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My oldest daughter was dating, basically a bum. And I knew he was a bum.

In my efforts not to drive her away, but rather to help her understand what I was feeling and thinking about, I really labored and labored and labored about how to get her to understand that this was the wrong guy and it was just going to be a bad, bad relationship. She just couldn’t see that.

When I read Bill’s article, I knew we had to have a different conversation. I was the #1 man in her life. I just didn’t realize it! So I sat her down and gave her the #1 Man Lecture.

I asked my daughter if I could talk to her and tell her what I wasthinking.

I told her that I have always considered myself to be the number one man in her life and in time I was going to have to transfer that number to someone else – which I would be happy to do – because I knew in the whole process of life that I would give that position up someday. I was willing to do that under certain conditions.

What I wanted her to understand was that in giving away that number one position I wanted to know that when I gave up my number that the man would love her like I love her, he would take care of her like I took care of her and he would always be there for her like I was there for her.

I told her that I was afraid that if I passed my number one position over to this man that she was seeing he would not understand what I was giving him. And that really bothered me.

The fruitful part of it was that she understood this. Two weeks later, the whole thing was over.

I was able to communicate to her in a way that she understood completely and didn’t drive her away as a result.She clearly understood what I thought and how much she really meant to me. I knew she would always love me, but I also knew that if I had to give my number one position I wanted to know that the man who took it would be worthy of my daughter.

I think every father of every daughter feels that same way about her. Today, we joke about it. My daughter is dating someone that she thinks might just be a number one. In fact, just last night we were talking and she said “Dad, you know…I think he’s a number one.” The best part is that I would give my number up to him because he knows what its worth.

R. B. - Has two daughters, both of marriage-able ages.

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