Meeting the dad is a scary step in any relationship. Even dad's who aren't close with their daughters can be overprotective once that daughter has a man in her life. When you want to win over your girlfriend's dad you will need to take a few steps and have a plan.
- Do your homework. Get to know your girlfriend's dad by talking to her. Let her share what her dad likes, what his hobbies are and what he does for a living. Your greatest ally in winning over her dad is your girlfriend. Let her help you and pay attention to any insight she has about her dad.
- Value his daughter. Dads were once young men too. They remember what it was like to lust after anything in a skirt. Her dad will suspect your motives if you are anything less than respectful toward his little girl. Treat her well and he will respect your efforts. Speak to her with respect, listen when she speaks, open doors and demonstrate general courteous behavior toward her.
- Shake his hand firmly. A person can tell a lot about a man from his handshake. It's a sure bet that he knows this as well as you do. When introduced you should shake his hand with a firm grip. Let him see you are forthright, trustworthy and mature by the strength of your handshake.
- Find common ground. Remember the information you gathered in step one. You know what your girlfriend's dad likes so now is the time to let him know what you have in common. Are you both baseball fans? Or maybe deep-sea fishing is more your game? You will have something in common; you just need to try to find out what it is. Then lead into conversations with him with the commonalities.
- Relax. Nerves show and your fear of your girlfriend's dad give him the upper hand. He already doesn't trust you and wants to be wary so your nerves will make him even more suspicious.
- Avoid PDA and risky behavior. Even if you get along with her dad and begin to win him over, remember that you can lose that camaraderie in a heartbeat if you treat him or his daughter with anything less than respect. Avoid kissing or touching your girlfriend inappropriately when her father is around. Also avoid drinking, smoking and swearing unless invited to do so by her dad. Deliver her home after a date at the time you said you would or before her curfew if she has one. Following her family rules demonstrates respect for your girlfriend and her dad.
Sometimes it takes a little time to win over your girlfriend's dad. If you are willing to follow these steps, work hard and show respect, you can accomplish your goal. Eventually you can win him over even if he never believes anyone is good enough for his little girl.