I really like this boy, and I think we’re going to start dating. How do I tell my dad and get his approval?
Keep in mind that telling your dad and getting his approval are two different things. Just because you tell him, doesn’t mean he will approve. But, it’s wise to be open with your dad about this subject. From a practical standpoint, don’t ask when he first gets home from work or if he’s getting ready to go somewhere. Also, try not to discuss this with your dad when he is in the middle of doing something else. Don’t ask him when he is intensely engrossed in watching Sunday Night Football, or if he is in the middle of checking up his finances on the computer. You want his full, undivided attention. If he is doing one if these things, you can always tell him that you want to talk to him about something later. Another thing to do is if you are doing an activity together, like throwing a ball around, working on a project, or even watching a show together (as a bonding activity), this might be an easier time to open up to him. Either way, when the time comes to have the conversation, and you say, “Dad, there’s a boy that I like at school and he asked me to go out with him. Is that okay?”, the response will probably be different based on your dad’s own beliefs about dating. Generally though, he will likely ask you to tell him about the boy. You can start by telling him activities that the boy likes, but you should also tell your dad things about this boy’s character that will make your dad trust him. That is probably the most important thing to mention – your dad doesn’t want you to spend time with someone that he doesn’t trust. Mentioning traits like honesty, assiduousness, politeness, a penchant for responsibility, ambitiousness, thoughtfulness, or mentioning things that attest to the boy’s character, like his academic accomplishments, are going to earn his trust more than solely stating that this boy is the star of the soccer team.
If he says no, ask him when he thinks would be an appropriate time for you to start dating. Get to know the boy you want to go out with as a friend. You can still build your relationship, and you will still learn about what things you do and don’t appreciate in his personality, character, habits, interests, etc. The longer you can spend getting to know someone as a friend before dating, the better, and building upon this friendship may very well lead to a fruitful, compatible, and strong relationship in the long run and in the future.