Winning a parent's approval in a new relationship is never easy.
If you've ever had to break the ice with your girlfriend's father, you'd know that can be the hardest of them all. So what can you do to win a dad over?
According to Reddit users, the options are endless. But things can go wrong, too. The user tgma97 asked, "Fathers of Reddit, what did your daughter's boyfriend do for you to hate/love him?" Then, we got some amazing relationship stories. Here they are below, starting with ways to win the father over and ending on how you can blow it.
1. Share some whiskey.
"My wife died whilst giving birth to our daughter, so naturally my daughter and I are very close. From a young age she would spend her spare time volunteering to help children who were ill or dying, and as she is a musician, she would also teach the children at the hospital I work at how to play the piano and guitar. Along with her kindness, she is the most beautiful young woman I have ever laid my eyes on. She has the sweetest smile and her mothers big blue eyes.
When she brought home this scruffy looking guy who hadn't done well in school, who was unemployed and trying to make his band successful, I didn't like him at all. I'm very sorry if I offend anybody but I just couldn't understand the attraction she had to him and hoped it would fade into nothing. She could do better.
About a year into their relationship, my daughter discovered that she was pregnant. My heart sunk, not because I didn't want a grand-child, but because I knew she hadn't planned it and I knew she was too kind to ever consider an alternative to keeping it.
Her boyfriend approached me one evening shortly after the pregnancy was announced, with a bottle of whiskey and asked if we could talk. I accepted the offer and we sat down and had a drink together. He confessed that he was scared to have a child but how he had already started saving money and how he'd started looking for a job. He explained how he knew that he wasn't good enough for my daughter but that he loved her with all of his heart and wanted to support her in her choice - even if that meant throwing away his music dreams.
I will admit, we both got very drunk and ended up getting along well. This boy I had first judged was actually a very nice, warm gentleman who simply wanted the best for my daughter and their future child. That was good enough for me, so I invited him to live with us and got him a job working at the same hospital I work for.
Today, I have two grand-children and my daughter and future son-in-law are getting hitched next weekend.
Edit: For those wondering, my daughter and son-in-law (need to get used to saying that!) are doing really well for themselves now. My son-in-law still works with me at the hospital (he is a nursing assistant, trained on the job) and my daughter has just qualified as a social worker. They don't own their own house but are no longer living with me or rely on me for any funds etc. I have a four year old grand-daughter and a two year old grand-son. My daughter was 20 having their first child and my son-in-law was 23. It has taken a long time for them to get on track but I am so proud of them both. As for the abortion comments, there was a time where I completely agreed with you, however, if I'd known how much happiness my grand-children have brought to our small family back then, the thought of an alternative would never have crossed my mind. Thank you to those who have submitted their lovely comments and best wishes, it is a very kind of you all." — dr-rude
2. Be an Eagle Scout.
"My father-in-law was really touchy around me, and you could see he wasn't really sure about the interloper in his daughter's life. I took him to a baseball game, and we got along alright, but he was still edgy. Afterwards, we were talking in his office when I noticed he had an Eagle Scout badge framed. I asked him what he did for his Eagle project, and we started talking, and I mentioned I was also an Eagle Scout. You could see his whole idea of me change almost instantly. He put in his Christmas letter that he approved of me dating his daughter, and we're now married with two kids and a third on the way." — irumeru
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
"After only dating a couple months, my girlfriend and her parents went on a group vacation with my family due to a couple dropping out last minute. After only a few interactions, I find myself eating oysters and doing shots of tequila with her father on a beach in the Dominican. He comes right out with, "I hope these oysters aren't putting too much lead in your pencil since you're sharing a room with my daughter." I'm obviously flustered and at a lack of words. He follows that up with, "don't worry, I know she is a sexually active woman. She gets her looks from her mother and her sex drive from me." That is followed up with a 30 minute conversation of his many "conquests." I think he likes me?" — DanishMuffin
4. Be good with siblings.
"My youngest son has a type of congenital myopathy that makes him very weak. While he can walk, he can't run or jump and falls down alot. Needless to say he finds this very humiliating (he is 16).
We were at a restaurant and my son was standing next to me with untied shoelaces. Unfortunately he tripped and, due to his weakness, could not catch himself, crashing heavily to the ground in the middle of a crowded restaurant. My daughters boyfriend, without missing a beat, immediately lay down next to him on the floor and asked him "how is it going down here" and otherwise made some small talk to ease some of my son's embarrassment.
He has always treated my son like his little brother but that selfless act was unforgettable.
Needless to say I have loved him like a son ever since." — mikechatdoc
5. Help him fix his car.
"Id say my GF father likes me, the first time I met him I was driving over to pick up my GF to go to the movies. I roll into the driveway and the garage door was open and inside was a '69 Mustang, parts strewn everywhere and a oil covered, greasy, and thoroughly pissed off man underneath said car.
He was trying to get something unbolted but was struggling to hold the part and operate the ratchet at the same time. I made note of said struggle and jumped underneath to help him. I figured I would give him a hand, then get up and meet my girlfriend and head out. But, we ended up getting along pretty well and I had lost track of time and before I knew it 2hrs had past. During this time, my girlfriend came out to find me working with her dad underneath this car and she just let it be and brought us some sandwiches and sweet tea. She was more than happy to skip the movie date because she saw I was enjoying myself and her dad was enjoying the help. Im gonna marry this girl and hopefully one day that car will become ours!" — IxJAXZxI
6. Crack the code.
"My daughter has depression. She's always been the black sheep of the family; the one daughter closer to me than their mom. She'd rather lay around and listen to Metal than go out with her sisters, and would rather go on a hike than shopping. Still, sometimes she does and wants things that I just don't get. I think a lot of the quirks come from the depression, and that's just hard to deal with sometimes. And it means she has needs, and it takes a special kind of person to deal with that correctly. She's my little girl, and I want only the best for her.
So then here comes this scruffy-faced, long-haired kid. When you talk to him you feel like you're talking to Plato in the flesh, but his school performance is less than stellar. He has a terrible work ethic, as far as I can tell. He was smart, but I just felt like he was destined to have no real-world success whatsoever. But I paid attention, because my daughter's not stupid, and I figured that there must be some reason she chose this guy.
Soon it became very apparent why. He gets her, and damned if it doesn't seem almost supernatural sometimes. She can be having a very bad day with the depression, but not long after she's with him she's laughing. And it's obvious he loves her, just from the way he talks to her, and looks at her - not in a lustful way, but in a caring way. I asked "Why him?" and she explained to me that for some reason, around him she feels calm and happy. She said that even when they first met, she could talk to him for hours and hours without getting tired at all, like she did with most people after a few minutes. They have this "dynamic" about them as well. She's practical and straightforward, with her feet on the ground. He's thoughtful and abstract, head in the sky. Together, they seem to keep each other in line. In fact, the whole way they operated reminded me of an old married couple.
And there's something just so damned likeable about the guy. You get a sense of honesty, integrity, and a healthy dose of idealism when you talk to him. He talks about how he wants to make the world a better place, and just by the way he says it you almost believe that he really could. So maybe against my better judgement, he got my seal of approval. My daughter wouldn't be happy with a someone practical, really. She needs someone like that, he makes her happy, and I think that's best for her." — ALurkingDad
7. Be a boy who does chores.
"The boy did chores without being asked. Hard to hate a boy who does the chores." — whatfingwhat
8. Be a carpenter.
"He's 26 and my daughter is 18. I don't like that. But he fashioned me a wooden desk and painted my office. That, I like." — WhatIfIWasYourMom
And here is how to not win approval...
1. Lack knowledge about tools.
"Growing up, I didn't learn about fixing household things or using tools in general (thanks dad). One time my girlfriend's father was working on fixing a washing machine. I offered to help him to 'demonstrate my value'. He gave me the job of keeping track of screws and tools. After a few minutes, he asked me for Phillips screwdriver. I did not know what that meant and didn't want to seem useless. So, I started looking at the labels of each screwdriver to hopefully find 'Phillips' label on one. Seeing that, he leaned forward and took it himself while giving me that look. I think the man lost respect for me ever since.
P.S. First thing I did coming home was to look up what the heck that meant. It turns out it just means crossheaded (+) screwdriver." — PostVictorianMan
2. Always order expensive stuff.
"Asked my dad if he ever hated any of my ex's and why. He told me one of my ex's would always order the most expensive thing on the menu when we all went out to eat and my dad was paying. My dad and mom turned it into a betting game after a while of which of the two most expensive dishes will my ex order." — AgentT3xas
3. Being a stereotypical Aussie.
"My dad didn't like my first boyfriend because he first introduced himself by saying 'gday mate'" — pringlelover
4. Make jokes about his truck.
"My ex's dad had one of those huge 90's dodge Cummins. He would "Coal roll" literally every car that was behind him. Sending a thick black cloud of diesel smoke over everything in his wake. One day, in front of my girlfriend, he was ragging on my truck (it's petrol) saying how I can't blow smoke. I simply said, "why is that cool?". He kinda tripped up, and just gave me that look where someone is pissed, but has nothing to say. Staggering for his words I think he realized that there was literally no answer to that question that didn't make him look like an asshole or a moron. He finally came back with a "your just jealous" or some shit, and that's when I layed down all the negatives of modifying your truck to do this. From torque to gas mileage I ran down every possible reason I could think of of why not to have exhaust like that. I even ended with saying, I thought it was classless and childish. All of this combined with the fact that I shut him up while his daughter was holding my arm visibly got to him. He of course had no retort. Dude never talked to me again. I was at bbqs, weddings, church with this guy and he never spoke to me again. He bought a jeep about 6 months later." — Spayed_and_neutered
5. Be too physical.
"Not a father, but I can tell you why my girlfriend's father hates me because he said it to my face.
Please note: my girlfriend is a masochist and a "little", both of her parents are aware of this. Her mother doesn't mind, she even thinks our dynamic is interesting. Her father, however, is 100% against our relationship because I "willingly hurt her," which is true to a degree I guess, but he takes it out of context.
So, on top of that, I'm also a trained fighter, and have been training my girlfriend.
Her father has told me, "Not only do you get in fights for fun, you're also a woman beater and a manipulator. Son, if your nose was on fire I wouldn't spit in your face." — _TakeaChillPill
Good luck out there, people.
Do you have a story? Let us know in the comments!