlikely that your friend feels such deep sorrow simply because of “the existence of careless articles which reinforce potentially harmful cultural norms.” Perhaps because of the mere fact that she is human, she actually desires, of her OWN free will, the company of someone who will love her and who she will love back. It is quite frankly BASIC human nature.

          • I would never tell someone that they needed to be married in order to be happy. Marriage itself brings a lot of struggle and a lot of pain. You will have happy and unhappy times, married or not. With that being said, who are you to tell her friend that she should NOT feel deep sorrow over not being married. If that is something that she wants for herself, why are you suggesting she should force herself to want something different? I have a friend who has no desire to be married. She is happy with her life how it is. Good for her. But for those who hurt because they want to experience a deep intimacy with another person that can only be had by a complete commitment… well, I would just say that hurting with your friend will probably be more compassionate and more helpful than telling her that she shouldn’t want what she wants.

    • There is no reason for everything on the Internet to be picked apart with outrage all the time. The father is clearly accepting and I highly doubt this was meant to be a stance on homosexuality or not having children. Honestly, just relax. No one has time to check everything they say 3x to make sure they have covered every possible gender, race, religion, handicap, and sexual preference. You completely missed the point here.

      • Let’s remember the author in question has the privileged title “doctor”. Let’s remember that the author in question is a psychologist, someone who should be especially sensitive to these issues. Let’s remember that Dr. Flanagan does in fact place disclaimers and N.B.’s in-line and beneath his articles. Context is important, Kate.

        • So because this post offends you, it shouldn’t be made? So the people who have stated that it helped them would never get to read it?

        • lets also remember the post was prompted by a google search about how to keep HIM interested – the good Dr has addressed this perfectly with his daughter in mind and all you do with your negativity is show your bias and insecurities with someone you perceive as privileged. you don’t have to be politically correct on every little nuance – i think we’re all aware enough of this without havign to be schooled by you

        • oh get a life or is your job just to make everyone as miserable as you seem to be?

        • I don’t think any reasonable argument will make you see it in a different way. You made a choice to see this in a negative light. There is no such thing as a perfect commentary, no such thing as a perfect father. The idea of perfection is an illusion. If you refuse to see the love of the father that is hidden in this letter, then that is a choice you are making. While I’m glad that there are people like you who strive for perfection, political correctness, and correct social commentary, I feel bad for you that you are somehow unable to even acknowledge the love that is embedded in this letter. Perhaps you need a little hug.

    • This is an absolutely ridiculous notion, while I stand fast in my belief that everyone should be equal and I fully support the gay community, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT EVERYTHING EVERYONE SAYS HAS TO BE TAILORED FOR ALL SEXUALITIES. You preach tolerance and equality and yet you completely disregard the fact that not everything posted has to be for you too perhaps this post isn’t tailored for the homosexual community and you should just ignore it and not ruin an absolutely beautiful letter by trying to pick holes in it because you feel the need to point out that he wrote he instead of he/she or him/her. I’m all for educating people and correcting them when they are being a bigot, but this post is far from it. Thank you Dr. Flanagan for this letter and I hope your daughter whoever she chooses male OR female embodies this. Zane Ball take a look in the mirror and rethink your life and stop being such a miserable prick.

  13. This absolutely beautiful! My father has never written something like this for me, but I know that these are the very thoughts he has espoused within every moment of raising me. It has helped me to understand my father’s guidance, strength, and love all the more. So thank you Kelly! And all the best to your little girl! She is in very good hands with a father like you.

    • Thank you, Trisha. And I’m so glad this put into words your experience. It’s one thing to write it, it’s another thing to live it; your dad is a good man!

  14. I’ve been wondering how to talk to my children about this topic without having them misinterpret what I’m actually trying to say—and I think you worded it perfectly. I especially liked the part where you say- “as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred”. For every religion is built upon similar roots, they’re just different paths, but they all agree with love. It’s sad how the media affects the way people view other religions. Anyways, although I’m only 18, I still want to learn how to be the best parent for my children. I don’t plan on having children for a very very long time because raising a human being is incredibly difficult!! (requires way more than just being able to provide diapers,food,etc). Even babies are constantly learning and observing the world, which is why I believe one should be well versed in neuroscience/psychology and realize that we are one and the same process as the universe. One reason I say neuroscience is because dealing with child tantrums requires patience,and those who are familiar in neuroscience know that emotions are just chemical reactions occurring in the brain, so of course, a child who is confused of what is going on in their mind will get irritable.I want to at least provide a very stable and loving environment where they will never be forced to live up to a certain standard, because, like you said, we are all worthy. It’s important to keep children motivated and let them realize that they are infinite beings with infinite possibilities. Thank you for posting!

    • Lauren, I appreciate the gravity with which you think about parenting. Blessings to you as you prepare yourself for the endeavor!

  15. Hi Dr Kelly,

    Being raised in a typical Asian state of materialism, I have heard many times from my friends and relatives that I should change and dress up more often in order to find a boyfriend. I should also change my personalities (strong & argumentative personalities) in order to suit the liking of the average Asian guy.

    I have stood strong to my position, living my life being me, and never changed for the past 23 years of my life. When friends and families tell me to change, I always refuted, “If my boyfriend cannot accept me for who I am, we’d better not be together in the first place.”

    I thank you very much for your letter, which keeps me on my stance even firmer, hoping that one day, I will find a guy who can love and accept me for who I am, and not for who he thinks he would love.

    I am not a Christian, but I believe in God, and I believe that he will bless your children for writing this letter to encourage all men and women to be who they are. You do not know how much lives you may save by dedicating this letter to everyone who is reading it.

    Once again, thank you very much, and your children are very much blessed to have such a loving father like you.

    Jacqueline Low

    • I assume that you are from Singapore? Whatever you just wrote about your relatives applies to me as well.

      • I’m just a country 1 hour away from you. Pretty much the same thing, but I think mine is worse coz religion takes soooooo much into consideration as well. -_____-“

    • Sounds similar to my situation and I’m from Singapore. Asian too. Interestingly, the only man I have ever connected and clicked well with turned out to be an Irish caucasian man who lives in Ireland. It was interesting to me because I’d always thought that caucasian men won’t suit me. But after I met him for the first time and spent a week with him, I realised that I didn’t want to be without him.

      • It is so encouraging to see the three of you connect in this space. And I hope each of you will find a partner who appreciates your strength and tenacity!

      • OMG! this is the exact same thing that’s happened to me. I have what they call a “strong” personality, very opinionated and seeks to always be “right”. I have had difficulty finding someone who will suit me because most Filipino men prefer a timid and reserved woman, something like the 1950’s mom. I’ve been told to “mellow down” and act “less smart” in order to catch a man. Never could do it…I just always knew there was someone out there who would be strong enough for me, and who would find my qualities endearing, albeit intimidating to some. And I found that man in a Scotsman…who not only respects me, protects me, and loves me…but also helps me grow into a stronger more independent woman. We have been together for two years now and will be tying the know soon.

        I believe that there is someone set aside for all of us, to be our lifetime companions, regardless of our age, race, religion, or gender.

        • Are you perhaps Sandra Oh’s character Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, who also marries a Scotsman, actor Kevin McKidd, who plays her TV husband Owen Hunt? Just teasing.

        • I only wish that your (as in ALL of you Asian women in this thread!) countries had more of you; at least more of you willing to stand up for who you are, and not “mellow down” like your families tell you to. Women need to be proud of their strength of personality, ESPECIALLY when they’ve been raised in a culture that frowns on that very same strength! I’m sure that sounds strange, coming from an American male (not QUITE a ‘white-boy,’ at least not 100%!), but I don’t think it makes my point any less valid.

      • Well, us Irish boys (even Irish-American/Cherokee Indian boys like me!) like women with strong personalities! They are the only kind that can hold their own with us, and we LOVE that in a potential relationship/partner/mate!

      • I have to jump in here. My grandmother is half Chinese half Hispanic. She is tiny and so so fiesty. Very opinionated and stubborn. Love her! She married Irish and they raised four amazing intelligent self sufficient loving children. They are in their 80’s now and still love each other. I asked her what her secret is to her long marriage. She says fight fair and never cross certain lines. She laughs and says they fuss every single day but it is all in good humor. Blessings to you and yours.

    • The assumption u made of changing for someone else is wrong. Change should be a part of life. Not for others, but for yourself. It is human nature to strive to be better. Believing that change itself is negative is to build a wall blocking yourself from reaching your potential. Dress up to look pretty not for others but for your self-esteem. Like it or not, how others see us will affect our self esteem. Find the root of the problem with your argumentative personality not for finding a bf but to be a better person. I wish u all the best.

      • she doesn’t WANT to dress up. so if she did dress up it wouldn’t make her happy. some of us don’t want to be pretty or feminine and being made to don the trappings of those qualities makes us feel crappy instead. a decisive personality isn’t a problem either and you wouldn’t be suggesting that is was if she were a man. she’s got it figured out, why are you trying to give her advice?

      • I keep commenting on this blog but my comments keep getting deleted. Presumably because I disagree with the author. Anyway, for the third time, when entering a Google search for “how to keep…” the top result is actually “how to keep HER interested”. It’s not BAD to work on a relationship and I don’t understand why this guy keeps deleting my comments.

        • Anna, I think a diversity of opinions and respectful disagreement is a good thing. I can assure you I haven’t deleted any of your comments, they are just getting automatically placed lower in the comment feed because they haven’t been up-voted. As a gesture of goodwill, I will copy your original comment here, although I have not deleted the original and it can also be read below in the feed:

          “This is crowd-pleasing silliness. Relationships will always take work. You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness. You SHOULD work to keep EACH other interested. If you search advice to men, you will see the same adages. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive to your husband. There is nothing wrong or abnormal with injecting some effort into a marriage. This is ridiculous. Life isn’t a romantic comedy.
          Nose twitching? Jesus. Try earth-shattering sex.
          You have no idea what girls really want.”

          One point of clarification before I wish you well. To encourage a person to embrace their worth is not to rule out hard work and mutuality in a relationship. In fact, knowing our worth enables to fully invest in mutuality, service, and sacrifice. I’d invite you to read some of my other posts about relationships. You may enjoy them.

          Blessings to you as you continue on your journey.

          • soo… stumbled upon this post in a share-feed on facebook, thought it was really heart-felt and what a real dad should write to his daughter, but then i scrolled down for kicks and read the comments. seriously? im a super hypocrite for writing here. but wtf. why so negative. thought i was bitter.. but anna.. you take the cake. lol hope your happy now…..

            • I totally agree with you Christine. Anna and the trolls should not be fed. This post was heartfelt and insightful. Not that I need one, but it reminds me of why I fell in love with (and still am) head over heels for my wife.

          • I’ll be frank – I’ve never heard of you before, and I just happened to find this page by a share on Facebook… but sir, reading your post AND your comments, I just have to say that you are one of the most well spoken, positive, and cool people I’ve ever encountered on the internet. Keep on bringing joy, man!

            • Richard, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to affirm me in that way! I’ll keep bringing it; you do so, as well!

            • I agree. I’m not sure how I came across this, but I am impressed and grateful, Dr. Flanagan. Thank you.

            • I have to agree…I cried through most of what you wrote…I tried hard to bring up my children to respect themselves and for them to know that not everyone is deserving of the wonderful person that they are…their lives have not always been easy, but they have always learned something along the way and stepped away from those who are not deserving of them…I have tried to teach them to be strong and realize when they have made a mistake and that they can go on and be better and they are teaching their children the same…I have an awesome husband and between us, we have a blended family of 4 children who always knew they were loved by both of us, always knew they could come to us when something went wrong, always knew even though sometimes they were wrong, that life does go on and they were able to make a negative into a positive…they are all well liked by friends, coworkers etc….they are great kids and somewhere along the way, we did something right….I was not given a sense of self worth by either parent as I was growing up and consequently a lot of my decisions were based on how I was raised…but one day I met my 3rd husband (we are now 31 yrs later), he told me not long after we started going out that he admired me….that small simple phrase changed my life…he is the love of my life and he helped to make me the strong person I am today and helped to make the kids the strong people they are today…small things mean a lot…but he is no small man and after all these years, I am still “In Love” with him…thanks again for the awesome letter…I really loved it…

              • “He admired me.” Words make a difference, don’t they, Jacki? I’m glad to hear your husband’s words made a difference for you, and thanks for taking the time to share your story and such affirming words with me! Best, Kelly

          • you honestly sound like a typical young adult these days…if girls want earth-shattering sex. u can’t have it w/ the same guy over and over again cause you’ll get bored just as much as that guy will get bored w/ you. This type of thinking that you bring is very modern but it hasn’t done well for American society. a society where parents are worried about the people their children are hanging out w/.. we live in an age where we are afraid of our neighbors when back then we actually openly accepted neighboring and community. I’m 25 also so i’ve lived right in th emiddle of it. As far as I can tell, most kids just think about sex very loosely and believe that there is no person who will fully stay interested in another. That cheating is inevitable unless someone tries. Please get rid of all that immature nonsense and realize that sometimes some ppl aren’t looking for that kind of shit in life and simply want to find the right loving, loyal person.

              • i don’t know what your talking about Buddie… I’m 23 years old ,and myself, as well as all my friends male and female, are looking for someone who they can cherish and love for their whole lives. my sister and her fiancee just celebrated 10 years. I know that the media portrays a different view of society, and yes some men and women are rather loose…. but they were when our parents were young, and our grandparents. My friends father always says, the skirts may have been longer back in the day but they still came up. Just as there were sexual people in the early years of the New World, during the French Revolution, the Renaissance, all though the church, the Vatican, Ancient Greece and Rome… There were vestal virgins found to be impure and burred alive…. no matter where you look in history this has always happened, and it always will happen, some men, and some women, allow their lust and sexual impulses to get the better of them. However most people always have and still do want love. Most people want a person they can spend their lives with, who will respect them, and who will love them for who they are, i know that is what i desire, and i know that is what all my friends desire. We search for love not lust, and i believe many others do as well.

            • @sjy I disagree completely. Having one partner means you get to know what each other likes and doesn’t like, after four years i’m not “bored” of him and he’s not “bored” of me in any sense. We’ve grown up a lot together and our relationship has grown a lot as well. Before I met him I did play into those ideas that I could never find someone who would like me for me and who wouldn’t get bored. Now it seems so silly. We met when I was 15 and he was 16, i’m going on 20, and he turns 21 in a few months. That being said, there is nothing wrong with people who want to sleep around, as long as they seek out other people who don’t want commitment as well. It’s when one partner wants a relationship and the other wants a fling that feelings get hurt. From the get go we were crazy about each other, and neither of us is willing to give up. That’s unusual for people our age, yeah, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who don’t want that yet in their lives.

            • If you haven’t been able to have ‘earth shattering sex’ over and over again, witht he same person – then the fault is with you. When you are in a truly caring, and loving, committed relationship, the sex only gets better – and yes I do know this from experience, as well as others. Usually, there is a reason people get bored, and/or have a mindset like yours, and I bet it perfectly describes you – selfish lover.

          • Well handled, Sir. I, personally, would like to say that, as a woman, what you wrote to your daughter is not only wonderful and moving, but WHAT A WOMAN WANTS. If I don’t love myself, no-one else will. If I don’t hold myself accountable in knowing my self worth, no-one will. In the end, sex may be what rocks one’s world, but sex, and wanting it, fades and becomes an after thought to true companionship and friendship. With age, one learns. Thank you for being you.

          • I don’t find it “silly” at all. And I think that what Anna took out of the post must be a FAR CRY from what I got from it. The message that I took to heart had NOTHING to do with what girls vs guys want. What I understood the message to be is that, his daughter, my daughter, my sons, and everyone else, is WORTH interest. They, in and of themselves, are interesting to someone, even without trying to be interesting. Now, let’s just assume that you spend time trying to “keep your man interested” who is he interested in? YOU? or the image you are giving to him? Relationships are absolutely work. But, the real question is, when you are following those tips in articles provided by google search, is it YOU he is interested in, or the THINGS google told you to do. The work that should be involved to keep each other interested should be things like, turning off the television and talking to each other, going for a walk, or maybe seduction. But Not by “faking” things that you found on a list. THAT IS SILLINESS! Teaching our children that THEY are WORTH someone’s interest is 1) positive reinforcement parenting 2) building their confidence. No one ever said anything about making them believe the world revolved around them.

          • this is in response to anna’s reposted comment. I agree 100% with you that relationships take work from both sides, but your comment “You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness.”, I gotta shake my head at. I’m sure Dr. Kelly’s whole fam is the center of his universe, and this little girls future partner damn well better make her the center of his/her universe. Every woman and man deserves that from the person they spend the rest of their lives with.

          • In terms of what this article is basically saying, it appear that all the letter is asking for is that whoever Dr. Flanagan’s daughter decides is worthy of consideration for marriage makes her and their family to be a priority in his life. This is generalized so that any religion and worldview can apply it, but the essential point is the same: Whichever person you decide to court/marry better have this relationship as a priority and be willing to treat you as worthy of attention, and not make you earn it. This violates the very nature and definition of love if it must be earned. Love and priority are essential in any healthy relationship. While other things not mentioned in this article are equally important in considering a potential spouse, that is again not the focus of this letter. Very well done, Doctor Flanagan.

          • Anna, I don’t think it’s quite natural for a Father to think of his daughter having “earth shattering sex”… I know I certainly don’t appreciate that image of my parents so why would they think along those lines in my marriage? And in all honesty the best love life comes from the deepest love. Marriage is hard work, and we all need to invest in our relationships. I don’t believe he was discounting that fact. I don’t disagree with your post either. But if you’re truly loved by your spouse you will always be interesting to him. His eyes shouldn’t wonder beyond you, nor your eyes past him. And as long as you both value each other, everything else falls into place. I believe the kind of man he’s warning his daughter about is the man who ONLY wants earth shattering sex and doesn’t care much for who You are.

          • “…knowing our worth…” is such a powerful statement. Beautifully written, I hope my husband shares this with our daughters, in hopes they can appreciate the meaning behind it. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        • Actually (though this has nothing to do with the argument) I would like to point out that Google learns your searches and customizes results. Different people could type in the exact same phrase and come up with vastly different top results. A person who likes travelling and often searches for travel places could type in “Malaysia” and the top results would be tourist destinations, the must visit islands and must local delicacies, whereas a politically inclined person who keeps up with international news would search “Malaysia” and get results of their recent General Elections and the accusations of how it was all dirty politics.

        • This man just wants the best for his daughter. He wants what every father wants, someone who is good enough for his daughter, and to be honest, as a father of a little girl myself, I don’t believe any man is good enough. I believe every father feels this way towards his daughter, unless his mother was never around because she was selfish and always out looking for this, “earth-shattering sex” you speak of. I believe this whole world has gone selfish because of a need for self-gratfcation. We all just hope to feel something, and if it isn’t instant, we don’t want it because it must be broken or something. I hear stories nearly every day about how some woman just upped and left her kids behind. My sister-in law has left her two children, a 10 year old boy, and a 14 year old girl behind. She left them nearly five times in their lives because she went on some adventure with some random new guy who promised to buy her things, but these last two years that she’d been gone are permanent. She calls these children maybe once per year and explains to them that she is coming to pick them up, and guess what? never shows up. These children whose parents need instant gradification are the ones who suffer, and they will probably continue the suffering on their children because it was how they were raised. So, you can say that men will never know what women want, but this article was never about what a woman wanted, it was about what a man wanted for his daughter. Also, the problem with wanting to be attractive to your husband, is that some women try too hard and get upset for the man not noticing and so she goes elsewhere to find someone who notices. I believe you are true in the sense that relations do take dedication or you just sit around bored and become co-dependant, but I think that you misinterperate, this man’s message.

          • actually Anna- although im late to this conversation, a google search of “how to keep…” pops up how to keep a man. thats all and its an amazing letter. period.

        • Anna, it is bad to work on the relationship, when it is only the woman doing the working!! There are mostly articles that tell women to do all the change and kissing up, and gullible women fall for the crap!! Men keep promoting this bull, because it is the woman that has to work on the relationship. The author of this article is correct. The author needs to write a thousand more of these articles and send them out over the internet to everyone condones this gender biased bull!! Women need to stop changing themselves for a man, unless men do some work just like we do. 6-15-13

        • id rather a man respect, quart and flatter me before fucking me any day…. and there is no way people can be interested in each other in bed, and truly have earth shattering sex, without first being in true love. there is no greater feeling than making love. It sounds corny but its true. And what he is saying is not that you shouldn’t have to work to keep each other interested, rather the work should be mutual, and the interest should be easy. A girl should not have to change for a man, nor should a man have to change for a girl. If she/he wants her/him to change their style, or the books or movies they like, or their argumentative personality, or anything about them they are not right for each other, this is what Dr. Flanagan is saying. Try and read between the lines, and truly understand something before posting comments that actually make no sense… And I’ve seen some of those articles, for men and women, and they are generally disgraceful. it is not a woman’s job to make a man a sandwich or bring him a beer. If she happens to be getting a beer, or making a sandwich for herself, then by all means, grab him a beer/sandwich…. but a man should not expect that just because he has a penis a woman is obligated to be his slave. Times have changed, and we should not be expected to wait hand and foot on a man.

          • So many comments like this focus on the woman bringing the guy a beer/sandwich etc and make out like that is somehow the woman being the man’s slave. My gf does things like that for me all the time whether she is making one for herself or now. The often missed point is that I do the exact same for her. all the time! We’re essentially both each other’s slaves and it’s pretty cool tbh.

        • “How to keep he…” gives “how to keep heart healthy/healthy/healthy liver”

          “How to keep hi…” gives “how to keep him interested/happy/happy in bed”

          As far as “work on a relationship” is concerned, equal effort should come from both ends and the “actual” fact of the search results is stated above and it clearly shows that women are more worried and desperate to “keep their men” and this is the issue the author is dealing with.

          Basically what he means is ‘love’ and ‘respect’ are more important than the frivolous parts of ‘interest’ and he wishes his daughter, others’ daughters, and I would like to add, every single person too, must realize that.
          The issue is of self-esteem and self-respect and likewise, respecting others for who they are.

          As far as “deleting” of your comments is concerned, get your facts right and by the way,

          “How to keep…” gives “how to keep cool” 😛

        • Anna, I do agree with the comment you made stating that relationships take work and that both people in the relationship ought to attempt to keep each other happy. That being said, I do wish that you wouldn’t be quite so harsh as to state that the author has “no idea what girls really want.”

          I believe that the purpose of this article is not to simply say that one person in the relationship must be adored while doing no work whatsoever. I believe that this article was written to address the fact that society (still) teaches women that they are worth nothing more than whatever they are worth to a man. Women are told that they ought to be working hard to “catch a man” and “keep him” by jumping through hoops–i.e. changing their personalities to be subservient and demure (because women are to be seen and not heard and we must make the men know how smart and important they are), constantly working on their appearance (because no man would possibly want a woman that doesn’t spend an hour or more every morning getting ready and women are not worthy of leaving the house unless they are looking good enough to attract a man) and by waiting on men’s needs (because women should be a chef in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom, regardless of who she actually is or what she actually wants). I believe that the point of the article was to explain to the world that we are all worth adoration from someone who loves us and finds us “interesting” just as we are. Women are people. We have our own passions and personalities and likes and dislikes and we deserve to be treated as individuals that deserve to be with someone that finds us interesting, without us having to learn how to “keep him interested”. This is not to say that we “need” any one to prove our worth or that every woman needs or wants a man. This article was written because of the undeniable fact that women are taught to seek the acceptance and love of a man and that just isn’t how things should be.

          Also, maybe you need to delete your browsing history, cookies, search history, etc. because I was quite intrigued by your comment stating that “how to keep HER interested” was the first google hit, only to find that was simply not true. I deleted ALL of my internet history before typing into google “how to keep” and found that “how to keep a man” was the top hit (just before “pipes from freezing”, which I found quite amusing to think that more people worry about keeping their man than keeping their plumbing).

      • Or maybe she just has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to speak them and stand up for them. I think that DOES make her a better person. I much prefer to be around people who will stand up for what they believe in and be strong, even if that makes them argumentative. As for dressing up- I know plenty of guys who prefer a girl who is natural, not someone who pastes on a ton of make-up and puts on pretty dresses, even if that isn’t who they are. Making her happy would be for her to be whomever she feels in her skin. The attitude, the clothes, those are all just accessories. What really counts, what really makes a woman, or person shine, is when they are exactly who they are. When they can sit on a sofa and eat popcorn with that special someone and talk about books or watch a movie, all while wearing their sweats and t-shirts. Or whatever else may make that person feel wonderful about being who they are.

      • How others see you should not affect your self esteem at all. I care not what anyone in the world thinks of me and I have great self esteem. I do not need others to provide me affirmation. I do that myself, and I am teaching my children the same.

        • I completely agree with you. The notion that we absolutely need the affirmation of others to develop self-affirmation is erroneous. Having others appreciate or compliment your appearance could certainly feel nice, but does that really have substance? True strength in self worth — a true sense of self esteem — lies within, in an inviolable place over which you have the most control.

    • Hey there! I am with you on this! Although I know that I am so stubborn at once, but I can def. differentiate where, when, and how to act at different places without changing who I am. If I ever want to change, I change for me, not to satisfy someone else’s appetite. We live in a country where truly speaking, “doesn’t really matter who you are, in the end, what matters is what they hear about you out there.” Which sucks like no other!

      I am also a person who would stand on the first line for things that I think it’s worth fighting or the right thing to do, but on the other hand, at many times, I apologize for what I did wrong and I realized it. However, nobody in this part of the country really take those things and just stamped me with “STUBBORN.” Again, I don’t resist to change, I call it ‘adaptation’. But I refuse to do it in order to get a bf, or a husband, or satisfy my bf’s parents or whatsoever.

    • Would you want to Marry an argumentative person? Benjamin goh’s comment – I completely agree.

      • I AM married to a (fellow) argumentative person… and I couldn’t be happier! Yeah, it can be a roller coaster, but I like living my life that way.

      • It depends on what you mean by argumentative. There are people who argue simply to argue. They use their ability to to see multiple sides of an argument to contradict people, regardless of what the topic is. They argue as a way to tear people down, not to explore new ideas. I would not want to be married to a person like that. However, there are others who simply know what they believe and are willing to discuss it. They use their discernment to bring new ideas to light and to encourage their partner to think in new ways. That type of person can be a wonderful spouse.

    • Jacqueline, thank you very much for voicing your views. I feel like you have spoken for me and perhaps many other young women in a similar situation. I have not been as strong as you, having succumbed to deep depression with low self-esteem and no self worth, and despaired over no understanding from my family on this issue over the years to the point of considering suicide, I hope you stay true to your position.

    • That’s so ironic that people tell you you need to be less strong, because people always tell me that I need to act more confident in order for a guy to like me. I do think that no one should ever settle, and I think it’s very important to be open to change, but I agree that it should be for self-improvement and not in order to get a man.

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      I think it is great that you are confident in who you are and have a strong personality. My wife and I also have strong personalities which I think was the original basis of our mutual attraction. She is the 3rd not-son from a very traditional Asian family, and did not receive sufficient affirmations when she was growing up. My ability to give her positive affirmations made it easy to win her heart, but she never developed any ability to reciprocate. After 25 years of neglect I desperately need the affirmations she cannot give, even after a year of counseling. She goes through the motions, but cannot hide her contempt for what she perceives as weakness. She is not willing to grow or change. After 25 years together, we are now divorcing.

      Your strong and argumentative personality may make it more difficult to find the right person for you, but it will also attract the strongest men. As long as you develop the ability to respect and affirm your partner, you will have no problems maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.

    • Dear Jacqueline,

      First of all, very nice name :). Secondly, I would strongly advise you to continue being you, since nothing else is or should be possible. Try to look upon the ‘advice’ your friends and family give you as their own concern for your well-being, which, judging from your post, is obviously not needed, nevertheless it is a part of being in a family/group of friends and they ultimately do it out of love, so just nod and smile. 🙂

      When I saw your post I immediately wanted to reply because your words described my past situation to the letter.

      When I was 25 (I am now 29) I had been without a boyfriend for a few years and had shown no interest in getting one if it meant changing who I was. My friends and family started ‘butting in’ and asking me on a daily basis when I was thinking of getting a boyfriend and trying to set me up with basically anyone. It got so frequent that it really started to insult me as if it wasn’t enough for them just being myself, I had to be paired up or I would be doomed :). Anyways, a few years passed, my loved ones continued annoying me and then I realized something, all their pushing and insisting had made me not want to be with anyone because I thought it implied changing who I was and that was not an option even if it meant spending my life alone. Fortunately, that was not the case. The moment I realized that I had become afraid of relationships I saw the fear for what it was (fear not reality) and it fell apart leaving me to fell free again.

      Two months later I met my boyfriend and we fell in love at first sight. For the past two years, we have made compromises but we DO NOT change each other and we love each other because of who we are not in spite of it.

      I am proud to say that I haven’t changed a bit, but have become a better version of myself which is what love brings out in people and what it will definitely bring out in you. Look forward to your bright future because you know what you are looking for and you will find it.

      Hope this helped 🙂

      Much love

  16. Pingback: A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband) | The Red Attack.
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  19. I am a single asian adult female and am in a sort of a long distance relationship with an Irish man who lives at the other end of the world, 8 hours apart. He has always been a typical Irish man when it comes to conversing online – he hardly ever talks about his feelings about almost everything important, unless I push him, which I detest doing because I want him to want to do it instead of being pushed. After chatting online for a year and finally meeting up, I have realised something about him. He is entirely different in person and online. Online, he is often cool and aloof. In person, he is sometimes shy, sometimes aloof and cool, but often humorous, playful, caring and sweet, and cares if my friend and I are indeed enjoying our holiday with him (I brought a friend along for safety reasons since it was the very first time we were meeting). And he was a complete gentleman. But now that I’m back home, he’s back to being Mr Cool online and I’m finding out that Irish men are typically emotionally inarticulate when it comes to talking about their feelings and anything serious, which is so frustrating since I’m still confused about how he feels about me, despite the fact that he asked me to return to Ireland next summer! And in the meantime, I’m facing pressure from my friends to get him to fly over to meet me instead since I flew over the last time. The fact is, I suspect that he isn’t sure about his feelings for me, and even though I genuinely love certain aspects about him, such as his gentlemanly sweet caring nature and the fact that we get along far better than all the other men I’ve met, I too have doubts about him.

    Despite of my many doubts, I want to spend more time with him. But his “I don’t want to talk about serious stuff” attitude has often left me doubting about myself and if he feels anything about me at all. I have only had the little sweet acts that he did quietly and discreetly (I would’ve missed them if I hadn’t been paying attention!) to gauge if he has any interest in me at all. After all this, I’m left doubting myself a great deal – does he even want me at all?

    But this article reaffirmed and encouraged me – to see my own worth, to love and appreciate myself and to be brave – that if my Irish friend doesn’t think that I’m worth the effort, I can hold my head high that I have tried my best and move on, no matter how much I have grown to love him.

    • My advice about your Irish boy (being part-Irish myself) is not to judge him by what he says (or doesn’t say). Judge him by what he DOES. Irish men are trained, practically from birth, to suppress outward expressions of how they feel, good or bad. As a result, it is often easier to judge an Irishman (and Irish women, often enough!) by his actions, as opposed to his words. I’d suggest that you give him another chance, but after you going out to see him again, if things continue, then it’s HIS turn to come to YOU!

  20. Thank you, I wish my parents could’ve reinforced this in me and said the same things to me growing up.

  21. Pingback: A dad’s letter to his little girl | The frame inside the picture.
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  23. My Dad just emailed me this link telling me he wished he had written this for me himself, but that it’s message comes from his heart. My Dad has just watched me go through a very painful divorce to a man who unfortunatly had very few of these qualities spoken of in this tear-inducing note. Thanks, for what you say, how you say it, and the gift of my own Dad loving me just as much as you love your cutie-pie x bless x

    • You’re so very welcome, Amy. And blessings to you in this next part of your journey.

  24. I read this with disgust. It is inculcating a sense of entitlement to the little girl that she is owed a living. The emphasis on mutual respect is shallowly scraped but the highlights are clearly about ‘your problems are not mine and you must accept me for who I am. ‘ face it, a father’s love is not the same as the love between a couple.

    • What’s wrong with accepting a partner for who they are? Of course the caveat is when harmful behaviour is involved, but acceptance is a foundation of a lasting marriage. It is not that the little girl is owed a ‘living’, but that she is owed the same kind of worthiness as her partner. 🙂 This is important to say because of the traditional way men ( achievement focused) and women ( relationship focused) are socialised in our society. It is not that the author is pinning all the responsibility on the man, he is trying to say that it is not only the responsibility of the woman.

      • It is the responsibility of both. Both giving 100%, it may or may not include both having to changing for the other.

        Sacrifice=True Love
        True Love=Sacrifice

        Both have to be willing to sacrifice for the other.

        • it should never be about sacrificing who you are – its a partnership not a melding and loss of identity

    • Read it again dip shit..

      “Little One, your
      only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that
      isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)”

      And of course a father’s love is different as opposed to a partner, boyfriend, husband, etc. If it weren’t, it would be called child abuse, moron.

      • Wow…is this the type of hate and hostility that comes from those who preach, “…you must accept others with their flaws….”?

        You prove that what people want is to be accepted with their deep flaws, but they will rarely accept others with whom they disagree.

        The Entitlement mentality of today, very sad.

    • Wow, that’s a pretty bizarre interpretation. I’m sorry you have 50 upvotes for missing the point completely.

    • well then it should be – who are you to impose your insecurities or limitations on another human being – why should someone bow to your needs or views over their own – we are all ENTITLED to be the fulest expression of who we are withouth some numty pressurising us to conform to their arbitrary standards

  25. Hi Dr. Kelly,
    I cried while I was reading this, because I think I am married to a wrong person.
    My husband is rude, doesn’t really care about my feelings, seems not interested in me and everything about me, and he’s cheated on me just now.

    I regret why I thought he would change after we got married. We dated for 4 years and he actually got better in the 3rd and 4th year so I decided to marry him. We’re married for 2,5 years now and he got worse. When I caught him cheating, he said he actually never loves me and he’s only with me only because of pity.

    However, I am a Christian and I know I can’t get a divorce for I believe it is forbidden. I pray that God will change my husband, but I’m still so sad now. I just want to be happy, feel loved wholly 🙁

    Can you give me suggestion?

    • I’m very sorry to hear about your marriage. I cannot provide direct counseling via the blog, because this medium does not lend itself to the kind of familiarity that would be necessary to provide the best advice and guidance. I highly recommend you seek counseling, both marital and individual. My best to you and your husband.

  26. Dr. Kelly,

    I’m a young 19-year-old Malaysian guy and quiet romantic, and I strongly resonate with everything you’ve wrote. The most beautiful feature a woman could possess is her integrity and confidence in being herself. True love is not about being perfect; it’s seeing their flaws as perfection.

    This is a beautifully heart-warming message. Thanks for sharing this.

    • I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the beautiful comments here and your affirmation ‘true love is not about being perfect; it’s seeing their flaws as perfection’ is just gorgeous and it truly stood out to me. thank you Jun for putting this out into the universe. Much love to you

  27. Hello! New subscriber after reading this beautiful post. First off thank you so much. I am one of the women that will never know this kind of love from a father, but was lucky enough to know this love and more from a mother. My husband and I cannot have children naturally but know our little one is out here somewhere. I come from a family of all women… women who I have watched feel unworthy of a man, women who have given too much to keep a man interested. From a very young age I realized I never wanted to be that woman. This society has not made it easy but I found a man who crossed oceans for me and I for him and who even in my darkest places has seen my worth and allowed me to reach into the light knowing his presence is beside me. He challenges me and we strive to be better together. We are far from perfect. The fights are epic, distance for 6 years of our youth took its toll. We broke time and again but somehow found our way back. I am grateful. I only hope that we can raise a daughter just so. As a woman that is strong and knows her own power. I wish this for all women and thank you for being a man who nurtures and supports a woman’s
    worth.

    • Hi Michelle, Welcome to UnTangled! I’m glad you found us. And it is really good to hear of your resilience and your story of finding the kind of person I hope my daughter will meet. Blessings to you in your adoption journey!

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  29. Hi Dr. Kelly,

    I write this in appreciation of what you’ve conveyed above, but similarly I fear that your well-intended letter may be misinterpreted if not read in the right context of mind or heart.

    I understand that you mean for this to remind all women of self-love; why they should not feel pressured to conform to the expectations of the society and the opposite gender in order to be accepted. However, this has a potential to reinforce any form of selfishness that exist in those women who already feels the world revolves around them, that they have this natural entitlement to be the center of the lives of people (not just the guy) around them.

    Hence I feel a small tinge of irony when I read this “If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day”, because that is such a crucial complement to this piece: that self-respect should be built upon, and reinforces one’s respect for others. It shouldn’t be a letter for another day. That too, is an as important, or if not more important lesson for children.

    • Alaric, I couldn’t agree with you more. That sentence felt absolutely necessary, but insufficient to its import. Perhaps I’ll have to make that day for another letter come sooner rather than later. : )

  30. I just would like to share,

    I’m a really plain person, I don’t wear dresses, no makeup (only on super special occasions) and I definitely don’t have that hour glass figure. Being born in Asia, your relatives will tell you the do’s and don’ts. Hey, wear more makeup, men like woman who keeps a good image. Hey, dress better, T-shirt and jeans won’t attract anyone. Hey, men doesn’t like woman who are tomboyish (cause I kill zombies during my free time).

    But hey! I found the love of my life. He isn’t rich, he isn’t handsome. As Devon Ashley says, “I’m not looking for the perfect man. I’m looking for the man whose imperfections I can put up with.”

    What I’m trying to say is, Dr Kelly’s post does not only apply to females. It applies to the opposite sex as well. I seen many man and woman, telling their partners what to become. But no, that shouldn’t be the case. Woman should also accept how their partners are and vice versa. That is how I found my happiness, by accepting how my boyfriend is. To me, his imperfections are unique, they are beautiful.

    “We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
    ― Emilio Estevez

  31. There is a nice sentiment to this article, but it is ripe with heterosexism, or the presumption that other people are heterosexual, or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm. And I say this as a heterosexual. Expectations like this make it that much more difficult for LGB individuals.

    It is actually quite disappointing to read something like this in 2013

    • Thank you for writing this! I had written a response very similar to this but thought I should read the comments first to see if someone else had spoken up first. Amazing sentiments the author has put down, but it would be nice if he waited til his daughter was old enough to express what kind of person she desires. The points would still be valid.

    • The author has stated in the comments that none of this will change if his daughter chooses to be with another woman. The difference is primarily in the pronouns of the article. The meaning, the heart of it, has nothing to do with his daughter choosing a male. The ideas of mutual respect, compatibility and love translate equally across all types of relationships.

  32. What a fantastic article! I think it’s important for all people to read this, but especially parents who are teaching their children what to value in other people, and especially the parents of little boys who will teach their children what to value in potential partners (male or female). On a related note, I recommend this TED Talk to all who are interested in the interest of childhood socializing, especially as it pertains to perceptions of women in society: http://www.ted.com/talks/colin_stokes_how_movies_teach_manhood.html

  33. hi dr kelly,
    i was born and raised in asian way, where yes my coleage were busy to spend their days with make up, dressing and their interest is to attract man as much as they want.

    i feel so shiver after read this, because thankfully i have a same dad like you. who always taught me to be myself, and to grow like whatever i want to do as long its positive, my mom always says that i dont have to worry about a man thingy, because someday someone will be there for me and loving for who i am.

    this write is beautiful yet touching. thanks for giving me another lessons in life, say hi to your cutie pie . wish me luck 😀

    • He answered this question in one of the first comments:

      “I guess I’m just drawn to the tensions, because this thread stands out to me as particularly important. I was aware that I was opening myself up to this critique when I chose to focus on a “husband.” And I appreciate the way it has been pointed out in quite gracious ways. A couple points of clarification: I intentionally chose to avoid the references to same-sex marriage because in the current climate, a reference to same-sex relationships immediately turns it into a political post, rather than a post about our humanity. Having said that, the message of the post applies regardless of how my daughter eventually identifies her sexual orientation. She will always be my Cutie-Pie.”

    • I don’t get why everyone assumes he’s narrowing his daughter’s options just because he doesn’t want her cowtowing to a man. Not everyone from Wheaton is a fundamentalist.

  34. Thank you so much for this. I was raised by a single mother and even though she has told me to find a man that respects me and be all those things that you mentioned, it’s nice to hear a dad’s perspective.

  35. I honestly can’t believe that people were still able to find something negative to say about an amazingly positive post…people will always find something wrong… though they have valid “points” it seems like people are simply just trying to find a way to have a different opinion…this was an amazing post and will one day have this mindset for my future daughter…

  36. I was very sure of the type of person I wanted to be with. It may have taken me 37 years to find the right partner, but I’m glad I did not compromise — he is well worth the wait! Thank you for this, and I hope this inspires others.

  37. You should also tell her that it’s okay if she wants a wife and not a husband, OR doesn’t want a husband or kids at all. Just saying. 🙂

  38. My father always told me that I have to make good coffee, be beautiful, be charming, know how to cook, keep house, etc ad infinitum to keep men interested. He always warned, “If your coffee isn’t good, your husband will leave you,” “If you’re too smart, you’ll make your husband feel stupid and he’ll leave you,” “If you wear glasses, your husband will leave you.” Stuff like that. Seriously.

    Thank God I never believed him =D I’m with a wonderful man, we have loved each other for the last 14 years—it was just our wedding anniversary last week!—and he has always completely adored me just as I am!

    P.S. And he doesn’t like coffee! LOL

    • I had a boss at a restaurant – a gourmet caterer by trade. When in her first cooking classes at the age of 13, her teacher told all the girls in the class that the secret to finding and keeping a good husband was making sure to spread the butter, jam, mayo or whatever completely from one side of the bread to the other. Now that she’s grown, she sure makes a mean sandwich, but her wife doesn’t care if the bread’s not entirely covered.

  39. And when the man doesn’t put forth the effort to keep her interested, all of her friends will tell her that he’s not worth it. Relationships are two-way streets. You’re supposed to keep each other interested and improve each other. This letter is sexist and it encourages a sense of self-entitlement.

  40. Dr. Flanagan,

    Just wanted you to know that, with this letter, you are impacting more people than you know or could even imagine. I’m about to fwd this to many people in my life, whom I know will send it right along. THANK YOU.

  41. Dear Dr. Flanagan,

    Stumbled across this through a friend’s post on Facebook and I am glad for it. Thank you for writing this for more women than just your daughter; I am getting married in a month and needed to hear this. I have been a self-assured person all my life but somehow at the doorstep of marriage, everybody gives you so much advice about how to keep others happy and content that you forget that you yourself are also an important part of the dynamic and it’s about you as much as about the other and families. Your post is probably what my father would have told me if he were with me today. So thank you again 🙂

    Anu

  42. I found this post via Facebook, where a FB friend dedicated it to her daughter. I also dedicated it to my daughter telling her this is the WRONG road to venture, that focusing only herself will lead to misery. He needs to mind his manners and his spiritual convictions, wherever they may go, and SHE must do the same. Nothing good ever comes from harboring a princess, which is what you are expecting here from your wife and your child.. Teach each one to be worthy of what any man (or woman) may bring them, or stand alone, but to teach them to be dependent upon the adoration of another even in absence of their own sensibilities is irresponsible and selfish. That you are a psychiatrist is both disturbing and intriguing – you certainly believe yourself and your offspring to be of great esteem beyond what you have earned as a father, and a human being.

    • Wow. You just don’t get it. This letter is all about instilling his daughter with a personal sense of self-worth, which ALL OF US deserve to have. Not a ‘Princess,’ but a strong individual in her own right. What’s wrong with that?

  43. Pingback: A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband) | life. unlimited.
  44. .,.Suppose she discovers that she’s more interested in validating her pre-existing worthiness through various personal/career accomplishments, rather than relationships or children? Suppose she discovers that she prefers women. I hope you still find her worthwhile as a person.

    • well considering that he just wrote a WHOLE LETTER telling her that she is worthy,… im pretty sure he will still absolutely adore his sweety pie no matter what:)

  45. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I am a coach and speaker who works with professional women that despite their titles feel insecure about men. We all need this message from our fathers and our society. You’ve made a HUGE fan in me!

  46. Can you imagine what the response would be if somebody wrote an article to their infant son about how they shouldn’t need to do anything to interest a woman because, as their entitlement, an eternally devoted wife is their birthright from the time they exit their mother’s womb?

    • I’m sure it would be horrible, as the response to this article would have been if it said anything remotely like that.

  47. This article is great, and I love the discussions happening below as well. As a young woman, the first time I was told that I “deserved better” I broke down crying out of surprise and happiness. The idea that someone other than myself felt like I was “worth it” was a miracle despite knowing I was smart, clever, strong and good, and I couldn’t give a damn if I was pretty. Why my parents never saw it I will never understand.

    My close male friends have told me “raising a girl is the most frightening thing”. None of them are married or have children, but they see the social inclination away from girls like who are strong and independant. Pop culture fawns over the beautiful and dismisses the rest. Even I have felt the need to be pretty, not for myself but to compete with all the other girls.

    For my boyfriend though, I want to become a better person for him and myself. I want him to be happy and always secure in how I feel about him. He calls me “crazy lady” and I call him “beautiful” and I love that he takes all my sillyness affectionately. If all those “how to keep him interested” posts replaced being sexual with “making him feel secure” and making him a sandwich with “showing him you’re happy” I think the world would be a place where raising a daughter wouldn’t be so scary and being a woman wouldn’t be so confusing.

  48. What a wonderful message. Thank you so much for this reassuring message that many women should hear and remember every day of their lives.
    🙂

  49. That letter is so egotistical it disgusts me. “it’s all about you.” No it’s not. Ultimate worship of the self, yea great advise dad i’m sure that’ll lead to successful marriage.

    • So, you don’t think that a person, male or female, should be instilled with a sense of self-worth? It has NOTHING to do with “it’s all about you” narcissism. I’m sorry that you’re so wrapped up in whatever lessons were handed to you as a child that telling a child that she should had a solid sense of self-esteem is “egotistical.”

      • Brian, from one feisty Irishman to another, thanks for your input today. Hope you stick around here at UnTangled!

  50. Great perspective, but one point: this whole article is premised on the assumption that your daughter will grow up to be exclusively heterosexual. You don’t want to be replacing one set of expectations with another, I think. At least, I hope not. Cheers.

    • lol little brat. that’s what you r. for every kid i meet who thinks like that about others, you’re usually the bully, the jock, the troublemaker, the one on TV who is always causing unnecessary hardship for the protagonist. you know what you r? a pest, a leech, a useless creature who needs to contribute to society if he wants to get his due. you’re the guy who shines for the first couple decades of your life but end up in the mud forgotten by the time your life ends. you must also think you'[re a tough guy right? I met mad kids like you who tried to bully some of my friends or myself cause we were portrayed as “nerds.” Guess what? they got a reality check and got their asses kicked or jumped and mugged cause that’s what happens to pests like you. i remember the crying face on the sad little shit i whooped for trying to bully me cause I was asian and he thought i must be a passive nerd while i was pissing on his face. just cause the kid might be nerd doesn’t mean he won’t beat you down as easily as taking candy from a baby. furthermore, doesn;t mean he ain’t gonna get that pussy since he’s obviously living a good life w/ good benefits as a doctor, a good family, and a nice normal life of the middle class citizens. the only ppl who get that life that is emulated in many tv shows and movies only goes to such nerds. they live a normal balanced family life w/ a decent home and security. ppl like you r the old farts who have issues with their family or look like bums w/ dysfunctional famiilies

  51. What twaddle. Being interesting isn’t something granted as a right of birth – it’s something that has to be constantly worked on, refined, thought about.

    Just being alive doesn’t make you interesting; that you breathe air doesn’t make you worthy of interest.

    Far better than telling his daughter that she’s magical and interesting, he should be encouraging her to actually BE interesting. Tell her to take up hobbies that interest her, to travel, to think.

    Just stilling in front of the TV and sleeping does not worthy of interest make.

    • Every person is interesting for the simple fact of their being. You are correct, no one is granted the right to have another be interested in them and I do not feel that is what he is saying to his daughter. He is telling her that the person she picks as a mate (should she do so) needs to be interested in her for her, not because she dresses up for him, or makes perfect dinners or keeps the spotless house, but because the person she is is the person he loves. What is wrong with that. Why should a person be judged and/or loved by what they give to another and not for themself. I have often been asked what is it I love about my mate and I cannot truly answer it-most people will answer with what their mate does for them-if that is the case then it is my belief you truly do not love the person-what if they stopped doing those things? I love my mate for him, when he laughs or when he yells, when he is being giving and when he is being selfish-no matter what, he is the person I love and I do not expect him to be anyone other than who he is-that is the love every person deserves-and that is what I understood this letter to say.

      • No one deserves to be loved. What is it with the entitlement mentality? You earn the respect and love of other people. The only human beings who will love you unconditionally are your parents and maybe your siblings, other than that, sorry, it won’t happen. You earn people’s respect and love.

        Because I am a human being, I must be respected as a human being. But as an individual, with all the interests, flaws, character strengths, etc. I must earn the respect and love of others. I may not care who respects me or not, but that doesn’t mean that I am entitled to anyone’s respect or love.

        • Gotta disagree (somewhat) with you.. If you find the right person, your mate also loves you unconditionally, but in the beginning, yes you have to earn that trust and love

          • but doesn’t that unconditional love come with time? It is not right away. Love of your boyfriend or girlfriend comes with time, unlike the movies, it does not happen at first sight.

            How can you love someone you just met? who you do not know at a deeper level than simply what sports team they like? In my opinion, unconditional love comes from deeply and truly knowing your spouse.

            • Did you thoroughly read my comment? You said the only human beings to love you unconditionally are your parents and maybe your siblings. I disagreed and said that if you find the right mate they will love you unconditionally. Then I said that you do have to earn that love and trust (agreeing with you). No where in my comment did I elude to “love at first sight”… not sure how your response came from what I wrote.. Maybe I said it confusing? Sorry if I did. Hopefully this response clears that up?

  52. I’m surprised yet grateful for the energy and engagement this post has generated. Thank you for the kind words from so many. I’ll be replying individually to some of those comments below.



    There are three important threads in this conversation that I think need to be addressed and developed. First, there is a subset of people who are taking potshots. If that happens, I’d ask that we all kindly let them do so and either not respond, or respond gently. They desire conflict. Let’s not give them what they desire.


    Second, there is a thread expressing concern that unconditionally affirming the worth of children/girls and their inherent interesting-ness creates entitled, selfish princesses who will not be capable of mutuality in relationship. I know it may seem like a paradox, but the reality is that entitlement is actually created by a latent
    sense of worthlessness. Individuals who have a deep and unwavering sense of
    their worthiness are free from all of the ego needs that produce entitlement,
    selfishness, and narcissism. Children who have been mirrored well and affirmed
    of their worthiness are far more likely to spend their lives caring for others
    than obsessively caring for themselves, because they have already been cared for
    well.

    Third, there is a thread that I have addressed in part but is worth another mention. It has to do with concerns regarding the heterosexism of assuming my daughter will marry a man. The reality is, the inspiration for the post/letter was a Google search, which revealed countless articles about how women try to keep men interested. That
    naturally led to a post concerning men and women. But it’s worth saying again:
    my daughter’s worth is unconditional, regardless of whether or not she
    identifies as a lesbian, becomes a nun, runs a corporation and chooses a career
    over family, etc. etc. She need do nothing or become anything to be interesting
    to anyone. She already is. And so are you, Dear Reader.

    I hope my comments here will move these threads forward, rather than inviting the same comments. If you want people to read this first and help the conversation progress, please feel free to up vote it. 



    Thanks again to all.

    p.s. If you get database errors while trying to access the website, it’s due to high traffic. Just refresh your browser a couple of times and you’ll get through.

    • Thanks for addressing these points. I admit that my (perhaps too finely tuned) heterosexism radar had gone off after following a link to your post from a friend’s site. You shouldn’t have to add caveats to cover yourself from all possible criticisms in your posts, so I appreciate that you took the time to thoughtfully and calmly respond to criticisms. The internet needs more of both of these: 1) responsible and calm discourse, and 2) parenting that gives me hope for the future. Keep rocking.

    • I’m at a point in my life, almost 30, that I wish I had heard words like this from my own father. I appreciate the letter you wrote and especially that you dedicated it not only to your child, but to me as a reader as well. My mother has done what you have for your daughter. She encouraged me, made me feel worthwhile and placed value on my feelings. There is something so important though about having it come from your father. I’m sure a lot of choices I’ve made in my life up to this point would have been much different if I had had words like this spoken to me by my own dad.
      Thanks for sharing this and I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

        • I completely agree and can relate to “encouraging’s” post. My father gave me nothing but criticism and emotional and physical abuse, and it took me many years of professional and self help books (written by professionals) to undue the trauma inflicted by that very troubled man. It has been a long journey, but I can now give myself what my father never could-unconditional love. My greatest joy is to see my husband spend normal, quality, loving moments with my daughters, and to know that he values them as people. Unfortunately, boys (and girls) who are abused as children can grow into fathers who abuse their own children, and the cycle continues until someone is brave enough to get off the nightmarish merry-go-round and seek professional help.

    • Beautiful column/letter and as a mother of a girl and boy, a point I have stressed to both. Having grown up in a home where my worth was not shared,only my flaws, I have spent my marriage begging for my husband to care. Now I am in the process of divorce because I realized too late that my own lack of self-worth was only mimicked in my husband. If we don’t feel worthy how can we expect someone else to feel we are worth an effort? I pray I have instilled self-worth in my children as well as the importance of helping others feel worthy. Every relationship requires effort but begins with each person valuing the other!

      • Thank you for posting your comment which I can relate to. I am not married but I know how it feels when your worth is not shared but your flaws. your statement:
        “Every relationship requires effort but begins with each person valuing the other!”
        now that is how i keep building my confidence and worth because if i dont no one will do it for me. I pray that all goes well with you and always expect good and positive response in your children because they too need to hear their worth and not flaws…. take care

    • Thank you so much for this. I have a boy and girl, and can apply these lessons to both of them. This is all affirming to what I believe is true to raising children; my goal is to help them develop their self worth (and know how to find it if they stray from it). If I can accomplish this (along with loving, caring, keeping them safe) then I feel I will have done my duty as a parent. Thank you for sharing.

    • It would all be applicable to whomever she chooses to be with. I don’t care that the article said a boy, I read it and thought exactly that whomever she’s with is what it really boiled down to.

    • No little girl, not married. Have found the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and as far as I can tell have treated her as you have stated you would want your little girl to be treated.

      However, certain events have happened and that may not happen. Her own anxieties have allowed a situation that may keep her from me. The words you have expressed in this statement are wonderful and I believe that every little girl and woman needs to hear them.

      Thank you for this. I’m going to share it with as many people as I can and hope that some of them will actually listen.

      • Thad, I have to say, that as a mother of a daughter AND TWO sons, it’s not JUST the daughters who deserve to be valued for who they are. What it really boils down to is that, when she is right for you and you are right for her, there will be complete and total interest on both sides. Interest in what each other has to say, interest in the things that make each other happy, maybe they don’t make you happy, but they make the other happy. Maybe your match with this girl was not meant to be and THAT is why her anxieties get in the way. Just be you.

    • Today is July 3, 2013.
      Anyway, I enjoyed your article very much, except that I need to say that it is not the father’s job to help build the daughter’s self esteem and instill a sense of self worth.This role is mother’s role and probably more so, the mother’s job. She is the first parent, as she is the one who made the first physical and spiritual contact with the daughter and the son too. The mother is the like parent for the daughter. Do not forget mom’s importance. She can bring this to the daughter on a whole new level of importance.
      So we must say that it is the mother AND the father’s role together. Dad just knows how males feel. But mom knows how females feel.

      • The mother is definitely important with regards to building a daughter’s self-esteem. But I wouldn’t say that it’s “mother’s role” entirely either. It is usually true that mom will understand the struggles and feelings of a daughter, BUT dads have an equally important if different part to play. Dads are a daughter’s baseline for what is acceptable and desired behavior in a male, and it often takes several broken hearts and bad relationships for a negative baseline to be overcome, if it happens at all.

        • It is definitely both parent’s role, but I had a wonderful and nurturing mother but it wasn’t enough. My father was/is not emotionally there for me. Thank God my husband was ALWAYS there…encouraging and uplifting. Directing me into an independent loving relationship with him as he did our 6 daughters. Sometimes when God shuts a door, a window flies open!!

      • Actually, countless studies show the importance of a dad in a girl’s life. Her healthy relationship with him is a good predictor of when she will first have sex, and how healthy her relationship is both with herself and with partners.

      • Dear Mom,
        Thiis is not so much about whose job it is to instil confidence and self belief in her daughter. A mother is indeed a child’s first learning ground but a father has a great influence on a daughter which should not be discounted. My congratulations to Dr. Kelly for this courageous message to his girl and other boys and girls out there. I am sure he’s shown her the way and she will know Mr. Interested when he finds her!

      • My god there is always one who takes something beautiful and caring and makes it about themselves while criticizing. The Title is “A Daddy’s Letter to his little girl” not a letter from both parents so everyone feels special and not left out. I do look forward though to reading all the great things you have published in honour of your children and other children around the world, I am sure it is well rounded work that includes both parents.

      • WHAT THE FUCK? Stop with these patriarchal claims about ‘mother’s job’. On such a beautiful letter which is meant to precisely break sexist stereotypes about gender roles, why the fuck would you comment something so ridiculous, telling the mother her role. BOTH PARENTS ARE PARENTS, no one is more important than the mother. And this very thinking about mother’s role, is what has kept women domesticated for centuries, telling them where their place is, and preventing a healthy relationship between father and daughter.

      • Do you really want to discount the role a father plays in easy self-esteem. It’s not black and white but you realise the importance of a role when it is not filled and as someone with an absent father (and a sentiment shared by may of the commentors), I can tell you that my wonderful superwoman of a mother could only do so much.

    • I loved this article and your response to all the comments about it. Thank you for articulating your love for your daughter and sharing so beautifully.

    • Wow. Pretty amazing that we live in a world where you would have to defend the expectation that your daughter will someday marry a man. How pathetic. Pretty sure with a daddy like you, she will grow up looking for and seeking after a MAN of honor.

      • This would usually bug me too. But if you read everything in context, the use of the words ‘man’ or ‘he’ are completely irrelevant and I’m sure the same sentiments would apply equally to a man or woman. This letter is beautiful and as a gay woman I will be passing it, or something very similar, onto my children if and when they arrive on this planet!

      • Wait, how does having a good father mean a woman won’t be interested in dating women again? Being bi, lesbian, or whatever doesn’t mean I had a bad father any more than me being straight would mean I had a bad mother.

      • I think you forgot to read the first part where he said that he saw a google search on “how to keep him interested” This is what he was responding to. This man is not saying his daughter couldn’t be happy with a woman. its not about that at all.

      • Because lesbians only come from bad fathers? If a man is a good father, and attentive, and encouraging, and supportive, his daughter won’t be a lesbian? Please tell me you don’t really believe that.
        As a mother of three (with at least one of each sex), it is my expectation that they will marry the opposite sex. However, that is because we live in a hetero-normative world where cis-gendered people are what is expected. If one, or more, of them grows up to be gay, or bi, or gender-fluid, what is really important to me is that they are comfortable in their own skin and they enter into relationships with good people of whatever gender they choose. The same goes for the race, religion and/or ethnicity of the person they choose to be with.
        Just because I am a decent parent doesn’t mean my son will automatically “choose” to be with a woman (because I don’t believe it’s a choice) and just because my husband is an involved, supportive father doesn’t mean my daughters will “choose” to be with a man. Hopefully they will choose to be with a person they love, who loves them and treats them like the best thing since sliced bread.

    • I thank God I came to this site am thoroughly blessed Dr. Kelly keep up in inspiring us. Thank you

    • holy shit this is the thought provoking, intelligent, and compassion post I’ve ever read. I’d totally recommend you to a friend.

  53. I love the affection and heart put into this letter. Although a dad’s wish is to love their daughters for whoever they are and for their husband to love them the same but it isn’t always so. My personal belief is that a father will love their daughters no matter what. This doesn’t mean the rest of the world does. I’m not saying that a perfect woman is someone that always provides for their husband and caters to him but a perfect woman is someone that wants to do small things like this for him because they love him, not because they are told to. Don’t get me wrong, guys shouldn’t demand things of their girls but it’s a two way street. Most women want a man who will protect them and care for them. Likewise, most men want a woman that is loyal and caters to them. The point is, anyone that wants a good person in their life has to question if they themselves are a good person that that someone else would want in their life. Don’t change for someone else but change for you. Everyone wants to be wanted, just give them a reason to. Patience is a virtue. Become the person that YOU want to be and people will notice.

  54. Thank-you so much for this! It was very beautiful and touching. I thought it would have been even more powerful if it had not been heteronormative. Acknowledge that some of our Little Ones are gay 😉

  55. Pingback: A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband) | UnTangled | RUNVS
  56. Pingback: Be YOU… | MY RAINeBOW
  57. I love this letter. My father is -unfortunately- not very supportive of any decision that was not his idea, but I have been very fortunate to find father figures that have done an incredible job shaping me into the person I am. This letter reminds me of them.

    I also want to say, for everyone who has been told that they need to change or that ‘good guys’ don’t exist, an incredible person is out there looking just as you are. Suffering from 13 years of depression and diagnosed with PTSD almost 10 years ago, I truly believed myself unworthy and incapable of a good and happy and healthy relationship. But after taking a year to myself, working to become a person I am proud to be, and really becoming happy.. I found someone… someone who calls me beautiful when I’ve barely rolled out of bed, who laughs at me and calls me cute, who hugs and supports me and believes in me. Oftentimes, I can barely believe I am so lucky and able to call him mine. He, in turn, shakes his head and always claims he is the lucky one.

    Be happy with who you are and find someone who knows that you are enough.

    • Kat, Thanks for this. One of the things we talk a lot about as psychologists is the “chosen family,” or that set of people we seek out when our biological families are not able to meet some of our basic needs. So glad to hear you had the courage and resilience to seek out your father figures, and now a true companion! Blessings to you both!

  58. Thank you for this article, this sounds like what my mom has been trying to say to us all her life only in better words 🙂

    I come from a south asian background. Growing up i heard my extended family talk about how my mom was a working woman, how her kids are not getting any attention and time, how her kids are going to grow up rotten. I didnt realize what my mom must be going through at that time, but now when i turn back and evaluate, i think i am glad my mom did what she did.

    She gave deaf ear to all of them.

    She refused to give in, she knew her priorities was to raise her children right, educate them. Being a stay at home mom is not going to bring food on the table nor is it going to pay for her kids to go to college. She till date encourages us to do what we want, she strongly believes cooking and cleaning is not the only job a woman is born to do, even though that’s what indian husbands believe in. She wants us to spread our wings, learn more by the day and remain what we are and be a good provider at the same time.

    I am thankful just like my dad, my husband has been a great support all through to let me do what i cherish doing and is always encouraged me to fulfill my dreams as opposed to only try to make him happy.

  59. Thank you for the great reminder. Sometimes that “unshakeable” place gets covered up. We live in a society where it is difficult to remember core values and knowledge sometimes.

  60. I think dearly thinks this so called amercan professor or whoever he is – jasnt invented the bycicle, just all these same things apply…. Guess to whom ? … to the boys. But, in this semi-colonial country of America – it’s become a trend to raise Woman and put down Man…. and for the sake of what is this done ? For the sake of blowing the same pipe. Ugly, primeval…. american. ok, if they want it this way – go ahead, BUT !! …. within the perimeter of your crumbling empire. !

  61. Besides the fact that this father is implying that a woman needs to have a partner or even a male partner in her life and “give him children” this is sweet. It’s a start.

  62. To all the people trying to turn this around by denouncing its emphasis on heterosexual relationships, read the beginning. He was prompted to do this by an abundance of articles/blogs about “pleasing your MAN,” and keeping HIM interested. You don’t see those kinds of things written referring to lesbian relationships because there is no male to fill that stereotyped role of “bring me a beer and a sandwhich,” or requiring her to remain “sexy” or risk the threat of losing him to a younger or prettier woman. Although this phenomenon may exist in a lesbian relationship, it is primarily culturally recognized as something resulting from a man’s expectations.
    The father was obviously troubled by those social pressures placed on women, and the men who contribute to this with their unfair or unrealistic expectations. He wanted her to avoid such pitfalls if she finds herself pursuing a “traditional” male/female relationship (I now that’s not the best word, but you know what I mean). It’s pretty obvious by everything he wrote that he’s an open-minded and caring parent, and is not being “hetero-centric” if you will. It was obvious to me before even reading his comments, that he simply wants his daughter to BE HAPPY regardless of what kind of relationship she finds herself in. Those of you nitpicking the perceived lack of political correctedness are frankly being self-righteous pricks. Get over yourselves.
    To the dad: great letter, and I hope to be able to instill the same values in my daughter should I ever have one.

  63. I am really depressed about the state of young men today. I have an 18 yr old daughter who has yet to meet even one boy who remotely fits this description of a real man. Every single boy she has liked is selfish, disrespectful, immature, rude, unfaithful, and mostly dishonest. A boy may show interest in her, and she will be interested in him for a while until his true self comes out. They have all lied to her, cheated on her, and put material things above her. Even the ones who start out promising always end up being just as bad as the one’s before. I believe it’s all the social media and movies and just how they think they are supposed to act.
    They only want sex (my daughter is a virgin) and if you wont’ give it to them you spend your weekends alone. You can’t even get a boyfriend because you are expected to “put out”. This is the norm, and it is so sad. I fear for her future. I fear she will be alone because there are no guys out there who will treat her decently. By senior in high school most boys have had several sex partners, and when they come across my daughter they are put off because she is not having sex until she is at least in a long term committed relationship. Most guys will lose interest after a month or two if they aren’t “getting some”
    What is a poor girl to do these days?

    • Sally, I hope your daughter will find my next post helpful. It’s called “The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Life Partner,” and I hope it is an encouragement to young people of both sexes to be patient as they wait for a loving companion.

  64. Let me add, she is stunningly beautiful, and I’m not just saying that because I am her mother. She attracts boys, but she just can’t keep one. They all betray her trust and all end up just being a bunch of liars and players

  65. Very true indeed … what is inside us is worthy of interest and the best way to keep someone interested …. is simply to be us and the one that comes along will love us for who we truly are than for who they want us to be.

  66. That was just beautiful! I wish every Dad would teach his daughter what you did and teach his son to be that kind of ‘boy’. The world would be happier!

  67. Good Day Dr. Flanagan! Greetings from the Philippines! I stumbled upon your letter through facebook and I would like to say thank you for sharing your kind and motivating words. I also believe there will come a time that a guy would love me for who I am and not for who he wants me to be. If ever a woman wants to change herself, it should be for her own and not for the benefit of others. No one can ever look down on you not until you let them to. =)

    • Angel, Lovely to hear from you from the Philippines! I hope next week’s post, “The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Life Partner” will be further encouragement!

  68. Oh, so beautiful. This made me cry. I have 4 “cutie pies” and am always searching for the right words to tell them what I didn’t know as a young girl and woman. If I can save them from the pain I experienced while trying desperately to prove myself, I will feel that I have achieved success as a mother.

  69. I raised three sons who LIVE this with their ladies, and I know their ladies live it back. My grandpricesses will learn this through the love and strength of family that surrounds them. I wept on reading this, out of both joy (that my boys believe and live this to their very core) and sorrow (that I, at 52, have yet to learn this…).
    Thank you for this… Your Cutie-Pie is truly blessed!

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. And you’re not alone. I think all of us, both men and women, are in some way or another always learning this for most of our lives. Blessings to you on your journey!

  70. I feel honoured and blessed by the fact that one of my sons-in-law found this article worthy of passing to my three daughters. He is a good man and will make a good father and husband.

    I am also honoured and blessed that one of my daughters chose to forward it to my wife and myself. We must have done something right to be surrounded by family that feels such a sense of self-worth and mutual love.

    I am also grateful that I have been encouraged by my wife to be a “man” in this way. Over the past 37 years she has stood by me, and always encouraged me to be this model of man, not just to my daughters, but to pass this to my son as well. I see it developing in him in his relationship with his girlfriend.

    We have always said in our family that love is not a 50/50 kind of relationship, but 100/100. If you are there fully for your spouse, then in a healthy relationship, you can trust that they will be there for you. May God be with you in your journey.

  71. I read this with my 2 year old twin daughters in my lap. Every child deserves a parent such as you. Thank you for your insight, I will be saving this letter to share with my daughters when they are older. I’ll be sharing it on Facebook so all my friends can do the same. Thank you!

  72. Now she’ll grow up fat and lazy with an air of entitlement. “My pappy said you dunn better be inter’sted in me no matter whut or you a piece a trash!” Poor guy that ends up with this future spoiled brat.

    • I am sad for you, Bat Boy…For you have never known the love of a parent… Or a woman… Or A bat. You are Batboy! Forever alone in a word repulsed… But perhaps there is a lesson in this… Perhaps, you too, Batboy, might be deserving of love…Open your heart Batboy! Stop being jealous of Cutie Pie just because she has a loving dad who knows how to read and write… Celebrate in cards you were dealt. and someday, You too will have a friend who doesn’t mind when you eat his cats.

  73. I think some people are missing the point here. Of course my first thought was way to think she would be with a man, but through reading his comments he’s not anti-LGBT (YAY!). If we had to edit every single thought we had before sharing it on the internet because we want to please the world and not come off as being bias in any way, this heartfelt and genuine letter would be like a page from mad libs. I believe he wrote this with obvious good intent for his daughter to grow up with self love and value. There are way too many females out there who don’t have self worth and it’s a shame. Too many are being abused, put down, and being told they’re not good enough (not all, but many). He’s just simply teaching his child to be a strong, independent, individual who values life. I’m sure if he had a little boy, the message he would write in the letter would be to treat women right and to treat others as you would like them to treat you.

  74. I am going to share this with my high school students. How I wish that my girls could understand this message! Some of them try so hard to wear revealing clothing and change their personalities to suit the boys they like – boys who often treat them with disdain.

  75. Good read, but I wish there was a way to turn off the audio reading of it. I find it annoying, and would rather read it for myself.

  76. This would be thoroughly cute and inspiring if it weren’t so heteronormative, whether it intended to be or not.

  77. I am a mother of two amazing boys and I am tired of people thinking boys are trouble!!! What about the girls out there? The ones who talk like snobs at the age of 9? The ones who will talk behind their best friends back, the ones who will be a princess and boss their husband around and treat them like they are helpless men!! Please, lets treat boys and girls like people!! You respect each other no matter what your sex is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  78. What a beautiful and touching letter from such a caring father! I sure wish my dad had been like that! He was sadly an alcoholic and into drugs as well as very dysfunctional! Then he died on his motorcycle 3mnths before i turned the great big 16. It took me all my adult years and 1 failed abusive marriage to learn these valuable and precious lessons! I will most likely be singe for the rest of my earthly days, but i have come to terms with it and i am okay with it! Because i believe that if i am working on myself to be the best person i can and being happy with who i am, then if the Lord see fit he will make sure that the person im meant to be with, we will be together. And if there is not a man ready for me than i am strong enough, loving, caring, independent enough and secure enough to be on my own! I have learned to love myself that much! I also know what i want and who i am because of not needeing to be dependent on a man. Dont get me wrong i want nothing more than a loving doting husband! But i want one who will be just as equal to me as i to him! I will be his queen and he will be my king! It goes both ways for me! But i believe my fate rests in the Lords hands at this point. If it is meant to be it will find a way! I am going to continue to live my life the best i can and be the best i can be! I refuse to waste my life anymore than i have chasing after men that i was just settling for or they just were not honorable enough and treated me like i was scum. I am not! I am worth something and i deserve to be treated with love and respect! Ladies so do you! For me i dont care how long it takes because i know my self worth! I pray that you too will find yours!

  79. Reminding me fondly of my dad, who years ago (when I was “between marriages”) told me he wished i could find the guy who really appreciated who I was. That’s about as close as you can come to all you said above. I did find that guy, but sometimes – well, I’m not really sure I’ve really kept his interest. Thanks for reminding me of my dad today.

  80. I got here through a link a friend shared. And I have to say that I agree with every point you make, and I have been brought up with values such that I am not a ‘player’ and never have been. I have always tried to be a gentleman and treat my girl with the respect and love she deserves. However, it has blown up in my face every time, so much so that it is too depressing/difficult to even get to know a new girl and try again.

    I can’t help feeling that there is something inherently very wrong with me. The fact that some of my friends remain in relationships despite being so demeaning to their girls, is like salt to the wound. One of them does not believe in a monogamous relationship at all and another just uses his girl for carnal desires and throws her out as soon as they are done. So it seems that a guy with the qualities mentioned above is most likely to not get the girl.

    Usually I do not post such comments but after reading the article, I just couldn’t hold back. I am almost at the point of resigning to the fact that I am going to remain single and am trying to content myself with that fact.

    • I remember the feeling. : ) Be patient and be encouraged that you are living with integrity. I hope my next post is an encouragement to you, as well.

  81. Thank you for this! I will be sharing it! My daughters were raised by this kind of dad! love it!

  82. Dr. Kelly, this is beautiful! I’m 38, single, andI lost my father 6 months ago. I felt him in heaven, nodding as I read your eloquent words. It has taken years for me to see my own worth. How blessed your daughter is to grow with these messages. Thank you for reminding me of the how strong and beautiful the love that is be
    tween a father and daughter and as people die, as they tend to do….it never will!

    • Kristen, I’m sorry for your loss–you are young to lose a father. I am so glad to hear this letter was of some encouragement. Blessings to you, as I’m sure you continue to grieve.

  83. This is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I found someone incredible a few months ago, and after years of thinking I knew what love was, thinking that having someone who payed attention to you now and then was it… he blew me out of the water and showed me what it really means to love someone, to be dedicated to someone, body, mind and soul.

    I think so many of us are taught at an early age that we have to change to fit other people’s perceptions of who we should be. My parents wanted to mold me, change me into their barbie doll, instead of treat me like the individual that I always was. So we learn to change, to hide behind the masks of what we think people want to see, all so that, that tiny part of ourselves, the shred of dignity that we have left, can live on in our hearts while we tell ourselves “yes, this is love” all the while the people around try to tear down the barriers you’ve erected around your soul, to remake you in their own image.

    Seeing a parent that doesn’t do that to their child, seeing a parent who knows what love is, and who is not only knowledgeable of it, but can explain it, is simply incredible. Philip taught me what love was, even after I’d never known it as a child…and somehow I knew with every smile, every cup of hot tea when I was sick, that without a doubt he loved me. Even when we don’t agree with each other on a topic, its not a point of contention, because we love each other for the essence of who we are as a person, and even though we’re different in many ways, its sort of like opening a book, and discovering something new on each page. Its a part of a whole, and even if we have our secrets, each secret told, no matter how embarrassing, no matter how dark our pasts, teaches us something new about each other and draws us closer in love, and trust.

    love is, and how to

  84. Pingback: My Dear Cutie-Pie - Parentous
  85. An excellent Message, very affirming and beautiful, and I wonder only: If your daughter’s choice of partner is not male would you tell her the same things? Does this have to be limited to only women seeking men? Couldn’t it apply as well to non-straight relationships and to men seeking women as well? Or did you intentionally limit this scope?

  86. What a beautiful sentiment! I hope your wife and daughter know how lucky they are to have you in their lives. I lost my beloved father when he was only 45, and I was just 17. He’s been on my mind a lot today, as tomorrow would have been his 70th birthday. I could feel echoes of things he’d said to me in your words. This is a beautifully presented life lesson that every woman should read, and take to heart. They say that many women marry men who have a similar spirit to their fathers. If so, you’re daughter is already blessed many times over.

    • Thank you, BJ. Blessings to you today, as you both celebrate your dad and, I’m sure, continue to grieve him.

  87. This article is flawed in every way. If every parent tell his child that her priority in a relationship is—the other person is interested in her, then everything else is negotiable. How about caring more for your spouse first before asking for something in return.

  88. I cried reading this. My parents, unfortunately, don’t love me like this. Me just being me was not good enough for them. But I AM fortunate to have found that “boy” and we are now engaged. He likes that I am strong, sometimes he can’t stand when I argue, when we disagree, but he has also told me that he wouldn’t have it any other way (I tried backing down during an argument once, I thought it would “keep him interested [happy]” to have his way, I guess, and he asked what happened. He said the fact that I am outspoken is one of the things that made him fall in love with me, he didn’t like me just shutting up and shutting down, that’s not me.) He doesn’t care if I wear makeup or fancy clothes, we both have respect for each other, he is always 100% supportive of me in so many ways and, well, he’s amazing. So if I, a girl who didn’t have that parental support and unconditional love, was able to find this, I have no doubt that your little girl can, and will, too. 🙂

  89. I am 20 years old. I lost my dad at the age of nine. I always wonder what my dad would like say to my significant other. Reading your letter, I felt like my Dad was speaking to me about my significant other. Your letter is beautiful and has touched my heart. Every father less girl has felt the presence of a father through your letter. Thank you so much!

  90. PS I most certainly didn’t find any such topic among “most popular searches”.

    And let me call my letter, “A Mommy’s Letter to Her Little Boy (About His Future Wife)

    Both spouses are required to act like grown-ups. This means, they
    each have to do their fair share to make the relationship work (as
    numerous counselors say, , this means at least 51%). And NEITHER one
    gets to be the recipient of unconditional love, such as a child gets
    (“cutie pie” – blekh – or not).

  91. As a Father of 2 Sons I must say that it does take 2 to tango!! There are going to be times it needs to be about her and there will be times that will need to be about him. There will be times that will need to be about them as a couple. It is not all about her nor is it all about him.
    As a Father of 2 boys I do try to teach my Sons right and wrong. But once they have thier own home hopfully they act in a mamor that is the right way

  92. I found this on reddit. And I must say, reading it out loud to my husband had me a little choked up. I found the “boy” you are talking about, and I want to raise a boy, like the one you are talking about. I will be writing a letter similar to this for my son. Thanks again.

  93. Thanks, my father has long passed away, but I feel this is similar to how he would advise me and I really needed to hear it.

  94. I have this type of husband and he amazes me every day. I feel I can be myself with him and through 18 years of marriage and one child (now a beautiful 11 year old girl!) I know I don’t have to try to change him or change FOR him. We love each other unconditionally and our daughter is the greatest thing that we have done together. Yes, we annoy each other. Yes, there are times when I want him to go away for a little while. But I always want him to come back and make me laugh and tell me he loves me. I don’t have to do anything to keep him coming home to me. He WANTS to. And it makes me love him more.

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  96. Dear Dr. Flanagan,

    This is so touching, and I absolutely love it. This letter is a manifestation of something I have been trying to vocalize to myself and others, throughout my short life. As a young Arab American woman, I have felt my experience was very different than most in that my father wanted me to enjoy housework and house keeping so that I could fulfill my role in a family, ultimately for the benefit of my future husband.

    I mean, I would never compromise myself, my individuality, my intellect, my out-outspokenness to please anyone. Alas, I have yet to find anyone that values that about me. But I am willing to wait.

    Thanks so much for this, it is truly inspiring.

    • Hana, you are very welcome, and I hope this Wednesday’s post is of further encouragement to you.

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  98. I note with dismay that you reprinted my PS without the primary message to
    which it pertained.

    Your replies are overwhelmingly positive. Quite possibly, this is representative, but I wonder if you could give us feedback on just what selection/censorship process is going on.

    Here, I don’t feel my critique* was unjust or rude, so why did you handle it as
    you did? Summary of the meaning of my critique = implicit, that your comments were one-sided and could do harm, in

    1) encouraging little girls to grow up feeling unduly entitled in the marital
    relationship

    2) neglecting the needs of boys (to be men) in the search for a partner.

    Neither sex has a corner on the insecurity market! Furthermore, I’m sick of the negative stereotyping of Mother in Law:, while giving a pass to Father of the Bride (to Be) which can embody at least as much of the same unbalanced support for meeting the needs of one’s “own child.” (The persistent “Daddy’s Little Girl” identity – which has no place in a relationship of two mature adults).

    Both sexes need unconditional love growing up, especially so (if possible) from
    the opposite sex parent. In my clinical experience, if this is forthcoming in childhood, the burning need for such support from one’s spouse, is absent – despite societal pressures. In fact, it islargely when one misses it in childhood, that one tends to seek out undue care-taking and support from one’s spouse. Men OR women!

    The marital relationship is rightly very different from one’s relationship with
    one’s parents. I think there is every reason to fear at least as much for boys’
    selfhood today as for little girls’. Just take a close look at academic achievement in today’s high schools – overwhelmingly dominated by female students. Likewise,
    medical school classes.

    The sexualization of even little girls is a phenomenon unique to girls and immensely damaging, but it does not equate to lack of support or “interest”.

    Another PS

    How are your replies organized? I had a heckova time locating my earlier response. Is there some chronology I failed to discern?

    complete pass on Father

    • I’d be happy to provide feedback regarding my comment policy. I reserve the right to delete any comment posted on the blog. Having said that, I have only deleted two comments on this post, both because they contained bigoted slurs. I did not see any comment from you before your PS post and was confused myself about why it began with PS. I don’t mind disagreement and I don’t have any problem with what you have said here. While I don’t personally agree with all of it, I also have two boys and would not hesitate to affirm their worth and the kind of loving people they should be seeking out in relationships. It just so happened that this was a letter to my daughter, because of the Google search. If you type in, “How to keep h,” you will see the number one search is “How to keep him interested.” Incidentally, we were wondering how to keep our coffee hot. 🙂

  99. Pingback: Showing My Daughter What Interest Looks Like: A Dating Piece | singledadventures
  100. I absolutely loved this….just brilliant! My 18 year old daughter read it and shared it with me out loud..and her eyes were teary as she finished. You hit this out of the park. Thank you!

  101. too beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I believe in spreading hope rather than fear and this is what this letter has done. I I’ve long disliked the idea of a woman belonging to a man. We do not need to be broken in first before you can use us.
    Live with us, stand with us, laugh with us, cry with us, win over the heart in it’s full glory and you have us for life.

  102. Marriage is a two way street in which both sides give 100% of themselves to each other. It is a two way street in which both sides make sacrifices for the other. It is not all about the daddy’s “Little One” or about the man she married.

    Sacrifice=True Love
    True Love=Sacrifice

    And no, I don’t desire conflict with anyone. But there this culture of “me first, everyone else last”. This culture of “I am the most important thing, I don’t have to change for anyone.” Is what is destroying our nation, our culture. I run into this type of personalities in my line of work all the time, especially among the younger generation, recent college grads to early 30s. Sadly, I end up firing most of these type of personalities from their job because they are so clueless and so full of themselves and so incredibly self-fish.

    Sorry, if you want to be loved, desired, admired, sometimes you do have to change. I have been married for 10 years and plan to die married to the same amazing woman I married 10 years ago. We have both discovered that we must change in order to make a great marriage work. I have changed for my wife and my wife has changed for me. We have grown together. Her interests, some which I really did not care for in the past, are now my interests. My interests, which some she never really cared for in the past, are now her interests.

    It is this attitude that we most not change for those who we claim to love that leads to 60%+ divorce rate. It is the attitude that people claim they love their spouse, but are never willing to make a sacrifice for him or her, that leads to today’s alarming divorce rates.

    Be who you want to be, but know that there are consequences, good and bad, that you must learn to live with. This is what I will teach my little ones. If you don’t want to change for anyone, fine, but know there are consequences to that. If you want to change for someone, fine, but know there are consequences to this attitude too.

  103. No one blames the audience for an uninteresting movie…Don’t be so quick to blame the boy. If you raise an uninteresting daughter, “the boy” won’t be interested in the first place to get to know her. No, she shouldn’t have to look up ways to please him or even go outside of herself to keep him happy (I 100% agree with you there), but if she does nothing other than look pretty, then we have that other scenario where “the boy” is accused of treating “girls” as objects. If your daughter is selfish and demands attention and expects for the man to “interest” her, then she isn’t going to be interesting either.. period. It goes both ways…
    Your little note to your daughter is cute, and I understand what you are trying to say, but I see something awry with your point of view. Either you assume that your daughter by default thinks a boy should have to do things to please you, or you are under the belief that it is generally accepted (might be) and appropriate (is NOT) that a boy must do things to please a girls father, and that “graciously” you are granting an exception to this rule…but isn’t that exactly what you are telling your daughter not to do? Even worse, without this reprieve from you to your daughter, the boy wouldn’t be trying to interest her, he would be trying to interest her father. So you are telling her its OK if he doesn’t. Congrats to you for being what a father should be – out of the way and “allowing” her to be her own woman. Yes, your note is “granting” her permission…

  104. Wow. I am speechless. Those who know me will now be speechless since they have never seen me be speechless. I do not know everything about you, Dr. Flanagan, but perhaps I now know all I really need to. I am grateful to you.

  105. Thank you for this letter. I lost my “Daddy” a week ago, before he could walk me down the aisle or tell me if he liked my current boyfriend (who exemplifies all of these qualities). Even if its not from him, I feel like I keep seeing little poems and letters from him everywhere I go. So thank you for helping me to hear my Dad

    • Oh goodness, Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. I think sometimes when we are hearing the voice of a loved one in everything around us, it’s because the voice is actually within us. It sounds like you will forever carry your father around in your heart. I pray this time of grief will eventually lead you to a place of peace.

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  107. Hi Dr Kelly,

    I red this post in Serbian today and I cried, because I realised that my father never said anything similar to me. …and I am aware that I know why I don’t love myself, why I don’t consider myself as beautiful and worth of interest, but I don’t know how to start to love myself now when I am not learned how to do it.
    Is there any other post of yours which you would recommend?

    Greetings from Banja Luka.

    • I’m so glad this post found its way to you. I wish I could point you to a post that would accomplish what you are hoping for. I think more than anything, a relationship in which grace is given and received will be most healing, and oftentimes that begins with a therapist. I hope you can find one who cares for you in the way you deserve. In the meantime, I’d recommend you to the Archives page and the posts on Grace. Blessings.

  108. Have you ever considered that your daughter might grow up to be gay? Or choose not to marry a man?

  109. Dr Kelly. Thank you for this Post. About 2 years ago I found out that my husband of 9 years had cheated on me. We had 2 very young Daughters. In trying to cope with the situation and determine how to move forward, I did a lot of Internet searches for how to forgive and move forward together. In those searches, as you found, I would see lots of articles about how to prevent him from cheating. Some written by mistresses as advice to us wives on how to avoid this happening to our marriage. Like you I got very angry. While I certainly understand that it takes 2 people to make or break a marriage, the message these articles send and that many (not all) cheating men reinforce is that we, the wives are somehow to blame for their cheating. That their bad decision was a result of how we did or did not treat them. I find this article inspiring in that it takes the blame off of the wronged party and places it onto the person who committed the wrong. Which is exactly where it should be. Thank you for this article. I made him leave after he would not stop seeing her. Believing that I deserved a man like the one you talk about in this post and that my daughters do also.

  110. This was beautiful. So very beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of those thoughts with us 😉

  111. You just made me cry. That was beautiful, sometimes we find the words of wisdom of a father in other people. And you can interpretive this, not only in the being enough for a man, but in being enough in anything. Like I’m worth it and I can do-be anything I dream and I fight for.

  112. Dr. Kelly,
    You are the “voice” of my late father-in-law:) Seldom have I ever heard another man express so beautifully what you did in your letter to your Cutie-Pie. They are “laws” I have tried to live by for my wife for 25 years and now am hopeful for my 5-year old daughter. All I can say is “Preach it, Brother!”.
    Truly thankful,

    • And I’m truly thankful for your feedback. And encouraged to hear from another guy out there living it!

  113. Dr Kelly, your article brought me to tears this morning. The first time a piece of writing has ever done so. Thank you.

  114. Just wanted to let you know, I shared this text in my Expository Writing class, and everyone absolutely loved it. Thanks so much for posting such a great article.

    • Rachel, thanks for sharing it with your class and for sharing such kind words of affirmation with me.

  115. This was beautifully written! I was one of those without such positive messages of self-love and worth when I was younger and it’s so much harder to decipher those feelings now that I am older. I would have loved to read this when I was younger, although the most helpful letter would have had a line that went something like this:

    I don’t care if you fall in love with a woman or if he ends up becoming a she, or any other person…just as long as they are true to themselves and YOU!

    …Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be reading more. 🙂

  116. I would add a PS, of course: And, Little One, if he happens to be a SHE instead, that will still be perfectly all right with me, as long as she carries all the qualities that I listed.

  117. When I was a teenager, all of the teen girl magazines had articles about “How to get him to ask you out,” and “How to get him to notice you.” My mother told me exactly the same thing you have written here. I didn’t believe her. I thought she was outdated. It’s the 90s! Equality! It’s cool to be forward! But, she was absolutely right, and I’m so glad that I learned that lesson from her.

  118. This letter flips the responsibility to the boy keeping the girl interested. This is how high maintenance women are created. I also think it is an attempt for the author to validate himself as what he sees as “good boy.” Why can’t it be equal? Why can’t we walk the path of life, ahead of those that harm us, behind those that protect us, and beside those who choose to share the balance by walking next to us?

    • I’m puzzled, too. I’m not sure why affirming the worth of a woman is perceived as degrading to men or creating inequality between men and women. Unless we tend to perceive all relationships as a competition for limited resources? Love is a limitless resource. I believe there’s enough to go around.

      • I believe some perceive the affirmation of the worth of women in this sense (your letter) as degrading to men because you only affirm the worth of men to the extent of what you believe they should do for your daughter. Unfortunately, the depiction of men as objects of female utility has become all too common and in my opinion, does create inequality between men and women in terms of relationships.

        As a father myself, I certainly understand the sentiment behind the letter. I want the best for my children as you do for your daughter. However, many respondents rightly noted that relationships are two-way-streets. Successful relationships are built upon mutual responsibility, effort, communication, compromise, trust, and so on regardless of gender. Yet, this message is absent in your letter.

        This post leaves me puzzled as well. I am not sure why we should affirm the worth of persons involved in a relationship in unequal terms and not only deem it as acceptable but also as a template for a successful relationship; because it isn’t.

        As a parent, I absolutely hope for my children to find partners that will treat them right. I also believe it is my responsibility as a parent to underscore the importance of my children treating their partners right as well.

        • Good point. I can’t imagine why we would want to affirm the worth of persons involved in a relationship in unequal terms. I hope my daughter will return the same kind of interest to her partner, not because she is being “kept interested,” but simply because she sees the deep worth in her partner. You might enjoy my post, “Marriage is for Losers,” because it emphasizes this kind of mutuality in marriage. Blessings to you and your family!

  119. This was honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I am sure my dad wants exactly this for his “not-so-little” daughters. I thank God every day for putting the man you described in this letter in my life to be my future husband. Amazing words Dr. Flanagan!

  120. Your message to your little girl is uplifting. Im also Asian and I’m with someone who accepts me. Whenever we’re arguing about certain things he’ll always say i love you in the middle of my arguments. He said that he’s happy im able to take a stand and not afraid to say it. Thanks

  121. Not to be the absolute cynic, but criticism brings with it enlightenment. Does this letter not further propagate the misconception that love requires work? Does it not feed the female ego that “he” has to earn me? I am sorry, but relationships take work of both parties. This letter assumes (not to be offensive, just the truth) that your daughter will be an angle. I am sorry, but women are just as guilty for the failure of marriage as men. The Hollywood misconception that prince charming will come and “make YOU” happy is wrong. Only you can make you happy. You should find someone who doesn’t complete you, but enjoying living with you. Honestly, I think this letter is a gross re-entrenchment of the female entitlement mentality that has come to dominate relationships in America. I propose an alternative. Switch the language to a more mutual, neutral one. Quite assuming women are angels and men and the ones who ruin everything. Statistically speaking, women seek divorce and cheat much more than men these days. IN MY OPINION, it is because of the very re-entrenchment of he must make ME feel a certain way. There is no we anymore in any of these dialogues.

  122. Not to be the absolute cynic, but criticism brings with it enlightenment. Does this letter not further propagate the misconception that love is devoid of pain or work? Does it not feed the female ego that “he” has to earn me? I am sorry, but relationships take work of both parties. This letter assumes (not to be offensive, just the truth) that your daughter will be an angle. I am sorry, but women are just as guilty for the failure of marriage as men. The Hollywood misconception that prince charming will come and “make YOU happy” is wrong. Only you can make you happy. You should find someone who doesn’t complete you, but who enjoys living with you. Honestly, I think this letter is a gross re-entrenchment of the female entitlement mentality that has come to dominate relationships in America. I propose an alternative. Switch the language to a more mutual, neutral one. Quit assuming women are angels and men and the ones who ruin everything. Statistically speaking, women seek divorce and cheat much more than men these days. IN MY OPINION, it is because of the very re-entrenchment of “he must make ME feel” a certain way. There is no we anymore in any of these dialogues.

  123. What world are YOU living in? I have a 29 yr old daughter. I’ve told her from a young age she has to be happy in her own skin and not bend over backwards for a guy. Wouldn’t you agree that when you get an iPhone 4 that when the iPhone 5 comes out, you will be in line at 3 am at the Apple store? Both guys and girls should put themselves and their happiness first. Follow me on Twitter @areubetteroff

  124. Secondly, a girl doesn’t “stay interesting” by gaining tons of weight, buying expensive pocket books and millions of shoes, and talks/texts on the phone 24/7. It is the responsibility of both men and women (in my opinion) to be respectful, open, honest and understanding. It’s 2013, and we have to realize that their are so many young girls without their biological fathers in the home, that we have a train wreck on our hands. For the record, I’ve been married 30 yrs to the same woman and have a 29 yr old daughter and a 25 yr old son. I told them both, Lead, follow, or get out of the way. They both lead.

  125. This is ridiculous and not at all helpful for his daughter or anyone that is going to be marrying her (probably at least 2 or 3 men if current marriage/divorce statistics are any indication). This dad is basically telling his daughter she doesn’t have to work at her marriage and just needs to be her little princess self to make a marriage work. Rubbish! As a person who has been married for 11 years I can say that marriage is WORK! His daughter is not going to be successful if she doesn’t try and do things that maybe aren’t “fun” or “fair.” Marriage is a two way street and if his daughter is not willing to give she will not have a happy marriage. People are taught in the country to be selfish and petty (just watch any reality wedding show on tv) both of which do no good when you are trying to spend decades of your life with someone that has also been taught to be selfish and petty. My advice to my daughter is this: When you get married, make sure the person you marry is someone that you will be willing to bend and reshape your ideas for and that is also willing to do the same for you. Do not be afraid of hard work, nothing worth anything is easy. Get your hands dirty and make sure you and your spouse play as hard has you work. Don’t be afraid to try new things and both you and your spouse will need to do things to “keep each other interested.

  126. How are you so certain your daughter is heterosexual? It is precisely this kind of unreflective heterosexism in which children are automatically assumed to be hetero that creates the closet. It is the duty of good parents who do not have religious commitments that demand seeing homosexuality as sinful and heterosexuality as unsinful to bring up their children with an awareness that they might turn out gay and that they will love and support them anyway.

    • Although you make a good point, the article did specifically say that the google search was “how to keep HIM interested”. And I’m sure that if his daughter showed any signs of interest for the same sex, he would undoubtedly give her his unconditional support. That unconditional support and love and encouraging her to embrace her the way she is is what makes this article/letter so emotionally strong. One more thing, you said that it is the duty of good parents who do not have religion commitments to bring awareness to homosexuality and heterosexuality; however good parents in general should be able to accept their sexual orientation of their children regardless of religion.

    • Parents can see homosexuality however they want. They can say that their religion “makes” them see it as a sin if they want, but they are deciding to believe that homosexuality is wrong, if that’s what they are deciding. I live in the US and each person certainly has the right to believe whatever they want and say so freely, but that comes with the responsibility of owning up. If you believe it is wrong, it’s not because Jesus or Allah or Yahweh or whomever twisted your arm into doing so.

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  128. Fabulous! Just fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with all! Men, women, boys and girls alike…..we all need to hear it…..especially those of us who grew up in a time when parents (at least mine) couldn’t fathom the importance of sharing that kind of “self worth” message with their children. Wish I’d known of you when I lived in Lombard….although that was 20+ years ago and perhaps you were still just a kid. But I’m sure I could have learned from you even then as well. Keep up the good work helping others accept, internalize and really “own” their self worth. It helps make a better world for all!

  129. Hi. I really have only a suggestion. While girl children, young ladies, women across the world have been marginalised, down-trodden, physically and mentally abused … We need to also appreciate that the day has come, sadly, when women cry “rape” and often innocent men are bearing the brunt. A significant part of the new generation is probably going to grow up believing that women are right because they have been wronged for eons. We need to be very vigilant about this.

    In this scenario, the advice from father to daughter would be applicable from father to son too. Lots remind our girls that they too have the same responsibilities when they seek their man.

  130. Dr. Flanagan,

    I can’t thank you enough for your impeccable guidance to young men and women. I am deliriously delighted to say that I found this on my 24 yr old niece’s facebook page. She has announced that she is no longer dating “someone” for the sake of “having someone.” She told the family, “the next time I bring someone home, it will be him, so don’t ask, and don’t worry about me. It may be a while, cause I’m not wasting my time with anyone else.” I am so proud of her and this is continued testament to the amazing, inexplicable wisdom that our family’s youngest generation seem to have. From my other niece who has decided with her husband to stay home and raise their own son, to my nephew who did his senior internship 3000 miles from home, found out he was a stem cell match for a woman with leukemia, and did the donation out there, all by himself, and this beautiful talented niece who found your article. She is stunningly beautiful, has a fabulous job with a great company. Travels all over the country, but has gone back to get her Masters in elementary education so she can be accepted by “Teach America.”

    I am so happy for all of them, and only wish kids everywhere had their joy, wisdom, and sense of worth. Again, many thanks. KELLY FLANAGAN FOR PRESIDENT!

  131. Very nice. Just hope you also keep in mind that this works if her future husband turns out to be a future wife, too. 😉

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  135. Unfortunately, there are some in this society who seek to destroy the family, and they have deeply affected the family courts. In 90 – 97% of divorces, sole custody is awarded to the mother. Parental alienation by those mothers is typically ignored. So, many fathers lose contact with their children through no fault of their own. The following is from my own experience.

    GOODBYE, MY DAUGHTER, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE
    BY PAUL M. CLEMENTS

    Dear Danielle,

    I write this letter to the celestial ethers, as I haven’t seen you or talked to you in nineteen years. I have no idea where you might be living, now that you’re grown and on your own. I know you graduated from college, but I wasn’t invited to witness that momentous occasion. Neither was I invited to attend your high school graduation. I found out the date by accident, and attended anyway. Did you see me looking down at you from the balcony of the town hall? I managed to get a few grainy photos of you, resplendent in your cap and gown, and I sent one to you, to let you know I cared enough about you to be there.

    You didn’t acknowledge receipt of that photo, as you did not acknowledge any of the gifts and cards I sent over the years we’ve been apart. Every birthday, every Christmas, sometimes in between, I sent something, always hoping for a “thank you” card in return. Occasionally, I’d send a book that I thought might give you a clue as to what makes me tick. I guess that was selfish of me, expecting something in return for a gift. Maybe what I was really hoping for was too much to ask of you. I was secretly hoping that the act of writing a thank you card would be the beginning
    of reconciliation. Now, after all these years, I have come to suspect that perhaps you didn’t actually receive any of those gifts. At one point in the process of divorce between your mother and me, she told me she’d make certain I never saw you again. It’s called “Parental Alienation”, although you’ve probably never heard the phrase. In any event, it would seem that she made good on her threat.

    I never thought that would be possible, we were so close for so many years. It was me who got up to feed or change you in the first months of your life. It was me
    you came to if a toy needed repairs. It was me you called out to when you had a bad dream. I’d also like to think I was responsible for your love of music. I don’t think I ever told you how proud of you I was, to see you marching with the high school band, or performing in a recital in the high school cafeteria. Of course, by
    that time, your mother had a live-in boyfriend, and I was ignored in favor of
    your newly styled family. Do you remember how I taught you not to be afraid of mathematics? I had you adding and subtracting apples, bananas, and carrots, soon to be shortened to A + B + C = ?. I wish I had had the chance to tell you how
    proud I was of your excellent score on the math test for Johns Hopkins Univ. Who would have thought that apples, bananas, and carrots would lead to a score of 95th percentile on a national exam. I may have been looking on from a distance, but no dad was ever more proud of his child.

    Over the years, I’ve done a few things that might have made you proud of ME. I got involved in politics, because I saw a need for reform in the family courts. The bias and injustice toward fathers I saw there, which caused my separation from you, was so intolerable that I knew I had to do all I could to change it. Once, I had breakfast with a prominent candidate for the presidency. In another election year, I came to be known personally to still another candidate. When we moved to New Hampshire, I got involved with gubernatorial campaigns. I was asked to write a commentary for one candidate, and am still on a first name basis with yet another. When Craig Benson was elected governor of NH, it was me who convinced him to begin regular meetings with the family law reform group. I also spoke out on family law reform on every major television station in Boston. In fact, I regularly did editorial responses on Channel 5. I started a group for other divorced fathers,
    and have continued to be an outspoken fathers’ rights advocate to the present
    day. I also came to be a pretty good writer, and have been published in various media nationally and internationally. Many of the stories and commentaries I wrote were about you, and our relationship as father and daughter. They include three
    commentaries for New Hampshire Public Radio.

    Even my three years as a volunteer in the state prison were prompted by my anguish at being separated from you. It was just another letter to the editor, but it caught someone’s eye, and I was invited to apply for the volunteer leadership of the prison fathers group. I don’t tell you all this to brag. I just want you to know that you inspired me to greater effort, and higher standards than I would have achieved otherwise. So great was my love for you, that my anger at losing you to the divorce courts provides my motivation to this day. I truly don’t want any other
    father to suffer the same loss.

    So why am I writing a letter you may never read? In hopes that the Universal Consciousness will convey my thoughts to you, wherever you may be. In point of fact, I did make an effort to find your current address, and sent a letter. As for all the past nineteen years, there was no response. Maybe you moved, maybe you
    don’t care to have contact with me. It makes me wonder, did your mother’s
    alienation work that well? Maybe you married, and changed your name. That would be another event in your life I was not invited to attend. If you did marry, and if you have a son, I hope and pray that he will not lose a child the way I lost you. I may never know. I’m seventy years old now, and I see Morpheus waiting in the wings. I’ve just about given up hope of seeing you again in this life, so I write this as a last letter. End of chapter, end of book. Goodbye, my daughter, wherever you may be.

    (Author’s note: She did marry, in 2010)

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  139. I showed this to my dad, and he was like…”wow! A father with similar thinking”
    Thanks! I loved reading this 😀

  140. Thank you for writing this. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading your marriage manifesto as well as your weekly posts.

    • Hi Michelle, So glad you found the blog; welcome aboard! And I hope you enjoy the book!

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  143. Lately I’ve considered doing something similar to this where I have a wedding of sorts with myself, and have my vows posted on a large canvas in my apartment, such as “I vow not to accept someone who doesn’t accept me as I am. I vow to always respect myself so that I will know I deserve the respect of others” and other promises to myself, and then sign it and have my friends sign it as “witnesses” and then I’ll always have something to remind me of those promises, and my friends will have something to point to whenever I break my promises to myself or others.

    • Bobby, This is incredibly creative, and I love ideas that seek tangible ways to internalize a sense of our worth. And I really like the idea of doing it in community, with friends who can hold you accountable. Good stuff!

  144. I wish I had a father like that every little girl deserves that Im crying thank you for your words

  145. It could also be a letter to your daughter’s partner! Plumbing isn’t as important as ‘good regard’!

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  147. As a mother of daughters, I appreciate this. I will be posting it on my FB as well.

  148. This is crowd-pleasing silliness. Relationships will always take work. You may think that your daughter is the center of the universe but teaching her that will rarely lead to happiness. You SHOULD work to keep EACH other interested. If you search advice to men, you will see the same adages. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive to your husband. There is nothing wrong or abnormal with injecting some effort into a marriage.
    This is ridiculous. Life isn’t a romantic comedy.
    Nose twitching? Jesus. Try earth-shattering sex.
    You have no idea what girls really want.

  149. Well, the name “cutie-pie” in itself is pretty bimbo sounding and I think demeaning to women generally. The almost crude reference is heard on street corners all the time from men referring to passin
    g women. I know you of course mean no harm; however, I think it is indeed fair to say that the title carries with it a certain connotation that is not the best choice and most of all not in keeping with your article. Also, along with finding the “perfect man”, I suggest that each of us is complete in ourselves and whole and we should seek out our own goals and contributions that we might make instead of just finding the perfect “love fest.”.

  150. I wrote a comment disagreeing with the fundamentals of your essay and you deleted it. Censorship, nice. Are you teaching your daughter that, too?

  151. By the way, at the top of the list, above “how to keep him interested” is “how to keep her interested”.

  152. This was a pleasure to read, and a strong ending, too. I would perhaps add “and if that boy happened to be another girl, that is also alright.”

  153. This has just hit the Australian media so I imagine you will get a lot more posts. For me I say thank you as more women should know this is the way to true happiness I am one of the lucky ones who (after many failed and bad relationships) has a partner the way you describe and I love him back the same way. I lost my job a few weeks ago and I don’t feel sexy, I have no real drive for intimacy right now, I find it hard to smile, I don’t want to cook or any of the other standard “domestic chores to keep him happy”, I’ve put on weight and have no energy to do anything about it right now….. Right when I feel like my world is falling down my husband is right by my side, loving me, supporting me, propping me up and remains interested in me every day. Together we will get through this bump in the road and he assures me that “this too shall pass”

    • I’m sorry to hear about your job situation but glad you have such a steadfast and loving companion! Blessings to both of you as you journey through this together.

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  155. Cute article/letter, but it’s written like it’s a sure thing that the daughter will want to marry a man and have children. I would have liked it better if there was room for the daughter to chose a partner of any sex as well.

    • “Dear Cuite Pie, I want to tell you about the living organism that doesnt need to be kept interested…”

      God! Really Dude?? This PC stuff needs to go away…

  156. I just want to say thank you for this. There are girls like me out there who feel like no one’s been interest in them and that no guy has or ever will look at us in such a way. We question what are we doing wrong to either be ignored or rejected. And it can get lonely feeling so unloved. I’ll be honest, I’ve done questionable things to get someone interested and I regret quite a few of them but always felt I needed to do so. Moments of weakness but I’ve learned from them and thankful in many ways. Just wanted to say we need more fathers like you. We already have the whole world against us, we need people close to us to teach us, guide us and build us up strong. Really, just thank you. I’ll stop rambling now

    • Ali, I don’t think you’re rambling at all. : ) Thanks for sharing and I hope you’ve found some encouragement to be patient and wait for someone who sees your worth. Blessings to you, Ali.

  157. I found this post somewhere on my Facebook news feed and clicked on it not really knowing what I was getting myself into. About 30 seconds in to the audio, I was brought to tears. My father died when I was six and he never had the opportunity to tell me any of these things. All I can say to you is Thank You. Honestly, thank you.

  158. Hi Dr Kelly,

    Thanks for your lovely letter – there are many little ones inside us who need to hear these words sometimes, and it’s nice to have someone else say this to our own little soul for a change.

    However, I think it’s worth noticing the assumption you have made both on creating a family and that these children will be for him. Having children, or not, is one of the earliest lessons young girls are taught as our role in this world. Perhaps it’s time we cease making this an inherent life goal from such a young age so our little ones can decide if that’s what we want from our lives.

    Thanks again

  159. There has been much discussion on the dichotomy between “who i am” and “what I ought to do”. Personally I think it’s basically two sides of the same coin. Who you are is the “soil” from which your actions “the fruit” is grown from. Its not uncommon to hear the saying “the world/him/her/employer just doesnt see/appreciate/accept who I am.” To which I would say “How have your actions reflected your personal qualities?” Because in this world, it’s not enough just to be who you are, you actually have to demonstrate it in a constructive way that benefits other people. Because that is really the only way others can perceive those qualities. You are smart? When was the last time you came up with an innovative solution to a complex problem? Funny? Did you make your date laugh last night? Strong/righteous/argumentative? Did you resolve an issue or defended someone against injustice?
    Depending on the content, personally, I am not oppose to articles such as “How to keep him/her interested” Because amazing as each one of us are, some people do have problem translating their qualites into constructive actions. Bringing me a beer/sandwich? I (and I presume most people) love people who bring me food. Not just because i like the food, but because it shows they care. Make me feel smart? Thats awesome, it shows you appreciate my perspective.

  160. I love this. Thank you for sending this message out into the world. More boys need to hear it and become men.

  161. I agree with everything that you have said. Having a strong sense of personal worth is very important. It is a great beginning. I also believe that we all need to have checks and balances in our lives. Since I can only change my self, I am continually knocking off the rough edges and polishing the diamond that is me. When the people around you see the positive changes you are making, it can inspires them to make positive changes of their own. In the long run you will attract people that are making the same changes as you or are already there. It is difficult to attract a clean great smelling person when you never take a shower. You need to be the type of person that you want to attract. I feel that this type of attitude makes me responsible for the change in my life. I am not relying on or blaming anyone else. I am free.

    • Ian, This strikes me as one of the best articulations of the subtext of my letter. And a beautiful illustration of the fact that, if we trust we have a diamond within us, we call forth the diamond in others. Thank you, and best to you!

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  165. I love the letter to Cutie Pie! Wonderful advice to a daughter that is clearly loved and appreciated for who she is. As a father, it gladdens my heart to see fathers taking the time to give such solid advice to their children at a your age.
    Another example of a father’s love for his daughter is the group of letters from a father to his daughter in the book “How Is My Champion?” a father’s advice for creating value in life by H Perry Curtis. A great read and I think you will find the same love and devotion in the letters in the book as you see in this letter to Cutie Pie.
    Well done and Thank You for sharing!

    • You’re welcome, John! And thank you for such affirming words and for a great book recommendation!

  166. I’ve never rolled my eyes harder at any article. Congrats on understanding that women are worth more than how men objectify them I guess?

  167. This is bullshit! This guy (supposedly Dr in psy) just shaping your child to feel entitled thereby missing on building a strong relationship by showing interest in his/her partner instead of me, me, me first. This is why the divorce rate is sky high.

  168. My dad left when I was 2. He’s let me down my entire life. I’m 25 now, in graduate school, and I cried reading this. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you grow up without a father. Thank you.

  169. To me that was beautiful and I hope to raise my boys to be like the boy you describe and to find the type of girl that is just as good back to them. 🙂 I think I have a good shot since they’re father is like that.

  170. Hi Dr Kelly,
    Thank you for sharing! The only thing I would like to do over again (from my past) is for my father to have had this knowledge on how to raise his kids. I know for a fact it would have made a “big” difference in all our lives. I’ve been told so many times to “let go of the past” or “learn from the past” but that had the biggest impact on who I am today. I am a 55 yr young woman who has dealt with “alot” of low self esteem all my life. I have struggled to be a strong person in spite of things so I may help my kids and grandkids in a positive way.
    My son has incredible knowledge to help others but doesn’t know how. He deals with bi-polar and a severe anxiety/fear disorder which has enabled him from accomplishing alot, but he has taught himself ALOT, from reading ALOT, and trusting in his higher power to guide him.
    My daughter is a beautiful, intelligent woman with two daughters of her own. My daughter has done a miraculous job raising her daughters to believe in themselves, to be strong and to share with others what they have learned in life. So that it will be passed down to generations to come. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids! We all have our barriers that makes life difficult.
    “Believe, it is never to late to help yourself”. So today is the first day of the rest of my life and with that I will keep trying to find the person I have struggled to find inside of myself.
    Thank you for helping me to express myself!
    S.Y.

    • Susie, Your kids are lucky to have such a proud mom! Blessings to you as you move along on that journey we are all traveling, to become more who we really are.

  171. Pingback: “A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl about Her Future Husband” from www.DrKellyFlanagan.com | endurancemomma
  172. Dear Dr. Kelly,

    Someone shared this blog posting on Facebook and I absolutely loved it. I think this letter is simply put yet powerfully written – it’s such a great example for
    women and men around the world. If I had only one constructive comment to make
    it would be with regards to the comment stating, “as long as he can play with the children you give him”. Let me first say that I entirely agree with the intention of
    the sentence (and I’m sure you never thought beyond the intention), but I’m a blogger myself who’s dedicated to motivating and inspiring people who’ve faced adversity; and infertility is one of those things.

    As a young woman who always assumed she’d be able to have kids, I learned 4
    years ago, at the age of 20, that I have Premature Ovarian Failure – symptomatically like menopause. After being diagnosed, I’ve now changed my outlook on children entirely. I may not be able to “give” a child to the love of my life,but I will inevitably raise and love a child with him, somehow.

    After beating myself up for not being able to give the one thing that I felt I was supposed to, I now see that I had it very wrong. Women do not give children to men, but rather, couples create children together. Maybe not always biologically and maybe not even in a lab, but should they choose to parent, they will always create the notion of a child together and then make that dream come true no matter what.

    I write this to you, not to be difficult, but to instead challenge a societal trend of thought I’ve noticed that often indirectly puts pressure on women. While I wish with all my heart that your daughter will never have to face the deep sorrow that often comes from being labeled infertile, I have no way of knowing for sure.

    And so, with nothing but good intentions, I decided to bring this to your attention. Again, I know there was absolutely nothing but a beautiful heart behind writing this piece, but because of my personal story, I’ve made it my goal to challenge the way we view our lives; I feel it is my duty.

    Thank you very much for sharing this note.

    Sincerely,
    Kristen Adamson
    http://www.kristenadamson.com

    • Hi Kristen, Thank you for sharing such painful parts of your story. I know you and your husband will make wonderful parents, because you understand the value of it. I wrote that line, probably from the perspective of a husband who has watched his wife birth three children. Believe me, it feels like a gift. There is no way I would have the strength to do what she did. I am eternally grateful to her. But if she hadn’t been able to do it, her worth and my love for her would not have been diminished one iota. And, as you’ve learned, neither is yours. Blessings to you both as you begin the next part of your journey.

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  174. I got to read this sweet letter through a friend who posted it on facebook, and I just can’t explain how these words came to me just at the right time and reminded me of what’s important: self-worth. I’m a single Mom of a baby, the father left us soon after the baby was born, and it’s been quite a struggle to realize, just what you’re saying here to your Cutie Pie: he just wasn’t interested in me. didn’t love me. period.

    In my past relationships I’ve always been the one who tries to uplift, please, worry, and take care of the other, sometimes not even feeling like it or to avoid conflict, and I kept forgetting about someone: me.

    Now that I’m a mother I know I will be extremely careful who I let into our lives, and I’ve finally learned (through rough experiences) that the person who loves you will love you just for you who you are, and will want to be with you no matter distance or circumstances. Time will only adapt your relationship so that you grow together on parallel paths.

    I hope someday I meet that man you tell your Cutie Pie she’d stumble across once she’s recognized her self-worth.

    Thank you for your posts and your kind advice.

  175. Great post! My 12-year-old daughter is beautiful, bright and confident, and she’s always been herself. It sometimes means she’s not in with the ‘popular’ crowd but she knows who she is and she doesn’t change herself for anyone. A boy who has a crush on her recently gave her a CD of a band she didn’t like. He wanted her to listen to it because he liked it and he wanted her to like it too. I was proud when she told me that she wasn’t going to like it just because he did. 🙂 That’s my girl.

  176. May I echo the many other positive responses you have received regarding this most-encouraging letter. In my heart of hearts I believe it is the desire of most conscientious fathers that their daughters see themselves in this light. And that is what makes the practice of abstinence of greater importance. When an individual can resist the temptation of “being” like everybody else or “doing” what “they” are doing the can assure themselves of truly being who that they meant to be.

  177. Is it just me or does this post seem a little bit ridiculous. I’m not sure if it was the repeated dedication to “Little One” or the actual fact that as i read this message, which appears, outwardly, to project the kind of message that i would like to portray to my child, that i get a sense that this guy is taking this in the wrong way? And that his message to his daughter is just a slightly twisted (and more emphatic way) of saying ‘keep him interested’. As how else are you meant to keep him interested if you, yourself, do not think you are worthy of that interest… It seems to me that this article is a falsified (and potentially invalid) portrayal of a good message that otherwise could be shown in a way that would better connect to people.

    For the message that this portrays i give my full support.
    However.. a 16 year old would have a better grasp of the formation of an unbiased argument and the use of their language…

    Dr. flangan do better or get of ze’ tinternet

  178. I love the advice you’ve given you’re little one. And, someday when she’s older (probably in college) she might see the truth in what you write. I spent quite a bit of my youth fitting in by changing how I looked, what I said, who I hung around….it was exhausting. This continued into my professional life (fit in the box to get ahead). I never really knew the real me. I decided about 16 years ago that I was done with that nonsense and almost immediately met the perfect match to me. He loved who I decided to be. There is change, but it was done together…thru shared experiences but never for the other, but rather the whole. Well said Dr…..I will pass this along to my daughter and grand daughter. Thank you.

  179. Beautiful note, Dr. Kelly.
    As in all things in life, you cannot please everybody, which is why someone would have something negative to say in response this.
    I do want to say one thing as a college-aged young man who has been in a few relationships, one of which has been serious and rather fulfilling:
    I find that the amount of young men (and young women if you had been writing to your son as it does indeed work both ways) that fit that profile of loving their significant other for who they are is dwindling nowadays, at least here in the US, don’t you think? It would be much less of an uphill battle for your daughter as she grows into this life if we begin to remedy the epidemic which has caused the deterioration of good loving commitment and the increase in materialism. This is not a recent issue, as it has been seen throughout history, but since it is not a recent issue, it has gotten to be pretty bad. This epidemic I speak of is an epidemic of the heart and soul. It is an amazingly wide-spread epidemic that affects the individual.
    Quickly to close, as I do not like to point out a problem without proposing a solution. The remedy here is love, and this love has to begin at the family level. I’m talking real, unconditional, constant, and self-giving love of parents for their children and for each other in contrast to the false love that appears to be had and desired. Once we, on an individual level, begin to act on this precept in our families, we can then incorporate that love experienced at home with each other as communities. That for sure will broaden the spectrum of young men fitting for your daughter as long as she grows up just as fitting for them (as I am sure she will 🙂 )
    Thank you and God Bless!

  180. My Dad told me that for every jar there is a cover. My wife and I were 19 when we were married and before we got married, I asked my Dad if I really new what I was doing. He gave me some advise: He was 30 when he got married and did not know what he was doing. age does not have a lot to do with it. I better know what I am doing, I have to live with her not him. Fall in love with your wife every morning and treat her with that love and respect all day. It has been over 46 years now and I still fall in love with her every morning. She has blessed us with 2 wonderful loving boys and my ‘Daddy’s girl’. My children have found good spouses because they are good spouses. I am truly blessed.

  181. some good advice, but please don’t make the assumption that your daughter has a “future husband” out there waiting for her. maybe she won’t get married, maybe she will prefer a relationship with a woman, etc., etc. i know your intentions are good, but your assumption is ill-informed.

  182. Thank you, I needed this so very much. Thank you for the right timing. I will give it a try and hopefully let you know how good it’s going!

  183. Hello Every body
    Thank you thank you DR Saga mudo for the good work you just did in my life ,
    My name is JANICE WARLOCKS i was married to my husband for two years and we were living together happily and we both love each other for this two year not until one bad evening when i came back from work late due to scares of transportation and he started queering and he said he does not trust me anymore and he can continue with this marriage anymore and he drove me away from his house unknowingly to him that i was carrying his two month old baby inside me i tried informing he but he won,t listen to me anymore i thought i will never get him back again and i loved him so much and i promise not to rest until am able to get him back to my life so i began to look for a solution and help to get him back this was because i do not want to give birth to a fatherless child so one afternoon as i was browsing on my computer i came across a testimony shared by miss Rachael from UK how she got his ex husband back with the help of Dr Saga mudo of (obeduneedospelltemple@gmail.com) so i decided to give him a try and to my best surprise the spell this man cast on my husband work just within two days i contacted him . and today am happily living with my husband and a bouncing baby boy , with all this help rendered to me through this Saga mudo OF (obeduneedospelltemple@gmail.com )i will always thank him forever and testify his goodness in my life for other,s to hear an see , once again thank you DR for bringing back my family ,

  184. PLEASE JOIN ME AND THANK Dr. Iyaryi FOR HIS HELP ON BRINGING BACK MY MAN TO ME.
    Hello,
    My name is Ruth Moore,Am from UK,i never believe there will ever be a solution to my relationship problem with my lover. my lover called smith moore threw me out of his house and brought in another lady who he now feels the only best for him. until one day i receive a phone call from a friend in the city that my man is going out on a date with another woman in town, i told her i am also surprise too, because since smith moore has left me he hardly think nor call me. so after some few days my friend called Martha called me and told me that she has found a man that is very powerful, and he is a great herbalist from Africa, truly we all knows that Africans are blessed with so much herbal voodoo powers which they use to help much people, so he told me that the man name is Dr. Iyaryi , that she will forward his email address for me so that i can contact him for help, so truly she sent me Dr. Iyaryi email address and i contacted him that faihful day. he mailed me after a great while that my man will be back to me if only i believe on his work,so after 25hrs i receive a phone call from smith Moore, and he started begging that i should please forgive him against all he had done to me.. he begged me of breaking my heart and letting the other lady a new heart. he promise me never to let go. now i and Smith Moore are now planning to get married as soon as possible. we are brought back with the great powerful love spell and blinded with Dr. Iyaryi spell, we are happy and glad. so i thank you sir for the great help you offer to me, because i think today this might be the only ways and means i can ever thank you of your work.. i am glad. you can contact him for a love spell today at: odulduspelltemple@yahoo.com thank you sir. Email him on: odulduspelltemple@yahoo.com

  185. Hello Dr. and all,
    Thank you very much for this article. I thank God..I stumbled upon this and realized that I had this kind of relationship with my partner for 5 years. I’m tired keeping him interested all the time and by all means, we were in long distance relationship. After reading this, I realized how stupid I am to be in this position where all the power is in a hand of heartless man.
    So dear friends, if you felt that the relationship is not about us, is only about him/her. Exit and stop being a fool.
    And ya, we just broke up..and he dumped me real bad.
    Haha..looking forward for more great articles for you dr.
    God Bless. 😀

  186. The person who adores my daughter and puts the sparkle in her eye is a lovely young lady who embodies everything Dr. Kelly says. When you see true love between your child and another, your heart sings. They will be married soon, and I feel incredibly blessed.

  187. Wow. What a joke. Not everybody is worth interest. Not everybody is special. Why dont you teach her to utilize her life effectively rather than let someone else decide how interesting her pussy is? You are harming her. Teach her to set her own goals. Teach her that if she wants a good guy to be interested and stick around, she has to act the part. Otherwise you will have another self destructive, unproductive slut running around. She will have guys “interested”, and since she has no ability to evaluate herself, she will never know whetheror not that interest is for the right reasons. Good job. Nobody is noteworthy unless they do something to become noteworthy.

  188. You letter has traveled all around the world. Thank you for sharing your thought with all of us. I will try to find that kind of guy, the one who loves me for who I am. Regards from Colombia 🙂

  189. This is exactly what all women should be taught. They’d be better partners and have healthier relationships if their father’s loved them, valued them, and their Mother’s this way.

  190. What wonderful words which I feel will help so many people out there. In today’s Society we all feel the need to please others etc etc and sometimes seldom be our true selves. You have captured it from a Fathers point of view so I will share this on my FB to try and help others out there – Thank you 🙂

  191. I cried my heart out when I read that. My Dad and I only found each other when I was in my 40’s because of ‘secret’s other people kept”, and so I never had one growing up to mirror “me”. The secrets of other people kept us apart. Although he is gone now, I treasured every one of the years we had with gratitude because of the healing his love gave me daily, once we did find each other….He did convey to me these thoughts in hundreds of letters I still have, and that letter ” Dad to his little girl” could have been from him ( “little girl” was his nick name for me even at my age). Great reminder. This is why all “little girls” need a dad, a real dad to mirror them. Thanks so much for posting that, it was like getting an email from him, (from where ever we return to when we die), and thanks for your web site. How can anyone ever hope to have a healthy relationship as a woman unless they first had a father’s unconditional love first. Perhaps you could do a page on ‘How Secrets hurt people”..I’m new to your site, still reading through it all in wonder, just found it late last night, it was sent to me from a friend. Thanks so much.

    • I’m so glad you found us through the letter! Your story of reconnecting with your dad is incredibly touching. I’m grateful to hear my words felt like another kind of reconnection with him. I always appreciate blog post ideas, and that is a great one. It’s now officially percolating!

  192. I feel at peace. I can’t even tell you the countless videos I’ve watched that have told me in a non-direct way that “I” alone was not enough for him. I never had a father who could pass down that wisdom and while reading this I imagined it to be the father I never had.

    Thank you, Dad.

  193. Dr. Flanagan,

    My mother shared this on my fb feed and said that my father would say that this describes my husband. Reading what you wrote made me realize that my husband does exactly everyone of those things. I never realized it till I read what you wrote. this brought me to tears because I know my father would say these exact things to me and I know he is watching over me from heaven and smiling cause I found the perfect guy for me. Thank you very much and hopefully one day our paths will cross and my family can thank you properly.

    Mrs. Crystal Mott

  194. Dr.Flanagan I came across this letter at a time when I need it most in my life. I am a married women who just had a baby a few weeks ago & don’t feel the best about my relationship lately. Your letter made me remember that I am important & worth it. Thank you

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  196. I love the sentiments expressed in this letter, especially the “I don’t cares”. The reader comments about entitlement are, I suppose, understandable since the “me-first” culture is raging all around us. But entitlement is the result of excessive self-absorbtion, not inflated self-worth. The antidote to raising entitled children is to model/teach the value of serving others so that children grow up experiencing the true joy of connecting with one’s fellow man. There is nothing wrong with a girl bringing a guy a sandwich (or vice versa!), not “to keep him interested” but rather because she cares, which is an entirely different scenario!

  197. I appreciate that you’ve spent a long life studying human behavior but you should get a refund for your textbooks if they told you that telling your girl that she’s special and inherently worthy of attention would save her from relationship problems. I’m your age but instead of a family I have herds of broken daddy’s girls. They were told they were special because they were a girl, they were never told that they had to make sacrifices in a relationship or that they needed to earn someone’s respect. They had the confidence and self-esteem to have boys grovel and plead to be with them but they never learned how to make someone else happy so their relationships and marriages ended in disaster. They never learned what it takes to actually be interesting so now that they’re not the cutest girl in the room they can’t figure out how to attract a partner. Saddest of all they never learned that respect has to be earned and that the hardest respect to earn is your own so they eagerly degrade themselves for anyone that reminds them of daddy and they fall lower each time their relationships fail.
    I would never tell my little girl that she is special for being my girl or being beautiful or smart. I would in fact remind her that the world is packed with girls just like her and that there is nothing special about her that she doesn’t make special. I would tell my girl that this world owes her nothing, that she must earn every kindness and grace that she is shown. And I would teach my little girl that if she cares about someone she should make them a sandwich and bring them a beer because that’s what you do for people you care about.

  198. Dr. Flanagan, Thank you so much for putting these ideas out in the world. It has taken me many failed relationships, years of counseling & suicidal depressions to
    partly heal because I grew up with an emotionally distant father who always seemed angry & a controlling mother who saw everything I did as wrong. I was suicidally depressed at the age of 16. This was decades ago when counselors still had a separate door for you to leave by so that patients wouldn’t see each other coming or going. It was all very hush, hush & nobody admitted to needing counseling. It was a “Leave It To Beaver” world where the idea of a suicidal
    teenager, which seems so common today, was never heard of. I understand that my parents did the best they knew how to do. Thankfully they even provided me with a college education which enabled me to have a well-paying career that paid for all the counseling.

    Otherwise I doubt that I would still be alive today. Please keep spreading the idea that every one is different, that they should be loved for who they are and have their own individual differences respected and that each individual deserves that love and respect. There’s a reason that our beautiful

    world has been populated with every person as a unique individual.

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  200. My name is swanta lorey, I have been through hell and pains,looking for a good spell caster who can help me get my husband back.I have been scammed so many times,by some who claimed to be real spell casters.until i found the great man called DR.Lawrence who helped me,and solved all my problems concerning my husband who left me since ten months ago.and after that i also took my friend along,who was also having the same problem concerning her husband,who left her since six months ago,and the problem was also solved by DR.Lawrence Cant you see! the work of a great spell caster is here,all you need to do now is to contact him when ever you are in any problem relating to spell casting.It took me a very long period of time,before i could get this great man. So right now is here for you to solve your problems all thanks goes to DR.Lawrence. you can rich him via email;drlawrencespelltemple@gmail.com ;or call him on +2348143988536

  201. that was very beautiful. Hopefully we can all find men who resemble what you would want your little girl to have.

  202. this made me cry in the office! Thank you so much! this is so true and now I am sure have found the one 🙂

  203. It sounds really nice. But…? Wouldn’t it be nice if you just taught her how to be half of a loving relationship, rather than an egocentric girl with dreams of being unduly idolized by her husband. Teach her what guys like and how to treat people well. How nice would it be if she was in a relationship where she felt compelled to make her husband a sandwich (the example you used) just to give him a happy surprise. And, wouldn’t it be nice if he was the kind of guy who was sincerely appreciative and reciprocative with kind gestures, in turn. And, who is this hypothetical guy that you’re describing? He appears to have no interesting qualities. Or at least, no particular characteristic appears to be important except that he is eternally adoring of his girl, regardless of how she behaves. You suggested she just behave like herself. But, what is that anyway? Don’t we all have the potential to put our best foot forward at any given moment? Is “yourself” really as concrete as all that? Or, should everybody strive to be a better, more interesting, more helpful, more considerate version of themselves, as much as they can? Likely, your daughter will meet many men who love her more than she deserves, more than she has earned through her reciprocated behaviours. And, she will like these men less for their excessive interest. Further, these men will be excessively interested because she is “out of their league,” based on a discrepancy in the random genetic lottery of procreation. In fact, she will probably like the men who try the least. She will like these men because they are more or less out of her league. The act of idolizing someone only accentuates the discrepancy in a way that turns the somewhat intangible into a formidably palpable barrier to relationship success. That is human nature. Teach your daughter the “laws of attraction.” Don’t contribute to her failures in dating by enticing her into believing in an egocentric, unrealistic utopian dream.

  204. When i saw the date of your letter , it made me cry .. April 17th is actually my birthday..this year I turn a year older but I have not been able to find the right guy.. It’s exasperating as I can’t look young forever..Even my pretty girl friend who is also searching doesn’t understand why I should still be single.For the first time I googled “handsome church boys” to see what results it churns..Yours was the first post I click on.. There are so many days in year..and it has to be April 17th. I seriously believed God used your Letter to remind me the core values of being a woman of interest to decent guys left out there.. Handsome guys I have seen and dated 1 too many.. I refused to use my body to keep them interested..Your Letter also remind me that God is eternally interested in me.. Though I feel the uphill task of meeting the One that will really do whatever it takes to win my heart..

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  206. Thank you so much for this beautiful post! My own dad instilled these values in me (albeit during visitations), my own incredible husband lived this, and I hope my 3 beautiful daughters will hear it. Having lost my husband at a relatively young age, I am in need of hearing this again, so thank you!

  207. Well you say your a Christian but in the bible it says if you are a Christian then you are not supposed to marry anyone outside of your religion look it up (2 Corinthians 6:14)

  208. So glad I found this. I’m one of the few blessed to know this voice; it reminds me very much of the messages my own father has strived to impart to me. They are precious, and at times, what’s stuck in my mind above all – along with the same points being independently stressed by my mother, of course – a strong, courageous woman much like your wife. Thank you for sharing this.

  209. Pingback: A Father’s Letter of Apology to His Boys (For Father’s Day) | UnTangled
  210. I used to think Spell was bogus but after Kim left me I felt open-minded to
    try it. Maybe I was desperate too. But this is real! In just 48 hours
    hours, Dr yaro restored the love we had for each other back. I didn’t
    expect the spell would work so fast. it has only just 48 hours since you
    cast the spell and Kim is already after me!! Since last week-end she phoned
    at least 5 times. I believe she seems to realize her mistakes. It’s
    absolutely happening as you said!! Thank you! Your work is helping me so
    much… Without you I would feel so lonely and miserable… Thank you!

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  212. in spite of it all, have the courage and guts to go your own way,and take responsibility for ALL your OWN choices. It’s YOUR life, nobody else’s!

  213. I see a lot of women identifying with this article and I want to run with it. But I can’t, because I’m tired of hearing it. I’ve read a thousand articles like this in the last ten years, and each person writes it like he’s the first. But he’s not. He’s… the thousandth. And this is not to say women don’t suffer from poor self-image, or don’t benefit from reading these things, or shouldn’t have fathers who treat them well. Of course they should. It’s just that it really is ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE all about women. With men committing suicide something like 5x as frequently as women, committing violence more frequently, going to jail more frequently, abusing drugs and alcohol more often, isolating more often, ditching family more often, etc., you’d think someone out there would throw us a shout-out once in a while, a word of encouragement. “Throw me a freaking bone here, Scott.” Here I am this evening planning my suicide after having been suicidal/depressed for close to 20 years, and in the process of searching the Internet for ways to put this plan together I come across this article, a virtual clone of so many others I’ve read in the past, about the inherent worth of… girls. Nothing against those girls but — Hey guys, I just want to mention I’m still here – thanks. Oh, I guess I just have to wait my turn. Waiting. Waiting… Still waiting. OK, I get it: If you’re a woman, your worth is inherent, but for us men what counts is the level and quality of our performance, and if that’s lacking we may as well drop dead. Right, I already knew that. I’m on my way to being another trivial male statistic, not that that bothers anybody. Peace.

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  217. This is all assuming that she wants a man. What if she turns out to love women?? Do you still wish that she finds the woman of her dreams with these same qualities????

  218. There are so many comments here, so no doubt someone has already said some version of the following, but here it is anyways. This is a great and beautiful post, and I appreciate the timing of this coming out so close to father’s day.

    As a man who is very much looking forward to being a father one day, I worry sometimes that today’s world de-emphasizes the role of dads and pre-supposes that they will be at best silly goof balls, and at worst dead-beats.

    I think more men who are fathers (or hope to be fathers) should aspire to be the very best and strong people they can be for the sake of their children (or children to be).

    Hopefully your post can be one way to encourage this.

  219. Love this post! As I read it I realized you perfectly describe my boyfriend, affirming, once again, just how blessed I am! I haven’t always been in a relationship like this one. In fact I was in one quite the opposite for over 10 years. I used to think it wasn’t reality, that it doesn’t exist. I’d day dream about a different life, one where I was appreciated and loved and I was able to do the same in return. Well, these relationships DO exist! People shouldn’t settle for less, we’re worth more than that. 🙂

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  221. This is an absolutely wonderful, uplifting post. I’ve share it with everyone I can think of. I wish more dads were like you. Thank you for this. I am putting it on my refrigerator for my boys to read so they ‘get it’. I already sent it to my girls.

  222. Dear Dr.:
    Thank you so much for this post. My own father was unable to communicate these things to me, yet I believe he would have if he had been able. Your words and wisdom are something that I will teach in my classroom to all my girls when we have our monthly “girls lunch”. I will spread this letter to my at risk teens whom I work with weekly through my life coaching and who need to understand themselves. I will deliver this message into our juvenile hall when I go for my bi-weekly visits to the girls. But, most of all I will read this letter to myself when my self worth is slipping, and I am a bit lost.

    Again, all I can say is, “thank you”… your “cutie pie” is a very lucky child.

  223. Coming from a conservative country (an Asian one, obviously), women have patterned their lives to the preferences of men. I have always been stubborn and have never really liked the idea of that.

    My friends and my family have been worried about that fact but I am who I am and now, I am happily with someone who accepts me and respects me for that. It’s true that change is a part of how relationships work and my boyfriend and I have been deciding together on the right changes to make, and when I say right, I mean the changes that will help us maximize our potential as individuals. Of course it hasn’t been easy but that’s a part of it too. It takes two people to make a relationship work, not just the man, or the woman.

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  226. A boy asked his mom: “How will I be able to find the right woman for me?”

    The mom answered: “Don’t worry about finding the right woman, concentrate on becoming the right man.”

  227. I fixed the letter for you:

    A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Partner)

    Dear Cutie-Pie,

    Recently,
    your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway
    through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most
    popular searches in the world. Perched at the top of the list was “How
    to keep him interested.”

    It startled me. I scanned
    several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when
    to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel
    smart and superior.

    And I got angry.

    Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

    Little
    One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable
    place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)

    If
    you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the
    most important sense of the word: you will attract a person who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend their one life investing all of their interest in you.

    Little One, I want to tell you about the person who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because they know you are interesting:

    I
    don’t care if they put their elbows on the dinner table—as long as they
    put their eyes on the way your nose scrunches when you smile. And then
    can’t stop looking.

    I don’t care if they can’t play a
    bit of golf with me—as long as they can play with the children you give
    them and revel in all the glorious and frustrating ways they are just
    like you.

    I don’t care if they don’t follow their wallet—as long as they follow their heart and it always leads them back to you.

    I don’t care if they are strong—as long as they give you the space to exercise the strength that is in your heart.

    I
    couldn’t care less how they vote—as long as they wake up every morning
    and daily elects you to a place of honor in your home and a place of
    reverence in their heart.

    I don’t care about
    the color of their skin—as long as they paint the canvas of your lives
    with brushstrokes of patience, and sacrifice, and vulnerability, and
    tenderness.

    I don’t care if they were raised in this religion or that religion or no religion—as
    long as they were raised to value the sacred and to know every moment
    of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.

    In the end, Little One, if you stumble across a person like that and they and I have nothing else in common, we will have the most important thing in common:

    You.

    Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep them interested” is to be you.

    Your eternally interested guy,

    Daddy

    **Just because the letter was written in response to articles about women pleasing men, that does not change the fact that the letter is heteronormative. And it’s an easy thing to fix. It’s a lovely letter, it really is, but the original is still telling daughters that the expectation is that they will find a boy. And creating expectations like that for your children is just as bad as out right saying that being gay is not an option for them.

  228. Thank you for writing a letter I wish my dad had written to me. Funny thing is: I found just this guy and he married me 21 years ago this coming Thursday. With him as a daddy to our two girl cutie pies and two boy cutie pies (Can you be a cutie pie at 19?) he has been a shining example to our children of the kind of partner we want ALL of them to have. Someones who think they are each important enough to invest in for the rest of their lives.

  229. This made me cry, but in a good ache-y kind of way. When my sons get older and start expressing an interest in dating I’m going to have them read this letter in hopes of provoking them to think about why they want to date that girl/boy exactly. And to let them know I feel the same away about them, and have the same hopes about their future partner.

  230. My boyfriend broke up with me 6months ago..saying things like, I want I be on my own, go out with mates, we weren’t getting on anymore. Which I thought was bizarre because we would always joke around, we were together for 4&half years. Took him only 2 months to find a new girlfriend he seems to of forgotten all about me,i cry all day blc of the love i have for him, one day i was online i and came across Mrs jenni sharing dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com i also contact him and explain every thing that happened to dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com he told me not to cry that he will help me cast a love spell that will last forever and Dr Eromuse did after the love spell my man came home telling me that he have forgot about the other girl that he still love and cherish.

  231. Just out of curiosity, do the same rules apply to men? Like if I get married, does the wife have an eternal obligation to be with me even if I become uninteresting? Am I always interesting just as the mystery girl in the story is? Like, what If I become an overweight slob that lets himself go, loses his job, and becomes severely lazy? Am I entitled to have my wife stay with me simply because we’re married, we took vows and everyone including me is always interesting?

    I’m kind of skeptical of this everyone is special attitude. If the wife I love ends up going on a killing spree or cheats on me, I promise you, I will lose interest and I will file for divorce. People change and sometimes they grow apart. It’s the reality we live in. Anna (who provided a comment below) is actually right. Life isn’t a crappy rom-com. Life is difficult and beautiful and much like our beautiful relationships, they typically end at some point. If your relationship ends, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It just didn’t work.

    I agree with not trying to change the other person part though. Typically when I see a girl trying to change me, I lose interest and continue the search to find someone who loves me for who I am. I’d expect any girl to do the same thing in a similar position and not only am I okay with that, I actually encourage it. Break ups can actually be healthy for someone’s life.

    • Also, if anyone including the author disagrees with me, don’t just down vote me, engage in a conversation and let me know what you think. If I came of as hostile or sarcastic in the beginning, I didn’t mean to. I was simply providing another view point. It’s interesting reading these comments and different points of view on love. If only Oscar Wilde were alive to see this. 🙂

      • Hey Dave, The author here, and no down-voting from me! There is a LOT in your comment, and I actually appreciate your thoughtfulness. I will just leave a couple of brief reactions and then invite others to weigh in, assuming they can be as thoughtful in response as you were in commenting. First, yes, it absolutely applies to men, as well. It has been interesting to me to watch this fallacy play out in comments that affirming the worth of a woman must mean that we don’t affirm the worth of men. Worthiness is not in short supply and there is plenty to go around–the sexes need not be in competition over it. Second, yes, as a therapist, I am in a position to take the time to get to know everyone, and I’ve discovered that underneath all of our attempts to look uninteresting and undesirable (usually to keep people away because were are scared and ashamed of ourselves) is an incredibly interesting and unique person. I always consider therapy a success when a person has met at least one other person outside of the office who sees them at that depth as well. I simply wanted to encourage my daughter to see herself at that depth, so she wouldn’t sell herself short trying to earn a sense of worth from anyone else. Again, I would love to hear what others have to say…

        • I go into relationships knowing that statistically it’s not going to work out. That seems depressing but it’s actually beautiful. A relationship that I know might have an expiration date just means that I cherish each moment that much more because it might not last. A metaphorical way to make my argument is “If we were immortal, would we ever do anything? Would we have ever built the pyramids?” Relationships are never immortal and usually end in sorrow. That doesn’t mean it was pointless…

          Some of the commentators are simply just reaffirming some idealistic view point that married couples should stay together no matter what. You’re letter technically doesn’t say that but they are interpreting it that way. I was providing an outside view point that although the statistics are against you, you should embrace the possibility of breakup and use that as a reason to build something beautiful (or metaphorically speaking, pyramids).

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  233. Great honest post on rasing gurls and teaching them true values of life and love.

  234. I am so very grateful that my daughter found this and posted it today on Facebook. Her father died when she was 6 and she has struggled with his absence ever since. She just broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years and I believe God intended her to find this in order to confirm that she has done the right thing. Thank you so much for reaching out to so so many young people. I am very grateful!!

    • Becky, I’m sorry for you and your daughter’s loss. She must have great courage to end such a long-term relationship, because after the loss of a father, initiating another loss can be very painful. Thank you for sharing her story. And you are quite welcome, it’s truly my pleasure to be reaching out in this way!

  235. Wonderfully said, and I agree with every sentiment expressed. Our daughters will respect themselves and others, and the result will be a good life.

  236. this was simply beautiful. i hope to one day look back and know i’ve raised my son (and any future children) to mirror these traits. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to relationship and commitment between two people. Thank you.

  237. Unfortunately, there are too many mothers out there who place zero value on themselves and never teach their sons the correct way to treat a woman or set the right example. Low standards and examples breeds the same. Boys are taught that its ok to objectify women, that its ok to oggle even in the company of the person they “love,” etc. etc., and if you protest, youre labled as an insecure woman. Setting standards for yourself is now thought of as insecurity to most and its discouragig and unfortunate.

    • Therefore, the “boy” grows up to treat women like objects for his pleasure and they need to turn a blind eye, do what they can to try and keep him from straying, and accept being disrespected on a daily basis.

  238. What an incredibly lucky young lady your daughter is to have such insightful parents! A father’s worth and presence in a girl’s life is priceless.
    Thank you for this…

  239. Thank you for this. The power and love and wisdom of your words have moved me deeply. It is the guidance that I have been seeking, without even knowing it, all my life. As a child of divorce and a survivor of childhood sex abuse who has never been in a secure, successful relationship with any man, this letter means more to me than I can express.

  240. Letter is TOO one-sided. Men should be encouraged the same way this letter is instructing the girl. Females CAN keep men “interested” easily, in many ways AND men can keep a woman interested. I wouldn’t dream to suggest that “being you is good enough” because if it were, why do so many relationships & marriages fail? Lack of interest is a common thread. I suggest BOTH men and woman do something to engage their mate. Human become bored with regularity and both sexes should strive to be interesting at different orders of magnitude and irregular intervals. As a Male friend once told me when be BOTH check out a pretty girl at the mall “Patty, just think, SOMEONE is tired to sleeping with her.” Fair point. It is humanity’s best interest to desire to procreate with the opposite sex. Social engineering and socially accepted taboos corral us into outwardly admitting “you’re good enough” while quietly thinking “I need someone new”, which, in this case, new=interesting. How many times can you listen to the same song over and over in a row until you want something else. Someone, somewhere many years ago who failed at finding many mates started a rumor that it is best to just ‘be yourself’ and someone will find you interesting. Really? Go with luck-of-the-draw?? I say to men and women: influence your mate selection and get someone you really, really want by taking charge of your looks, clothes, hair, and be a genuine person (not fake) and know that this letter should be for men and women. But, know that to find a mate you really, really, really want takes more than just what this letter suggests. Otherwise we’d all win all the time by doing what this letter suggest. “The things that come to those who wait are the things left over by those who got there first!!!”. So work and BE interesting. Don’t just be. That would be the lest you can do and you’ll get what you attract and deserve.

  241. Why anger? Can you entertain the idea that what you might find objectionable in those articles is nothing more than semantical failure and possibly misunderstanding? What if, instead of being titled: “How to keep him interested,” those articles had instead been titled “How to be interested in your partner,” yet had precisely the same content? What if the articles in question were directed at men, and gave them ideas about how to express their interest in their partners? Surely your essay here says the same thing: you want the man whom your daughter chooses for a companion to be interested in her. Had the articles in question been directed at men, and were titled “How to be interested…” instead of “How to keep her interest…” would they not be expressing the exact same goal your essay espouses here, with one difference: instead of just pointing out the necessity of mutual interest, the article is offering suggestions for how to keep conscious of the things you find interesting in your partner, and more importantly: how to demonstrate that interest? When women, or men, for that matter, act to “keep their partner’s interest,” are they not themselves acting out of a sense of interest in their partner? How does one show one’s parter that one is interested? Perhaps it is in demonstrating that my partner’s interest is important to me. You say your Cutie Pie does not have to do anything to keep her partner’s interest other than “be herself”. Really? Are you claiming that love is only a verb of being and not action? Does she not need to be as interested in her partner as you hope that he is in her for any sort of relationship to work? Is it possible that you are presuming that, being your daughter, she will never experience problems in that area, that you will innoculate her against that shortcoming and that your lessons and examples will take with 100 percent success, such that she will never need some article to tell her: “How to be interested in, or express your interest to, your partner”? Is it possible that your sensibilities have been tweaked by the idea that your offspring might find value in such an article? What about those women (and men) who have not the benefit of your tutelage? Might they not find something helpful in an article which gives them ideas about how to be interested in their partner and how to express that interest, even if the article is titled in a way that suggests it is instead about “keeping one’s partner’s interest”? Is it possible that in at least some of the cases, your objection is more about the semantics of the title or in the way the advice of the article is pitched than it is about the actual actions such articles promote?

  242. i am 32 years old turning 33 this July, i have a partner for almost 3 years now, we have 1 year old and 3 months baby girl. we are planning to get married next year, my partner is a seaman, he just arrived 2 weeks ago. I noticed his changes, he used to be sweet before. The other night I asked him what happened to him because he was very cold. I forced him to speak, then he did. He told me that he is having an affair for almost 1 year now with his co-worker. I was shocked! He told me that he love the girl and he only stay because of our daughter but if given a chance he want to be that girl. because of my pride, I packed his things and advised him to leave because we don’t need him. i told him that Ican take care of our daughter. i spoke to my in-laws this morning and they told me that my husband was hurt of my actions.i think it was his ego who i’ve hurt most. because i don’t want his presence nd help on our child. according to him i can live without him.one day i was on internet and i found dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com online helping people build there marriage and casting a love spell that last forever, i email and told him all that happened to us, dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com help me out just three days i was very surprise my husband came home telling me other sweet story, my marriage is as save as any other thing on earth, thank you once again dreromuselaspelltemple@gmail.com my husband is in love more than before.

  243. I wish more dads would teach their daughters this. Plus, just cuz we’re all “grown up” doesn’t mean we don’t still need our dads. It just looks different.

  244. This is beautiful! I’m another Facebook stumbler of this article and then made the mistake of reading some of the comments… And re-read the article to remember how it touched my heart. As a mom to a 1 year old and watching my amazing husband play with her, I’m quite certain his thoughts are the same. Your daughter will love and cherish this letter!

    • Kris, You made me laugh out loud at the idea of having to go back and re-read the post after having read comments. Some of them are pretty critical. Blessings to you and your family!

  245. I have a son and i can apply this to his life lessons on how to treat a woman and take care of his family once he is at that point in his life. We have recently lost my grandfather his great grandfather and I am trying to make him see that his grandpa is still with him in spirits. He wont sleep in his room so the fear is over taking him. thank you for this and i will follow this as he gets older.

  246. This is just beautiful! Things that my father definitely stressed to me as a young girl. He died when I was a very young adult and somewhere along the lines I forgot it with out him to remind me. This was very thereputic to me and just what I needed to hear! Thank you.

  247. I’ve never married and never had the “voice of a Daddy” in my life – neither has my daughter.

    My “Cutie Pie” is nearly grown up. Your letter has been printed and placed on the refrigerator for the hordes of teenagers who routinely ravage my kitchen to read (right next to Gandhi’s Eight Blunders.)

    They are young women and young men, gay and straight, and some are still trying to figure it all out.

    Thank you for sharing your “Daddy voice.”

  248. dear cutie-pie,
    it really doesn’t matter if some guy (or girl), man (or woman) is interested in your scrunched up smiley nose. You’re fine on your own. You don’t need anyone else except you.

  249. I just want to take a moment to tell you how awesome you are. I absolutely loved this letter. It’s men like you, my father, my brother, and my wonderful soulmate that need more appreciation. I know it sounds silly, but it made me feel hopeful that you seemed as angry as I feel when I see articles detailing how not just women, but everyone, needs to desperately hold onto their partner. I took the hugest leap of my life and was completely and utterly myself on my first date with my boyfriend. Turns out no one has ever cherished and loved me more. Keeping someone “interested” is just the long, hard way of getting your heart broken.

    • Ellie, Readers have shared a lot of wisdom in response to this letter, but I’m not sure anyone has cut to the core of the matter as well as you have, with this: “Keeping someone ‘interested’ is just the long, hard way of getting your heart broken.” Well said.

  250. I really appreciate you writing this letter as well. My father was always critical of my ability to do things (play sports, etc.) as well order me to help out in the kitchen, even when my brothers were already there. The worst part is when I was sexually assaulted, I told him about it and he said “oh big deal” and that was that. Luckily I had enough sense about myself that I never did anything I regretted to “earn” anything from a guy. But I knew when I told one of my guy friend’s about the assault, and he said “that wasn’t your fault and I would have kicked that guy’s @$$ if I were your father”, I started to cry and I realized what I had wanted to hear all along. So thanks for being there for the girls who didn’t have a father to stick up for them.

  251. This was very well written, but I do believe (and I’ve seen other comments posted about this as well) that it is a give and take situation. Of course women should not have to break their backs trying to keep a man interested. That’s antiquated and offensive. But it isn’t a man’s job to keep running into a brick wall when the woman he is married to won’t make any kind of effort at all.
    My wonderful husband loves everything about me – even when I’m not my most lovable. But I don’t make everything about me, because it isn’t. He had to deal with “I didn’t want THAT, I want this” kind of selfishness prior to marrying me.
    I want to make him happy, as he wants to make me happy. I appreciate all that he does for me, as he appreciates all I do for him. We never take each other for granted. My 2 young sons will be taught to appreciate their wives, to love them, to be supportive. But I will also teach them that they are incredibly special, and that they need to find women that are worthy of them.

  252. I have to say that these words brought tears to my eyes. They were never words that were said to me. I never felt like I was worthy. I always felt like I had to try harder, to be better. Not for me, but for someone else. Because my brothers wrestled so I should to track or some other nonsense. I always felt like I would get lost in a crowd if I wasn’t yelling. What ultimately happened is I got lost in a relationship. I was planning a life with a man I had been with for 2 years when I got pregnant. I learned quickly he didn’t want that life so soon and didn’t want the baby. I left with what I could carry and a baby in my belly. With some help from friends/ family as well as a little state assistance, I was able to get a job, apartment, and start fresh. Then I met a man who said all the right things. He wanted to take care of me. He wanted a life with me and my baby. He accepted my son as his own. We argued but who doesn’t? However, he was loving, attentive, and overall- very devoted to myself and my son. Within a year of our marriage I wanted out. He began going out drinking, calling me names, staying out all night, and just being a jerk. He would control everything. He said he wanted me to be able to stay home and take care of our children so they weren’t being raised by strangers. So I quit my job and stayed home. In the nearly 9 years since I have dealt with things I would NEVER wish on anyone.
    Things like being called lazy because I didn’t want to get up and make breakfast 8hours after watching my grandfather die. Or things like coming home and doing the dishes the day I was released from the hospital after 2 weeks and MAJOR abdominal surgery due to an ectopic pregnancy/tumor. Things like crying myself to sleep at night.
    I feel trapped. I kicked him out and he worms and cons his way back in. I am trapped in a relationship with a man whom I now realize is abusive. I took me until a year ago to realize that just because he doesn’t hit me, doesn’t mean he isn’t abusing me.
    I NEVER want my daughter to experience this. I don’t want her to think it is okay for a man to treat her like this. And I don’t want my sons to think it is okay for them to treat women this way. I am very stern and try to teach them respect and that women and people in general are to be cared for and valued for WHO they are. Nothing else matters, not how much money they have, the color of their skin, what part of town they grew up in, none of it. I ONLY want them to find the value in a person, the TRUE value, not just the surface crap. I also want them to realize that people should be looking for those things in them, not looking at what school they go to or where what sports they play. But looking at what kind of person they are. Are they good to others? Do they always put for their best effort? Do they help the less fortunate? Do they show those they care about how they feel? Do they feel good about who they are? These are the things that I want my children to grow up learning. But I don’t know how to teach it to them. People tell me to leave my husband and go live with my parents. The problem is that, while he isn’t AS BAD, my father has very little respect for women, has little work ethic, and makes no effort to be the kind of person I WANT my children to learn from. He is selfish, manipulative, and I don’t know how to get my children out of this life that I have always known and show them that a different kind of life exists.

  253. This blog is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.
    Marriage is a funny thing. It has to change, but the people in it are changing too. We can let lots of things get in the way of a good relationship, most of those are trivial and some things are man made problems. Such as religion and politics. The “rules” of religion, to me, are there to cause strife and disconnection, but the religion of a person’s heart is what is most important.

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  255. When I dialoged with my children on matters of the heart, I encouraged them to first know, who they were and what they wanted. I suggested for them to write out a list of things they wanted in their relationships and what were the deal breakers and to keep the list close by for periodic personal review. Though their list was personal, I attempted to encourage them to have first a healthy respect (not pride or selfishness) for themselves. This would naturally make them attractive to those with having similar qualities. The universe doesn’t know what you want, until you inform it. That won’t occur, until after listing and visualizing them for yourself.

  256. Alot of the comments seem to address the concept that *gasp* allowing
    our girls (and boys!) to grow up to believe they are a PERSON and are
    entitled to be loved for who they are creates a generation of selfish
    children who will not be happy in a marriage or in life.

    I disagree. But, hey. I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I’m not even in a
    relationship any more. What could I possibly have to contribute to this
    debate? I have nieces and cousins and countless munchkins that I know
    and love and every single one of them deserves to grow up loving
    themselves and knowing they deserve somebody who will treat them well
    because they simply deserve it.

    Being human doesn’t mean you’re being graded. Think of it this way; as a student I had two types of teachers. The first started you off at a C and you had to work your way up to an A. It was hard and sometimes not even possible. Then you have
    the second type; who start you off with an A and simply let you
    work to keep it. It takes considerably less effort and results in
    better students with better grades. Some would argue it’s the ‘easy’
    way, that life is designed to rule off the ones who can’t make it.

    I’m calling bullshit.

    Self-worth is exactly the same thing as education. You start your kid
    off at a C and tell them they don’t DESERVE to be loved or appreciated,
    you are starting a life-long battle that will only end in your child’s
    therapy bills. You start your kid off with an A and the odds are you’re
    going to end up with a kid who stays out of trouble because they are
    BETTER than that. You end up with a kid who makes smart choices. You end
    up with a kid who is a good person and an individual who believes that
    every person on this earth needs to be treated with decency and grace.
    You end up with a kid who doesn’t have to fight themselves for love,
    both from themselves or from their partners.

    By starting from birth and telling your child that they deserve to be loved who they are and that they shouldn’t have to change, you’re starting your kid off
    with an A.

  257. I am the mother of two small boys whose father has left us. I wish someone had taught me this lesson 30 years ago. I will do my best to teach my sons to be the kind of men who value the worth of others, especially the partners they choose.

  258. I wish my Dad can see this and accept it, maybe he’ll accept the one Man I have come to love but can’t bring home coz of our different religious backgrounds.

  259. My husband and I just read this and he makes a good point that this was worth the read for our daughter but also for our son.
    Every boy/man should pay attention to these words as well.
    Thanks for the post.

  260. Good Morning and God Bless you. I just want to let you know that even though there has been conflict and some people who didn’t understand your heart when you wrote this, I believe you were led to share this with me. I am a 32 year old single mother who lost my wonderful, loving, Father 14 years ago to pancreatic cancer at the age of 48. He was my best friend. A father is so important to a girl (not leaving the guys out, this is a personal point of view post – I am sad that my sons never knew this great man) he teaches her how to survive the hunt. Lol well, I lost my coach before He could teach me some specific things… I miss him. I feel at a loss and a disadvantage because he isn’t here to guide me. This is something I know he would have said word for word. I was searching for something completely different…. thank you. I needed this.

  261. This is one of the best pieces I have ever read.

    I am a psychotherapist in NYC and also work as a consultant to the United Nations preventing Violence Against Women internationally.

    Your letter is refreshing and wonderful. It shows the integrity and beauty of simply loving and cherishing a woman.

    It reminds us as women not to try to seem less powerful to make a man feel better, as in my work this power struggle is often what causes these acts of violence against women. This notion that men must feel superior and control a woman with rape or domestic violence to assert his authority.

    The letter also reminds us that more than his wealth, skin color or anything else-we must focus on his love and devotion. Society often points us to focus on the superficial, and you have reminded us that if we are happy then we have a home.

    Too many relationship books today tell us how to “trap” or “trick” a man into loving us. It leaves us feeling confused and empty. I cannot tell you how many girlfriends of mine suffer from the advice in these books, and spend many nights at home crying after one failed relationship to the next.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful work. I would like to encourage you to elaborate on this and perhaps write a book of your own. I would be happy to co-write with you from a female perspective also, combining our knowledge banks. I write often myself, and have never wanted to co-author with anyone before, but you have inspired me so much that it would be an honor. This message must get passed along.

    Warm Wishes

  262. Wow I just sobbed so much at this! It is wonderful and perfectly expressed! I married someone I love deeply but I always feel that I have to keep him interested. It is tearing me to pieces inside. I am not huge but overweight (fibroid, fibromyalgia etc don’t help this) and he says that fat disgusts him. We have 4 children and he wants them to be enthusiastic cleaners, offering without being asked, to do the garden or housework. No hobbies are encouraged because they make a mess that he can’t handle. They still do some but they make a mess that he can’t handle!! Then things get put away and stored because we don’t want to lose our hobbies entirely. He wanted to leave(again) yesterday, we were “living in squalor” and he wanted “order”. When he tried that he was the one who lived in squalor while we just lived. But he came back, had some NLP which was very good and was lovely for quite a while. Now he is forgetting and starting to hate us all again. I am tired. I don’t want to fight anymore. The sad thing is that when he is “normal” he loves us, says he would die without me, and I know he means it when he says it. But he means the bad stuff when he says that too. I am not just confused, I am bursting with sadness and hope, optimism and despair. I have had some small heart attacks this year. I am scared. If anything happens to me what about my children? I desperately want to just go to sleep sometimes – I am just so tired of the fight – and let go but my children need me far too much and I love them so much that I wouldn’t just die for them I would live for them when life is more painful than death. I hope people think seriously about your brilliant advice. I wish someone had helped me to have that kind of confidence in myself. xxx

  263. 🙂 I can’t wipe this smile off my face………..thank you for this amazing and beautiful post!

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  265. I just had the worst shit you can imagine – really foul stinking and I dropped a huge fart just as one of my colleagues entered the bathroom. Awekward.

  266. Very good post if only there were more fathers+MEN out there like you to teach this very important life skill to all the insecure+BEAUTIFUL women.The greatest gift you can give to any child is self-worth. All too often women place other people’s opinions in front of themselves like a mirror which reflects their worth, which is wrong. Beauty is not based on movie stars or magazines or starving models. It is about loving <3 yourself+KNOWING you are WORTH loving and you will not accept anything less because you would not GIVE anything less. Being perfect all by yourself CONTENT in life's simple pleasures and gifts. Appreciating yourself by growing and loving yourself daily. 😉

  267. I think what some of the commentators are missing is the fact that we live in a male-dominated, patriarchal society where the male gaze means more than a woman. This article isn’t suggesting that you make your daughter a selfish, arrogant, self-fulfilling ‘princess’ its that they realize they’re worth so much more what society will tell them as they grow up. So many women are raised under the idea that they have to change themselves or be ‘sexy’ (They can be sexy as long as its a sexy because they want to and makes them feel great about themselves) in order to catch and keep a man. We find this in different ways every day whether its outright, or reinforced subconsciously we can’t hide from the fact that the system supports a patriarchy that values women as an sexual object rather than as a human being. So we have to make sure our girls grow up knowing they are worth so much more than that and they need to value and love themselves with whatever personality they have and know that there is someone out there who will love them for who they are and how they are. And even then just telling your child male or female that they are worth more than what society will tell them they are. This is important for both male and female children. Our children are at such a disadvantage society and culture put so much pressure on our children to be raised into categories and if we don’t have the skills to teach our children self worth and having respect for others than we can never grow as a society and our children will forever be at a disadvantage.

  268. This is lovely, (and I don’t mean this as criticism) but what if she chooses not to have children? The social pressure remains that women are only fully female if they give birth…

  269. Hi,
    This is such a beautiful post…so full of unconditional love, joy and acceptance and it is so beautiful to hear a father say these things to his child. These words provide fertile ground, in which a young soul can grow and thrive and become self-confident and unafraid. It made me cry… but it also made me smile. I am a single mother of a young son. I wish there were more fathers like you out there. Thanks for inspiring us.

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  271. This post is beautiful. It took me a long time to understand the incredibly powerful, whole beautiful nature of men, what they have to offer through their love of women, through their deep nature, their fierce loyalty. I often feel the deep and enduring nature of men is undermined and undervalued, quite similarly to the way we women complain we are undervalue. To the point where many think fathers like this don’t exist. You are proof they do and so are many other men. It is not an impossible ideal and does exist. Earnest, loving fatherhood is a launchpad in life to loving relationships and happiness of the heart. There was a time in my life before my father became overwhelmed with suffering when his interest in me was the only star that shone. Long after the star stopped shining in my sky, I still remembered this light. Self-worth is my greatest struggle in life, but whatever bit I did glean was enough to protect me from so much harm. There is definitely an amazingly hopeful evolution taking place in parenting, in our consciousness, in attitudes to the amazing resource of marriage, of our relating. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Alison, This is a really important comment and one that has not been reflected upon enough in the wake of this letter. There are a LOT of good men out there living fatherhood as a beautiful calling. In fact, an interviewer recently asked me what my male friends thought of the letter and my answer was, “They thought it was unremarkable, because to them, it was just a description of how life is already being lived.” Here’s to the men out there who so often aren’t recognized for the good things they are giving their families. Thanks again, Alison.

  272. Beautifully stated. I doubt this type of encouragement spoils a child. It teaches her she’s loved and valued, so that she will expect that kind of encouragement from a life partner. You’re a good dad.

  273. Absolutely beautiful. I will copy it and read it to my “cutie pie”. It made me cry and reminded me that I still have a little girl in me to nurture.

    • Shelly, That is incredibly touching. I think we all still have a kid in us to nurture; I’m glad this post pointed you toward it. Blessings!

  274. Hello. I am going through a break up of a relationship that lasted six years. I prayed to god to give me a sign and I found this sweet letter. So often women, like myself, get lost in a relationship. We consume our precious moments In life with the other person and we end up losing ourselves. After I read this, I have vowed to not ever lose myself again and to find my self worth and put it on the highest shelf to not be disturbed. My father was not around much, and I do think that is a core issue, but it also should not dictate my life. This letter is something that all women want to hear, and I hope I hear it from someone one day. Thank you for posting this for the world to see and appreciate.

  275. I find myself wishing I could know for sure that I could be that boy. God knows I’ve tried. Beaten, battered, bruised and broken, time after time and in every possible sense, life is an endless punishment and whatever sins I’ve committed, atonement never seems to come. There was a girl, a wonderful, beautiful girl who never ran out of love to give. I have never known happiness quite like that which I shared with her. And yet, to be with me was to live in constant turmoil and crushing poverty, never knowing where the next meal came from, or whether there would be a roof over our heads the next evening. All the while, I had broken the law and we both suffered the consequences.

    Anxiety and stress wracked us both, and it drove my thoughts inward, trying to protect her from seeing me weak, feeling like I had to carry us both forward. In my folly, I neglected her. My love and devotion, my praise and admiration seemed to fade into the background, buried under all of these problems. I was holding her back, and she decided to leave me. I wish that I could do everything for her, and even now if she would never have me again, I still would. I saw a future in her eyes when I met her, children and laughter and love everlasting. But the last time I saw her, that future was gone. I saw her future, without me.

    If I couldn’t be that boy for her, I fear I will never be. I would die painfully a thousand times if it could make it up to her, but even the one time I will won’t atone. Now I must stay at least one step ahead of my own troubles, leaving the greatest love of my life and my heart behind.

    Forward, into bleakness and blackness. Forward, into horrors unknown and madness yet unseen. Forward, alone.

  276. This post made me cry… Thank you for reaching out your kindness to girls everywhere. Your daughter is very lucky to have you.

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  278. A friend of mine asked me to read this, and I did. I’m glad I did, because it reminded me of the countless conversations I have with my daughter (who is all of one year and seven months). I try and teach her about life, in the limited way I know how. If you have the time, and the inclination, give it a read.
    Her name is Mimi.

    http://whilemimisleeps.blogspot.in/

  279. i love my father very much and i love my husband soooo much. these words are exactly what my father keep saying to me all my childhood,couse i was the only child in family and i tought that he just want to make me special. Now i realised why. i also have three daughters and im tryaing to make them special. This is parents job:)) love you daddy:))

  280. In my country in sudamerica, today translated his articule in a magazine online, is amazing, only someone what have a love of father and love for life, can writing so simple and so powerfull, thanks for your words.

    From Chile,

    Regards.

    • Jovan, thank you for taking the time and crossing the language barrier to share your kind words. Blessings to you!

      • I found this through a Chilean news site (Bio Bio Chile), as well.

        Glad this message is spreading, especially to Chile where I spent 2 years of my life trying to help strengthen families and talked with so many women who, in tears, would bleed their feelings to us about many of these same things.

        This message is needed here, there, and everywhere else. Thank you for writing and sharing.

  281. Hello
    Hello,everyone my name is Favor Frank from Canada i never ever believed in spell until i meet a man called prophet viky who help me cast a spell that bring back my ex-lover who left me for two years before our marriage,His spells works beyond my imaginations and today i am happily married with two kids and me and my [ex-lover] now husband are very happy more than ever before,what more can i say rather than to say thank you prophet viky for been there for me,contact him today and your life will never ever remain the same his email is victorylifelovespelltemple@gmail.com

  282. I’m Mercy brown by name I have a few testimony to share with you all about myself, I was in a relationship with this guy and for 3years and we were about getting married when we both have misunderstanding with each other and he ask me for a divorce and we both agreed and after 4months I head that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. Madurai the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I’m so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need. his email is maduraitemple@yahoo.com

  283. I could not thank you enough for sharing this letter, recently my dad told my mom to encourage me to look after my husband since he is so patient with me and helpful at home. He thinks I may lose him because the way I am.

    Of course it broke my heart, again I guess. He’s always had a very poor appreciation of my person.

    I’m gonna repeat these words to my children everyday.

    regards from Chile.

  284. I am chilean and I have a pretty, wise and delicate 38 friend, who was “in a relationship” with an Iris guy. After a year she found he was married, as a result of the shocking experience she attempted suicide, now she is in coma. I really wish she had had a good father to remind her how worthy she is of good man…

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  286. Hi, Dr. Kelly. First time I read your blog and I come across this letter. I think of myself not as a christian but as a person that follows God. That being said I cannot believe that finding this letter is a coincidence, it was something I needed to find peace within me.

    I have been struggling for the past 4 years with a person that I fell in love with and turns out that I had to help her with overcoming a seriously damaging relationship and to tell you the truth it didnt turn out well. In the end she went back to that relationship and left ME feeling with little self worth. I am now in the process of building it back up, but its hard. Specially since everything you said its true. I cannot believe how difficult it is for women to understand this, to see how important it is to be “your own” before finding someone else, how little it matters to most of them “who you are” and what matters the most is “what you have”.

    Thank you for making me feel like I am on the right side of the track and I hope that this letter becomes a beacon for all the little girls in a journey that can be dangerous to them.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you do meet someone who is deeply aware of her worth, and therefore free to deeply affirm your worth, as well.

  287. To be frank, I’m speechless; but I have such an urge to say something in response to reading this. Your post was tremendously insightful and loving. Thank you for posting it and dedicating it to the world we live in. It’s these sort of loving words of compassion that I wish the whole world would invest their lives into. So thank you for sharing your insight and your love with us. I know I appreciate it.

    • You’re very welcome. The response to the letter has been so encouraging, because I think we are seeing the world is full of people who want to invest themselves in words of love and compassion. It gives me hope. Blessings to you!

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  289. Nice post. I really agree with all those stuff but one should take in mind that there are so many important things which should characterize a girl which “pretend” to be the one in the recent post. Namely, she also should be active in such an relationship, not only to wait and consume “a sweet fruits” given to her by her boyfriend. She should be smart to support and courage him in his devoting himself to her, not to be cold and rigid to him. She should keep him active by using her mental, soul and physical attributes, which are very important to stimulate her boyfriend to be a real male. All of these is obviously not too hard for her but it is so important to him, and ofcourse, bring benefits to their relationship.

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  292. Pingback: One of the best letter for a daughter ever written ! | Onwards & Upwards, So that´s Equality!
  293. I have tears in my eyes. For the past week I have done nothing but wonder why my ex boyfriend lost interest and what I possibly could have done wrong. Thank you for reminding me of what I so needed to hear.

  294. I was crying while reading this post and i am still crying… Wish i read it sooner to avoid the emotional trauma life is giving me.. I wish i had elders who taught me what u taught me today.. Be yourself and we are not supposed to keep them interested or to change ourselves FOR them..
    I pray that god one day gives me enough courage to walk out..

  295. My father died when I was 13 …. I cried when I read this …. I have a wonderful marriage and three beautiful, healthy children. I would love to have more, but the financial situation in our country do not allow me …

  296. I’ve just read about your letter in a chilean newspaper El Mercurio (emol.com), and all the positive comment the article generates. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Beatriz! I’m glad you found your way back here to the blog, and thanks for passing along the web address of the Chilean translation. I was aware of it but not sure how to find it. It was fun to see the letter translated!

  297. Pingback: Como mantener un hombre interesado… | Aqui y Ahora / Revista Integral
  298. Of course, every young man grows up knowing that the opposite is true for himself. Men must work every day to keep women interested in them. Nobody shares cute little platitudes about self-worth with men. It is understood that if a man is not strong, muscular, thin, handsome, intelligent, charming, and rich, then he is deficient and must make up for any lack in other ways. Nobody takes time to remind men that they are inherently worth something, because in this society, men are inherently worth nothing, and must prove themselves.

    This is the patriarchy rearing its head again – women are inherently valuable, and must be treated like princesses, even if they don’t want to be, coddled and protected from the dangerous world, but men are inherently nothing but cannon fodder, sent to the most dangerous jobs and wars to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of a judgmental society. Even daring to speak out about it, for a man, is social suicide, which is why I’m sure most of you will mock me, and why I post anonymously.

  299. Dear Dr Kelly, I just wanted to thank you for posting your very personal letter to your daughter and giving people a chance to stop and reflect on what they are doing and how it is affecting everyone. You show honest concern and provide guidance to people which is what a doctor should do. Nice work and thanks again.

  300. Thank you Kelly this article was pure magic for me. And my daughter. It made me stop and reflect on the relationship I have with my wife, and what my daughter is witnessing for her future reference on what makes a great relationship. I also thought about the values I hold true, and how my “Little One”will expect the same (or better) in her future relationships with boys (and girls). What more could a Daddy wish for his daughter.

    • You’re welcome, Pete. It’s good to connect with another dad striving to make this letter a reality in the lives of the ones he loves. I always say, it’s one think to write it, another thing entirely to live it. Blessings to you and your family as you work to do so!

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  303. I read a Spanish version circulating on Facebook.

    I agree with you,

    how women bothers me that social pressure from women’s magazines about everything you need to do for man interested in a follow.

    I always thought it was like “acting”.

    You play certain role because otherwise the man will leave you …

    And not true.

    I am female, I have nearly 42 years.

    Unfortunately I have no children, but if I have nephews and nieces

    I see how they are educated differently, men to control women to do what they want.

    And the nieces to do “whatever is necessary” so that men do not leave.

    Nonsense!

    • I’m so glad the Spanish version is circulating and you said it so well in your comments here in English. Thank you!

  304. After I broke up with my ex I spent a lot of time wishing that I could just turn the clock backwards. He helped me do just that. In fact our relationship feels like the break up never even happened. We have never been this happy or passionate, all thanks to Him. The most happiest part of it all is that we now live together.Thanks! Dr. Lee of Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com

  305. I always read this when I’m feeling down because of the guys I have chosen in my life. This is amazing and it makes me try to reassure myself that I AM worth more than I lead myself on to be. I always try to change for guys because I, too, want to “keep them interested,” so I always go back to the ones that continually mistreat me. I need to start realizing that I just need to continue being myself and the right guy will come along. Once again, thank you for writing this. This piece helps me in more ways than one.

  306. Τнαиќṡ for this letter..
    It touches the deepest of my heart within..
    A dad is the only one who loves his daughter(s) unconditionally and never expects any other guys turn his little to someone else..
    I believe my dad is trying to let me know how much he loves me and afraid I’m taking the wrong one for my lifelong later on though he is no longer here..

    Τнαиќṡ a heap Dr Kelly..

    ~ Йɑмɑsŧє‎​​​‎ ~

    » €vє̲̣̣ «

  307. Pingback: Carta de un Padre a su hijita (y a todas las mujeres): "Nunca será tu trabajo mantenerlo interesado" | Descargas Gratis - Links de descargas
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  311. Before I went to Las Vegas last winter, I came across your website and Dr. Imongire Money spell. I thought, what the heck! Maybe I’d get lucky. I won more money this time around than I’d ever won before. It was like a miracle. I’ll never go back to Vegas without getting one of Dr. Imongire money spells. Sincerely, Try and you can also get lucky my friends out there, contact him via: Ominighospelltempletemple@gmail.com

  312. First off, I would like to say that I think you are a wonderful man. You are a truly an inspiration by the way you help people. The spell you cast to make Julius realize his feelings for me worked faster than I could have hoped for. He came to me 2days after you have casted the spell and told me everything I had been hoping to hear. I can not thank you more…. Now I can finally stop crying tears of pain and cry tears of joy! He is wonderful to me. Thanks Dr. Lametu of Ancientspiritualtemple@gmail.com

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  314. Thank you sincerely for sharing this post. Many a times I find that my self has packed up and left me stranded… this is encouraging. I have taken the time to copy this and read it aloud every day. Beautifully oechestrated.

  315. Hi Dr. Flanagan! 🙂 This letter summarized how I believe Chastity is all about. Thank you!

  316. Hi Kelly,
    This really hit home. Eight weeks ago, my wife gave birth to our amazing daughter. I’m not doing what I do, changing diapers, dealing with colic, losing sleep, all of the crying, and all of the other things I’ll do in the coming decades just so my little gal can be there for some guy who won’t appreciate her for her. She was born an individual, with her own will and personality. As difficult as that might make things sometimes, I’ll do all I can to nurture that, to make her be the kind of person that realizes it’s alright to be herself. Because honestly, “herself” is pretty awesome. And she’s just gonna keep getting better.

  317. My Name is Mrs. Lilian pepeco, I was married to my husband for 10 years and we were both blessed with three children, living together as one family, until 2011 when things was no longer the way the was [when he lost his job]. But when he later gets a new job 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave he the job. since that day, when i called him, he don’t longer pick up my calls and he nothing since to come out good. Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the lady. Until I met a very good friend of my who was also having a similar problem, who introduced me to a very good love spell caster. But i told her that if it has to do with things that i am not interested, but she said that it has nothing to do with pay first. but the only thing he was ask to do was just to go and buy the items to cast the spell, and that was what she did. And she gave me the spell caster e-mail add highpriestess_solutiontemple@yahoo.com

  318. It’s a great letter, it says probably all the things I wanted to tell a kid when it comes the time. Great work… I passed it to a mom friends and she cried on the beauty of the text.

  319. :-)))) this is too beautiful to be true… still I believe a true dad would always say those beautiful words to his daughter(s)…the point is that the relationship dad-daughter is unique and those feelings will not easily imply to that of man-woman in a partnership… that, of course, would not make me extremely sad – I will always remain sure that there was at least one man in my life who loved and appreciated me the way I am – and that would be my dad 🙂
    your letter made me cry and I admire your feelings for your Little One!!!! 🙂
    Thank you and take care!

  320. Hi, is out there that kind of man that u are discribing ¿¿¿ I mean, most kind of man that i know or knew only care about them and of course, if u want they to stay u have to keep them interested!!!
    Or maybe im living in a sad part of the world… or this is just the story that i have… i dont know— what u´re saying sounds great! but far from real.

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  322. My goodness, this is such a beautiful message. I thank you for writing this, not just as a parent myself, but also as a daughter who has been wanting to hear/read those words all her life.

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  325. I read this. I cried. I considered reposting. Then I didn’t, because of the hetero-centric lean of the language. Then I thought I’d see if you’d mentioned this issue in the comments, and I’m so glad that it’s been discussed and that you’ve given a thoughtful response. However, I have something I’d like to ask.

    Though I am straight for all intents and purposes, I was raised in the queer community, and you can’t possibly imagine how often fathers think their daughters are worthy in every way– from their scrunched noses to their fiery spirits to their generous nature to their clever minds– until they come out as queer. Then they are shamed, shunned, despised, and even ejected from their homes and families. So it stands to reason that any person with that kind of painful history, or anyone who has seen a loved one experience that kind of rejection, will immediately feel suspicious or defensive when reading your heartfelt words. I’m certain this isn’t your intended response.

    Can blog posts not be edited? Could you not, after the paragraphs detailing the initial catalyst, change the “he’s” and “husbands” to “your sweetheart” or something more gender-ambiguous? As you know, your post is slowly reaching meme-level popularity on the social media sites. You wrote this for all the little girls in the world, right? Your words will stretch farther and mean more to more people if you modify this one simple thing, and as far as I can tell, it’s a change that you aren’t philosophically opposed to.

    Anyway, thanks for reading my words, and thanks for being a great dad to a lucky girl.

    • Audrey, This is an incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful comment, and I’m grateful for it. To be honest, I actually have considered editing the post because you’re right, the idea of it hurting a world full of beautiful people who have been shamed for their sexual identity is the last thing I desire. Yet, I’ve decided not to do so for two reasons. First, I don’t think the changes you are suggesting would go FAR ENOUGH. The letter falls short with regard to gender identity, but it also falls short with regard to so many other life choices, including the possibility that my daughter may not be able to have children, may not want to have children, may not want to get married for reasons unrelated to her gender identity and so on. Every time I’ve considered changing it, I’ve concluded it would no longer be the same letter. And it seems, given the reaction, there is something important about the letter the way it is, and I don’t want to lose that. I have to hope the sentiment of the letter will be appreciated and generalized on its own. What I have considered doing is writing another post, kind of like a post-script, but I have not been able to figure out the most loving way to do so yet. Second, I decided many months ago I would not edit posts (except for typos), after they go live. There are many reasons for that decision, but part of it is accepting that whatever I put out there, regardless of how much people like it, is going to be hopelessly flawed and short-sighted and so on, so I would spend most of my time revising posts as wise people wrote in and pointed out the problems. Part of writing publicly, I’m discovering, is being at peace with the product you put out there, even when it reveals your own brokenness. I don’t usually write this detailed of a response, but I thought I would honor the thoughtfulness of your comment with a longer response. Thank you again.

  326. This post of yours was sent to me by a very close friend of mine. Reading through it could not stop the trickle of tears, as each word was so pure. Read it to my young adult child, and watched his face intensely as each word sunk into him. Thank you for echoing my baba’s (dad’s) words.

  327. Now as an individual I wish this man was my father but on second thoughts, I’m happy I have the father I have because if my father was so perfect I wouldn’t even learn to deal with harsh degrading stuffs from the beginning of my life. 😛

    But seriously, somebody addressing his kind and well thought out message to every person is really sweet and Sir, you’re actually more helpful in few minutes than my own father in years… I wish I could ask you to help me with a lot of issues that have creeped so deep in my mind that I can’t handle them.

    As far as the sexist angle is concerned, to those who think this man doesn’t care enough about the guys,

    Well, I’m sure he believes everybody must value themselves and others for their originality and he doesn’t rule out the scope of personal growth and improvement by saying that. What he concentrated more was on the fact that girls are more often than boys valued less and made to believe they are resources rather than people. Everybody needs to believe in themselves and girls are worse at it than guys for various external factors that affect the internal spirit.

    P.S. – The worst thing that can happen to this message is spoilt brats (girls and guys) taking advantage of this stance 😛

  328. This post is wonderful, I can hear my dad’s voice as I read it. I am lucky to have a dad who throughout my life has taught me all of these things and still continues to do so. I am close to getting engaged and a few weeks before I read this, I asked my dad if he liked and approved of my boyfriend because I couldn’t imagine marrying anyone my parents didn’t also love. My dad’s response was, “I love the way that he looks at you, treats you and loves you and the way you two are together” I, at first, was taken back by this response not sure what to think of it – but reading this letter made it click – they have me in common, they both love me and care for me and want me to be happy. I am one lucky girl.

    • KW, I will count it as a tremendous blessing if I can say the same thing to my daughter when she is your age. Thank you for sharing this, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

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  330. Thank you for sharing this. Recently I was asked by a professor of one of my college age children what I wanted my daughter to “be” when she graduated. I didn’t hesitate in my answer, “happy”. The professor was surprised by answer. I thought about it later because of his initial surprise but it was and is the answer in my heart. Life isn’t perfect and I think that makes it awesome because we learn and grow from all the moments in it. I want each of my daughters find a person to share their lives with, who respects them, loves them, laughs with them, holds them, lets themselves be held and makes them happy. Your Cutie-Pie is a lucky little gal.

    • Yes. Who do you want her to be? Who she already is, and at peace in her own skin. Thanks for sharing this story!

  331. I am 29 with two daughters,
    not a very emotional person
    i can’t remember the last time tears filled my eyes
    but they did now
    thanks
    i hope the best for your daughter and mine

  332. Well, thank you for that. I, a 26 year old woman dealing with the pain of rejection from a long term relationship, am sitting on my couch crying as I read this. Thank you for the gentle reminder that I am worthy.

    • DT, you are indeed worthy. I’m glad this letter found you when it did so you could be reminded.

  333. Greetings from Ecuador. I’m 23 and I didn’t grow up with my father, brothers or any man for that matter. Coincidentally, today I was thinking how much I needed my father’s advice when I grew up, specially when it had to do with men and relationships. He never even told me how men behave or think… I had to figure it out by myself. Reading this wonderful letter kind of broke my heart, but at the same time I’m grateful. Your Cutie-Pie is a lucky girl. Don’t ever stop teaching her about life, even if she doesn’t want to hear about it.
    Thank You.

    Simone.

    • Simone, Thanks for taking the time to reach out and share your story. I hope you will have some good mentors come across your path. You’re clearly thoughtful and seeking to make wise decisions!

  334. Oh my ! So incredible. So effective. So touching. I see in your words what I see in the heart of my life partner. He has 2 girls from his ex-wife…. I have a girl & a boy from my ex. Our children were raised on these basic principles. “It is not my job to make you happy. It is my pleasure to help you find the path for yourself.” Excellent letter. I emailed to our girls immediately.