For our first date, he came to my mother's wedding in Colorado.
On our second date we met in Las Vegas at Christmas (no, we did not get married).
Over time, I have cultivated a friendship with my father (maintained primarily through daily emails), and have become a better advocate of personal choice in my relationships.
Being aware of a tendency towards unattainable men, I have tried to put action to word, to identify the signals when I am in hot pursuit of a father figure and put the brakes on before getting up to speed.
One boyfriend told me I would be really hot if I was five inches taller, ten pounds lighter, had broader shoulders (what? The romance with the man in Maine was the first time I had experienced the fruition of an unattainable crush culminating in all its dramatic potential.
Unfortunately, I quickly discovered I was dating (OK, engaged to) a man who was the epitome of my father, although not as tall. It was time to take responsibility for my life, as it was.
My castle-in-the-sky construction of an unavailable man generally begins with a circumstantial meet (he was seated next to me in class or at the wedding of mutual friends, et cetera), not any actual planning.
From there, generally a single factor makes him unattainable: geography, lifestyle, or a significant other.
In search of a father figure, I sought out unavailable men. I had entertained a crush on a heretofore unattainable man for 10 years when he wrote me out of the blue one day to see if I was interested.
Suddenly all the latent Harlequin romance of my heart lit up like a pinball machine. At the time, I was living in Los Angeles; he was living in Maine.
He was my second boyfriend (tell me about it) and when anyone suggested he was a father figure, I heartily denied it, but I knew in my heart it was true.