Disapproving Of Daughter’s Boyfriend

Dear Sara,

We have an eighteen-year-old daughter who is a freshman in college. Her mother and I are professionals and have more than adequate income and a nice home. I think of my daughter as naive. She is dating a young man who I don’t feel is trustworthy. He’s not in college and apparently doesn’t plan to go and works at a fast food place. She has an allowance and most of the time pays for their dates. She has brought him to the house a few times and he doesn’t make eye contact very often. I don’t want her to date this guy but I don’t think she would follow my advice. Is there any way to stop this relationship?

Dear Mark,

When a woman loves a man, she sees only what she wants to see. If you told your daughter negative things about her young man she would not believe you and would be angry with you. You can’t give her your maturity or good sense so all you can do is wait and see what happens and be there for her if she needs you.

This young man may be intimidated by your home and money and is afraid of interacting with you. He may have a plan other than college to support himself. He apparently needs time to mature. Your instincts may be right but your daughter will have to figure that out for herself.


  1. Granny in Ga says:

    Find something fun and constructive for your daughter this summer that gets her out of town. Internship? Job? Camp counselor? Take her on a road trip or cruise? Get her around other guys who are more productive. You should have been planning ahead for summer and vacations.

  2. Granny in GA has some really good ideas
    for possibly changing the coarse on this relationship for the better. Being concerned
    for your daughter’s well -being is a big deal.

  3. mpkoontz says:

    There’s lots and lots of things involved in this, so it’s hard to give an easy answer. Does the boy give the daughter something she can’t get from the parents? Does the daughter have a strong enough (personal) NO to decide what she really wants, and what she won’t tolerate?
    I agree, simply disapproving probably won’t work (but it MAY weigh in her decision making). Your daughter needs to develop “thinking” skills for herself. Try acting like it’s no big deal, but start asking her (like her friends might do) questions to get her to think: What do you like about him? What do you have in common? What are his dreams for the future? *Note: Unfortunately nearly all teenagers lie as naturally as breathing, so don’t bother asking these things of him. In fact, only ask questions about the “other” one (to them). Teach her to think for herself, and make sure she’s safe (and knows what to do if things go south). You might have to give her “trigger” scenarios to define (gone south) situations. For safety.:)

  4. Maybe the daughter’s parents could befriend the boyfriend, maybe even finding out why he’s not raising the bar for his own success. Maybe he doesn’t have support and encouragement. Maybe he feels judged. Maybe your daughter will tire of the attention…

  5. Uncle Phil says:

    My daughter was in a great college away from home pursuing a career in genetics when she met a boy who had no interest in college. He hated taking tests while he was in high school. He graduated high school with a less than stellar GPA. As her father I was very concerned that this young man would hold her back from becoming the best she could be. Skip ahead 18 years. My daughter is a certified genetics counselor with several advanced degrees and her own 14 year old daughter as intellectually gifted as her mother. The young man I had many concerns about sells tools from multiple tool trucks he operates over a large area of Texas. He provides his family with a very nice and loving home and standard of living. He employs 5 other people to help run his trucks and order tools and supplies. My daughter continues working from home as a counselor.

    The point I am trying to make is that as a father, I could not understand how my daughter with all her college education could have a good life married to a man with only a high school education. I was wrong. My son-in-law is a hard working loving husband and father and I am very proud of his accomplishments.

  6. Maybe your daughter needs less money for her allowance. Just a thought.

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