To my daughters on dating

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Dear lovely daughters of mine, 

It’s not easy for me to think about dating when it comes to you. Maybe a lot of it has to do with my work. Mostly, it’s because I love you so much, want to protect you and what’s best for you. As you grow and have relationships with dudes you’ll have to make your own decisions but here are a few things to watch for when you think about dating and relationships.

Look for a young man, not a boy 
so that you can grow as a young woman and not stay a child. 

And in this young man look for one who 

follows Christ first 
so you are encouraged to do the same without restraint and you’re not put in the place in his life/heart you aren’t meant to be. 

who looks people in the eye and has a firm handshake 
so your parents (ie. your father) doesn’t think he’s sketchy.
(Well, honestly your father still may think he’s sketchy after all that anyways. But that’ll be my problem to get over, not yours or his.) 

Is kind 
so you are valued and treated well 
so that your worth is never in doubt.

is responsible 
so you can trust and respect him.

is able to apologize and laugh at himself 
so you can too and continue to let go of perfectionism and control.

is courageous and mature enough to exhort and encourage you 
so you don’t hold all the accountability and responsibility of truth speaking and end up being another parent to him but have a mutually edifying relationship.

is gracious 
so you can make mistakes and be yourself around him.

is pursuing purity and protects yours 
so you can be protected from 
being defiled or shamed in this area.

lives with purpose and knows who he is or lives with a sense of discovery and desires growth so you are free to pursue yours and expressing who you are doesn’t intimidate him or make him feel insecure.

shows an interest in your family 
so you don’t feel isolated or your loyalty doesn’t feel divided and your parents (father) can trust/like him.

is free from addiction 
so you don’t get sucked into its destructiveness.

is generous, not selfish 
so you sense he loves and cares for you, not just himself.

This list isn’t meant to be burdensome or some impossible standard. 
Relationships are hard enough. 
I hope it’s actually freeing in that it helps you to find someone who can pull his weight and share the burden as well as the joy and peace of a healthy relationship. There might be many boys who find this list unrealistic but I am still optimistic that there are young men who might rise the challenge of it, who aspire to be men of character and not shy away from it.
I believe it might benefit them too in their desire to be the man God wants them to be.
Thank you for listening to my heart for you. Remember to trust and seek God and wise counsel to pursue God’s best for you. Please always feel free, as awkward as it might be, to come and talk with me about relationships and what is going on in you.
Love,
Daddy 

Published by

Sovann

Licensed professional counselor and health coach in Portland, OR
Pre-marital and couples counseling.
Individual counseling for anxiety, depression, insomnia, sleep disorders, sexual addiction, porn addiction, career, transitions, grief, burnout, personal growth.

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