Dad’s don’t get told ‘I love you’ enough by their sons. And that’s sad.
I’m not a father (insert predictable gag: “Are you sure?”) but I’m a passionate, open and probably too-emotional son, and even for me the words don’t come completely naturally. But why?
I love my dad. I know it, I’m confident he knows it, and we both enjoy the luxury of a strong father-son bond; yet when it comes to actually saying the words "I love you" to each other, things just get a little bit awkward.
I try my best not to act like it’s so, reverting to the far more masculine "Love ya, mate" when we finish a phone call or we’re parting ways, but remove the word "mate" and it just wouldn’t feel natural. And I really hate that.
It should be no more clunky than telling your mum, your partner or your footy team you love them, but alas when it comes to announcing it to your dad the system grinds to a halt.
I certainly don’t blame him for this, I know many sons and dads who rely on the unspoken knowledge that the love between each other is strong.
He is one of my greatest mates; we have a sensational time travelling, golfing, drinking, laughing, whatevering, and always have. But is knowing that enough?
If you were to never see your dad again, would you be able to earnestly say, I made sure he knew that I loved him? It frustrates me a little to say my answer would be, at best, "Probably".
The best reason I’ve come up with is that it’s an old-school manifestation of being a "man". A patriarch "needs" to be an emotionally stable pillar of strength and perhaps part of that is an unwillingness to seek or require affection from other men in the family.
It’s 2017 – surely this kind of old-school thinking can jog on?
Both sons and fathers should have no issue proudly declaring their love for each other. Especially at a time when there are too many families that are broken.
I truly don't think those of us lucky enough to have a dad who they love and rely on, (or parents for that matter) take enough the time to tell them that's the case.
I suspect being a dad will be bloody cool, and I hope my son tells me he loves me every hour of every day.
In fact, if he doesn't I'll hand him right back.
But I should expect the same of myself and not let that unexplainable awkwardness get in the way, and I am genuinely working on it…
So on that, happy Father’s Day. Love ya, mate.