You’re dating someone you really like, and it’s serious enough for her to want you to meet her parents. But what are the chances that her parents are going to like you like she does and welcome you into their family? Sometimes you get lucky and your in-laws are great, but unfortunately it’s an all too common scenario for a woman’s father to find fault with her partner because he “wants the best” for his little girl — and apparently that’s not always you!
Most parents want great things for their children, and this includes someone who will love them unconditionally, support them, and protect them. But even if you tick all these boxes, you’re not guaranteed to win over her dad. The problem is some fathers are so set in their ways that there’s no winning them over, and it can be for a reason as stupid as he doesn’t like your face.
If you suspect her father may hate you, then below are 15 signs to help you determine if he is ever going to give you the thumbs up. And if he’s not, then maybe it’s time to move on, because this is one battle you’re probably not going to win.
15. You Don’t Earn Enough Money
What you earn is probably one of the worst things a person can judge you for. But when it comes to parents, they are usually concerned with whether you earn enough to support their child — even though it’s 2017, and a woman is perfectly capable of financially supporting herself.
A study conducted by British and Dutch scientists has found that parents actually have an evolutionary instinct when it comes to their offspring. Which is why they may deem their daughter’s partner unsuitable, simply because he is unable to offer her the level of support that she is accustomed too. According to Dr. Tim Fawcett, from Bristol University, sometimes parents can’t help that they disapprove of their daughter’s partner because it’s simply the way humans have evolved.
14. He Flat Out Ignores You
Another sign her dad is not going to approve is if he flat out ignores you. When you’re hanging out with your partner and her family, her father may tolerate you, but there’s a big difference between being tolerant and showing an interest.
If he has absolutely no interest in your life, is not bothering to try and get to know you, and leaves you out of all the family jokes (so that you feel like a complete outsider), then this is a clear sign he’s not your fan. One of the ways we get to know other people is by asking them questions about their lives and engaging with them. If someone is not making an attempt to even acknowledge your existence, then there’s a good chance he is never going to approve of you — he just thinks he’s putting up with you until his daughter gets bored.
13. No One Is Good Enough
The great thing about parents is they truly believe their children are fantastic humans who deserve the very best in life. The bad thing about this, is it causes them to judge their daughter’s prospective partners way too harshly.
You may know that his little princess is far from perfect, and she may also be under no illusions, but for her father, she will always be the little girl who stole his heart. After all, he has memories of her when she was an innocent and adorable toddler. These unreasonable expectations of what his daughter “deserves” are bound to cause strain, but how can you possibly convince a father that you’re good enough for his daughter, when for years he’s become convinced that no one is? You can’t!
12. He Doesn’t Think You Can Protect Her
The role of a parent is to protect and care for their children, and the way a father cares for his daughter plays a critical role in her development. He wants to know that if someone is taking over his role that they will do a good job.
This can be both emotionally and physically, and if you’re on the smaller end of the scale this could influence the way her father sees you. Maybe you’re small in stature, or skinny, which could lead her father to disapprove of you because he’s instinctively looking for someone who is physically fit and can protect his daughter (were she to find herself in trouble). It’s harsh, but we’ve been genetically programmed to keep our offspring safe, and this is merely an extension of that.
11. He Hates Your Face
Sometimes all the odds are stacked against you, because no matter how nice or how polite you are, there is a chance that her dad is never going to approve of you, just because you happen to have a face that he hates. Believe me, I have experienced this firsthand with my own father, who has told me that he didn’t like a friend of mine (upon first meeting him) because he has one of “those” faces. That, or that the guy reminds him of someone he once knew.
If this is the case, the unfortunate thing is you probably didn’t do anything to elicit this reaction. This man just has it out for you — all because of his past interactions with someone who you vaguely resemble.
10. He Speaks About Her Ex
Your girlfriend’s ex is her ex for a reason. While she may have moved on from the past relationship, it’s completely possible that her father still thinks that guy was the one she was destined to end up with. Either that, or he plans on bringing up her ex because he knows it’s going to annoy the heck out of you.
One big red flag is if her father keeps bringing up her ex-boyfriend in front of you, at every opportunity he can. This could be in a subtle way, like mentioning his name during a conversation, or it could be extremely obvious when he sings the guy’s praises. Whatever the scenario, if her father is comparing you to his daughter’s ex, and you’re coming off second best, then that’s obviously not a good sign.
9. Your Backgrounds Are Too Different
Dating someone with a different background to you (including social, economic, and religious) comes with it’s own set of problems. Problems that the couple have to speak about and work through together, in order to find a balance. But communicating these differences to someone else, like her father, is a lot harder.
People have stereotypes and prejudices, which can be impossible to alter. Some fathers are traditional and have certain beliefs which are ingrained in them, but it’s mostly because they want their daughter to end up with someone who has the same background as them. For example, her dad wants his daughter to be taken care of, and to be with a man who appreciates and respects her; and because he knows his own values, he feels that someone from the same background would automatically have similar values.
8. He Doesn’t Know Your Name
There’s a difference between not making an effort to interact with you, and showing a complete disinterest by not even bothering to learn your name. If after several meetings with her dad he still refers to you as “the boyfriend,” or even worse, nothing at all, then he probably doesn’t know your name. Nor does he care too.
This also means that when there is someone he needs to introduce you to, he will either pretend you don’t exist, or he will simply refer to you as “him,” or some other awful and generic term. It shows a complete lack of respect on his part, and you’ll probably want to run from this guy because he has no intentions of including you in his family.
7. You Remind Him Of Himself
Her father may not like you because you’re a little too familiar. By this I mean you remind him of himself, but back when he was younger and wilder. We all have a past, so her father is no different, but if there is something about you that reminds him of his regrets, then it should come as no surprise that he is going to judge you more harshly.
It’s entirely possible that you have similarities to your girlfriend’s father, after all, research has indicated that women are likely to choose partners who resemble their fathers in some way. Relationship expert Laurel House told SheKnows that “it isn’t that a woman is necessarily choosing to date a man like their father, but instead she has learned to love that kind of man, because that was the first feeling of love that she has ever had for a man.”
6. He Gets You To Take The Family Photos
There’s nothing worse than attending a family gathering where they ask the guest to take the photo — because it really makes you feel as if you’re not one of them. This has probably happened to most people, and sometimes it’s completely innocent. You get your chance at being in the next photo because you rotate the camera duty with someone else in the family. But if you have been blatantly left out (while her sibling’s other halves are always in all the photos), then it should be pretty clear that her father wants nothing to do with you, and doesn’t see you as a permanent fixture.
5. You Have No Common Ground
We’ve established that dads can be extremely picky when it comes to their daughters and who they’re OK with them hanging out with, but sometimes a father’s disapproval is for something as simple as the fact that you have no common ground.
It makes life a lot easier if you have at least one thing in common with someone in order to connect, and the sad fact of the matter is, you’re not guaranteed to find that with your girlfriend’s father. Maybe you don’t have any of the same interests, your personalities are completely different, and you just don’t seem to be able to read each other’s body language adequately. This is something that you can be forgiven for, after all, it’s two completely different generations.
4. He’s A Racist
We live in a world that’s filled with bigoted people, and occasionally you’re going to be judged purely by the color of your skin. The sad reality is that racial discrimination is nothing new, and there have been multiple reports over the years about how fathers have disowned their own daughters, simply for dating outside of their race.
Interracial relationships come with their own unique set of difficulties — one of which reportedly includes being eyeballed by most of the world because they are surprised by you being together. Race in a relationship should not be an issue, but if her dad is making it one then you probably don’t want to be a part of a family with a man as vile as that anyway!
3. Your Shoes Are Awful
A first impression is a lasting one, which is why the internet is filled with articles about what you should wear when meeting the parents, and how important it is to do research about their likes and dislikes beforehand.
It would probably be an awful idea to turn up in clothes that aren’t clean, so if you didn’t bother to polish your shoes or iron your shirt when you first meet her parents, then you’re already at a disadvantage — I know this firsthand, because my granddad used to judge men by how clean their shoes were.
Meeting her dad when you don’t look neat and well put together is a sign of disrespect. He’s taking note of everything (and sizing you up) when he first meets you, so you better believe that he is not going to miss out on anything.
2. He Won’t Leave You Alone
You can’t get a second alone with your girlfriend because her dad keeps hovering? Bad news, he probably doesn’t like you.
If her dad keeps checking up on you, or worse still, sitting around and just glaring at you the entire time you’re at his house, then this is a pretty clear sign that he doesn’t trust you around his daughter– which most probably means he thinks you’re dating her for all the wrong reasons. Despite how pure your intentions may be, if her father gets a bad vibe from you right in the beginning, then it’s going to take a lot to change his mind. Be prepared for a whole lot more hovering, because he’s not going to leave the two of you alone when you’re in his presence.
1. You’re Never Invited To Family Functions
You may think being left out of a family function is a blessing in disguise (because let’s be honest, these things are usually extremely boring), but it’s definitely not a good sign if you’re never invited to do anything with your girlfriend and her family.
There are few feelings worse than being excluded, and when everyone is gathering together and you don’t crack an invite, it’s eventually going to hurt. But why are you being excluded?
The obvious reason is that her parents don’t think that you are worthy of being a part of their inner circle. Her dad probably doesn’t approve and he doesn’t want you to feel as though he has accepted you. Plus, he probably doesn’t take you or your relationship with his daughter seriously.
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