Monday, October 12, 2015

Dads Against Daughters Dating

As the father of two little girls. I have come to terms with the fact that I will have to deal with my daughters dating eventually. I can't say that I have completely come to terms with how fast that might actually happen though. I am quickly finding out that the dreaded day of my daughters dating will come a lot faster than I had initially hoped. Looking back at the last six plus years of fatherhood, I now wonder if I set myself up for failure when it comes to prolonging my daughters dating for as long as possible.

When Ziva was less than a year old, my wife and I made jokes about setting her up with the son of one of our friends. A couple years later, we had another girl and our friends had another boy. It was harmless fun to joke about setting our kids up with each other, but I wonder if that somehow stunted their "dating growth." I really did my best to set guidelines for my girls to set a reasonable expectation for how the whole dating process will work for them, but I'm not sure it's working.

To start it off. I set the dating age at the nice round number of 30. I figured by the time they reach 30, I should be starting to go senile and probably not realize they're dating. I am learning that 30 might have been a bit of wishful thinking. With one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool, I have already seen the signs that the horrors of daughters dating is coming up far too soon.

The first sign showed up a week or so into this school year. My little baby first grader was talking about the kids in her class. Some of them were from her class last year and others were new friends this year. As she was running through the list of names and some particular details that stood out to her about each of them, the first shocker came up. She mentioned that one of the boys was "handsome." Not funny, tall, good on the monkey bars....but handsome. Is it possible to be handsome in first grade? Where did she even learn that? I can only guess it's from hearing my wife introduce me to everyone as her extraordinarily handsome husband....who's an average writer.

At first I thought it was just a fluke, but that wishful thought was quickly gone. I heard this past week that my daughters were involved in a serious discussion about which of my four year old's two closest male friends should be her boyfriend and which should just be her BFF. It doesn't surprise me that she has a strong connection to her male friends. She is a little daredevil tomboy. What did surprise me though was the thought process behind her decision. The initial thought was that she choose the older boy to be her boyfriend because they were the same age. After a minimal amount of thought, she decided she would rather have his younger brother be her boyfriend because they "liked more of the same things." I was pretty impressed by that. (For the record - She ultimately decided to just be friends with both of them....I'm so proud.)

I may have been a bit premature getting concerned about my daughters dating, but it's good practice for when that day finally comes. I still have time to work on my intimidating line of questioning for their suitors and building up a collection of firearms and knives to be cleaning and sharpening whenever their dates arrive to pick them up. Who knows - maybe my daughters will just find awesome guys to date and save me the trouble....but where's the fun in that? Until next time....