5 Invaluable Lessons Our Fathers Indirectly Taught Us About Love

by Juliana Dolcimascolo

We women have a special place in our hearts for our dads.

Whether he worked long hours or stayed at home, coerced us into watching sports or embraced playing dress up, exuded coolness or constantly embarrassed us, we love our dads all the same.

Father figures come in all shapes and sizes. Some are biological, and some come into our lives through adoption or marriage.

Others step up and take care of us without being related at all.

No matter how dads and pseudo-dads come into our lives, one thing is for certain: They teach us some of the most valuable lessons about love we could ever know.

Our dads taught us to love despite imperfections.

Raising a daughter definitely wasn't easy. I mean, let's be honest: Will men ever be able to understand the female mind? Even when trying their best, dads still slip up here and there.

Our dads may be some of the most incredible men we know, but they aren't perfect. And, neither are we.

As we're learning to grow, they're learning how to raise us.

They forgive us for every temper tantrum we threw growing up, those new-driver fender benders and the one time we snuck a boy into the house while they were sleeping (although, he still might hold a tiny grudge for that one).

In return, we forgave him for the times he was impatient, overprotective or refused to drop us off around the corner.

The father-daughter dynamic is not without its toils, but it teaches us everything we need to know about forgiveness and loving past imperfections.

Being vulnerable doesn't make you weak.

Dads may be the strongest male figures in our lives, but they also know when to knock down the walls and let their emotions show. They taught us talking about how you feel and admitting to mistakes isn't weak; it's one of the bravest and most loving things you can do.

Hey, even dads cry.

When you love someone, you can't be afraid to put yourself out there. You have to communicate, be open about your feelings and risk getting hurt.

We watched our dads take that gamble and embrace being vulnerable with us. Now, we understand how do the same with all the other men who come into our lives.

Sometimes, we don't need to use words.

My dad, in league with fathers everywhere, didn't always know what to say.

When we were angsty teenagers complaining about mean girls at school, having "nothing to wear" or being generally hormonal, they couldn't relate. But when our world is crashing down, a hug from Dad is exactly what we need.

When someone we love is hurting, and we don't know what to say, we remember to take a cue from Dad.

Showing how much you care can be more profound than saying it. He taught us when there isn't a right thing to say, there is always a right thing to do.

If you love someone, let him or her know every day.

He tells you he loves you every morning, every night and every chance he gets throughout the day.

He hugs you first thing when he walks in the door. He asks about your day with genuine affection and curiosity. It drove you crazy when you were 14, but now that you're older, you're grateful.

No matter the circumstance, we can always count on our dads to love us and find a way to show it.

Our dads taught us the importance of showering those around us with love and to never take a day for granted.

More than anything, our dads taught us how we deserve to be treated.

He is the first man we ever loved. We hold every future crush, boyfriend, friend and partner to his standard, which is pretty high.

Our dads (and their big hearts) engrained in us we deserve nothing but the best in life. They trained us to seek out only those who can fill their shoes.

If we can find guys half as incredible as our dads, I think we'll be just fine.