Rules for Dating Our Children (a work in progress)

One of those “rules for girls who date my son” came through my feed the other day, and I haven’t able to get it out of my head. Some of the rules, if memory serves were:

  • My son is not a cash machine.
  • If you come to our house dressed inappropriately, I’ll send you away.
  • If I see any “sexts” on his phone, I’ll make you go away.

Oh. Wait. Here it is.

Reading it again, I feel a tiny bit of rage start to burn inside me. Other “rules” I’ve read:

  • Don’t break his heart.
  • Cross your legs. . . and keep them that way.
  • No Drama Queens Allowed (Does anyone find this one ironic given the nature of these lists?)

I was hoping a search for “Rules for Dating My Daughter” would yield results to cool my temper, but what I found was just as insulting towards women, and involved a significant threat of violence, including:

  • Understand I don’t like you.
  • You hurt her, I hurt you.
  • Whatever you do to her, I will do to you.
  • Keep your hands off her or I will remove them
  • I’ll just be waiting here, cleaning my gun.

Inspired by this drek, I started to think about. . . The Rules for Dating Our Children

  1. Treat our son and daughter with respect, and expect to be treated the same.
  2. Don’t use how our children are dressed as an excuse for your behavior.
  3. Expect respect regardless of how you are dressed.
  4. Celebrate our children’s successes and expect to be celebrated for yours.
  5. Be kind and expect kindness.
  6. Violence – physical, emotional, verbal – is never acceptable nor should it be accepted.
  7. Do not ask our children for a photo you wouldn’t show your parents.
  8. Don’t send a photo of any part of yourself they (or I) wouldn’t expect to see at school – even if they ask.
  9. If they ask for an inappropriate picture – block them and tell us.
  10. Never distribute any photos you may receive of our children (or anyone really) and expect photos will “stop” with our children.
  11. Expect our children to pay for dates, and for you to do the same. Either way, paying does not give anyone any special privileges.
  12. Get a job. Join a club. Make new friends. Maintain and cultivate your interests outside of your relationship with our children, and expect our kids will do the same.
  13. Let our children have their space and make sure they know when you need yours.
  14. Having sex is not something for which a boy should be celebrated and a girl should be shamed.
  15. Sex should be done safely with consent. And consent can be revoked, without question.
  16. If you are put in the “friend zone” enjoy their friendship because we think they are pretty awesome.
  17. Have their backs and expect they will have yours, and that we will be there if you need us.
  18. While you are dating you are part of my family so be prepared to join us for dinner and to help clear the table.
  19. Expect that our children talk to us, and we hope you will talk to us also.
  20. Our children are not perfect, and neither are you. We are all only human.
  21. No relationship is forever. Feelings will be hurt. Hearts will be broken. It’s normal and there are no hard feelings. Refer to rule 5.

It’s a work on progress and will undoubtedly continue to evolve. But it feels like a good start.

What would you add to the list?

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