There was once a certain young man who started showing interest in my Brittany. This guy was good-looking, athletic, and charming. He was smooth and outgoing. He was extremely confident and sure of himself and was a couple of years older than Brittany. He was extremely attractive to Brittany, but he was extremely dangerous to me. I saw right through his game. He was a first-class “ladies’ man.” The last thing in the world I wanted for my daughter was for a guy like him to see my daughter as another conquest.
I had two choices. I could either abdicate my role as defender and protector of my daughter and let things play out, or I could engage. I’m guessing you know which one I chose. I did a little research, asking around to people who knew him. I heard things like, “always has a girlfriend,” “seems like a player,” and “seems like bad news.” Translation to me…GAME ON.
I have been a Young Life leader to guys for some 30 years. I know well what they talk about and what they think about. I knew this was going to end badly if I didn’t step in.
So, I had a little conversation with the young man. He was over at our house one night, watching TV. I knew that Brittany would have to drive him home late because, of course, he didn’t have a car. I was sitting downstairs with them and I said, “Hey, how about I drive you home tonight?”
Brittany glared at me. She said, “I can take him home later.”
I said, “No, that’s okay! I’d be happy to take him home now. Don’t worry about it.” They looked awkwardly at each other, and with a slight eye roll, he got up and followed me out to my car. We made a little small talk as we drove, until I asked, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” He talked about how much he liked her and said he wanted to pursue a relationship with her. I could see this was going to take a while, so we pulled over into a dark parking lot and continued our conversation.
I told him that Brittany was more valuable than anything that I had. Then, I shifted the conversation to the potential physical side of their relationship. I let him know that we had raised Brittany with a certain set of values and expectations, and that I expected him to honor those values and expectations. I told him that, while in a parked car, in a dark parking lot, late at night, if he was to somehow cross that line–I gazed into the dark with a long, pregnant pause–that I “wasn’t sure what I’d do.” Then, I shook his hand, said I hoped we were clear on my expectations and his path to spending more time with my daughter, drove him home and thanked him for the conversation.
In next week’s blog, I will share with you his response, Brittany’s response and what happened next. See you next Monday!
PS: This story is told in greater detail in our book “Prized Possession”