A Letter to My Teenaged Sons
A Letter to My Sons (Or “Everything I Ever Wanted to Say About Dating but Couldn’t Keep You Long Enough in a Locked and Moving Car to Tell You.)
Hi guys. It’s mom. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few important tidbits about dating from a woman’s point of view that I think all boys should know. Now stop rolling your eyes. I know you have been blinded by my “momminess” all these years, so you probably haven’t noticed that I am a female; but I assure you there is much more to me than just being your mother and therefore the knowledge I have on this subject just might be useful for your current or future relationships. Do your ol’ mom a favor and humor me while I give you my lists of do’s and don’ts when it comes to girls.
- Do listen—really listen to what she says. Give her eye contact, ear contact and mind contact.
- Do tell the truth–no matter how hard, no matter how damaging because nothing is more detrimental to a relationship than distrust.
- Do take pride in the way you look. Girls love a well dressed man.
- Do have goals and chase after them. A motivated driven guy is a one who wants the best for his future.
- Do be chivalrous. No matter how far equality of the sexes has come, every girl loves the car door opened for her or a coat on her shoulders if it’s cold.
- Do stand your ground and up for yourself. Girls aren’t right all the time and a man/boy/guy who knows his own mind is a man/boy/guy that can be counted on when push comes to shove.
- Do fight fair. No matter how mad you get, it is never okay to use words that hurt.
- Do show her that she’s on your mind with spontaneous gestures. A quick note, a Hallmark card or fresh flowers picked tells her she’s important to you.
- Do have a life separate from her. Individuality is essential for a healthy relationship.
- Do know when things aren’t working. The world is a big place. There will be others who find you worthwhile. Love is work, but shouldn’t be laborious.
- Don’t ditch your friends in order to spend every waking moment with her. Relationships when you are young don’t tend to stand the test of time; you’ll need your friends when the end inevitably comes.
- Don’t think it is the end of the world if she breaks up with you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the world is a big place. Even if you think she’s the last girl on the earth, she’s not. There will be others.
- Don’t bad mouth your mother or hers. Respect for the women in your life tells a girl that you will respect her as well.
- Don’t put out negative energy. A “poor me” attitude gets old. A positive person is so much more attractive!
- Don’t ever pressure a girl to do ANYTHING that she doesn’t want to do. Respect her wishes and her moral character. At your age, what boys want and what girls want are infinitely different.
- Don’t smother her. When she wants to do things with her friends, then that is what she should do without any complaint, constant calls, or texts from you.
- Don’t hide your feelings. If she hurts you, tell her. If she makes you happy, show it. If you are angry, let it out appropriately. Feelings will come and go but should be shared honestly.
- Don’t ever be physically aggressive. Ever. ‘Nough said.
- I love to be able to say, “Don’t have sex.” But I am not so naïve that I think you’ll be able to follow that advice. So instead I will say, don’t forget the protection.
- Don’t ever give up on or change your dreams because it is what a girl wants you to do. You deserve all that you can imagine. Someone who truly loves you will never ask you to sacrifice your life’s vision to fit into theirs.
Love is hard, boys. There will be ups and downs. No relationship is free of hardship and work. But ultimately your significant other needs to make you happy. If you have that then you are on the right track. Let life’s experiences guide you and help you to know what it is you want when it comes to a partner and don’t settle for anything less than your ideal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.