Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Daddy vs Dating Daughters

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson

Daddy vs dating daughters

Before the dawn of time, the bond between a father and his daughter has been not only indescribable, but undeniable. As their precious gems grow older and end up face to face with the dating world, the challenge begins.

Now the battle between fathers and their dating daughter can get so heated that, like a volcano, it either erupts into fathers finding themselves in estranged relationships with their angels, or fathers growing love moves from affection to over protection, creating major restrictions when it comes to affairs of the heart.

Sometimes the greatest gifts in life aren't the ones that are all wrapped up. Sometimes the best gift you can offer anyone is some good old-fashioned insightful advice. So here are a few tips for you fathers and the daughters out there who are dating.

For dating daughters

1. Try to have your father meet with your potential suitor or boyfriend as casually as possible. It may mean that you invite another friend with him to a family function. This also means toning down the fireworks going on between you lovers. Then, after a few meetings, you observe their interactions to see if he's worth mentioning as being a part of the 'more than just friends' department. Do so only when the timing is right - you will know.

2. Ensure that when he is picking you up for a date, he looks and plays the part of a gentleman. Knowing your father, he's already going to be pretty uncomfortable that you're dating anyway, so don't add insult to injury with inaccuracies. He should not only come bearing gifts, like flowers, but he should be well groomed as well - dressed to impress.

3. When meeting for the first time, be sure to guide your boyfriend or soon-to-be boyfriend on how to act around your father. Offer him a few talking points on our father's interests, but want to keep his answers short and sweet. Father's can't stand a 'know-it-all' so it will backfire if he's not careful.

4. Respect curfew. If this is a first date, or a first date that your father is aware of, and he wants you to have his daughter home by a certain time, then honour that rule. Of course, if he realises that you're a rebel with a cause, then he'll make your life a living hell. The loyalty shown to you, the daughter, is just as important as the loyalty shown to her father. It's a test you don't want your boyfriend to fail.

5. Fathers generally love boyfriends who are actively involved with the family, just as much as with their daughters. That means a boyfriend who can spend time with them and bond as men are good in a father's eyes. So if Dad is into sports, then have your boyfriend take the time out to watch a game with him. If Dad's a 'Mr Fix It', let your boyfriend suggest helping out on a home project. This will only work if your father is the only established alpha male. He's not about being replaced, it should be about being a part of the family. If you try this, you'll never know the world of good that this might do for you as the daughter.

6. Daughters, spend quality time with your fathers. Don't replace the most important man in your life with a new one. In the same way that you can plan date night with your beau, schedule in some quality time with your father, too. If your fathers sees that the man who promises to love and cherish you, not only respects that but encourages it, well, it might just be the start of a beautiful camaraderie between the men in your life.

For overprotective Dads

1. Communicate with your daughter. You won't know about her dating life if you don't communicate with her about love or sex, out of sheer fear. It's better that she learns the truth from the first man she has ever loved instead of learning it the hard way from boys designed to break hearts. That way, you can guide her, show her the errors of his ways, her ways and suggest to move forward.

2. She is going to date, whether you like it or not, so be prepared. A little intimidation never hurt anybody, but if her suitor shows you respect, do so as well, respectfully sharing that you love your daughter and want what's best for her, and he shouldn't do anything to jeopardise her happiness.

3. Don't be so overprotective. Nobody will ever be good enough for your daughter, but she deserves happiness. You also have to trust that you have raised her well enough to choose the right partner. Stop considering the men your daughter will date a threat, and treat them as allies. You can see his intentions better than your daughter, who has her head stuck in cloud nine. You know what they always say: it's better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com