22 Telltale Signs that Your Dad Doesn’t Love You

At first, we felt terrible for having you here to read a list of signs your dad doesn’t love you. But as a teenager, we want you to give a more comprehensive perspective (read: bitter truth). With our list, you will understand that this world has so much to offer; besides your uncountable blessings, there are also lessons to learn. 

Our list of signs your dad doesn’t love you here is meant to analyze your dad’s behavior and help you navigate your position in the family and how to handle the situation. It may also help you learn how to deal with a strained father-child relationship. We’re sorry if, at the end of our list here, you will realize the darkest side of your dad. But one of the takeaways is, don’t be one. 

1. He Doesn’t Listen to You

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Even though your dad masters the concept of active listening, a challenging skill to hone, if he doesn’t respect and love you, he won’t listen to you. A loving dad believes the world doesn’t revolve around him; thus, he needs to listen. But with a toxic dad, your opinions will fall on deaf ears. 

2. Troublemaker Dad Does Exist

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Having a dad who causes all the problems in the household is challenging since you have a slim chance of finding your home peaceful. Whether your dad is immature or treats the world as his playground, your daily view is he fights with everyone. Thus, a troublemaker dad deserves a particular spot on the list of signs that your dad doesn’t love you. He should’ve protected his family and made the home the safest haven. 

3. Abusive Dad

signs that your dad doesn't love you

We’ll never get tired of advising you to be more attentive to the signs of an abusive dad. Note that parental abuse can come in many forms. Recognizing an abusive dad can be tricky since you’ve lived with him since day 1. Just because he never hits you doesn’t mean he’s not abusive. Remember, parental abuse includes verbal, sexual, emotional, and physical. 

4. He is not Involved in Care Taking

signs that your dad doesn't love you

If your dad has been neglectful and absent throughout yourself, you’re most likely in a difficult situation. Even worse, some irresponsible dads just left and never showed up. Do not underestimate the impact the father’s absence has on mental health since it can stimulate fear and anxiety. 

5. Anger is Always On 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Juggling between career and fatherhood is not an easy task, yet it’s not an excuse to come home upset and angry. While looking for articles about signs that your dad doesn’t love you, you may also want to know how to deal with a dad who has anger management issues. If your dad always projects his anger out on you, it’s his issue, not yours. Respond calmly, speak softly, and set your boundaries right away. 

6. He Doesn’t Support You

signs that your dad doesn't love you

The only way to tackle the issue of having an unsupportive dad is to learn to rely on yourself and find another reliable support system. Remember that in this world, nobody owes you anything. If he loves you, he will support you. Focus on what you think is right and best for you and on those who are always there for you. Eventually, you’ll reap what you sow. 

7. Affection is Never in His Dictionary

signs that your dad doesn't love you

In observing this issue, we have two perspectives for you to try. First, if your relationship with Dad is at OK to rewarding levels, you may ask him why he is not being affectionate. Chances are, maybe it’s not his preferred love language, or he doesn’t perceive it as a meaningful gesture. But if your relationship with your dad is broken, affection is something he doesn’t want to display since you two have no warm connection. 

8. He Hates Your Mom (and/or Vice Versa)

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Humans are dynamics that you can fall in love with someone today and fall out of it tomorrow. But in a marriage, what bonds your parents is more commitment than love. Thus, when your dad hates your mom or vice versa for whatever reason, you surely can’t stand it. Two mature adults should discuss and decide wisely. Harboring feelings of hatred for each other without meaningful discussions will lead to a dysfunctional family.

9. Always Put You Down

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Do you have a dad whose specialist is telling you about your deficiencies? Whatever your arguments, he always counters and confronts you. We know that no one is perfect, but broadening your perspectives from his side is different from bringing up your flaws. All he cares about is being right and putting you down. If he consistently does this to you, it is undoubtedly one of the signs that your dad doesn’t love you. 

10. Alcohol and Substance Misuse Issues 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

We believe that by now, you already know that alcohol and substances can bring the cruelest out of you. Intoxicated people can lose control of their behavior and actions in no time. Thus, a strong association between alcohol and anger is reasonable. Having a dad with alcohol and/or drug issues can be tiring and painful. Instead of being busy loving his family, he chooses to struggle with behavioral problems caused by the addiction. 



11. He’s a Man of Excuses, not a Man of Reasons 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

As a responsible young adult, you know that every action has consequences. But your dad always finds excuses to justify his actions and get out of potential problems. At first, he can appear so innocent that he carefully crafts his arguments to make you believe he’s right. But if he repeatedly does this, his life lacks purpose and direction. How are you supposed to rely on your dad if he doesn’t dare to face reality and the consequences? Truth is brutal, but if your dad can’t teach you how to be more demanding, lead yourself. 

12. Keeps You Dependent on Him 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

We have a friend whose dad is very controlling and wants our friend to depend on him. The dad always gives lengthy advice, performs strict parenting, and threatens our friend with unreasonable punishment. This trait can get worse if your dad is successful and well off because a control freak always feels nobody can do better than him in handling you. So, he will oversupply you with anything and demand dependency in return. Overall, the toxic behavior doesn’t stop here. You also feel defenseless and powerless every time you want to counter your dad. 

13. He Instills Fears Instead of Love

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Having a compassionate and loving dad is everyone’s dream. But sometimes, you get to face the harsh reality that your dad practices fear-based parenting at home. Everything not rooted in love can be seen as signs that your dad doesn’t love you. The truth behind your dad instilling fears instead of love is due to his expectations towards you. In every aspect of your life, your dad demands you to comply with his wishes; otherwise, you’ll be punished. 

14. He’s A Narcissist

signs that your dad doesn't love you

For a narcissistic dad, the world revolves around him, and he needs constant admiration and validation. What’s worse, he will do anything to get your attention, including crossing your boundaries, without feeling guilty because a narcissist lacks empathy for others. You must forgive yourself and your dad to heal from this unhealthy relationship. In a case where it’s still unbearable for you, you can create a safe space for your dad to share his story to help him heal. 

15. He Doesn’t Respect Your Boundaries

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Some toxic traits of your dad can include pushing your boundaries. But we think this trait deserves its place on the signs that your dad doesn’t love you. Because most of the time, an unhealthy children-parent relationship starts from crossing each other’s boundaries. As you grow older, you can set clearer boundaries and let your parents know. Once they try to push them, you have the right to confront your discomfort politely and calmly. 

16. Emotionally Neglects You  

signs that your dad doesn't love you

When you’re conditioned to hold your feelings in front of Dad because you’ve been told that men are not familiar with expressing emotions, that’s how it all started. If it becomes habitual until now, your dad has likely never faced your emotional side, hence the real you. In a case where the dad is not abusive, the dad-children emotional connection can be built and improved with a heart-to-heart talk. But if he has other potential signs of a toxic parent, take a step back. 

17. He’s Never Considerate About Your Feelings

signs that your dad doesn't love you

When looking for signs that your dad doesn’t love you, a question of “If he was once a teen, why is he never considerate about my feelings? He should’ve known” may arise. But if your dad grew up in a family where he wasn’t heard and seen, chances are he would do the same treatment to you. He never cares about how something will make you feel. He’s never on your side when you have conflicts with your friends or other family members. 

 18. Time’s Up, Baby!

signs that your dad doesn't love you

We can imagine how frustrating it is to have a dad who never spends time with you, especially if you’ve made a move but it didn’t work. You can neither stop nor reverse time; this is what makes time the most valuable thing. Thus, if he doesn’t make time for you, it’s undoubtedly one of the signs that your dad doesn’t love you.



19. He Doesn’t Like Any of Your Friends 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Friendship holds one of the most essential roles in shaping a teen’s sense of acceptance and belonging. There’s even a saying that friends are the family you choose. They are people whom you hold dear. If your dad doesn’t like any of them, even if your friends bring positivity into your life, it feels like he dismisses you too. He should’ve understood that friends are the ones who will witness your journey to adulthood. 

20. Overly Critical Dad

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Does he love to label himself a perfectionist while being just too critical? You’re never good enough for his standard, and negative criticism itself is never easy, too. If you constantly experience this with little-or-no appreciation from your dad, you will end up feeling like a failure. 

21. Your Dad Talks About You Behind Your Back 

signs that your dad doesn't love you

Did you frown when you whizz through this title? We understand that some people find it strange to have a gossipy dad, but associating gossip with women is gender bias. The fact is men also gossip. The thing gets worse when your dad gossips and talks badly behind you instead of being proud of what you’ve become. You’d prefer your dad to tell you straight up about your issue to spread hate about you.

22. Empty Promises

signs that your dad doesn't love you

“Dear Dad, promises are not meant to be broken” might be the opening of a letter you’d like to write to your dad. You can always check with yourself if your trust issues stem from your dad’s broken promises. He always asks you to do something and promises to get you something in return. Yet, when fulfilled, he doesn’t follow through on his words. To build a children-parents trusting relationship, every promise should be kept. 

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Tips for building trust in father-teen relationships

Now that you’ve learned the harsh truth, it’s time to amend the situation. You can start by building trust. Here are some tips on how to deal with father-teen conflicts effectively that you can follow!

  • Open communication. Don’t wait for your father to initiate every conversation! Share your thoughts, concerns, and experiences openly. This will encourage your dad to do the same.
  • Active listening. When your father talks, actively listen. Avoid interrupting or being dismissive of his feelings and perspectives.
  • Respect boundaries. Setting boundaries will help restore a healthy relationship!
  • Be honest. We understand it’s sometimes challenging, but honesty builds trust over time.
  • Empathize. Try to see things from your father’s perspective! Perhaps he does have something worthwhile to say.
  • Share your life. Share your daily experiences with your dad. It’ll be really awkward at first, but it’s a very effective way to reconnect with him.
  • Apologize when necessary. Everyone makes mistakes. Apologizing shows maturity and helps rebuild trust!
  • Be realistic. Understand that no one is perfect, including your father! Don’t be surprised with setbacks.
  • Don’t rush it! Rebuilding a broken relationship with your father is not instant. You need to put work into strengthening your relationship.
  • Seek common ground. If you find something in common, getting along will be easier.
  • Avoid overreacting. When heated discussions arise, try to keep your emotions in check.
  • Accept differences. We did say that you need to find common ground. But remember, you and your father are unique individuals. It’s okay to have different views!
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The tips above also serve as a guide on how to improve communication between father and teen! We hope that you can gradually reconnect with your father if you wish to. Remember to take it easy and keep your emotions in check!

Ways Fathers Can Support Their Teenager’s Emotional Development

As a parent, you know well that supporting teenagers through puberty is tricky. Dealing with them incorrectly can result in a lasting conflict. Furthermore, telling them what to do, what is right, is almost impossible! And then, it may cause your teens to hate you. Now, for fathers out there who wish to reconnect with their sons and daughters, here is some advice!

Strategies for fathers to connect with their teenage sons

Here are some practical things that you may want to try out with your sons! Teenage sons will rebel when you tell them what to do outright, so be subtle! Through these activities, you can teach him subtly about life without infringing on his boundaries.

  • Team projects. Collaborate on practical projects, like building furniture or working on a home renovation. It’ll allow you to bond over shared goals!
  • Adventure time. Plan outdoor activities for just the two of you. Try hiking, camping, or fishing to create shared adventures and memories.
  • Tech talk. Teenage sons love topics revolved around the latest technology! Learn about his interests in technology and gaming to connect on a common interest.
  • Play games together. Find out which online game is your son’s favorite! This strategy will help foster closeness without intruding on his personal space.
  • Sports support. Now, if your son is more of a sports guy, attend his sports events! You can also watch games together to share a passion for sports.
  • Car maintenance. This is a classic method to create a bond with your son! Teach him about essential car maintenance!
  • Share a hobby. Find a hobby like painting, gardening, or photography that you can enjoy together.
  • Volunteer together. While helping others, you can indirectly decrease the tension between you and your son.
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Strategies for fathers to connect with their teenage daughters

Because of gender differences, there is a misconception that it’s impossible for fathers to connect with their daughters. This is absolutely not true! You, as a father, can bond with your little girl by trying out the following activities together!

  • Daddy-daughter date nights. We recommend that you plan regular special outings, like dinners or movies, for quality one-on-one time!
  • Feminine creative projects. It doesn’t matter if it’s an activity intended for girls! Volunteer yourself to be your daughter’s makeup guinea pig, for example.
  • Music & dance. You can be the piano man and let your daughter dance along, or vice versa.
  • Support her goals. Being supportive of your daughter’s hobbies will naturally deepen your connection with her.
  • Honest conversations. Create a safe space for open discussions about life, feelings, and aspirations.
  • Self-Defense Classes. Teaching her how to defend herself is a great bonding activity. Consider enrolling in self-defense classes together, too!
  • Build confidence. Offer sincere compliments and build her self-esteem through encouragement.
  • Cooking together. Share the kitchen to teach valuable life skills and make lasting memories.

In any case, how fathers handle their teen’s rebellious phase can really affect their child’s future development. Do not be too heavy-handed with your approach. We also recommend that your child’s point of view. Moreover, by trying out our activities above, you can create a stronger connection with your sons and daughters!


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How do you know if your dad doesn’t love you?

If you’re alone with your dad and you two have an awkward silence, you’re uncomfortable with him. You can then check and evaluate if you have a healthy relationship with your dad. Sometimes, dad’s toxic traits are so baked into your life that you regard them as normal. Once you feel neglected and unloved, further evaluation and discussion are expected to repair the dad-child relationship. 

How do you tell if your dad loves you?

Being around him comforts you, and your dad accepts you as you are. The connection between you and your dad is genuine and effortless. You understand that sometimes, a dad doesn’t express his love as a mom does. Yet, this doesn’t hinder you from feeling the authentic connection and warmth. 

What is a toxic dad like?

A toxic dad loves to cause you pain, hurt, disappointment, and frustration. He ticks most of the points we wrote above. In a more severe condition, you think your life is better off without your dad. We advise you to seek and build a comfortable support system consisting of trustworthy family members and friends who make you feel at home. 

What are the signs of a deadbeat dad?

The most visible sign is he is not present for you. He’s not there whenever you need him. When you think of any reliable person, you can’t picture him in your mind. Other signs include being unsupportive and rude. You can always refer to our list of signs that your dad doesn’t love you.

Suzy Prichard

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