“So … You want to date my daughter/son!”
The following is an outline I’ve used in conversation with potential candidates to date my daughter. This conversation should be preceded by a conversation with your son or daughter to candidly establish expectations and give them a “heads-up” about what to expect. In my experience, my own kids are more concerned about this conversation than the person who wants to date them. If you are talking to a daughter, especially, I would encourage dads to have “Mom” present for later interpretation on our behalf. 🙂
“This conversation may seem strange, so I want to help you understand why I want to talk with you. I love my daughter and I want you to know just how important she is to me and to our family. (Explain in your own words … I just described my love for my daughter from the moment she was born until now.)
In our home we believe in boundaries (may need to explain). We believe they are important to keep us focused on the right things and to keep us healthy. I can’t expect you to understand or live within those boundaries unless I share them with you, so that is what I want to do today.
Here at the house
In the car
Safety of my daughter
Respect for us (parents), our family and home
I want you to know, though I expect nothing but the best, most gentlemanlike behavior from you, what the consequences are when someone violates the boundaries … (whatever your household rules call for in these situations).
One more Boundary that is VERY important …
Our daughter is a part of this family and it is my primary responsibility to protect her. That means physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually. I am sure that I don’t have to spell these out to you, but it is only fair that I let you know what this set of boundaries look like so you can abide by them.
On this last topic, I want you to understand that my daughter’s honor and virtue belong to our family (not just to her) … until she is married. Then it belongs to our daughter and her husband. It is the same for your family. Your honor and virtue belong to you AND to your family. Should (or when) you find yourself considering this boundary, understand that what you will consider taking is not my daughter’s to give you. You will be taking something precious from me and my family.
One last thing: if you ever break up, I expect you to treat my beloved daughter (and her reputation) with respect (and she you/yours).
I hope we can agree on these boundaries. Do you have any questions? Do you understand how important these matters are to us? If so, I’d like your promise and commitment to abide by these boundaries. (Shake hands … and squeeze REAL hard – just kidding!)