Based on my relationship history, or at least on my history of crushes on unattainable men, this fit the pattern.
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.
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.
Knowledge of the trait does not bar the compulsion, but self-awareness and acceptance gained by sincerely examining it in my life have given me the tools to sidestep inauthentic pursuit of inappropriate men.
From there, generally a single factor makes him unattainable: geography, lifestyle, or a significant other.
Notwithstanding, in my mind's eye, the unattainable man is always somehow "the One," and I hope he will begin to think of me the way I think of him — cycle and repeat.
People didn't think I was dating my father; they thought I was dating my grandfather.
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.
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.
What had happened in the past with my father was done and gone, but I was dragging it around like a huge bag of rocks into every romantic relationship I entered.
By refusing to let the past go, I was playing a dangerous game of control in my relationships: no man was ever going to measure up and prove my unattainable fantasy true, and meanwhile I could remain "unloved and unlovable" within the safe confines of failed romance and saying "I told you so" to my friends.