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What Does it Mean When She Calls You Daddy

What does it mean when she calls you “daddy?” Should I be concerned? Probably not. Generally speaking, expressing love can improve your health. And in most cases, she is probably trying to show you her lust for you. But what does it actually mean? Is it good? Bad?

Disclaimer: If you’re unsure of how to handle certain relationship issues, it can be beneficial to seek the help of a licensed therapist, counselor, or life coach. For a good resource, visit the Mental Health America’s list.

A little bit on my experience with a girl calling me daddy…

Firstly, I’ve had it happen. And when it happened the first time, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Should I be concerned that this is going to lead to odd behavior in our relationship?

Ultimately, I realized that I needed to take my own experiences and put them into a guide… Here’s what I learned through the process…

What does it mean when she calls you daddy?

There is such a thing as a “father figure,” but this is often used to indicate the analogy of a father-like person to another individual. Nonetheless, when in an intimate relationship, a woman tends to call a male partner “daddy,” alarm bells may go off in the partner’s mind.

Is this normal? And is there something you need to do if this happens? The relevance of the word in the context of a romantic relationship is crucial, and recent research can shed some light on this.

Related: Why do guys like being called “daddy?”

Is this a good or a bad thing?

When a woman calls their male partner “daddy,” there is no need to get scared. This is not a new “thing,” and jumping to any conclusions may put a strain on the relationship. Calling a spouse or a male partner “daddy” is a long-standing practice and has been prevalent since the early 1900s.

So, the concept is not new, but it may be for a man who does not expect it. As a result, depending on the context and the people in the relationship, the word “daddy” for a partner can be a boon or a bane. What does it mean when she calls you daddy? For starters, it may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Expert advice: If a girl calls you “daddy,” could it mean that the relationship isn’t a healthy one? There’s actually a strong possibility this is true. Girls who have parental issues of any kind could not make for good long-term suiters.

What therapists say about this

In fact, certain therapists often advise couples to establish nicknames for a relationship to blossom, and “daddy” may be among them.

Significantly, through the years, the word “daddy” has come to indicate a word that implies dominance. This could be a single reason that some women like the dominance that a male provides, leading to a male partner getting the moniker, “daddy.”


16 reasons why she might call you daddy

Several sex therapists state that as the word “daddy” means “father,” because of the male dominance factor, it could also mean “boss.” For ages, masculinity has been associated with the male rather than the female, and females calling male partners “daddy” could well be related to these concepts.

The idea that a “boss” or a “daddy” is a protector showing responsibility for doing a good job as a provider could also be why “daddy” often refers to a male partner. Here are 16 reasons why you may get some clarity to answer the question, “What does it mean when she calls you daddy?”:

She thinks you’re a strong figure

The woman may view her man as a father figure. This may not be a bad thing for the woman, but it could be something that puts the man off. On the other hand, daddy issues have a lot of implications in a relationship, and these should be studied further.

It’s a type of interesting thing in the bedroom

Some women don’t have any daddy issues but may call out to their partners while in bed. This usually indicates that the male is viewed as the dominant partner—but in a good way.

It’s a request from the man

The male in the relationship may like to be referred to as “daddy.” Consequently, the female obliges that need and calls her man “daddy.”

She feels she needs domination

Certain women may be dominant in some areas of their life, such as career women in the workplace. These women tend to want to relate to some need for submissiveness, and this is when they may refer to a male as “daddy.”

Something about you gets her going on this

Men may simply remind women of their fathers. This doesn’t mean in the looks department necessarily but could be because of some personality traits in the man. What does it mean when she calls you daddy? It could be the way your gray hair parts or some of your behavior.

Expert advice: A reader asked, “If my girlfriend calls me daddy is this something I should be concerned about?” Well, it depends on what you think the relationship is. If it’s just “for fun,” I wouldn’t worry. If it’s something else to you, I would worry.

She’s modeling the behavior of others

In another explanation that has to do with modeling behavior, women may watch movies of a sexual nature and find women calling partners “daddy.” This is typical of most scenes in sexual films, and women may be emulating this behavior with the intention of turning a male on.


It’s endearing

The word “daddy” may be used to communicate an endearment. Several wives are known to call their husbands “daddy” and even “papa.” This shows a fondness for a spouse or partner. It also displays that a wife or partner may view their husband as a nurturing person in terms of caring for children in the relationship.

When “daddy” is used in this manner, it shows that a spouse/partner loves you and feels secure in the relationship. Here, “daddy” could well be a pet/nickname.

Related: Nicknames to call your girlfriend

She’s trying to tease you

In other contexts, the word “daddy” may be used to tease a partner. If your partner knows that you dislike the term, they may call you “daddy” to tease and trouble you.

It’s a new pet name

Calling you “daddy” may simply be a preferential way of addressing you. In case you hear the word “daddy” in reference to you, you shouldn’t just think, “what does it mean when she calls you “daddy”? at once. It is a good idea to analyze why this is the case. It may not spring up the red flag you think it is initially.

She feels protected

The sense of protection that your girl feels with you may result from some compensation for a previous lack of such a feeling. Alternatively, it could be a real way to let you know how safe she feels in your company.

For instance, if your woman lost her parents (whom she felt a sense of safety with) at a young age, she may have felt insecure then. Now, she feels more secure and confident with you by her side. This does not mean you can replace the woman’s parents, but you go a long way in making her feel comfortable.


She thinks you’ll like it

A woman may have started calling you “daddy” if she thinks it turns you on. She may have heard that this could potentially be a turn-on. She may not have watched any films to inform her of this but could have heard rumors or is taking some friendly advice.

Nothing more than a straightforward way of adopting a strategy she has heard of. It may be viewed as her way of strengthening a relationship or taking it to another level. Hearsay can do a lot to influence a person’s behavior.

Expert advice: If she is interested in calling every guy daddy, is this a problem? Most likely! There’s absolutely potential that she’s seeing signs of very early warm attachments that she’s had with her parents (which could be a good thing). Although, if it’s with every guy, this is a problem.

Are you a dad yourself?

Another explanation, one often regarded as rational, could be that she’s calling you daddy because you are a father yourself. You may have children from a previous relationship, and she may feel that calling you “daddy” is appropriate.

Given the circumstances, she feels you are a father and wants to acknowledge she knows that in terms of your children. In this subtle way, she informs your children that she accepts you are their father foremost.

It also implies that your woman has great affection and respect for you and your family. This is especially so if the woman is getting serious with you.

Related: Nicknames to call your boyfriend

She’s showing commitment to you

The way to show commitment in an intimate is to use the word “daddy” for a significant other, the man in the relationship. If you hear yourself being called “daddy”, don’t jump to rash ideas and ask, “what does it mean when she calls you daddy?”

Think about it a little. It is also construed as a way that women flirt with men they find hot. They may even call you “Big Daddy.”


It shows that you’re “daddy” material

Research has shown that women invest a lot in the selection of a potential spouse or a mate. Consequently, if they see a man as “father material,” they may be drawn to them to satisfy a future maternal need. This need translates to having a family.

Such women tend to use the word “daddy” when referring to their husbands or partners. In this way, a woman may be trying to give you a hint that she views you as a future father to her children.

It’s coming from influence online

To some women and not simply those who have watched sexual films, the word “daddy” is a turn-on for them. It may not turn you on, but it turns your woman on. In case she has a preconceived fantasy, this may be more of a reason to refer to you as “daddy.”

There may be connotations that your woman is interested in role play too, however strange it may seem to you. In fact, there are some men who get off on a woman being aroused, and this may not turn off all men.

You have the traits of a dominant figure

You may have shown her some “daddy” traits, and she may embrace these with willingness. Due to this, she may call you “daddy” as a response more than anything else.

She sees you as being kind and gentle. This may or may not remind her of her own father, but “daddy” comes out naturally.


Does it mean she has father issues?

There is always the misconception that the word “daddy” spoken by a woman dredges up “father issues”. What does it mean when she calls you daddy? Does it really indicate that your woman has “daddy issues” or “father issues”?

First, let’s clear something – “father issues” is not a technical, psychological condition. It may be mentioned often enough, but it is not recognized professionally. Given this, there is some basis, psychologically, that the term refers to an attachment issue with a father.

What are father issues in women?

There are one of two cases that may cause “father issues.” Either a father may be too close to a child to the point where the relationship is not healthy or too distant. Nonetheless, therapists don’t endorse the term “father issues” as they claim that children shouldn’t take the blame for parental behavior.

Still, it is common knowledge that everyone is affected, in some way, by the way, they were raised. Certain ways that parenting affects children when they are adults is a Freudian approach to explain “father issues” if they exist at all.

The concept behind “father issues” or “daddy issues”

During their childhood, some people may have distant ties with their fathers. They may not have a relationship at all in some cases. In other circumstances, a child may be so close to their father as to form an unhealthy bond.

The psychology behind the “daddy issue” concept is the fact that because children have had difficulty when raised by their fathers, they face problems in adulthood. The trouble begins while forming attachments and is reflected in friendships and romantic relationships.


What types of issues come up between men and women when women have father issues?

Several issues may crop up between men and women in a relationship, and most men tend to link these to “daddy issues.” They may be wrong, but they could be right.

Does it mean that danger signals flash in your mind? Should you bale out of the relationship? What exactly should your next steps be?

It is important to understand why issues may arise first. Women with father or “daddy problems” are often more promiscuous amongst men and can be flirtatious with the too many people. This can cause the relationship to hit a hard stop as they feel they’re “getting jealous.”

Why do father issues come up?

When parents, father or mother, are abusive or neglectful, the style of attachment fostered is forged with insecurity. Naturally, a child, right from infancy, has to be nurtured till adulthood.

Nurturing is still more important in the critical period of a child’s life, between 1 – 2 years of age. Nonetheless, feelings of neglect or insecurity could creep up on a child at any age or stage of development.

Particular circumstances, for instance, divorce or parents’ death, may lead to mistrust in adulthood. These could be manifested as “daddy issues” later.

The types of issues that come up

If you are prepared and have done some reading, you may understand why certain issues may come up as a result of father issues. In other words, if the question, “What does it mean if she calls you daddy?” ever comes into your head, you can address it with a definite action plan. So, what are the types of issues that can come up between you and your significant other? Some crucial ones are highlighted below:

  • Overly involved fathers spoiling their daughters – Some fathers may be over-indulgent with their daughters. This happens to a point where they are intrusive and pay attention to the girl child “too much.” Fathers either do this as they view a particular child as being like them or see a unique talent in the child. The intention to spoil a child may come from a noble place, but the results in adulthood can be disastrous. Women who grow up in this atmosphere may have high expectations of a partner and want to be spoiled in adulthood. This may result in rifts if a partner refuses to oblige.
  • Fathers who are absent – On the other end of the parenting spectrum are fathers who have rarely been around for their children, particularly daughters. Growing up, a girl may have had a father who worked a lot, was away due to parents divorcing, or could not be counted on because of an alcohol/drug problem. In this case, what does she mean if she calls you daddy? It means that she is possibly craving the attention and love that she has lost out on in childhood. She may be very “clingy,” demanding your full attention at all times. This may lead to her being jealous.
  • Fathers who are sexually abusive – The most heinous of all crimes that fathers can inflict on daughters is sexual abuse. Children are vulnerable, especially where a primary caregiver, like a father, is concerned. They willingly trust their parents and believe they will do right by them. Unfortunately, this does not pan out as a child would believe it should, and children are at the receiving end of sexual abuse from fathers. Mothers can also be abusive in many ways, sexual or otherwise. This causes “daddy issues” in adulthood, and adults may have trust issues. They may select father figures who care for them but cannot be open about important aspects of a relationship. This causes several disorders in women, like depression, guilt feelings, stress, and anxiety, taking a toll on the relationship.

How to Discuss Being Comfortable or Uncomfortable When She Calls You “Daddy”

The constant need for reassurance, feelings of jealousy, and fear of being left alone are all signs of “daddy issues.” They may also be signs of other issues, but if they come up, your relationship needs some logical steps to go ahead successfully. The first thing you should do is not panic.

Responding to the call of the “daddy”

Calling you “daddy” may be a pet name she likes. You can always ask why the name cropped up, but not in a confrontational manner. Another way you could respond is by calling her a nickname. “Babe” or “baby” are both good responses.

You could start a discussion about nicknames and go from there. Automatically, she will tell you that she likes to call you “daddy” and may tell you the reason. As mentioned earlier, you could also ask her.

How to tell her that you actually feel uncomfortable with this

In any relationship, honesty is the key to building a good foundation, so tell her you don’t like it and to think of another name. At the same time, ask her if she has any nickname preferences for you to call her by. Speak in a positive tone.

You could say some of the following:

“I love that you feel affectionate towards me, but I’m not a great fan of the word “daddy.” You’re sweet, and I’m sure you mean well, but could you find something else to call me?”

In case you want her to “cut it out.” If she’s intentionally doing it to make you uncomfortable, start calling her “daughter.” It could turn into a running joke between the two of you, and it will get stale over the course of time.

Be honest with yourself and with her

While addressing any feelings of conflict in a relationship, always use the word “I” and don’t generalize things in your conversation. Voicing your feelings is the way to go forward. If you are at ease with her calling you “daddy,” you can go on with your life!


Questions and answers:

What are other pet names that she could use?

Try out: darling, future-hubby, sweetie, cutie-pie, or other endearing names instead. If you aren’t fond of the term “daddy,” you should tell her. Give her these alternatives instead.

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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