Dating is a rite of passage for teenagers, right? They catch a movie or grab a bite to eat. They make out. It’s what they do… most of them, that is. Our daughter is 16 years old, and she has yet to go on a date.
Our precious daughter is not undateable by any means. She’s smart, funny and pretty, and the boys are lining up to take her out. So why doesn’t she date? Because Dad says, “No.”
Before he met the love of his life (me!), my husband was a serial dater. He loved showing the gals a good time. It’s for this very reason that he feels so protective of our first-born kid. “I was a teenager once, and I know what those boys want from her.”
“But we raised her to make good decisions — to be a good judge of character,” I argue, to which my significant other responds, “Oh, I trust her. It’s the boys I don’t trust.”
I try another tactic. “Don’t we want her first dating experience to happen while she’s here, under our roof… before she goes off to college?” Again, my stubborn hubby has an answer. “The boys in her school aren’t good enough to date our daughter.”
I’m between a rock and a hard place. Our daughter confides in me and talks to me about the boys she likes and those she’d love to get to know better. When it’s time to ask Dad for permission, he wants to see Facebook profiles of the prospective date and know how he asked. (“Did he ask you out face-to-face or send a SnapChat?”). The kid could be on his way to West Point and it wouldn’t really make a difference in my husband’s mind.
I’m really frustrated that we can’t come to a reasonable agreement about this. I won’t go behind her dad’s back to give our daughter the OK because we really want to present a united front — but that’s really tough to do when we’re on opposite sides of the issue. Sadly, our daughter doesn’t even ask anymore. She just politely turns down her suitor, rather than waste her time pleading his case to Dad.
So I beseech you, dear readers, to help a poor mom who’s stuck in the middle. How can I help my husband see the light so our daughter doesn’t feel like she’s living in a convent? Any advice you can offer below is greatly appreciated.
This author wishes to remain anonymous.