DATING ADVICE FOR MY SON

Decency begins at home

When it comes to dating, the picture looks bleak, and that scares me for the new generation. I know, I’ve had (more than) my fair share of fun and heartbreak, and I’ve never been the Santa Maria Goretti-type. But, somehow, I don’t see any respect left in the dating world. Everyone seems to be out for the kill all the time. Everyone is after their desires or needs, without stopping to put themselves in another person’s shoes. I don’t want my son to be a part of this game.

My son is now just about to turn 15, and while he’s had a handful of so-called girlfriends at school, I felt he was really not ready to go out into the dating world. So, I recently sat him down and had ‘the talk’ with him.

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Be Respectful: Yes, have your fun. Enjoy dating and having sex. It’s all part of growing up; of becoming the person you were meant to be. But be respectful in every step of the way. Don’t push a person if they say no. No answer is still a no. Don’t use people. Don’t tell them you’ll call and leave them hanging. Don’t be mean for no reason.

Experiment: Don’t assume what your type is by what you enjoy looking at in Hollywood movies or, worse, in porn. Don’t assume you won’t like a girl because she’s bigger than the type you’d normally go for; or a guy because he’s shorter than you. Be open to dating people who don’t fit in your self-constructed box. Hear them out. Look at them smile. Hold their hands. Love can blossom with the unlikeliest of people.

Don’t Let Anyone Use You: If a relationship starts turning abusive, if you catch your partner checking your phone without permission, if you feel unappreciated, speak out! Don’t have sex with someone who is nasty to you, and don’t have sex with someone who was nasty to you after you had sex. Ask for respect, and you shall receive it (read How to Prepare Your Teenager for Their First Time).

Learn The Game: Dating is a game and, whether we like it or not, we must learn the rules or fail at it. Understand what people are trying to tell you by texting you at 1 am asking if you’re free. Understand what people are trying to tell you when they cancel a date over and over again. In love, it pays to be streetwise.

Have Patience: All too often, you’ll see people in miserable relationships – the kind that gives you claustrophobia even as a third party. Patience in love is incredibly important, because settling is the worst thing you can do to yourself. But be aware of your actions: are you waiting for someone better or someone perfect? The latter will never arrive and the former might not either.

What do you think of Evelyn’s advice? Is there anything you would add to the list?

Let us know in the comments section below.