An everyday girl dad discusses: patrolling a daughter’s dates

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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Do you know what is 1675667th place on my list of things I find a need to tell my daughters?

It is: if someone breaks your heart I will be there to hunt them down in the middle of the night with you. For my own selfish purpaoses of wanting a term for this kind of thing but not knowing what that term is, I’m calling this the practice of patrolling a daughter’s dates.

I’m going to say this every day from now on to as many people as I can: the role of a dad to daughters is not to tell them you’ll get revenge on anyone who “breaks their heart.”

I urge you to dig a little deeper and to build a relationship that goes  well beyond this type of rhetoric. I KNOW PEOPLE SAY IT AS A JOKE. THE POINT IS THAT THIS JOKE IS NOT FUNNY.

What are some of the things we can say to our daughters then if we are worried about supporting them as they grow up and maybe start having relationships with other people?

A list of things better than patrolling a daughter’s dates:

Maybe tell them that some day they might find someone they find special and things might not work out. And you’ll be there to talk about it. You will be there to cry with them if they want, to hug them if they want, and to talk about how it feels for them.

Remind them, and remind yourself, that their value isn’t based on the relationships they have or don’t have.

Talk about all the relationships you have had that didn’t work out. Mention what went well with some, what you miss about some of those relationships, and how you now get to sit on a bed talking to your amazing child about the them going through the same thing.

Don’t suggest people they have expressed feelings for are assholes or terrible people. Remember, they just told you they had feelings for this person. Don’t discount these feelings by telling her they were wrong for her to have.

Let them know they don’t need to be in any relationships at all if they don’t want to.

Talk all damn day and all damn night if you have to.

Just fuck off with the shotgun images and boyfriends.

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