Seven Rules For Dating My Daughters

As our girls have been growing, Rebecca and I have tried to spend some time with each girl on a one-on-one basis, to give them individual attention and get out of the house from the distractions and noise. Emma came up with the neat idea of calling them “Two-for-Tuesdays” so each Tuesday afternoon, Rebecca and I go and do something special with Gabriella or Emma. This Tuesday was my turn with Emma.

As we sat down at a café, me with my café con leche and Emma with her hot chocolate, we talked about… boys.

Yes, and a tear of despair leaves my eye as I write this, I talked to my 9-year old daughter about boys. Now, remember, I’m the guy who got anxious about my daughter’s prom even before we left the hospital with her. Raising daughters stresses me out. A lot.
Daddy and his girls
So I think this time together with my daughters is critical… I call them our “dates” together, and yes, we often talk about how I think they should be treated by boys as they get older, and how they can safely confide with me and Rebecca, and how they should be growing and learning as a young girl should. But it is stressful to have a daughter, and of course I want her to be safe.

As I thought of this, I remembered some rules that I was given by another old military dad during one tour to Iraq… I think they’re a lot of fun, so here are some of the best:

Seven Rules For Dating My Daughter

  • If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
  • You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
  • I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose his compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
  • I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
  • The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka – zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
  • Do not lie to me. On issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a rifle, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
  • Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over the rooftops of Fallujah. When this happens, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Yeah, I think I’ll be keeping a copy of this around for a while.

  • ana


  • Ana… I will send you the full version… :)

  • Denise

    laughing and crying!
    send us [Michael] the full as well, por favor; we have a blue eyed blonde one over here with us!

  • Alexis

    Oh my goodness! this is brilliant! i’m sending this to my dad right now!

  • Denise- Thanks… the full version is on its way !

  • He’ll like it, I’m sure. And tell him I said hello. Thanks…

  • Abby

    This is awesome…and those girls are going to have some awesome men someday and respect all those rules!

  • Dan

    Having four daughters myself… I’m with ya bro! I love my daddy/daughter dates.

  • This is amazing! You should answer the door with the rifle just so they know you mean business! lol

  • I’m planning on it! :)

  • u00a0Hey Dave,nnAs a father of 4 (with the 5th to join in in August) I thought about spending quality time with each of the kids individually a lot lately. I love your article and a date day is a great idea. u00a0I’ll work on those…nnThe rules are hilarious! Guess there have been quite a lot of scared to death young men. Would be amazing to know what the daughter thought about those rules.nn- Philipp

  • 3Qs

    haha your nail gun to the waist could be a cheap equivalent to a belly-button ring ;)

  • Thanks for writing this man – book marked and now on my way to setup a date with my little girls (all three of them)

  • That’s great.  Glad I could help!  I love date nights with my girls…

  • George

    hilarious..but true..

  • Trina Crawford

    Awe. Some. Sending to my husband!

  • Thanks Trina.  Let me know if he likes it :^)

  • TammyBoltWerthem

    found you via friends on twitter. great stuff here!! they are blessed to have a father who loves them and protects…blessings.

  • Thanks…. check out the rest of the blog, let me know what you think! Have a great Christmas…

  • John

    Where was Jesus in that post? I didn’t see him. Re-read what you wrote.

  • John, I’m confused… this was just a fun post about being a Dad to daughters… what are you referring to?

  • Emma

    DAD!!! I´m not allowed to go anywhere with HAPPINESS? And really, trifles? Im never going to get a date with you scaring them off! (Oops, Im only eleven. Of course dad, I wont be dating for a long time)

  • Barb

    Love this post. I have two little kids that are growing up. Scary world, but God is with us. This post is so funny . . . I love it! I am just starting to blog, so I am late finding you. :)

  • Haunui Royal

    I find Men who act out in a paranoid way around their daughters generally lacked respect for females themselves when they were young and looked to take advantage of girls.This article although written in a humorous way speaks to this sort of over the top father especially when you mention firearms which seems ridiculous. American culture seems to project this a lot.
    You need to raise your daughters to have a dickhead radar and healthy self esteem. That way you can trust them a lot better when it comes to the young men they choose go out with and the social situations they may find themselves in especially those ones involving alcohol.