It’s a natural (and gross) reality that women are attracted to dudes who remind them of their dads. We want guys to take charge — but if we wanted to date an actual father figure, we would’ve kept our babysitting jobs. You’ve been cautioned against dating the elusive Mom Girlfriend, and now it’s time to examine whether you’re the “parent” in the relationship. You might be a Dad Boyfriend if…
1. You Drive Her To Work Every Day
It’s a nice favor, but only once in awhile. If you’re shuttling her around town on a daily basis, you’re basically a few horn honks away from owning a minivan.
Solution: A kind gesture gets lost in a routine and becomes expected. Save it for special occasions — or when her car is in the shop, anyway.
2. You Don’t Trust Her Guy Friends
“Men are only interested in one thing, and it ain’t friendship,” you tell her. Guess what? She’s heard it all before from Dad, and it just makes you sound jealous and condescending.
Solution: It’s not your job to question the intentions of every guy who talks to her — it’s your job to trust her.
3. You’ve Got A Mustache
It doesn’t matter if it was Movember, or you were trying to be funny. If you have a mustache, you look like her dad in the ’90s, and it’s weird.
Solution: Grow a beard or shave it all. Even if her dad is bearded, at least you won’t look like a hipster Tom Selleck.
4. You Get Mad When She Cries
You’re there for her when it matters. But when she turns on the tears over nothing, you begin to understand why dads punch walls so often.
Solution: It’s not your responsibility to toughen her up. So instead of expressing frustration, just don’t do anything. If you want a girl to stop crying, treat her like she’s not.
5. You Tell Her To Cover Up
Whether you’re concerned that she’ll be freezing in that skirt outside, or (more likely) that other guys will be tempted to look at her, acting like you have veto power over her wardrobe is gonna backfire quick.
Solution: Communicate what you like about her other than the more obvious assets, and she might not feel that she has to show ‘em off as much. Or wear a big, burly jacket yourself and explain it’s the style now.
6. You’re Always Giving Her Directions
Her sense of direction infuriates you, because it’s nonexistent. She calls you multiple times per day, wherever she happens to be, using you as her personal Google Maps.
Solution: Get her a battery-powered phone charger, so she won’t lose the GPS signal, then sit back and relax. You did what you could, and now she’ll just have to learn.
7. You Keep Trying To Get Her Into Sports
Your girlfriend says that she doesn’t care about sports, but deep down you know she’s really just a few lessons away from being as excited as you are.
Solution: If she doesn’t care about football by now, you’re not going to teach her. Your interests don’t have to be her interests — how would you feel if she kept trying to get you excited about “Real Housewives”?
8. You Mock Her Vegetarianism
You think “Food, Inc.” is the worst thing to ever happen to Netflix, and roll your eyes whenever she asks a waiter if a tofu dish is 100% vegan-friendly.
Solution: If eating meat is that important to you, then you shouldn’t be dating a vegetarian. You can’t change her diet any more than she can change yours.
9. Do As You Say, Not As You Do
You acted like a drunk idiot last weekend, but now you’re pissed ’cause she did the exact same thing this weekend? She might tolerate her dad’s hypocrisy, but don’t expect her to put up with yours.
Solution: Take your own advice…and cut her a little slack. Odds are you’re both screwing up equally — which doesn’t mean you should keep actual score.
10. You’re Not Mad, You’re Disappointed
You don’t want to fight, you tell her. You just want her to think about what she’s done.
Solution: If you’re mad, then explain you’re mad. Otherwise, you’re just trying to guilt her with passive-aggressive sh*t — and you can’t give a grown woman the emotional equivalent of a timeout.
Photo Credit: George Marks