How to Talk to Your Daughter About Dating
Dating advice is something fathers are very qualified to discuss, but often don’t. Having conversations with your daughter about dating may seem uncomfortable or unnecessary but these discussions can be very impactful. Good and bad, your daughter can learn a lot about your experiences, perspectives, and advice.
If you’re not feeling so confident when it comes to dishing out advice, you’re in luck. The biggest impact you can make when it comes to dating and relationships requires no racking your brain for the perfect words.
All it takes is simply treating your daughter and spouse or partner with respect and love. Show your daughter what she should look for and what she deserves by being an example of that. Lead by example and make it hard for her to settle for anything less. It will have a greater impact than you know.
Giving relationship advice to your daughter requires a delicate balance between respecting her space while providing support and guidance. You don’t want to overstep boundaries, but you also don’t want to ignore what is going on in her personal life.
Since every daughter is so different, you will have to rely heavily on intuition, but there are three great practices to make the process as smooth as possible.
Remind Her of Her Worth: Your advice around dating should always revolve around her being true to herself. Remind her that she is an incredible young woman, and she should never compromise who she is or what she values. When she is confident in herself, she isn't looking for validation from others. This means she is more likely to end up dating someone that she thinks highly of, rather than the first person who gives her attention.
Be Inquisitive: Ask her open-ended questions so she doesn’t just respond with a “yes,” “no,” or “good.” If she’s in a relationship or starting to develop one, ask her non-invasive questions about the person she is seeing. Things like “What are ____’s interests?” or “What do you like most about ____?” You will be able to give your best advice when you have context around the other person. By asking these questions, you are also allowing her to take a moment to think about her relationship and why she values it. For example, if she is struggling to come up with an answer to what she likes most about the person, she may come to the conclusion on her own that this person isn't right for her. On the contrary, she might identify how much she values something about them that she hadn't realized previously. Either way, it is a healthy way to have her check in on herself in the relationship.
Be Available: If she tries to avoid your questions or answers them quickly with no eye contact, save the questions for another time and let her know that she can always come to you if she needs advice. Simply knowing that she has you as a sounding board or outlet can be comforting.