I Asked My Dad What He Wants For Me In A Man & His Response Made Me Tear Up

Genevieve Wheeler

Like any great father, my dad wants the best for me in all things — from breakfast foods to education to partners (of course). Though, I'd never asked outright what my dad wants for me in a man. At least, I hadn't until this past weekend.

Before I dive into his adorable (and very dad-like!) response, there are a few things I should note. You see, my parents split up when I was 10, and two years later my mom and I moved several states down the East Coast, from New Jersey to Florida. My dad would fly down for monthly visits and trips to Disney World, but he wasn't around to vet my high-school love interests, which I think he's always wished he could have done. (Oh, but when he eventually met my first boyfriend, he started "sharpening" steak knives in the middle of Olive Garden. He was very excited about it.)

Also, historically speaking, I don't have the greatest taste in guys. My "type" has often included men who insisted I pay for their meals; mocked my fierce interests in Friends, Beyoncé, and the royal fam; and held staunch political views that seriously differed from my own (my last boyfriend low-key believed that Sandy Hook was a conspiracy, so...). Basically, a scrub is a guy who can definitely "get some love from me." My mom recently described my dating history as "a little wonky," while my dad claimed a few of my exes were, and I quote, "a bunch of little sh*ts." So, there's that.

But we're moving onward, upward! Onto both better guys and better Italian restaurants! And, as my taste in gents seemingly (and hopefully?) improves, I wanted to find out what my dad hopes I find in a future partner. So, when I called him for our weekly Sunday chat, I was curious and eager to hear his thoughts — especially as the kind of daughter who frequently makes statements like, "Yes, hello, Dad, I went on a great first date and I think I'm married now?!" (much to his concern and chagrin).

Here's what he had to say.

Respect, Love, And Care (Like, Obvs)

"I want you to find someone who loves you and is nice to you and treats you with respect," was the first sentence out of my dad's mouth, which I immediately dismissed as vague garbage like the charming and loving daughter I am.

Then again, as Meghan Markle once said about Prince Harry, "If he wasn't kind, it didn't seem like it would make sense." So I guess this is a good and sensible place to start.

A Good Sense Of Humor (Again, Obvs)

Second on my dad's wish list was a good sense of humor — which, again, I'd say everyone needs in a partner. Especially someone as hilarious (and humble!) as myself.

"If you don't laugh, the days are long," he said. "You need to laugh."

This is also why I watch Friends every day, which my dad and I agreed is another necessity for any guy in my life. If he's not down to watch hours and hours of '90s sitcoms, it could never work. He definitely wouldn't be my lobster.

Someone Engaging And Maybe Even Challenging

Because my dad is, well, my dad, he also explained that he wanted me to find a partner who's as "bright" as I am — someone who's down to have stimulating conversations (ideally relating to the secrets of the universe as well as Kanye West's latest Twitter rants). In his words, "I think you're very bright, so I think it's important to have someone who's also bright — someone who can engage with you intellectually."

Well, thanks, Dad!

He went on to say, "I don't think you would ever get into a relationship with someone who has a political view that's drastically different from your own," (cough, never again, cough). "But I think if you got into a relationship with someone who has some different views, it wouldn't be the worst thing. Someone who can challenge you a little. It's OK to have differing opinions if they're thoughtful and well-articulated."

I guess this wouldn't be the worst thing, but like, #FeministsOnly.

Not A Mooch

As mentioned, I also have a habit of dating moochers. Seriously, one of my exes suggested we open a joint PayPal account so I could put money in but he could always look like he was paying for our meals (he really knew how to woo a girl, wouldn't you say?).

With this in mind, my dad admitted, "I would love for you to find someone who's not going to loaf off you financially — I want someone who can support your lifestyle equally, so you can balance that out. I don't want you to be the sole breadwinner."

Same, Pops. Same.

Someone Who's Down To Grow And Travel

Last but not least, my dad said, "I want someone who can grow with you, because I think people evolve over time, and I want for you to be able to adapt and grow so your relationship can grow. I think that's important, too."

This is crazy important to me, as I'm kind of a chameleon of a human. I actually recently joked on a date that my Miss Congeniality high school persona "can't come to the phone right now 'cause she's dead" (my date did not get the T-Swift reference, things got weird for a second, it's fine). The point is, I've definitely evolved over the last several years, and I need someone who can grow with me.

He then added that he hopes I find a fellow who's "kind of cultured, adventurous," which is another must on my list. I've got a knack for up and moving to Europe (I spent last year in the French countryside, and currently live in London), so I need someone who's a bit of a nomad themselves. Though my dad ended this wishlist with, "I sure as hell hope you meet someone in Europe who's willing to come to the States, because I'd be very sad if you disappeared in Europe forever."

Oh, Dad. I promise to come back to the States at some point. (Unless I magically marry into the British royal family, in which case, goodbye forever, USA).

Overall, my dad's answers didn't shock me, but they definitely made me smile and maybe tear up a smidge. For starters, of course I want to find a partner who's loving and adventurous and caring and funny (and honestly, I deserve to find a guy who fits that description — we all do). But there's also something really special about hearing someone you love explain what they hope you find in a partner, especially when that someone knows and cares about you as deeply as your dad.

Now, let's just throw in the adorable demeanor of Timothée Chalamet and the accent and wiles of young Hugh Grant in Notting Hill and I'd say we've got ourselves a pretty solid future partner. Currently accepting applications, please and thank you.