Dating and my Daughters



Basic parental instinct dictates that parents of little girls will do anything to keep them from getting hurt. Paternal instinct goes a bit further. It dictates that fathers of little girls will do anything to keep their daughters from being hurt…by boys. It’s a potential source of conflict that can never be fully resolved because women will never be able to fully conceive of how depraved and single-minded a teenage male is.

It’s going to take a fair amount of self-restraint, but I’m determined to not become a cliche father from a country-western song, sitting on the front porch cleaning his shotgun as junior comes by to pick up my daughter. I can’t promise that he will always be welcomed warmly, but I want my girls to know that I respect their choices and give them the opportunity to find a good guy without dad messing things up.  I need to step back and let them learn from their mistakes. When I was seventeen there were girls that were forbidden by their fathers from associating with me. All it really stopped was them  being honest with their parents. I don’t want that.

So when The Preschooler told me about the new boyfriend she was planning to marry, I winced a little, gave her the “cooties” talk, and let it go. I got his name and did a little digging, but so far the pint-sized romeo has come up clean.

Apparently she has a bit of a jealous streak. She’s been in trouble at school for sticking out her tongue at other girls who talk to him and pushed another little boy when her man tried to spend some time on the playground with his boys. It took some of the cuteness out of the situation and was a sobering reminder of how many more years of boy drama we have in front of us.

So far we’ve been pretty lucky with The Teenager. There have been unrequited crushes and a few fights with other girls, but nothing too major.  When a boyfriend starting getting too handsy last year, she not only immediately kicked him to the curb, but talked to us about it. As a daddy, that’s about as close to a win/win as it gets.

There are times when she can be uncomfortably open about her initial forays into dating, but it’s something her mother and I force ourselves to encourage.  I don’t fool myself into thinking she pays much attention, but if we can advise her on what characteristics to look for in her Prince Charming and which to avoid, it has to at least have a little influence.  Chances are she is going to kiss a lot of frogs before she’s done and from time to time will have her heart broken.

I’ll do my best to keep my instincts in check.





49 thoughts on “Dating and my Daughters”

  1. Oh yikes, how terrifying! I had this chat with a friend the other day – that terrifying moment when you realise all the troubles that come with raising a girl.
    Thanks for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop!

  2. Sounds like you are doing a terrific job of raising her and she is able to make some great choices for herself. You should be very proud of that! I would call that a win/win myself!! Good to see you again at the #BigTopBlogParty

  3. I plan on investing in a samurai sword or two before my daughter gets to real dating age (guns aren’t allowed in the UK sadly!), although I’m pretty sure any boys will have more worries from her mum than me (I’ve seen what she will do to people).

  4. You have, on ths sly, written an incredibly poignant post. I think you’vwe got it right. As parents we have to talk to our daughters (and of course sons if we have them, just happens that I don’t) about relationships in a bid to make suer they don’t make mistakes or get hurt. And even then, they have to make a few mistakes (As the U2 song goes, “Every beauty needs to date an idiot.”)

    In my head, however, I will be polishing that shotgun. Luckily for the boys, it’ll be an imaginery one! #MMWBH

  5. I have two daughters and I can’t cope with thinking that they’ll EVER have a boyfriend or marry etc. I just can’t cope. My eldest is almost 10 and it turns out she’s just all legs, and blonde. So I clearly need to stock up on baseballs if I’m to have a leggy blonde on my hands! However if she keeps advancing in Ju Jitsu like she’s been doing I reckon she’ll handle herself just grand, lol!! Thanks for linking up with #MMWBH

  6. I worry about this too, especially given the degree to which our culture sexualizes the concept of identical twin girls. I hope that my girls turn out like Kayla in this area. You have a lot to be proud of there!

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

  7. It must be so hard to tackle the dating issue and find the right balance. I hate to think what my parents went through! Thanks for joining #sharethejoylinky

  8. I imagine I’ll feel similar when this starts happening even though I have a little boy. I love your healthy attitude towards it and your daughters will really respect that you respect their choices as they grow, it’s lovely to read. #sharethejoy

  9. Mmmm incredibly thankful I have boys as I would dread this. I think talking openly with your daughters is great. Or invest in some weaponry type. 🙂 thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

  10. You sound really sensible about your daughters dating and I think that’s exactly how it should be. My Dad was so laid back about boys and sex, I could always ask him questions and never feel stupid. Good luck! xx ‘binkylinky

  11. It’s great that your daughter feels comfortable enough talking to you about it. My girls are only three, but I dread the day they start dating! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  12. Brilliant post I am the father of 4 daughters and already I have been close to sorting out a few boys but somehow you have to go with the flow thanks for linking to the BINKYLINKY

  13. I love this post and so relate! My daughter is six and recently asked her Daddy when she’d be allowed to date. The poor guy looked like she’d just asked her when she could snort drugs or become and ax murderer. Took him a little while to calm down and give a reasonable reply (which was, “when you’re 30”)
    I’m co-hosting #Sharethejoy this week and chose your post as my favourite from last week xx

  14. Heh, it is just one of those things…. I can see that daddies would usually be a bit more cautious – but rest assured, as a woman I can testify that girls can be just as single-minded too 😉 I’ve got a little girl and am not looking forward to the teenage years! #brilliantblogposts

  15. What a great post! I think my husband will need to come talk to you in twenty years when we have a daughter who starts dating. Thanks for sharing!

  16. This was an interesting read. I can’t imagine my girls dating when they are older!
    I remember the first time my Dad met my partner OMG. Cringe. He didn’t even say hello to my partner – we laugh about it now though!
    Such a scary thought.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #justanotherlinky hope you can link up again Sunday xx

  17. Its so strange as I am a mum to two boys and I have the same fears. My teenage son at the moment isn’t interested in girls he would rather spend time on his xbox but when the time comes I’m not sure if any girl will be good enough for my baby boy!!! Thanks for linking up to #ToddlersAndTeens

  18. The first time one of my daughters brings home/is interested in a boy….I think my first thought will be: sh*t just got real. Then I’ll refer to your post – definitely agree that it’s best to be open and encourage communication rather than them lying and doing it anyways. Thanks for linking with #famjamlinky

  19. I think this is the best tactic because, as you say, it is important to respect your daughters’ choices and independence (& ensure that they don’t just start hiding things). We have two girls too.

    1. I don’t think I’d write this quite the same way today. She’s since shown a lack of ability to make smart choices

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