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Future son-in-law: Do this … don’t do this

While we’re on the subject of words, let’s make it very clear that my daughter doesn’t consider “talking” a stage of a relationship. Talking and texting might be a way of communication but you need to be man enough to approach my daughter in a personal way (read FACE TO FACE) when it comes time to expressing how you feel about her. It shouldn’t be a Facebook relationship change first.

I’m sure you probably know this but only about 10-20% of our communication with one another is verbal (depending on the study you read). Nonverbal cues like making eye contact, wrinkling of your forehead, looking away when you say something, and smiling and turning your body sideways when discussing important issues are all communicating something. In fact, these cues (verbal and digital) might be in complete contrast to what you are saying. Don’t be a weenie and hide behind a cell phone to communicate important aspects of your feelings and intentions. Texting to break up or request a first date shouldn’t happen.

DON’T DO THIS: Flirt with her friends or roommates when she’s around, especially if you’ve already told her you’re interested in her (of course you wouldn’t do that since you read the first “DON’T” above but just in case…).

Women are very perceptive creatures. They pick up things like a glance away at an attractive woman who walks by your table in a restaurant, an ogle of a model as you turn your head to watch TV over her shoulder. Once you’ve made it evident that you are indeed MORE than interested in my daughter, she deserves your attention. I completely understand about the fact that you aren’t dead, you enjoy looking at beautiful things. But every time you take your eyes off of her to look at another you are basically telling her she’s second-rate. My daughter is NOT second-rate. She is beautiful and worthy of your attention, all of it.

Of course, if you are in complete agreement that you are not interested in her, look around all you want. But, keep looking because that kind of guy is not the kind of guy my daughter needs. There are too many men distracted by BSO’s already (bright shiny/sexy objects). She needs a man who will keep his attention on her and who’s not distracted by those things around her. If you want to have my daughter, you need to have made it clear that she is your pursuit (other than your pursuit of Christ, of course).

DO THIS: Make her feel special.

I’ve already covered this in the “DON’T” section above but as you’ve heard me say, my daughter is priceless and she deserves a man who makes her feel special. One who thinks of the things that make her happy, content and important. That’s going to require you to ask questions, get to know her likes and dislikes, and most importantly to listen to her. I am not sure if you noticed or not but men and women are different. First, we’ve already discussed the visual thing. You and I are woefully attracted to visually stimulating things.

Women are relational. Sure they are attracted to attractive people but what is more lasting for them than for us is that they are much more fulfilled when you will take the time to sit down with them and make them the object of your attention. And, to be honest it’s really hard for me to write this one. This might be my biggest Achilles heel. Yet, just because I’m not as good at it as I should be after 29 years of marriage doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. I know you have other interests and that’s a good thing. You don’t have to smother her (she is a strong woman and doesn’t need your smothering) but you do have to do things that tell her in nonverbal ways that she is the most important person in the world to you. I know you may not be there yet. I’m just helping you see what it will look like when you are at the point of contemplating moving to a more firm commitment with her.

I completely understand if you are just trying to figure out where you are at in your feelings for her. That’s cool. I just want you to think about what it will look like as you move forward because there is nothing worse than you committing yourself as a man to a woman who you can’t do this with, i.e., give your attention to. But, if you can’t listen to her in the early part of your relationship, your probably not the guy for her either.

Rant done … for now  🙂

Finally, there are many more things like this (the Do’s and Don’ts of dating my daughter) that we will have much time to discuss. Because if you understand these first two pairs of how to conduct yourself in a relationship, you are well on your way to being the man her mother and I prayed about before she (and likely you) were even born.

I’m excited to be able to meet you one day because you are interested in the young woman who God entrusted to me for the first 20 or so years of her life. She is now a woman who loves God, her family, and who is looking for that man who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated (and that man will be getting something very special when he responds in this way, let me tell you). If you read this and think that this is way too tough for you to do, you aren’t the right guy. Plain and simple.

My daughter will make all of her decisions so this isn’t a letter of threats or ordination into the family. It’s a letter that might help you see the preciousness of a daughter from the eyes of her father. One day, you’ll truly know what I’m talking about when you consider giving the hand of your daughter and passing the torch of being the man in her life to another man. One day …

Until then, enjoy your time getting to know her, “talking” to her (not a stage of relationship, remember) and determining through prayer and wise counsel if she is the one you are supposed to pursue as she does the same. I’ll be waiting to meet you.

Your potential future father in-law.

Jeff (or Mr. Abramovitz if you prefer.  😉

JeffAbramovitzBioJeff Abramovitz a social media speaker and consultant (2Degrees Media) and the general manager of iMinistries, a church/ministry website host and provider. Additionally he runs a ministry to men using online tools like his DadPad blog and DadPOD podcast to encourage men toward courageous manhood. Jeff lives in Little Rock, AR with his wife, Sue, of more than 29 yrs. They have three adult children.

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  1. M's Gravatar M
    May 22, 2014    

    What a lucky girl. I am sure she knows how special her father is. I wish I still had mine. He is the only man that never made me feel second rate.

    • Scott Williams's Gravatar Scott Williams
      May 23, 2014    

      M, it’s certainly a blessing to have had a father who cares for and values who you are. Sounds like your father modeled the love of the Heavenly Father, the only Dad who loves perfectly.

  1. Future son-in-law: Do this… don’t do this - on May 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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