Sorry if this is off topic, it seemed like the most appropriate place I could find.

For reference, I am a 22 y/o male who just graduated university in May. My life revolves around technology (primary hobby, degree, etc) and therefore I am on my computer 90% of my free time. I also live with my parents (close to my full time job - I am not financially dependent on them, just accumulating money before moving to get my own place, but do not pay for rent/food).

My father is coming up on 60 if that matters.

My relationship with my father has always felt sub-par in comparison to my mother. Not that my mother and I are best friends, but we are able to at least talk fairly normally/regularly. The only time my father and I exchange words is when he needs me to do/help with something, or to say goodnight (except occurrences where we are "forced" to talk i.e. in the car together).

We do not have similar interests (I'm into tech and games - your average 22 male, while he is into beer, old music, sports) so there's not much of a commonground. I have tried discussing things I am working on but I can tell that since it's not his area of expertise he's just not as interesting as I am and therefore doesn't feel like I'm really telling anything.

We are not an emotional family and therefore feelings like this are not discussed either.

Another major factor in all of this is that when I was a senior in high-school until sophomore year of college, I was severely sick (in the hospital for probably 1/3 of that time). A thought I had was that due to this, and having to make some life-altering decisions as soon as I turned 18, made me "miss out" on the rebellious end of being a teenager and moving into my twenties, and therefore I'm in that phase currently and just generally being unpleasant to deal with to my father/parents. I'm sure that these few years took a toll on my parents, although they do seem fairly "back to normal".

I don't want to compare myself to a sibling, but my sister has a fantastic relationship with my father as they are both into beer and sports.

My father is not abusive in any way.

I feel extremely bad even thinking about it because I know that I can be moody and frustrating when I want to be left alone and snap or make rude remarks to my parents.

I want to try to amend what I can. I do love my entire family very much and have been very fortunate, but I don't want my current situation to become any more damaged.

I've thought about counseling for this, but while it may help us talk with a counselor, I don't see it changing anything at home. It feels like there are some more fundamental issues that wouldn't change. I haven't brought this up with anyone.

Thanks for the help.

  • A few things. If you aren't paying rent or food, you are actually financially dependent on your parents. You may mean you don't have to be, but you are. If they are putting any money out for your support, then you are. So as a parent I can tell it would go a long way to just acknowledge that & live like it's the situation, because it is.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 20:17
  • The other thing (I said a few - oops) is that your sister & your dad likely aren't close because they both like beer & sports. It may make it easier for them to find topics, but they are likely just close because one or the other has been able to get the bond started. I would imagine you can too. The sister I am closest too I have the least in common with. We just have a similar sense of humor really & can make each other laugh all the time. Other than that, we are like night & day, yet she is the one I am most likely to call or visit.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 20:25
  • When you were younger, did your father ever express interests in your hobbies, particularly computer stuff? Not that he is interested in computers, but he is interested in what his son is interested in. Its not a small thing to be rejected for your interests as a kid. I was, and I'm still working through the consequences.
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


Barring any baggage you could have from past issues, if this is merely "I want to get closer to my dad", then show interest in something that interests him, especially something he can teach you.

I know you are into tech, but generally speaking, woodworking appeals to all sort of people with all sorts of backgrounds & might be a good common ground interest. If he has any interest in it, that could be something he could teach you & allow you to grow from there. You don't have to have a lot in common to have a good relationship. You don't even have to do woodworking for long (if that is something, there are of course other options), it's a jump off point only. Once you get talking to him, it will get easier. One thing I have learned when trying to bond with someone older than myself is merely ask them questions about their life & then listen. While you may think your dad doesn't understand your generation well, at least he can say he has lived in your era. On the other hand, you haven't lived in his. So until you can understand better where he is coming from, you may struggle to find what you both share. I would imagine it is a lot more than you think.

If this is something more, like bad feelings from things that happened when you were younger, etc, then by all means, counseling can be a great place to start. If it's nothing terribly serious, then often the best way to get to know someone is to join them in doing something they enjoy & I have found having them teach me skills is the best way. It gives you valuable life skills, it allows them a chance to share what they know, and it's easier to talk to someone while doing a shared activity than it is sitting alongside one another in chairs when it feels more like pressure than natural flow.

  • Great suggestion with the woodworking. @user28776, be open-minded about something your father likes and ask him to teach you something. The best case would be something practical, which might save you money in the future because you can do/repair something yourself instead of hiring a professional. It really helped me bond with my father (in this case, it was repairing bycicles).
    – LAP
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 11:43

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