Today, while browsing Pinterest, I came across this letter that a mother wrote to her son about dating. It was labeled as, “a letter every mother should read to her son.”
I appreciated the sentiment. It was very clear that this mother's purpose was to teach her sons how to respect and honor the women they date, and to do so in line with their family values.
I really felt that something was missing, though. What if they and their date prefer to step outside of the gender stereotypes about dating? So I changed the letter to reflect the advice I would/will give to our children, male or female. I left the original text plain, and added my changes in italics; some parts I simply deleted.
This was a long post, so I split it into two segments. Here are the first ten pieces of advice:
- If you want to go on a date with someone, ask them. Straight forward & direct. If you can ask in person, that's always best.
- At least for the first date, actually go somewhere. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate or immensely creative. Sometimes the best dates are simple, like a picnic in the park. Try to make sure your date is having at least as much fun as you are – if he or she looks bored, suggest a change of plans.
- f your date opens the door for you, thank him or her. It's always okay to open the door for someone and your date will probably appreciate it.
- Plan to pay for your date – have enough money to cover both meals and the tip if you're going to a restaurant. If the person you go out with offers to pay, that's great, too, and you can certainly accept graciously. But don't expect the other person to pay for or plan every date you go on. If you choose to pay for every date, make sure the person you're dating is comfortable with it and doesn't feel like they're taking advantage of you.
- If you are the one driving, walk to the door to pick up your date. Never text from the car or honk! Always get out of the car to say goodbye, and watch to make sure your date gets inside safely. It's also nice to walk your date to the door at the end of the night.
- Use your good senses when it comes to kissing. Only kiss someone you want to kiss, and follow their cues to make sure they want to kiss you, too.
- Listen to your date. The best dates involve getting to know the other person, so take your date somewhere that will allow you to talk. Ask questions and share insight about yourself. The purpose of dating is to find someone you could spend your future with. So the longer you date a person, the more you should get to know him or her.
- Always make your intentions clear. If you aren’t clicking with someone then end it. Don’t string him or her along. It may hurt for a minute but he or she will appreciate your honesty. And if you are feeling a connection then let the person know. Everyone loves clarity. It will make the whole dating process easier if you follow this one simple rule.
- Date around, but only seriously date one person at a time. Once you’ve found someone you are interested in enough to date exclusively, be faithful. Always, always be faithful. If you decide things aren’t working out or you meet someone else you’d like to get to know, refer back to rule #8.
- Don't be afraid to show your affection through touch, but make sure you don't crowd your date's boundaries. Hold hands, kiss his or her head; these sweet gestures speak volumes and make a person feel cared for. Going too far physically can never be undone so take it slowly and make sure you're both comfortable before you do anything serious.Check out Part Two tomorrow!