Both of my daughters are at that age when they start dating. As much as I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen until they were at least 30, there is nothing to prevent it. We can’t lock them in their respective bedrooms for another 10 years until we feel they are ready. It seems that good old mother nature has somehow triggered their brains to notice the opposite sex.
I’ve tried to be upfront and assure them both not to expect their dating lives or “courtship” for marriage to be like The Bachelor. It would be great if their future boyfriends and husbands picked them up in a hot air balloon equipped with dinner and a choir to sing to them while they eat, but chances are that’s not happening. Instead, they should expect a guy in a dented 1996 Mustang and a night at Applebees. If, by some chance, the balloon ride happens more power to you, but be realistic.
I knew this day was coming, and as a Dad, it’s something we don’t look forward to. No matter what we do, our little girls are going to be heading out our front door into a car with a boy. I was a young boy, and I know what young boys are thinking! I don’t want to sound like an overprotective dad who cleans his gun when a boy comes to the door or shouts, “I don’t mind going back to prison,” but I do want to make sure that my girls are treated with the decency and respect they deserve.
What you will see here are ground rules for dating my daughters. These are rules and requirements that apply to my house and should apply in yours as well. As parents we do our best to raise girls that respect themselves and boys who respect women. If you’ve done an excellent job as a parent, these won’t be issues you need to address, but if you’re concerned, then read on.
I’m a big believer in first impressions, so don’t come to my front door looking like a homeless person. Pull up your pants, if they are hanging below your ass, you will have the door closed in your face. A clean shirt and presentable appearance are crucial if you want to date my daughters. I’m by no means an expert in fashion, but I know what sloppy looks like.
Spend time with us parents
I will be suspicious if you don’t want to spend time at my house or around me and my wife. What are you hiding that you never want to be here? When you do spend time at our home I recommend you be present. Put your cell phone away and talk with us. I understand if you’re shy, but you need to look me in the eye when we are having a conversation. If not, I think you’re shady and hiding something. Show some manners.
Absolutely no touching
You are only dating one girl, my daughter
If I find out you are dating someone else or cheating on her while dating my daughter, I (and my wife) will hunt you down and find you. I am following all of my daughters’ social media accounts and consistently check in to see what’s happening on her timelines with her friends. If I see or read anything about you cheating or “seeing” someone else while you’re together, do not expect to ever come back in my home or near my daughter. Unless you’ve both agreed to see other people do not do it. Do not break her heart.
Do not make her cry
Seeing my daughters cry is one of the hardest things I face as a father. If those tears are because of you, we have a problem. You will never earn my respect by making my daughter cry or making her upset in any way. There’s also an excellent chance you may be crying as well the next time we cross paths. I’m not a large man, but I’m Italian, I know people, and I “got a guy.” End of story.
Curfews are in place for a reason, so obey them and have her home when required. Staying out later than curfew will not bode well for you and may result in immediate repercussions. Know in advance that there will be a tracking device placed on your vehicle and that we have eyes everywhere and will find you! If you think you will be late for some unforeseen reason, have her contact us.
Do not lie to me
I am an expert on the internet. I may seem like an “old man” who’s out of touch, but I can wield a mouse and keyboard like it’s nobody’s business. I can find out things about you, your family, your dog, whenever I need to. If I ask where you are going be upfront and tell the truth. If you are not where you say you’re going to be, I will find. My daughters both have a tracking device that I pay for monthly from Verizon, and it lets me know their every move. Proper use of Life360 or Find My Friends is critical for accurate tracking.
Get out of the car
If I hear a car horn beeping, I can only assume it’s one of my neighbors giving a courteous “toot” on the horn as they pass my house. (It’s a little thing we do in our neighborhood to our friends). Get out of your car and come to the front door if you want to take her out. I am not going to lie; you will get accosted by my dogs, and you will most likely be covered in dog hair by the time you leave, but that’s the price you pay for dating my daughter. Beep your horn at your “Brah’s” house, not mine.
Have a job
Don’t even think of dating my daughter if you can’t pay to take her to the movies or dinner. I’m not looking for her to get involved with a lazy leech of a boyfriend who sits home all day doing nothing. Have a job, earn a paycheck, and take her out every once in a while instead of sitting in your moms’ basement all the time. Be proud you’re dating my daughter and treat her well.
Let them decide their own rules
If you’re a parent with boys, then take this knowledge as fact. These rules are what many parents of daughters are thinking when your son comes “knocking.” If you have daughters then I wish you all the luck in the world. We are on one crazy ride of emotions, estrogen and god knows what else!
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.
Great rules! My father and mother established similar for me. It actually helped my out a lot esp with looking fine for my parents and spending some time with them (nothing much, just a small talk or something)
What a great set of rules! I especially loved all the funny gifs that went along with them.
These are such good rules for dating your daughters. I think it’s only reasonable for the guys to look decent, respect boundaries and come to the door instead of honking the horn.
You are an amazing dad! These rules are not only great but realistic! Dating in the modern age is so much more complicated and having these simple yet essential rules are so important! The most important thing is that your girls have grown up to love themselves first, and to have confidence and respect for themselves! This will definitely help cut out some of the sleazy boys from the list! 🙂
The girls do have a good head on their shoulders so that helps!
It’s a big emotional time when our kids get old enough for dating
I don’t know when we took such a step back on basic respect. The simple things, like getting out of the car to greet a girl’s parents when picking them up… there was a time when that was a given. I am hoping that this is just a phase and we will see a return to the respect that we once saw. In time for my nieces, I hope!
I hope so too!
Loved reading Scott. Absolutely brilliant piece. I don’t have daughters but going through your rules made me realize that I would probably be doing exactly the same things.
Great rules – you are a wonderful dad Scott! I’m sure your girls are super sensible and will only date guys who’d be able to follow the rules.
PS: Love the little gifs after each rule!
These are all fantastic rules and all of them are very valid! I don’t think any of them are “too much” for someone to follow and they all show respect for you and your daughters. Great post!
I would like to add one, be consistent and keep expectations realistic. We all think that faithfulness is important but being ignored all weekend isn’t ok because the person is being faithful.
Good one! I like it.
I got a guy. I love that. I’m the person who tells anyone who hurts me that I can make them disappear with one phone call. Laughter aside, these are fantastic rules to live by. I’m also big on dressing appropriately and knocking on the door like a normal civilized person. No honking at my house.
A little hypocritical in some respects. True you don’t want a guy cheating on your daughter but does she have license to cheat on him. I know dads like to think their girls are sinless beings who never have an impure thought but that is not true.
Does your daughter have to spend time with the boy’s parents? Does your son’s girlfriend have to spend time with you?
Nothing wrong with the boy having a job but does that mean your daughter gets to be lazy while he bankrupts himself spending all his money on her. Does your son’s girlfriend get to treat him like an atm? Interesting how its okay for the girl not to have a contribute nothing finicially to the date.
Can your daughter lie to the boy’s parents? What if your son’s girlfriend lies to you or cheats on him? Can she still come around?
Of course, this applies in reverse as well. My girls were raised to be respectful, spend time with both parents, work, and be respectful. You sound a little bitter Paul like perhaps you’ve been on the opposite end of this post.
I think its important for the parent to know who their son is dating and have expectations for how their girlfriend is to treat and act around them.
One example if say the boy’s parents have rules against them watching certain movies or TV shows i don’t think the girls should coax them to disobeying their parents or have their father bully them into doing so.
I think the dad and mom a daughter need to respect the other parents as they wish to be respected.
And the same goes for dating my son.
Agreed! I only have daughters. 🙂
There is also an, “Application to Date my Daughter” elsewhere in the internet. I have also discovered that there are many differing formats for these set of rules that are posted her.