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How to make my dad love me?
I recently read an article of a father's letter to his son in a management book that might be helpful here.

Quote:Father Forgets

by W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a twoel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!"

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came Up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before you boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, form a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to your for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too muchof youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in yourcharacter. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself overthe wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you alugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing buy a boy - a little boy!"

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

I'm sure your Dad loves you a lot. He just doesn't know how to express it properly. That's all.

Maybe you could show him how you wish to be treated and hopefully he will reciprocate. Don't expect things to improve immediately though. It will take some time.
it sounds like everything is ok.
He may not be the sorta person you need in your life now but as you guys grow older he will still be there for you.

It always amazed me how parents can live with a child for 15-20 years and not know they are gay.

your dad is from another world. He might have never worked out his own sexually and only just could hold on to a thin and narrow line of emotion to raise his family. The possibilities are endless; because he has the right to be his own complex person just like you.

By the sounds of things he has done a wonderful job.
You need to also look at your parents as just the people they are, no different than you or anyone. At this point in your life, if you are not going to get the emotional support from him its just not there yet. Instead build that circle of friends outside your family
I suppose you're all right, but I just really want him to show me more emotion. Idk what I'll do until he does. I guess I'll have to wait.
JisthenewK Wrote:... what I'll do until he does ...
work on creating a circle of supportive friends, sooner or later you will have to do this anyways.
JisthenewK Wrote:I love my dad a lot. He wasn't raised in the most loving environment and my mum is a very loving person, who is nuturing. My dad and I don't always get along (he also doesn't know I'm gay). He just seems old-fashioned and tough. I wrote him a letter once, telling him my feelings of how I felt guilty for never being good enough for him and stuff like that. I told him that I loved him. He's not a touchy-feely emotional person, but I am. Sometimes that is what I need. He can be so cold. He did hug me and told me he loved me after reading the letter. I just wish he would be like that more often. My mum keeps saying "he wasn't raised to be emotional, blah, blah, blah." It hurts. I see other people with their loving dads and I want to cry. I just want a bond with him. He's not abusive or mean, but he's not the easiest guy to get along with. I love him. How can I improve our relationship? We have very little in common.

It sounds to me like another letter is due, honey....
Do it, tell him how you feel, he may make a special effort...
I think if you two could go to places where he used to go as a young boy, a young man, maybe before he met your mother, then get him to explain what those places mean to him. Ask questions, show interest in his growing up. That's what I do with my dad (and he's 84) now and I'm getting to know much more about him. We were separated (when I grew up) by my parents' divorce, so I didn't get to ask him all this stuff then. My dad's also old school. I've realised that his way of showing support and loving is by ''doing'' things for me. But his idea of relationships is also based on fairness and reciprocation... You do me a favour, I'll do you a favour. It works for us.
JisthenewK Wrote:I do understand that he was raised in a different time period, but couldn't he be a little more loving? I mean all I want is a nice hug here and there. I feel pushed to one side and it's as if I can't be open to him about some things, because he's not as emotional. I mean, some people raised racist households, don't always turn out to be racist, do they? Well, same for him. Couldn't he be just a little more loving? I want a bond, but I can't seem to find one. Oh well.

To bond with another male, (or female, I guess) you have to be ready to do things together... camping, fishing, football, cooking, sewing, singing, going for walks with the dog, mending cars, etc... What activities do you both enjoy doing, or would he consider valuable? You can surely learn from your dad if you ask him to show you how to do something he's good at. My dad and I enjoy cooking together, making jam, chocolates etc... I show him how to use the computer better, and he shows me how to mend a car (which is something I'd normally shy away from, such is my dislike of cars, lol)... How about games? Scrabble? Crosswords, sudoku?
We could play games together. He's a hard worker. He goes out of his way to make sure I have things I want, but he's just not affectionate. I do appreciate his hard work, though. I don't much about his hobbies. What I do know, is that he likes pawn shops, antiques, and that show "Storage Wars," which I can't stand. I have different interests. It's been bugging me that he isn't so loving, but I have to make an effort to bond, right?
JTN, I think that's pretty much what you have to do... Get him involved in something you do, and you have to get involved in something he does... it's as simple as that... You could also just accept that you two are like chalk and cheese, but maybe you can still make that little effort. I believe you are looking for some male bonding, and your dad is the easiest target while you await a proper relationship / connection with another man. What's more, we get fed a lot of the bonding dad stuff on tv and in movies, but lots of dads are in fact like yours and mine. My dad acknowledged that because my mum seemed to give us all the cosiness we needed, it meant he felt he didn't have to do it. For example, how much touching would you like your dad to do? Hugs? Tousling your hair? Pat on the back? How do you physically show your dad your appreciation? There are things that two men can do without it being awkward, but you're a growing man and becoming more and more "forbidden territory" as far as physical stuff is concerned, right?
Well, start with antiques, surly there are some types of antique things that interest you. Maybe old sewing machines, ornate old mirrors, old glass, old records, eve stamps, pictures, desks, anything. Maybe you are interested in the painting, staining, refinishing aspect of restoring antiques but care nothing for the age or actual value of the antiques.

As for getting him to be touchy feely, I doubt that will happen. Some people, be they male or female simply are not that way. He shows affection by giving you things you need and want. It might be best to get the hugs elsewhere and find ways you can connect with your dad that he is comfortable with.

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