Why Dads Ask ‘What Are Your Intentions With My Daughter?’


If you are a father of a daughter or trying to date a father’s daughter, there is a central issue that will need to be addressed. What are the intentions that both the girl and the guy bring to the relationship?

Dads ask ‘What are your intentions with my daughter?’, because those intentions are the foundation of a relationship that can lead to happiness or exploitation. Many fathers know that ‘playing around’ or ‘just having fun’ is not the point of what couples are supposed to be.

In this article we will look at what rightly directed intentions for couples should be, and warning signs dads are usually looking for. This is not intended to give unscrupulous guys the right words to say in order to convince a girl’s father, but to highlight what good intentions should look like and how to guard against bad ones.

My daughter Lex and I in Heidelberg, Germany.

Are Dads Controlling A Relationship By Judging Intentions?

Fathers have the inherent responsibility to be the protectors of their families. This extends to all members and in all facets of their lives. But what about the how, when, and whom of a daughter’s romantic relationships. Is it going too far for a father to judge the intentions of a guy and set limits on interactions?

A Dad inquiring about who his daughter forms connections with is not a father seeking excessive control. The purpose of a boy or man wanting to pursue a relationship with his daughter is of critical concern to a father. As a man, he is in a prime position to judge another man’s intentions.

There is usually no other man in the world with more of a desire for the wellbeing of his daughter in the immediate and in the future than her father. There are exceptions and bad fathers for sure, but by in large this is the case.

Daughters may feel stifled and suitors may feel scrutinized, but if a properly formed relationship is the goal, both should understand the oversight. If they do not, fathers usually see it as a red flag and begin to explore what each of them may be trying to hide.

Sometimes the resentment of a dad’s inquiries is a misunderstanding of a father’s role by his daughter, but sometimes there are issues the aspiring couple do not wish to be uncovered. This could be superficially based intentions her father may find immoral or malformed.

It is a father’s role to find out intentions, since the goal of any relationship should be pointing to a life long commitment of marriage.

To some, that last statement may come as a shock. So, let’s look at it more in depth with what intentions for relationships should be.

What Should Your Intentions Be In A Relationship?

Should ‘having fun’ or ‘seeing what happens’ be considered legitimate reasons for seeing someone romantically? What about getting experience in relationships in general? Should becoming ‘experienced’ be an honest goal? What should moral and right intentions be in any romantic relationship?

Proper and moral intentions in a romantic relationship should always, and without exception be open to a lifelong committed marriage. Dating is a new concept in history and has been extracted from the true intent of romantic attachments. Exploitation is the result of casual romance.

In today’s society that is losing its grasp on what is real, this way of thinking used by trillions of people over mellinia can seem alien. Courting was the traditional word used for centuries before the modern era’s changing of the nature of family. Family has always been the goal of couples in the past, and it is the foundation of all of our society.

Our intentions a couples should always be ordered toward our purpose for existence. Many search within their own minds for their personal purpose. Yet, the answer is much simpler. The purpose of men and women is: family.

Here is a simple way to put it that will make what intentions in a romantic relationship should be.

If mankind only protected itself, it would eventually die out. One generation would come and go. If mankind only provided food, one generation would pass and humans would become extinct. These goals and others support one central purpose in life for all humans. Men are to join with women and have children to form families.

Family is the foundational purpose of the human life.

So, what should the intentions of any romantic couple be? The goal of finding out if both the guy and the girl are willing to make the commitment of marriage and family is the central issue.

There are other supporting points to be considered like attraction, finances, religious devotion, etc. These are all important to consider, but the main one that many fathers should and are concerned with is whether the purpose of the relationship is pointed to permanency or exploitation.

Most all relationships not ordered to a committed life long marriage is plagued by selfish motives that seek to take from the other. This could be physical, emotional, or experiential, but it is meant to obtain and eventually leave.

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Responses To ‘What Are Your Intentions With My Daughter?’

Simply giving the proper one liners to a father asking this question is immoral and will eventually be found out. This dishonest type of action will lead to hurt and mental scars for all involved. But for those with truly honest desires to find someone to actually connect with, what are some of the things that intentions should be aligned to?

Responding to ‘What are your intentions with my daughter?” should show the intent to abide by physical boundaries, treat the girl with respect, and be open to the possibility of a lifetime commitment. Responses that contradict or ignore these criteria should be red flags for most fathers.

Let’s look at some responses that can show intentions and help parents form an opinion of a would be suitor for their daughter.

Good Responses To Fathers About Intentions Toward Daughters

I like her and would like to get to know more about her views, interests, and goals. I want to see if we are compatible and I won’t treat her as an object.

We have talked for a while and we seem to have the same goals and religious views. I would like to find out more about her.

I can’ lie, her smile is what first made me notice her, but now I want to find out if our personalities and future plans mesh well. I am not looking to play games.

With all of these responses, a father that really cares will naturally then ask about your future goals and plans. He may even ask you what you think the direction a relationship should be pointing is.

Yet, no predefined sentences will convey what true intentions are and they will come out eventually. These examples are more for those looking to align themselves with a proper goal for romantic attachments. They should be used as inspiration for genuine thoughts.

Bad Responses To Fathers About Intentions Toward Daughters

I think your daughter is smart enough to make her own decisions without outside advice. This is something we will discuss in private.

I know you see dating as just a prelude to marriage, but we are planning on dating for a while to have a little fun and hang out.

I haven’t really thought about it. I just plan on dating her for a while cause I am moving out of state next year.

These responses should be red flags to most fathers. They point to potential exploitation of their daughters for physical and emotional pleasure. No father wants his daughter to be treated as an object and used.

The first response is a disrespect to a father’s role and at the very least a boy that doesn’t know how to be a man, much less a father. Why would any father give their approval of a man-child?

The other two should be obvious. They come from a guy looking to use a girl for his own pleasure.

Personally I would have no problem throwing any boy or man out of my house if given these responses.

How To Know A Guy’s True Intentions

It can take a bit of thought, but intentions of guys looking to date girls can be seen in most everything they do. What are some of these things that fathers and mothers can for to understand true intentions behind some of the facade? And make no mistake, there is always a facade of some type.

This can become a bit more tricky when emotions are involved. Emotions cloud reason and though are nice and even helpful at times, they can cause us to blindly make bad decisions. Let’s look at a guy’s intentions from three main angles.

Girls: Someone You Are Dating

These are some of the signs to look for both in good and bad intentions. Girls need to understand that they are worth more than most people will give them credit for. Many guys are propelled by hormones that make them physically minded in relationships. Not all have bad intentions, but many are prone to bad judgement either way.

Signs Of Bad Intentions In Guys

  • Insisting on intimacy and advancement into sexual situations
  • Dismissive of issues important to you
  • Controlling where you go
  • Not being truthful
  • Hiding large parts of his life or communications with others
  • Disrespectful to his or your parents
  • Not interested in talking about future plans
  • Not interested in education or future career training
  • Spending time with other girls while involved with you
  • Having ‘good friends’ that are female (guys do not have good female friends without hoping for more)

These should be major signs that less than honorable intentions are held by the guy you are dating. One of the primary figures you should go to with these sorts of issues is a caring father.

Unfortunately, not all fathers are present or available. In this case seek help from grandfathers, uncles, or older brothers for advice. Guys know about the secret intentions others guys hold. They know the signs and though not always right, will have a realistic insight into their actions and motives.

What Do Good Intentions Look Like In Men?

If you are seeing any of these in the list below, you can take it as a good sign. Some guys are good actors for sure, and some may be trying to play a part. In time you will be able to see through an act though, and if these qualities still remain, his intentions could be pure.

  • Sets his own boundaries for sexual actions
  • Treats what you deem important as a high priority
  • Though having an opinion, respects your freedom to choose
  • His word is important to him and is honest
  • Though he keeps some things private, they are infrequent and non-critical issues
  • He treats your parents with respect and like his own
  • He has a general plan he is actively working on for the future
  • He is comfortable talking about future plans with you
  • He doesn’t have ‘close’ female friends

Though not every man will have all of these all of the time. We are all human and perfection is a goal that has seldom been realized even in specific areas.

Yet, the more of these that a guy possesses for a majority of the time, the more sure you can be about his intentions toward you.

Parent: Your Son’s Intentions With Women

So as not to be redundant, the lists above apply here too. If your son is showing signs from either of these lists, you can get a good idea of how he stands with attitudes toward women.

The problem comes when troublesome issues arise. How is a parent to respond?

One thing to keep in mind is that he is still your son, a member of your family, and not simply a friend. State the issues plainly and then move on. You cannot change intentions in someone what doesn’t want to live truthfully. But it is a moral obligation of parents to point them toward it.

For example: If you know your son is seeing another woman behind the back of another, it is imperative that he is told that he should be truthful with everyone. If he is hiding it, he knows it is not acceptable to at least one of them. If he tells them both, they are okay with it, and he is not married, then being truthful is what matters.

It is important that we hold ourselves and families to a moral standard. If every family did this one thing, nearly all of the world’s problems would disappear within one generation.

Parent: How Your Daughter Is Treated By Guys

If you see some of the attributes from the lists above in those wanting to see your daughter, you can have a better idea of intentions and the type of guy he is. It is not a foolproofly way to know upfront, but over time people tend to let down an act and the real person shines through.

It is our responsibility as parents to point out problems that can stave off mistakes that can cause lifelong scars. Betrayal, abuse, and neglect can all have this kind of toll both physically and mentally. Out daughters are our treasures, they should be treated that way.

In a study done by researchers at Rhode Island College and the University Of Iowa, men and women were shown to have different conceptions of the link between attractiveness and trustworthiness. It was further found that most women relate attractiveness to being trustworthy.

This could not be farther from the truth. A reasoned understanding admits that correlation does not equal causation. Just because a girl finds a boy attractive and he may be trustworthy, does not mean that they are linked. Many women have been taken advantage of in this regard.

That is why a father’s outside perspective is necessary and can ward off potential bad actors.

The What Are Your Intentions Takeaway…

All of this is to say, that if a guy is being respectful and allows some measured inquiry from fathers, it can make everyone more comfortable going forward. If on the other hand, a man wants nothing to do with questions or thoughts from a father, red flags should start going up.

Again, it is unfortunate that not all daughters have fathers that they can count on to have their best interests in mind. What is clear is that those who do should be grateful for the privilege that they possess.

To read more about parent and child interactions, see our articles…

Mathew Booe

Mathew Booe is a father of four, husband to Jackie since 1994, retired international competitor with over 50 wins, an international seminar instructor, a master instructor of hundreds of Little Ninjas each week, and the one bringing you the great content like you just read. Sign up for the newsletter to hear about his upcoming books before they are released to the public.

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