How to Interview Your Daughter’s Date

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I had prepared my daughters for several years.  I let them know that when they were at the stage of life where they could start a relationship with a young man, I would need to interview him first.

So when our oldest, Megan, was asked to the high school homecoming dance, it was time. Even though I prepared Megan for the moment, she was still completely embarrassed that I was going to talk to this nice young man.   Nevertheless, he came over to the house with his father.  After we caught up, I asked him, “If I gave you a million dollars what would you do with it?”   He sheepishly answered, “I guess I’d put it in a safe place like a bank.”  I continued.  “Well, Megan is worth much more than that, in fact, she’s priceless.   And I want you to make sure you take care of her and keep her safe.  If others are drinking or doing wrong things, I want you to do the right thing.”   “Yes sir”, he responded.   “Also, I want you to treat her with great honor.”   Of course, he shook his head in agreement.

After our little get together, I asked this young man to help me play a joke on my paranoid daughter.  He would call her after and say that I had a Bible in my lap and a baseball bat in my hand and started preaching to him while thumping the bat against my palm.  Well, he told her and she took the bait and came home in a tizzy.   I told her it was a joke but she didn’t believe me until several weeks later!

By interviewing young men that want to spend time with my daughters, I’m sending a message to them, and to my girls, of just how valuable my daughters are and how much they mean to me.

Do you interview your daughter’s dates?  Any stories you want to share with me?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Capj99

    Wow. Not sure on this. Would love other suggestions. She is precious for sure, honor her?

  • LAJ

    I will tell you as a daughter, I was very proud that my dates had to ask my father if they could date me.  I never regretted that I did it.  And as I think back, now that I am older and have been married to a wonderful man for over 26 years, I don’t think anyone turned me down.  If I was asked out I would tell the young man that I did not accept dates, but my father did.  If they wanted to go out with me they would need to ask my father.  I think it spoke a lot to the guys that I had great respect and love for my father.  So not only does it send a message to the young guys that this girl is priceless to their father, BUT it also tells them that I loved and respected my dad.

  • Dr Richard Norris

    It is interesting. I look forward to interviewing my daughter’s dates (a few years off). I will also be instilling in my son to ask a girl’s father if he can date the daughter. As I heard today, it is important to instill in the young man that they are to respect and honour the young lady who is someone’s future wife and is to pbe presented whole and pure – the ultimate gift.

  • Tom

    I definitely hope my sons want to date girls with Dads who make them meet with them!  Even though I trust my sons and have always taught them to respect women, this would be a great lesson for them.  It sends a great message.  I tell all my male friends with daughters the same thing.

  • Rob Boyland

    I have interviewed my daughters two boyfriends.  First one moved away, and the second one has been her boyfriend through high school and now into college.  I completely agree that Dad’s must interview their daughters potential dates.  A Dad can usually smell out any trouble..after all, we were boys once too!  Also, this is a great way to honor your daughter and let her know how much you love her and that she is worth the young man’s possible discomfort…and if a boy won’t meet you, that should tell her and you something right away about his character and intentions!

    Lastly, I encourage all Dads to not only interview, but mentor the boys as well.  As you get to know the boy (and getting to know them more than the interview is a must) plan on meeting with the boy every month (or more if possible).  Ask him how he has been honoring your daughter, if he is staying true to his promises in keeping your daughter pure, and how his spiritual life is going.  Many great conversations can come out of those meetings that may have eternal impacts!

  • Nathaniel

    My daughter is 14 right now, so I have a few years. When the time comes, I plan to interview this young man as if he could be my future son in law. I would want to know what his goal are for HIS future and if he would be open to learning from me as man. I would ask him if he attends church right now, what attracted you to my daughter and does he get along with the woman in his family. If he can take this honest scrutiny from me and not get bothered by it, would we have started off on the right path.

  • Scavendish

    What should a single mother say to potential dates?  They sometimes don’t take treat the mother with the same respect…..

  • momof2sons

    When my now 18 year old son was 16 there was a girl that he wanted to take to rec night at church.  Her parents wanted to drop her off at our house and meet us and our son, which we were happy about.  The dad came off as a little scary as he basically said the same things to our son as you did to your daughter’s date.  I made it clear to them that parents of sons need to be just as concerned about the girls they date these dates.  In our experience working with the youth, the girls these days are MUCH more forward than the boys and they tend to chase after the boys.  After my son dated this girl for a few months, I found out later that she was the one pressuring him and he said he made it clear to her that he wanted to keep their relationship pure, and they eventually broke up.  So what is your advice for parents of sons?  How do we know that the girls our sons want to date will behave like “young ladies” around our sons?  Too often I feel boys get a bad wrap, when the reality is that in today’s culture girls can be as bad as boys.

  • Why?

    I would also like your advice to single mothers on how to interview potential dates for both my son and daughter. Quite often I have found that as a single mother I am not taken as seriously as a male relative would be.

  • Matt Riedemann

    I will have a very to the point conversation.

  • MPmike

     A few years, maybe a year or two? A lot of teens are dating in middle school. That would be nice to wait that long. More power to you if it’s the case.

  • Leah Christensen

    Hubby and I eloped in AZ. We were not living at home when we met or anywhere near my parents. They trusted me completely, but my wonderful Daddy still flew all the way from Toronto to AZ to check him out!!! We had a great visit! Five years later, everyone is still happy, and getting along.

  • Mark Merrill

    LAJ, that is awesome! Appreciate you sharing.

  • Mark Merrill

    Richard, glad you shared that…I agree that we need to hold our sons to the same standard.

  • Mark Merrill

    Rob, great suggestion on the mentoring.

  • Mark Merrill

    Momof2, I think you are right about the aggressiveness of some girls. In our home, my wife has spoken with the young lady that my son was interested in.

  • Mark Merrill

    Scavendish, I do understand that may be more of a challenge.  Perhaps you should let the young man know that since the father is not there, your responsibility is to fill the role of speaking to him. And then clearly outline your expectations. Remember, if they are not treating you respectfully, they probably won’t treat your daughter respectfully either.  

  • Mark Merrill

    Why? please see my response below to Scavandish

  • Kayt

    What about parents who want to interview our son’s dates. You see, one day my son will inherit all of our estate. He will be worth a lot of money and girls can be after the wrong things as well.  I find it odd when I hear of how fathers will want to interview my son when he wants to take ayoung lady out for a date and I chime back in saying that I will do the same to any young lady who wants to be in a relationship with my son and they look at me like I am nuts.  Why is it not a two way street? Please Mark Merrill I do so much need your advice. Thank you for listening.

  • Baker0821

    My son is 7 almost 8, and my daughter is 5 so i have awhile.
    I look back now to when I started dating, and  I wish some parents were more involved and protective.  Not that I treated my dates with any type of disrespect, I just sensed a lack of interest in who they were letting their daughters go out with.

  • Sheila

    As a single mother of two girls, I not only interviewed dates but I also set a pattern of expectations for both my daughters futures. If the young men were in school they had to be making good grades. If they were out of school they had to be employeed and if they had a car they had to show me a drivers license and proof of insurance. Not only was I taken serious, I was also treated with respect and I knew my daughters were with responsible young men.

  • Amy

    Isnt there a reverse question page? I have 3 boys, 15 &12, and as someone mentioned above, the girls today are very aggressive and dress like they belong in a strip club. I always point those type of girls out to my boys and they have/are learning. I always tell them, they way they treat me will be the way they treat their wife. i havent been disappointed. The doors are opened, the chairs are pulled out, they stand when I get up from the table. Not always, but most of the time. God has blessed me

  • Mark Merrill

    Kayt, I think its a good idea to interview your sons date. Go Kayt!

  • Mark Merrill

    Amy, it does sound like you are blessed with some gentlemen.

  • Douglasdmd

    I had told my daughter since she was a little girl that she could not date until she was 16 and that Mom and I had to meet the prospective suitor first atour home for an interview. Only after that meeting with the perspective date, and after we had a chance to talk would she then be able to date as long as we all agreed. Under no condition could the person have the interview and date the same evening.

    My wife and I would share our values in a give and take dialogue that would always lead to a discussion about doing the right thing. This included his support of our values when dating our daughter. It always included a discussion on sex, God’s design and the proper place – marriage. We wanted the young man to know our expectations about honoring the values we taught our daughter.

    These conversations usually went well. When my daughter was a senior in college she confided in me that I gave her a reputation in school about how strict I was, and that she really appreciated the love and support

  • Mark Merrill

    Way to go, Douglas. Your daughter will never forget your demonstration of your love for her.

  • Steph loves Jesus

    No daughter of mine will be dating in middle school. That would be very irresponsible, in my opinion.


    I totally agree its goes both ways.  I’ve taken the 10 chivalrous acts message and shared with my kids now…3-16yr olds (2 girls 1 boy) 1-15 yr old boy.  Interview them, mentor them, study them.  Showing my kids how to study people and learn about them through their actions, body language and family values.

  • Icmo37

    i am a single mom, and dad is not in the picture, he abandoned my children few ywears back, i tried to tell my childreen, inclusing my boy about this article and and they think i am just too controling, maybe i am though i think it is the right thing to do.

  • Mama Bear

    My daughter is 17. She has been dating a guy “Joey” (18) for over a year now. “Joey” had tried for a year before this to date her. I have always loved Joey! Very respectful! He is from South America! I sat him down and told him the expectations;;; treat her like a lady – no drugs – drinking parties…etc. He promised. After the prom – I found out that Joey had dranked 1 beer. He first lied to my daughter when she asked him…then she let him have it! Saying she was very disappointed in him. I also talked to him and told him that if he drinks – he will not date my girl. He promised he would not drink again. A year later (this weekend) he went to some friends High school graduation party. He knew his friends would be drinking … daughter asked him not to go ..she didn’t have a problem with him hanging with friends….just didn’t want the drinking. He got mad and said he wasn’t going to sit at home while his friends and himself celebrate graduation. She told him there were other ways to celebrate without drinking….and she didn’t want anyone who would act all wild to be with her. He told her that he would drink just a few drinks and not get drunk. He said he was going and that was it.. she wasn’t his mom. He got mad and said he wouldn’t text her. (I know this bc I was placing some clothes in her room and saw the text pop up on her phone) She wasn’t happy with his decision. My teen daughter talked to him about the dangers of drinking… she learned that from my no 24 year old son.. I got him to talk to her one day about “parties” and what could happen if you drink. Joey did tell her he wasn’t going to drink… she was so proud of him. He said he would be the driver. Next day he calmly tells her that he only dranked 2 beers. She was heart broken… If he had gotten drunk drunk.. I feel like she would have broken up with him… but I am afraid that she will let this one slide although she is heart broken. I am waiting for the chance to talk with hi… my husband says to leave it alone and let out girl handle it – that she will make the right choice.. to me if she stays with him – knowing he will continue to do this…. it’s not the right choice. He may have another party this upcoming weekend… Im tempted to see how he does there. As far as I am concerned he has lied twice already about drinking. He’s either going to stop drinking with friends and/or resent my daughter bc she doesn’t want him to drink. But we made it very clear at the beginning and the middle of this relationship that drinking is not acceptable! If he goes off to College…that’s another issue. Help!

  • Ana

    I am a 17 year old daughter about to have her first date on Friday, and I will admit I am terrified of my dad talking to him. Did it ever scare the guys at all? I’m not sure how my date will react and am just afraid of him panicking. Any advice would be great!! Thank you!!

  • Walter Roop

    Wow, Just in time. Thank you, Mark!

  • Ginmar

    What about single moms of daughters? What do we do?

  • Rob Boyland

    One thing I really noticed during my oldest daughters High School years were the number of friends she had that were being raised by single moms (most of them), so I understand your plea! I can tell you that I have offered up the same interview and mentoring of the young men in their lives as well, and I can tell you that they were very happy to ask for that when a boy came into the picture.

    I still have a mentoring type relationship with my oldest daughters husband to this day. And even in their 20′s, her friends still ask me about meeting potential dates. I feel that girls who do not have a dad filling that role are even more hungry for a man to step into this role than those who have a dad in their life.

    I would suggest you speak to your pastor or a trusted male friend that would fill that role in your daughters life or could offer up some suggestions of men who would be honored, willing (and able) to mentor these boys. Would be good if it is someone who has already shown your daughter a genuine, respectful love that she would feel comfortable with. Being intentional with men in asking them not only helps your daughter in the long run, and the boy as well, but utilizes a gift that men can offer up to a single mom like yourself! This is where men in your local church must step up and lead well in the lives of their immediate families and the lives of the single mom families around them!

    I pray, Ginmar, that you are able to find a man who will fill this role for your daughters!

  • Pete O’Brien

    I had heard a Christian radio program a while back where the Dad insisted that anyone who wanted to date his daughters (he had 5 girls) had to first attend 2 Sunday dinners with the family BEFORE THEIR FIRST DATE . His feeling was that a young man did not just date the daughter, he was becoming a part of the whole family. As the story goes starting with the oldest daughter many, many young men balked at the concept. Some even attended only one dinner, never to return or able to take the daughter out. One young man said yes he would comply with the fathers wishes. He attended 2 sunday dinners, took the daughter out and has since attended many more family events. Oh, the oldest daughter is very happy with Dad’s terms as this young man dated her all through high school and into college. When they graduated from college he asked her Dad for her hand in marriage – they have now been happily married for over 8 years. All of the other suitors of the other 4 daughters have also had to attend 2 family dinners BEFORE the first date!