How to Get Your Girlfriend's Dad to Trust You

Three Methods:Laying the GroundworkPresenting Yourself as TrustworthyInteracting with Your Girlfriend when Her Dad is There

Many fathers are very protective of their daughters. Some see their daughters as perfect and innocent, and see anyone who wants to date their daughters as a corrupting influence. Some fathers will not trust their daughters' love interests, no matter what. However, if you present yourself as trustworthy and likeable, and respect his wishes with regard to his daughter (at least when he's around) you will greatly increase the chances that your girlfriend's dad will learn to trust you. This can help you avoid a lot of hassles and conflicts as your relationship with your girlfriend develops.

Method 1
Laying the Groundwork

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    Learn about her dad. Talk to your girlfriend about her dad and find out what you can about him. Knowing about his personality and interests can help make interactions with him easier.[1]
    • Find out about his temperament and personality, if you don't already know him. Knowing what to expect in this regard will allow you to prepare yourself better mentally for interactions with him.
    • For example, if her dad is a laid back guy with a good sense of humor, you might want to think about some G-rated jokes you can tell when you're around him. On the other hand, if he's a serious, grumpy, or even hostile man, you'll want to prepare yourself for this so you aren't taken aback if he's unpleasant to you.
    • Find out about his interests and values. This can help you find things to talk to him about, especially if you can find things you have in common with him. This can be as deep as his political or religious beliefs or as simple as being a fan of some sport, hobby, or TV show.
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    Talk to her about talking to him. Ask your girlfriend to talk to her father and tell him she'd like him to get to know you better. This will lay the groundwork for spending some time together.[2]
    • If she wants to say some nice things about you to her father when you're not around, that can help too. You might suggest that she brings up some recent accomplishment you've made (e.g. a promotion, a scholarship, or a sports victory), or mention something you have in common. This can help "grease the wheels" by giving him something to think about you that's positive.
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    Spend time with him. For most people, spending time with someone helps increase comfort with that person (assuming that time spent together is a positive experience). Even the most hard-nosed dad is likely to develop more trust for you after awhile if he sees you regularly.[3]
    • If you haven't already met your girlfriend's dad, keep in mind that your first meeting with him will be especially important in creating an impression of yourself as a trustworthy person. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so do what you can to make it a good one if you haven't already.[4]
    • Spending time with your girlfriend's dad may be awkward and difficult, especially at first. Do your best to tough it out and make the most of it--it will be worth it in the end if you can build a trusting relationship with him.

Method 2
Presenting Yourself as Trustworthy

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    Dress well. When spending time with your girlfriend's dad, dress in a way that will make you look trustworthy. Adult clothing is best, ideally in a "business casual" style. You want to look non-threatening and clean-cut.[5]
    • Wear a shirt with buttons and some clean, well fitted pants. Don't wear clothes that are dirty or have images or words on them that might be offensive to her dad.
    • This is especially important the first time you meet her dad.
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    Shake his hand. When you greet your girlfriend's father, give him a firm handshake and look him in the eye. This shows respect and friendliness.[6]
    • Don't grip his hand too hard and hurt him, but by the same token, don't give a limp, weak handshake. This can lead to a less favorable impression of you.[7]
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    Be polite. Whenever you spend time with your girlfriend's dad, be respectful and polite. Say "please" and "thank you," don't curse, and generally use your best manners.[8] Many people see good manners as a sign of good moral character.
    • Always address your girlfriend's dad respectfully. Either call him "sir" or "Mr. [last name]," unless he tells you to call him something else. A formal address is a sign of respect and good judgement.[9]
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    Act confident. However nervous or awkward you might feel around your girlfriend's dad, act as confident and comfortable as you can. Look him in the eye when you talk, stand up straight, and avoid fidgeting.
    • Showing nervousness can sometimes suggest you are hiding something.[10]
    • At the same time, don't be overconfident or showy. This can also be off-putting to people or suggest you aren't genuine.[11]
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    Talk about positive things. When you talk to your girlfriend's dad, talk about things you like and feel good about. Don't brag, but talk about things that cast you in a positive light. Involve your girlfriend in the conversation, and talk about things the two of you enjoy doing together.[12]
    • Talk about things you like about school, work, or hobbies. Most people prefer talking to people who are positive. Don't gripe or complain.
    • If you have hobbies or interests in common with your girlfriend's dad, talk about those. Whether its sports or spirituality, people are more likely to trust others who they feel are similar to themselves.[13]
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    Don't drink too much. If you are old enough to drink and are offered a drink while you are spending time with your girlfriend's father, it's fine to have one or two (unless he disapproves of drinking altogether). Don't overdo it, however.[14]
    • If you have too much to drink, you are more likely to say or do something that might seem untrustworthy to your girlfriend's dad.
    • Even if you don't actually do anything that raises red flags, many people see over-drinking as irresponsible or as a sign of weak moral character.

Method 3
Interacting with Your Girlfriend when Her Dad is There

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    Be affectionate, but not overly so. Your girlfriend's dad should be able to see that you have genuine affection for his daughter, but you also have to be careful not to do anything that might make him feel uncomfortable.[15]
    • Do things that show how much you care for his daughter, while also suggesting you are respectful. Behaviors like opening doors for her, pulling out a chair for her to sit in, and generally doting on her can help him see you are treating his daughter right.
    • Mild physical affection like holding hands, a hug, or peck on the cheek are also probably ok behaviors. Don't get sexual in front of your girlfriend's dad, though. No groping, tongue kissing, or anything along those lines.
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    Be attentive to her, but not exclusively. When your girlfriend speaks, make it clear you are paying attention to her, as this shows respect for her. However, don't pay so much attention to her that you are excluding her dad or other people who might be around.[16]
    • You want to make it clear that his daughter is important to you, but you also need to show that you are socially competent and respectful of others. No one wants to feel ignored or excluded.
    • If you don't engage with your girlfriend's father, he can't get to know you and see that you are trustworthy.
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    Respect his rules. Respect your girlfriend's father's rules about her, at least when he's around. Don't act like you know better than him what is best for her.
    • If you stay at his home and he expects you to sleep in separate rooms, do so without complaint.[17]
    • If your girlfriend still lives at home and has a curfew, make sure you always get her home on time. This shows that you respect her father and can be trusted.[18]


  • Mind your manners.
  • Respect the parent's ideas and beliefs. Try not to linger on sensitive topics too long, such as religion or politics, unless you are sure that he shares the same beliefs as you.
  • Saying "Yes, sir" goes a long way.
  • Go for some lighthearted humor at first, and move on from there. Try to stay away from darker humor at first.
  • Smile naturally. A silly grin pasted on your face will look wrong, and a stressed-out look will give away how you're feeling about meeting her dad.
  • If her dad has a certain interest such as playing the trumpet, try to learn it too or get to know more about that topic of interest.
  • If you smoke, limit your tobacco use in front of your girlfriend's parents. Similarly, limit your alcohol consumption. On the other hand, feel free to accept a glass of wine at dinner if you like, provided that you are of age.


  • If your girlfriend's dad threatens you, or becomes aggressive, take this seriously and get out of the situation as soon as you can. Sometimes a father can be so protective of his daughter that he'll threaten, or even commit, acts of violence against people she has a romantic interest in.

Article Info

Categories: Commitment Issues | Family Friends and Dating