Date Your Daughter Early, or Compete For Her Heart Later

BY: - 2 Oct '12 | Parenting

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The dating age is probably the least anticipated time in a father’s life.  Every dad, who has a daughter, will reach this point someday.  And I’m pretty certain it is one of the first things a dad thinks of when he hears the words, “it’s a GIRL!”  Well, it was for me.

The dating age seems to be the point where you are no longer number one in your daughter’s heart.  That can be heartbreaking for a dad!  And it can lead to competing for her heart to protect her from potentially bad and hurtful situations.

Whose hands will hold her heart?

If all of her relationships in the future will be perfect for her, and all the boys will have her best interest in mind, then being number two (or lower) would not be a concern.  But we know that may not be the case, primarily from our experience of being “that guy.”

So, if your daughter’s heart was won by someone who does not have her best interest in mind, that can lead to a very hurtful and crucial competition.

Your daughter’s first dates (plural), not first date (singular)

Taking your daughter out on her first date is probably not a new idea.  However, it should not end with the first date.  Daddy-daughter dates should be a regular event.

The intent is to not just show her the “how-to” of dating, but to provide another avenue to build your daddy-daughter relationship.  A great way to do this is through dating your daughter early, and consistently.  Doing so will grow your relationship, and lessen the need to compete later.

5 Reasons Why You Should Date Your Daughter, Early and Consistently:

  1. Show her she is special to you.    We have three children and the times when any one of them have our complete undivided attention is very rare.  Someone always needs something or is talking when the other is talking.  When you make it a point to get away with your daughter, on a regular basis, she understands she is special to you.  If there comes a point in a future relationship where she realizes she is not special to them, it may not be as demoralizing because you have already shown that she is special to you.
  2. Create memory “pegs.”    If you are like me, then you may not remember everything from your childhood years.  There may be some things that stick out to you more than everything else.  Consistent time spent and dating will create moments that stand out for years to come.  These “pegs” can serve as a reference point when she interacts with other people, in the near or distant future.  Those memory pegs serve as your voice when you are not there.
  3. Time flies.   Without fail every parent I know with older children says the time with your children goes by way too fast.  When your children are younger they have more “free” time.  As they grow into the tween and teen ages this time is quickly gobbled up by activities, time with friends, and other various interests.  At some point there may not be a lot of time for dad.  You definitely want to take advantage and spend as much time as possible.  If you have not spent the time early on, and want it later, there may be no desire for your daughter to do so as she is consumed with other things.
  4. Build your relationship.    Time spent and time communicating is “relationship building 101.”  You cannot build a relationship without them.  If you want to still have a place in your daughter’s heart and influence in her life as she grows older, the best way is to make sure you have a solid foundation for your relationship.  Without it, your chances of building it later may be more challenging.  When you have that foundation everything else can be torn down, broken around, and broken on top of it, but the foundation remains.
  5. To protect her.    My daughter is our first born child, and only daughter.  She has a VERY special place in my heart.  I have hurt her feelings before, and when it happened I was probably hurt more than she was.  I know she may have future relationships that hurt her heart.  When this happens I want her to know there is always a place she can come and feel loved and protected.  When she knows there is a safe place with you then you lessen the need to compete.

Don’t miss your opportunity

We are now reaching the point where our daughter has friends, activities, and interests that don’t always require or involve us.  I have dated and spent one-on-one time with her, but not as consistently as I wanted to.

For those dads that have never dated your daughters, or haven’t dated them consistently, like me, there is still time, no matter her age.   That inconsistency may have made it a little more challenging, but you can start today and still strengthen the relationship with your daughter.

Sift and protect her from the bad ones, prepare her for the good one

At some point all dads should want  to give their daughter away to someone who will treat her just as special, protect, love them, and create a special relationship.  Until that person comes along, there may be some who will not treat her that way.

Maybe I am being selfish, but I hope to have an upper hand on them, and lessen the need to compete for my daughter’s heart.  A helpful, and fun way to do so is dating her early, and consistently.

BMWK dads:  How are you preparing for your daddy-daughter relationship when she reaches the dating age?  Please share in the comment section.

BMWK daughters:  What would you have liked your dad to do, or not do, to build your relationship and help you be best prepared for future relationships?  Please share in the comment section.

About the author

Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. wrote 62 articles on this blog.

Jackie is an author, blogger, and speaker who helps men better love their wives and lead their families. He is the creator of The 7 Rings of Marriage™. You can receive his latest BMWK posts in your inbox, plus his latest marriage and parenting posts from around the web by subscribing to his weekly newsletter!


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15 WordPress comments on “Date Your Daughter Early, or Compete For Her Heart Later

  1. Nicole D. Taylor

    Wonderful! I missed out on this as a child but I am so thankful to the creator for sending me a husband who understands the importance of this! He routinely takes our daughter on dates and will sometimes rush home from work just to take her out while the sun is still up :). Needless to say, their bond is strong!

  2. Stephanie LH Calahan (@StephCalahan)

    Jackie –
    I’m not a dad and I only have sons, but I am the oldest in my trio of siblings and the only daughter. Ever since I was young my dad would take me out — just the two of us. We would go to dances (he was a teacher and I would go with him to school dances and Mom would stay home with my brothers) or shopping or just hang out.

    He treated me with respect — holding doors, talking with respect, considering my opinion in conversations, laughing and enjoying time together, etc. He taught me through his actions (how he treated Mom and me) what I should expect from other men that would come into my life.

    I’m now a Mom and have my own family, but I still get calls from Dad inviting me out to lunch — just the two of us. I still value that time very much and am grateful that I have had those experiences.
    Thanks for sharing this post,

  3. Pingback: “Fathers, be good to your daughters” | cccfaithathome

  4. joe

    This is a very good article, I’m a dad of two beautiful daughters 5 & soon to be 15. I do things weekly alone with my daughters focusing on them so I thought but its me that come away feeling good, reading this article just reinforces to me that I need and will continue to be consistent and make the time even when I tired or just want to be lazy. Thanks for showing me what’s and the end even before I get there.

  5. Pingback: Dating Your Daughter (Not in Some Creepy Woody Allen-Type Way)

  6. Bryan J.

    This was a pretty good read. I have 2 daughters now. My oldest doesn’t live with my wife and I, but because we have less time to be an influence on her, I recognize the need to date her, even if it’s short sometimes. As my youngest gets older, I plan on doing the same with her.

    Thanks for this list.


  8. Pingback: My Husband Treats My Son Like a Step-child | Black and Married With - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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Morehouse, Spelman Rank High in Top Colleges

BY: - 3 Oct '12 | On the Web

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Historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, have been at the forefront of some negative attention lately. With news of hazing at Florida A&M and Morris Brown College experiencing financial woes, it’s good to see that some of our colleges have something worth cheering about.

In a new national ranking of the top 177 colleges and universities in the country, Morehouse and Spelman both ranked exceptionally well in multiple areas. In the overall ranking system, Morehouse ranked #53 and Spelman came in at #57, which were over other well known schools like UC Berkeley (#59) and Johns Hopkins (#100). Rankings were based on 15 equally weighted factors, which determined the outcomes of the colleges’ graduates, including the success graduates experienced in life and their careers.

The two schools were in the top 10 in the following categories:

  • Friendship Development (Morehouse #1, Spelman #4)
  • Preparation for Career Success (Morehouse #5, Spelman #6)
  • Spiritual Development (Spelman #4, Morehouse #5)
  • Social and skill development (Spelman and Morehouse tied for #3)

A few of the factors the schools didn’t score as well in, which affected their overall ranking, include highest percentage of millionaires and highest percentage of high income (household incomes of $150,000 annually or more). One reason is because many alumni of these schools go on into professions that don’t earn very high salaries, such as teaching.

These rankings were contingent upon alumni feedback by a project called The Alumni Factor, which aims to give an objective ranking system of colleges for prospective students and parents, as well as give alumni a voice in their college experience, and universities a source of real testimonials.

About the author

Briana Ford wrote 143 articles on this blog.

Briana is a writer, influencer, and Shero who's California bred and Texas fed. When she's not explaining the world of blogging and social media to entrepreneurs and small business owners, you can find her sharing memes, gifs, and her life lessons on her blog.


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