Dear Future Husband,

A while ago, someone told me that the “Daddy’s Girl” stage in life is important because it has an effect on our later mating preferences. That the quality of my relationship with my father will have a bearing on my expectations for you might not be fair so I just want to take a moment to tell you: good luck. We haven’t met yet but when you come along, I’d like you to be well-prepared. I’ve had an amazing example of what it is that a real man does for his family and I won’t accept anything less.

For 24 years, I’ve had a man in my life that, while slightly overprotective, has shown the type of devotion to his family and willingness to sacrifice that will not be easy to replicate. My father is, simply put, a provider. He’s loving, hard working and honest. No matter how tough things got, he was there. And that type of security and stability won’t be easy to replicate but we’ll have to try for the sake of our future children.

My father and I talk every day about sports, movies, politics and so much more. And because of that, I have become very opinionated. My father has validated me for 24 years, continuously helping me build a strong sense of pride in the woman that I am. My father worked hard 5 days a week to provide a stable home for his family. With my mother’s help, he gave his children a space to be ourselves so that we could come to be completely comfortable with ourselves. As a couple, my mother and father set a tremendous example of what it means to be Black and in love. So while I will expect a lot from you, please understand that you will be getting a lot in return. I thank my father for loving me and you will thank him as well.

My father’s a tough man and he’ll be hard to please because he’ll expect you to provide me with everything that he has. He understands that I am a strong-willed young woman and he will expect you to love that much about me. He will give you a hard time, but please understand that it’s not because he hates you, it’s because he loves me. And he needs to know that you love me too.

Waiting patiently,