When I set out to ask millennial women about the best dating advice they've ever received from their dads, I wasn't shocked by the first tip I got: "You can date when you're 35 or I'm dead, whichever comes second." Dramatic, right? Dads tend to get a bad rap for not wanting their little girls to date — except, um, their "little" girls are now legally able to vote or possibly drink or even rent a car. But I'm a big believer that dating advice from parents is the bomb dot com (because they've been through it all!), so I persevered and kept asking around.
I'm lucky — my dad has passed down some pretty solid dating advice over the years. My favorite tip: I'm forbidden from dating motorcyclists, because he thinks it's dangerous, and it would be terribly sad to fall in love with someone who could potentially wind up crushed on the side of the road. It might sound silly, but I know there's real love and truth baked into that advice, and I'm grateful for it. I know he's looking out for me.
And I know that other dads are just as wise. Below, 11 women share their dad's smartest dating tips, because as the saying goes, father knows best.
If he’s truly into you, you’ll never have to wonder.
— Jenn, 23
Never end up with anyone who isn't willing to plunge a toilet for you.
— Hannah, 20
Look to see how your partner responds to overbearing parents. If s/he puts his/her parents before your needs, red flag!
— Alexandra, 24
Relationships work when each person thinks they're the one giving 60 percent to the other's 40 percent.
— Madeleine, 25
Make sure they have money. When he said that, I was surprised and said it was a superficial thing to say. He said I shouldn’t depend on their money — I should have my own — but they also should come to the table with something, too.
— Kim, 24
The summer before high school, when boys were starting to ask me to hook up, I asked my dad for advice. He basically said that most teenage boys are driven by hormones, and I should be selective. It's better to be the one that everyone wants versus the one that everyone's had and grown tired of.
— Jess, 20
My dad says a boy should always pick the girl up. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for five years and my dad still doesn’t want me to drive to him.
— Jasmine, 24
Don't chase after anyone. You're better than that.
— Molly, 24
My dad always says to choose wisely.
— Kaitlyn, 23
You’re too pretty and smart to cry over him.
— Jessinta, 20
My SO had been battling a substance abuse problem long before he met me, but I didn't have any/all of that information up front. Sh*t hit the fan after we took a trip to my parents' house over the holidays. It was clear that something was wrong. After the trip, the stress of it all landed me in the hospital for about a week. I was nervous about finding a way out of the situation and had been for a while, but my dad was very calm and supportive about the whole thing. He said to me over and over, 'We will not accept this for ourselves,' meaning me, of course, but also the two of us and our family as a whole. My dad has always been so supportive of my academic and career goals, and he knows that we've sacrificed a lot as a family to get to where we are now. I appreciated that he kept saying 'we' instead of 'I.' It helped knowing that I had his support.
— Lindsay, 25
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