If you want to talk about overbearing religion, you're talking to the right person. I was raised in a strict fundamental Christian home. I did all the purity pledges. I begged my parents for a purity ring that they were too cheap to get me. I remember seeing many father-daughter dances and purity pledges. If my memory serves, I missed most of those functions because of divorce in my family.
But I do have some good memories of my dad, and we are currently working on our relationship. Some of the best memories I have were when my dad took me on fancy dates as a teenager. Of course, the idea of these father-daughter dates being sexual or inappropriate was not even on the table.
I was excited to dress up. I was excited to get taken to a nice restaurant. I was excited to get one-on-one attention from my dad and feel special for the entire meal.
I don't have a daughter, but I have two sons. I'm well aware of the fact that teenagers are unpredictable and may not want to spend time with their parents, but I want to offer the same experience to my kids. I don't think it's creepy to take your son out for a meal and treat it similar to a date.
I would love to have this precious one-on-one time with my tween or teen sons, if they'll allow it. I also think it's important to mimic situations that my sons will soon experience in the real world: This includes how to behave professionally at a job, how to pay bills and even how to date. And let the record show that I don't care if my sons date men or women in the future. I just want them to know how to have a nice, possibly romantic meal with another person and treat their partner with respect.
Tom Burns of The Good Men Project says that he's not a fan of father-daughter dates because the trend only extends to one gender. He says, "Then why don’t moms typically 'date' their sons? Why do these 'dates' seem to be a strictly father-daughter phenomenon?"
To that, I say: Tom, I have the answer you are looking for. I'm going to date my sons, with their permission, to show them how to dine out respectfully in the real world. It's only weird if you make it weird.
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