It can sometimes be hard for parents to watch their children grow up and enter the dating world. Especially when those people do not measure up to the expectations you may have for your child. But sometimes, one act might just change your opinion of this significant other.
Here, fathers share the things their daughter’s boyfriend did that left a good or bad impression on them.
1/26. My wife died whilst giving birth to our daughter, so naturally my daughter and I are very close. From a young age she would spend her spare time volunteering to help children who were ill or dying, and as she is a musician, she would also teach the children at the hospital I work at how to play the piano and guitar. Along with her kindness, she is the most beautiful young woman I have ever laid my eyes on. She has the sweetest smile and her mothers big blue eyes.
When she brought home this scruffy looking guy who hadn’t done well in school, who was unemployed and trying to make his band successful, I didn’t like him at all. I’m very sorry if I offend anybody but I just couldn’t understand the attraction she had to him and hoped it would fade into nothing. She could do better.
About a year into their relationship, my daughter discovered that she was pregnant. My heart sunk, not because I didn’t want a grand-child, but because I knew she hadn’t planned it and I knew she was too kind to ever consider an alternative to keeping it.
Her boyfriend approached me one evening shortly after the pregnancy was announced, with a bottle of whiskey and asked if we could talk. I accepted the offer and we sat down and had a drink together. He confessed that he was scared to have a child but how he had already started saving money and how he’d started looking for a job. He explained how he knew that he wasn’t good enough for my daughter but that he loved her with all of his heart and wanted to support her in her choice – even if that meant throwing away his music dreams.
I will admit, we both got very drunk and ended up getting along well. This boy I had first judged was actually a very nice, warm gentleman who simply wanted the best for my daughter and their future child. That was good enough for me, so I invited him to live with us and got him a job working at the same hospital I work for.
Today, I have two grand-children and my daughter and future son-in-law are getting hitched next weekend.
2/26. My father-in-law was really touchy around me, and you could see he wasn’t really sure about the interloper in his daughter’s life.
I took him to a baseball game, and we got along alright, but he was still edgy. Afterwards, we were talking in his office when I noticed he had an Eagle Scout badge framed. I asked him what he did for his Eagle project, and we started talking, and I mentioned I was also an Eagle Scout. You could see his whole idea of me change almost instantly. He put in his Christmas letter that he approved of me dating his daughter, and we’re now married with two kids and a third on the way.
3/26. My youngest son has a type of congenital myopathy that makes him very weak. While he can walk, he can’t run or jump and falls down a lot. Needless to say he finds this very humiliating (he is 16).
We were at a restaurant and my son was standing next to me with untied shoelaces. Unfortunately he tripped and, due to his weakness, could not catch himself, crashing heavily to the ground in the middle of a crowded restaurant. My daughters boyfriend, without missing a beat, immediately lay down next to him on the floor and asked him “how is it going down here” and otherwise made some small talk to ease some of my son’s embarrassment.
He has always treated my son like his little brother but that selfless act was unforgettable.
Needless to say I have loved him like a son ever since.
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4/26. After only dating a couple months, my girlfriend and her parents went on a group vacation with my family due to a couple dropping out last minute. After only a few interactions, I find myself eating oysters and doing shots of tequila with her father on a beach in the Dominican. He comes right out with, “I hope these oysters aren’t putting too much lead in your pencil since you’re sharing a room with my daughter.” I’m obviously flustered and at a lack of words. He follows that up with, “don’t worry, I know she is a sexually active woman. She gets her looks from her mother and her sex drive from me.” That is followed up with a 30 minute conversation of his many “conquests.” I think he likes me?
5/26. My daughters boyfriend has done quite a few things to make me hate him, firstly my daughter.
6/26. I’d say my GF father likes me. The first time I met him I was driving over to pick up my GF to go to the movies. I roll into the driveway and the garage door was open and inside was a ’69 Mustang, parts strewn everywhere and a oil covered, greasy, and thoroughly pissed off man underneath said car.
He was trying to get something unbolted but was struggling to hold the part and operate the ratchet at the same time. I made note of said struggle and jumped underneath to help him. I figured I would give him a hand, then get up and meet my girlfriend and head out. But, we ended up getting along pretty well and I had lost track of time and before I knew it 2hrs had past. During this time, my girlfriend came out to find me working with her dad underneath this car and she just let it be and brought us some sandwiches and sweet tea. She was more than happy to skip the movie date because she saw I was enjoying myself and her dad was enjoying the help.
I’m gonna marry this girl and hopefully one day that car will become ours!
7/26. The boyfriend did chores without being asked. Hard to hate a boy who does the chores.
8/26. My daughter has depression. She’s always been the black sheep of the family; the one daughter closer to me than their mom. She’d rather lay around and listen to Metal than go out with her sisters, and would rather go on a hike than shopping. Still, sometimes she does and wants things that I just don’t get. I think a lot of the quirks come from the depression, and that’s just hard to deal with sometimes. And it means she has needs, and it takes a special kind of person to deal with that correctly. She’s my little girl, and I want only the best for her.
So then here comes this scruffy-faced, long-haired kid. When you talk to him you feel like you’re talking to Plato in the flesh, but his school performance is less than stellar. He has a terrible work ethic, as far as I can tell. He was smart, but I just felt like he was destined to have no real-world success whatsoever. But I paid attention, because my daughter’s not stupid, and I figured that there must be some reason she chose this guy.
Soon it became very apparent why (story continued on the next page…).
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He gets her, and damned if it doesn’t seem almost supernatural sometimes. She can be having a very bad day with the depression, but not long after she’s with him she’s laughing. And it’s obvious he loves her, just from the way he talks to her, and looks at her – not in a lustful way, but in a caring way. I asked “Why him?” and she explained to me that for some reason, around him she feels calm and happy. She said that even when they first met, she could talk to him for hours and hours without getting tired at all, like she did with most people after a few minutes. They have this “dynamic” about them as well. She’s practical and straightforward, with her feet on the ground. He’s thoughtful and abstract, head in the sky. Together, they seem to keep each other in line. In fact, the whole way they operated reminded me of an old married couple.
And there’s something just so damned likeable about the guy. You get a sense of honesty, integrity, and a healthy dose of idealism when you talk to him. He talks about how he wants to make the world a better place, and just by the way he says it you almost believe that he really could. So maybe against my better judgement, he got my seal of approval. My daughter wouldn’t be happy with a someone practical, really. She needs someone like that, he makes her happy, and I think that’s best for her.
9/26. A friend of mine posted a pic on Facebook and in the picture was this girl. I ended up getting her added on Facebook. We got to talking and I admitted that when we were children she was my first crush. We laughed and she said she used to like me to. Well after a few weeks of talking we realized we were both still attracted to each other and ended up dating.
We took things very slow. I let her lead, she wanted to cuddle she initiated. I let her see that she was safe with me, after about a month she told me about what happened. She said she felt guilty not telling me since I treated her so well and I didn’t push her for anything sexually, she was worried shed hurt my feeling by not being open emotionally or sexually. I just told her that I didn’t care that she had trouble opening up emotionally, or that she couldn’t handle sexuality.
As we kept dating I continued to let her lead things physically, and her family accepted me pretty well. Turns out her dad had figured out I knew but didn’t know how to approach me and her mom was glad she had a male outside her family and her pastor that she could open up to.
Her dad pulled me aside after a meeting we had with the pastor (they are Christian, I’m agnostic but I went to the same church as a kid) and told me that he appreciated me helping her, being gentle with her, being a safe place, but also not treating her like she’s a broken doll that needs to be protected from the world since tiptoed around her. He said that he hoped one day, hopefully not anytime soon, he could call me son.
10/26. Not a father, but my my dad absolutely adores my boyfriend. Purely because, whenever we have a fight or he pisses me off, I never bad-mouth him to my dad. Therefore, he has never done wrong in my dad’s eyes.
Also, he calls me out on my sass, which my dad enjoys greatly.
11/26. Growing up, I didn’t learn about fixing household things or using tools in general (thanks Dad). One time my girlfriend’s father was working on fixing a washing machine. I offered to help him to ‘demonstrate my value’. He gave me the job of keeping track of screws and tools. After a few minutes, he asked me for Phillips screwdriver. I did not know what that meant and didn’t want to seem useless. So, I started looking at the labels of each screwdriver to hopefully find ‘Phillips’ label on one. Seeing that, he leaned forward and took it himself while giving me that look. I think the man lost respect for me ever since.
P.S. First thing I did coming home was to look up what the heck that meant. It turns out it just means cross-headed (+) screwdriver.
12/26. Well, my daughter is 4 1/2 and her boyfriend Henry James is the son of my best friend from college. We moved across the country when they did so we could raise our kids together (he and I are both mariners so a commute of 3000 miles isn’t significant). The first time Henry met her, she was three and he was 2 1/2 and he unbuttoned her shirt, in the back, with little tiny buttons that took me forever to button up. Just a couple days ago, he pulled the smoothest line I ever heard when he said “I have a new flashlight, let’s turn out the lights.” I let that go but about 15 minutes later I heard all kinds of commotion coming from his bedroom and went to investigate. They were both in the bed, a little kid bed with a guard rail so he couldn’t fall out, and they were chasing each other around and around. In a dark room. With my little girl.
I’m not going to say I like the little dude, but I respect that. I was 17 before I got a pretty girl in my bed in the dark.
And now I think I ought to go clean my shotgun.
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13/26. Asked my dad if he ever hated any of my ex’s and why. He told me one of my ex’s would always order the most expensive thing on the menu when we all went out to eat and my dad was paying. My dad and mom turned it into a betting game after a while of which of the two most expensive dishes will my ex order.
14/26. Not a father, but I apparently won my father-in-law over by listening to him.
His family is all girls (3 daughters + wife) and apparently he was an alcoholic when he was younger (since reformed, doesn’t drink at all), so they all basically treat him like he doesn’t exist because they resent him so much.
Anyways, during one of our first meetings he mentioned that he really liked Age of Empires II. So, for Christmas that year I gifted him (through GOG.com) a copy of Empire Earth. He teared up when he realized that I’d remembered what his favorite PC game was.
15/26. As an only child, my parents have always been cool with me bringing friends on holiday with me. We were going to New Zealand for a week when I was 19, so my SO came with us, even though it wasn’t long after we started dating.
My dad is the really athletic type. My mother and I really aren’t, so normally on family holidays, dad would be off mountain climbing and bike riding and stuff like that on his own. He always encouraged me to go with him, but it wasn’t really my thing.
But my SO is really athletic – so on this occasion, they went climbing up one of the local mountains, which some of the Mount Doom scenes were filmed on. They got on really well together and my dad really liked having the company of someone who enjoyed it as much as he did.
16/26. He bought me scotch for my birthday after dating her for only a couple of months.
Now I’ll explain why that’s good. It showed that he had already realized family is important to my daughter, that birthdays are important in our family, and that scotch was something that would be appreciated. That suggested he cared about what she cared about. They’re married now and I’m happy about that.
He gave my wife something similarly nice the next month for her birthday, but since it wasn’t scotch I can’t remember what he did.
17/26. My ex’s dad had one of those huge 90’s dodge Cummins. He would “Coal roll” literally every car that was behind him. Sending a thick black cloud of diesel smoke over everything in his wake.
One day, in front of my girlfriend, he was ragging on my truck (it’s petrol) saying how I can’t blow smoke. I simply said, “Why is that cool?” He kinda tripped up, and just gave me that look where someone is pissed, but has nothing to say. Staggering for his words I think he realized that there was literally no answer to that question that didn’t make him look like an a moron. He finally came back with a “your just jealous” or something, and that’s when I gave him all the negatives of modifying your truck to do this. From torque to gas mileage I ran down every possible reason I could think of of why not to have exhaust like that. I even ended with saying, I thought it was classless and childish.
All of this combined with the fact that I shut him up while his daughter was holding my arm visibly got to him. He of course had no retort. Dude never talked to me again. I was at bbqs, weddings, church with this guy and he never spoke to me again.
He did buy a jeep about 6 months later.
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18/26. My girlfriend’s dad is a stand-up comedian, he would always joke about how I’m a wimp for doing improv.
19/26. My father in law and I get a long great and he has told me many times the reason why he liked me when he met me. I was 17 when I went to pick up his daughter to go to a concert as friends. I was all excited to see Green Day and Blink 182 (this was 2000 roughly). I ran up his front lawn, did a front flip and shook his hand and introduced myself. He said despite being a clown, I made it a point to show respect and shake his hand. Turned to his wife and said he could tell I was going to be around a long time.
Been together ever since.
20/26. My sisters ex-boyfriend didn’t ask her out until I left for college because he was afraid of me. When they became a couple on Facebook, I snooped and saw his profile pic was him sitting in front of a confederate flag holding two shotguns. So we both thought he was a douche instantly for the flag thing, because if you have one of those you are definitely racist. Then we invited him to our ranch, he accepted and when we were going shooting he told us he had never shot a gun before. So he took a picture with guns but had never actually used one. What a tool.
21/26. Started taking care of oil changes for her car! I knew he was a keeper!
22/26. My dad gets along great with my boyfriend even though I had this relationship hopping issue before we met. He and my step-mum placed bets on how long this relationship would last. I think Dad had his at about six months. Nearly six years later we’re still together. My boyfriend got me to mature a lot, he makes me laugh, and he can hold a conversation with my Dad about just about anything technical. Plus I have a five year old half brother and my boyfriend is amazing at looking after him. There’s never been a question of my Dad not liking him.
Of the twelve boyfriends I’ve had in my life, he’s only liked two. My first serious boyfriend and my current one. All the rest in between he thought were scumbags.
He was right.
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23/26. My dad didn’t like my first boyfriend because he first introduced himself by saying “g’day mate”.
24/26. I very tentatively asked my dad the other day if he liked my boyfriend. My dad is one sarcastic man. And it’s hard to tell when he’s serious.
Anyway, he eventually admitted that yes, he does like my boyfriend “even if he is a bit scatterbrained”.
I said I don’t care about scatterbrained, I care that he treats me right, listens to me, takes an interest in my hobbies, loves me, appreciates the things I do for him, never puts me down, cares for my family, cares for my pets, encourages me, believes in me and picks me up when I’m feeling down.
My dad just said, “Yeah he’s fine I guess.”
25/26. He threw sand on her in recess, and pulled her hair once.
I was not impressed.
26/26. Just the daughter though. My dad recently died of cancer but he loved my boyfriend. I think it’s worth mentioning because of two years prior to that, my dad saw boyfriends (specifically this one) as only an obstacle to his daughter’s eventual White House run… or Best selling novels… (dad had high hopes for me).
Came over to hang out with him every day after work to give me, stuck at work until 5, peace of mind.
Surprised me by shaving dad’s head after I’d been commenting that the chemo was making his hair do crazy things
Helped me get dad down the excruciating stairs and to appointments daily.
Helped me weigh the decision of hospice or keeping him at home with me alone, when it was getting to be too much. Supported my decision to keep him at home even though he felt hospice would be better for me.
Was the first one there to help me when my dad could no longer control his body and would have accidents. Helped me with that without even blinking.
Kept track of how much I was sleeping and came over insisting I go nap regularly.
Called me in the end any time he was with my dad and he was having a more lucid moment and I couldn’t be there.
Assured my dad constantly that I didn’t need anyone “to take care of me” after he was gone, but that he would watch after me for him forever.
Recorded himself asking my dad for permission to marry me and insists I only get to listen to it on the day of our wedding.
Held my hand during the funeral, helped me learn how to live a normal life again.
My dad was so worried about leaving such a young daughter behind, but he told me he felt a little better about it knowing I’d have a guy like that to watch out for me in my darkest times. And it doesn’t get much darker than losing your best friend to cancer.
Love to all you dads!