The Man Who Inspired My Impossible Standards

In the vein of settling and my apparently unrealistic standards I’ve taken a closer look at why I am the way I am and why I believe that there is someone out there who will live up to my expectations. The proverbial “they” say that girls marry men who are like their fathers and I have one of the best. It’s not even that I see him through rose-colored daughter glasses. Many people have told me that I can’t hold every guy I date up to standards set by my father because they will all fall short.

A dedicated father with a Midwest work ethic, he has faithfully provided for his family for more than 25 years while still spending time with them. After 30 years of marriage he continues to surprise my mother with flowers, buys her gorgeous jewelry for major occasions and keeps a level head through all of life’s challenges.

And it is not only witnessing his love for my mother that has caused me to expect so much of my future husband. Though I will never admit this to him (or my brothers) he has spoiled me nearly rotten for most of my life. Not with material things. My parents were very careful to teach us fiscal responsibility and the value of earning our own way in the world, but my father has never hidden the fact that he would do absolutely anything for his children.

Last winter my car battery died and I was completely distraught about how I would get to work, or anywhere to get a battery for that matter. I found a ride to work and then called my dad. By the time I got done with work, a car battery was purchased and installed in my car, and my dad picked me up and took me to dinner. He lived about 40 minutes away at the time and had taken the day off to get some things done around the house.

This is just one of many anecdotes that illustrate my father’s selfless nature and genuinely amazing spirit.

My dad has expressed disappointment in some of the guys I have dated in the past. In fact, he has even told me that, if girls ultimately marry men who are like their fathers, it made him sad that I would choose the men that I had because it might say something about how I saw him. Fortunately for him, it said nothing about who he was. Unfortunately for me, I’m afraid that if I refuse to settle for anything less than the characteristics my father personifies, I’m in for a long, possibly fruitless journey to “the one.”