I am the model for manhood for my daughters.

It became clear that this burden and responsibility were mine as their father and the first man in their lives.

So I made it a goal to become the best man I could be for them.

This is why I told my oldest daughter that I had to meet her boyfriend. It was time to put this notion to the test.

He had shown nothing but respect and a healthy admiration for me even before they started dating. But I could still feel some reservation and timidness in him anytime we spoke.

If I was going to get to know him better, we had to talk one on one —man to man.

We needed a bro-date.

“I’m not here to scare you or intimidate you. I want to get to know you and have a one-on-one line of communication moving forward.”

For generations, fear, shame, and intimidation have been tools used by fathers. I know there are better ways of communication.

He was still timid at first. But he did open up and share a lot about himself and his intentions with my daughter.

I believed him.

It might be because I could see bits of myself in this young man. It was apparent why my daughter was attracted to him and chose him as her partner. But he seemed much more intelligent and self-aware than I was at his age.

I told him to reach out if he needed counsel on personal development, life, business, or relationships.

“I am an open book. Ask me anything. I’ll give you the truth- no BS.”

Later, he told my daughter that he felt connected to me and never had a conversation like that with an adult.

I expect to have many more.

By Teevee Aguirre