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- Joy, 28* grew up without knowing anything about her father and says she felt a personal disconnect from who she is because of it.
- She had always wanted to meet him, but it took an unlikely coincidence for them to meet.
- When they were both looking for love on the same dating app, fate had a different kind of appointment in store for them.
- This is her story, as shared by Joy.
I grew up in a loving home with my mom and step-dad. My father left us when I was three years old without warning.
Although my step-dad is fantastic, I had always felt a void and felt a personal disconnect from who I am.
I had tried asking my mom about my father, but she would avoid the topic. I think she resented him. The only thing I knew about him was his name and surname. I didn’t know where he lived, what he does for a living or if he’s even still alive.
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I started actively searching for him when I was 19 years. I searched for him everywhere and couldn’t even find him on LinkedIn or Facebook. I remember even asking my grandmother about him, but she wasn’t of much help.
At the age of 21, I started dating someone and that relationship consumed a lot of time to the point where I stopped looking for my father.
The relationship ended when I was 26, and at that moment, I felt like a part of me also died. As I was on a journey of finding myself again and loving myself unconditionally, I decided to search for my father again. I hit a dead-end once again.
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At age 27, I was officially over the breakup and had mourned that relationship enough. I was ready to date again, so I signed up to numerous online dating sites, including Bumble. The online dating thing wasn’t too bad.
I had met some pretty cool people and even went on a date with one of them. I stopped using the app for three months, but I decided to go back to the app on one random morning.
As I was scrolling through the app, trying to make new connections with people in my area, I came across my father’s name. It was strange because it’s not like I went out looking for his profile.
I decided to swipe and like his profile. After waiting for what seemed like a lifetime, he swiped back and our profiles matched.
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I didn’t know what to do, a part of me wanted him to start the conversation, but Bumble only allows women to message first. I decided to send him a message and inform him that I’m his daughter.
I knew this was my one chance and I couldn’t afford to blow it. I even mentioned my mother’s name and told him I’m surprised we live in the same city.
To my surprise, he responded instantly and asked if he could give me a call. At this point, I had only told my best friend about it.
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I anxiously waited for his call and kept on rehearsing all the questions I had for him. He eventually called and I instantly started tearing up.
I had been praying for this moment, almost my entire life and hearing his voice made me so emotional.
He explained the reason for his absence in my life and told me that on my 10th birthday, he had asked my mother if he could speak to me, but she refused.
‘I understood where she was coming from. I left her with a 3-year-old toddler without an explanation. I was 26 years at that time and I was naïve and selfish,’ he said.
I had already forgiven my father many years ago; I learned that one doesn’t need a reason or an explanation to forgive. Forgiving someone sets you free.
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Our 2-hour conversation was the beam of light I had always yearned for. He kept on apologising and asked if we could go out for coffee if I’m interested.
I accepted the invite and on the day of our’ coffee date’, we got to know each other and jokingly called our date a ‘love at first swipe father-daughter date’.
I told my mother about him and she was surprisingly happy for me. She said she hopes he doesn’t hurt me and that we form a healthy relationship.
It’s been seven months of getting to know my father and it’s been amazing but challenging. We take it one day at a time.
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* Not her real name