Many dads are very protective of their daughters. Some see them as perfect and innocent, and see someone who wants to date them as a corrupting influence. Some dads won't trust their daughters' love interests, no matter what. However, if you present yourself as someone trustworthy, friendly, and who respects his wishes regarding his daughter (at least when he is around), you greatly increase the chances that he will learn to trust you. This can help you avoid various problems and conflicts as your relationship with your girlfriend develops.
Method 1 of 3: Prepare
Step 1. Learn about your dad
Talk to your girlfriend about her dad and find out what you can about him. Knowing about his personality and interests can help you make interactions with him easier.
- If you don't know him yet, find out about his temperament and personality. Knowing what to expect in this regard will allow you to better prepare yourself mentally to interact with him.
- For example, if your dad is a laid-back guy with a good sense of humor, you might have to come up with a few suitable jokes that you can tell when you're with him. On the contrary, if he is a serious, grumpy or even hostile person, you will have to prepare yourself so that you will not be surprised if he is unfriendly to you.
- Find out about their interests and values. This can help you figure out things to talk to him about, especially if you can find things that you have in common. They can be very deep topics (for example, political or religious beliefs) or very simple (for example, being a fan of a sport, hobby or television show).
Step 2. Talk to your girlfriend about meeting her dad
Tell your girlfriend that you want to talk to her dad and tell him that his daughter would like her to get to know you better. This will set the stage for spending some time together.
If she wants to say some nice things about you to her dad when you're not around, that can help too. You could suggest that they bring up an achievement you've recently achieved (for example, a promotion, scholarship, or athletic victory) or mention something you have in common. This can help make things easier by giving you something to think about about yourself that is positive
Step 3. Spend time with him
For most people, spending time with someone helps increase comfort with that person (assuming your time together is a positive experience). Even the toughest dad will be prone to developing confidence in you after seeing you regularly.
- If you don't know your girlfriend's dad yet, keep in mind that the first meeting with him will be especially important because it will create an impression of you as a trusted person. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression; so do what you can to make it good if you don't already know it.
- Spending time with your girlfriend's dad can be awkward and difficult, especially in the beginning. Do your best to stick it out and get the most out of it - it will be worth it in the end if you can develop a trusting relationship with him.
Method 2 of 3: Present yourself as a trustworthy person
Step 1. Dress well
When spending time with your girlfriend's dad, dress in a way that makes you look trustworthy. Adult clothing is best, ideally in a “smart sport” style. You will have to look neat and non-threatening.
- Wear a clean, well-fitting button-down shirt and pants. Don't wear clothes that are dirty or have pictures or words that might be offensive to his dad.
- This will be especially important when you meet him.
Step 2. Shake his hand
When you greet your girlfriend's dad, give him a firm handshake and look him in the eye. This shows respect and kindness.
Don't grip his hand too tightly or hurt him. For the same reason, don't give a soft, weak handshake. This can lead to a less favorable impression of yourself
Step 3. Be polite
Every time you spend time with your girlfriend's dad, be respectful and polite. Say "please" and "thank you", don't curse and generally use your best manners. Many people see good manners as a sign of good moral character.
Always address your girlfriend's dad in a respectful manner. You can call him “Mr. (last name)”, unless I tell you that you can call it something else. Formal treatment is a sign of respect and good judgment
Step 4. Be confident
While you may feel nervous or uncomfortable around your girlfriend's dad, act in the safest and most comfortable way you can. Look him in the eye when you speak, stand tall and avoid nervous movements.
- Showing nervousness can sometimes give the impression that you are hiding something.
- At the same time, don't be overly confident or flashy. This can also be unattractive to people, or it can suggest that you are inauthentic.
Step 5. Talk about positive things
When you talk to your girlfriend's dad, talk about the things you like and the things you think you're good at. Do not presume; However, talk about things that project a positive character to you. Involve your girlfriend in the conversation and talk about what the two of you enjoy doing together.
- Talk about what you like about school or work, or about hobbies. Most people prefer to talk to people who are positive. Don't grumble or complain.
- If you have hobbies or interests in common with your girlfriend's dad, talk about that. Whether it is sports or spirituality, people are more likely to trust others if they feel that they are similar to them.
Step 6. Don't drink too much
If you are old enough to drink and are offered a drink while spending time with your girlfriend's dad, it will be fine to have a glass or two (unless he doesn't like to drink at all). However, don't overdo it.
- If you have too many drinks to drink, you will be more likely to say or do something that might seem unreliable to your girlfriend's dad.
- Even if you don't do something to alert him, many people view drinking too many drinks as irresponsible or as a sign of weak moral character.
- Don't drink if you have to drive a car!
Method 3 of 3: Interact with your girlfriend when her dad is around
Step 1. Be affectionate, but not overly affectionate
Your girlfriend's dad should notice that you have a true affection for his daughter; however, you should also be careful not to do something that could make you feel uncomfortable.
- Do things that show how much you care for her daughter while suggesting that you are respectful. Behaviors like opening the door for her, pulling a chair to sit on, and generally being affectionate to her can help her see that you are treating her daughter the right way.
- Mild physical affection (for example, holding hands, hugging, or kissing on the cheek) will likely be correct behavior as well. However, do not adopt a sexual attitude in front of your girlfriend's dad. Do not touch her, or give her tongue kisses or things like that.
Step 2. Be attentive to her, but not exclusively
When your girlfriend talks, make it clear that you are paying attention to her, as that shows you respect her. However, don't pay too much attention to her to the point of neglecting her dad or other people who might be nearby.
- You will have to make it clear that their daughter is important to you, but you will also have to show that you are socially competent and respectful of others. Nobody wants to feel ignored or left out.
- If you don't get involved with your girlfriend's dad, he won't be able to get to know you or see that you are trustworthy.
Step 3. Respect the rules of your girlfriend's dad
Respect her rules regarding her, at least when she's around. Don't act like you know better than he does what is best for his daughter.
- If you stay at his house and he expects you to sleep in separate rooms, do so without complaining.
- If your girlfriend still lives at home and has time restrictions, make sure she is always on time. This will show that you respect their dad and that they can trust you.
- Remember good manners.
- Respect the ideas and beliefs of your girlfriend's father. Try not to dwell on sensitive topics (for example, religion or politics) unless you are sure they share the same beliefs as you.
- Saying "Yes sir" will be very helpful.
- Go for some light humor at first and go from there. Try to stay away from the blackest humor at first.
- Smile naturally. A goofy smile will look bad and a stressed look will indicate how you feel about meeting your girlfriend's dad.
- If your dad has a particular interest like playing the trumpet, try to learn it too or learn more about that topic of interest.
- If you smoke, limit tobacco use in front of your girlfriend's parents. Also, limit alcohol consumption. On the other hand, do not hesitate to accept a glass of wine at dinner if you wish, as long as you are of legal age and you do not have to drive a vehicle.
- If your girlfriend's dad threatens you or becomes aggressive, take it seriously and get out of there as soon as possible. Sometimes a father can be so protective of his daughter that he will threaten or even commit violence against the boy in whom she has a romantic interest.
- If you are a military officer (whether active or retired) try as much as possible to avoid doing the "military salute" (stand firm and put your hand to your temple). It would make you look like a not very serious person since you are not a soldier nor are you in the barracks.
- Try to always express yourself clearly and in your native language. Do not try to speak in other languages that they do not know, it can make you look pedantic and that makes a very bad impression.