View Full Version : Dating Advice from Parents

02-25-2008, 05:59 AM
This is for a query, so no guarantee of publication at this point, but I'd like to write a dating article about the courtship advice our parents taught us. This could be advice that has worked really well for you, or things that you've dismissed as being silly or old-fashioned, but ideally it would be a little more original than "be yourself" or "always open doors for a lady." Anything come to mind? I appreciate all your suggestions so I can (hopefully) write a winning query!

Tish Davidson
02-25-2008, 06:05 AM
When in doubt, don't. In other words, if you aren't sure you should do something with a guy, don't do it. There will always be opportunities later, but you can't undo what is done. This advice works equally well for making decisions about spending money.

02-25-2008, 06:44 AM
Hmm... dating advice from my parents? Let's see... um, hmm... well, sadly enough I didn't really start dating until I was out of the house and so my parents weren't around to offer any advice. I will say, and this is advice that I've received from people who could count as stand-ins for my parents, that you should take the time after a break-up to reflect on why it went wrong. Sometimes there's nothing you could have done, sometimes there is, and it helps to know what you might have done differently if you want to avoid making those same mistakes the next time around.

Otherwise dating becomes a lot like history: those who forget it are doomed to repeat it. :D

02-25-2008, 06:47 AM
Your date should always come to the door to pick you up,
not pull up in front of the house and beep.

This one is really dating myself -

My parents insisted I atleast had a quarter so if I needed to I could use a pay phone for a ride if date turned out creepy or something.

02-25-2008, 06:50 AM
My dad once told me after a breakup that "that guy creeped me out anyway". That's about the best I got aside from what kind of contraception to use (and something about how I had better never need to use it...)

02-25-2008, 08:17 AM
A friend of mine used to work with a lot of young people. His advice, which I plan to pass on to mine when they are older, is, "If it gets covered with a swimsuit, don't touch it."

02-25-2008, 08:26 AM
Hmm, things I told my daughter when she started dating--

Speaking as a father

Rule #1-- Men are stupid. Boys are wannabee men. That makes them even more stupid. That means that you have to be responsible for you. Know how you are going to get home, with and without him. Know where you are going.

Rule #2 -- Trust yourself, not your hormones, and definitely not his hormones.

And as a night time 911 dispatcher -- I told both of them:

I don't want to hear your names until after I get home.

02-25-2008, 10:04 AM
"Don't do anything you wouldn't do with your mother watching."

02-25-2008, 07:49 PM
I told my daughter to not do anything she wouldn't want her own kids to do

Calla Lily
02-25-2008, 08:02 PM
My parents never gave me dating advice and my school didn't have sex education. It's only by the Grace of God I didn't do something utterly stupid at 16.

I tell my 16-year-old son: "No" means "no." Not "I'm being coy" or "Ask me 3 times and I'll say 'yes'." And "Never force a girl. Ever."

He already knows about opening doors and all the chivalrous stuff--he's watched my DH do it for me for years. Love that teaching be example stuff. :)

02-25-2008, 08:54 PM
Grandmother's advice:

Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

02-25-2008, 10:47 PM
The best dating/marriage advice I ever got from my mother was this....

To have a lasting relationship you need to be the best of friends.. because passion and fire are like an ocean that waxes and wanes but friendship is forever.

Hope that helps. :D

02-25-2008, 10:53 PM
What I'll tell my daughter: You do the choosing, don't wait around for people to choose you, but at the same time, when he realizes he wants you, make him chase you a little. Don't be overly available.

Velma deSelby Bowen
02-25-2008, 11:04 PM
Always have your carfare home. My friends from Barbados tell me it's called "vex money" there, according to grandmothers, "if that man, he vex you, you just go home."

02-26-2008, 01:04 AM
Parental dating advice seems utterly lacking (not that I would have listened to them anyway). Perhaps they said something and I blocked it out. I remember being given a condom by my mother at some point... Umm, yeah, anyway, I had what I, to this day, consider a silly rule - no dating until 16. Of course, I didn't follow this rule, but, it was a rule nonetheless, which still boggles my mind.

02-26-2008, 12:33 PM
The only advice I ever actually got was from my father:

"Rubbers are cheap, boy, use 'em."

He did always make sure I had one or the money to get some.

The rest, be a gentleman, etc., that was just expected down South. You just did them for the most part.

Appalachian Writer
02-26-2008, 03:01 PM
When I was around 15 or so, (a very, very long time ago), I read a book called Hold Yourself Dear. I can't remember the author's name. Anyway, it was about how important it is not to devalue yourself by conforming to the "wishes" of a potential date partner. My mother read it, too, mostly because she is an avid reader and wanted to kill a boring afternoon. Anyway, from that moment on, everytime I had a date, she'd touch my shoulder before I left the house with my escort, and say, "Hold yourself dear," a simple reminder that I should only do what I felt I was ready to do. It worked.

02-26-2008, 04:10 PM
'Make him come to the door to pick you up.'
'Call if you're going to be late.'
Didn't stop having a couple of certifiable whackjobs as bf's way back then, but sh*t happens.

02-29-2008, 10:24 AM
Didn't date much before I was out of the house, but my dad did insist I learn to drive stick in case I had to drive a date's car for some reason and he didn't have an automatic. I still drive a stickshift.

02-29-2008, 05:41 PM
Grandmother's advice:

Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

Or my grandmother's version, which was :

Why run after the trolley when you've already caught it?

02-29-2008, 05:55 PM
"I got pregnant with you in my parents bed. Stay outta my bed." ;)

02-29-2008, 06:20 PM
Here's some dating advice I shared with our daughter, whose shyness meant she started dating later than many girls and didn't have a network of girlfriends to share their experience with her.

No matter what money’s been spent or effort expended, the girl doesn’t owe the guy anything more than the pleasure of her company and a thank you. Not even a kiss, if she doesn’t want to. It’s sad that many grown women think that money, effort, and attention lavished on her somehow obligates her to put out, and how many guys feel entitled.

You don’t have to be harsh to refuse physical contact. Guys don’t usually mean any disrespect, or to imply that they expect to succeed because the girl is some easy slut. Mostly their actions say they find the girl very sexually attractive and that they’re optimists at heart, hopeful that she’ll let them but fully expecting to be stopped at some point.

Sexual involvement, whether it’s full-out or something less but still more than the girl wanted, never ever makes a guy stay, or return--except when he wants more sex.

Maryn, who wrote scads on the subject and emailed it in small doses

02-29-2008, 06:30 PM
I can't remember any dating advice. Seriously. And I started dating at 14. I just kind of knew what my parents expected me not to do and followed that. Sort of. I had three older sisters, too, so maybe I learned from them. Now this has me thinking....

Okay, my mom was a nurse at the hospital and used to come home telling us about kids our age that were patients there and how they got into different kinds of trouble and it didn't sound like fun. My dad would talk to me about the different boys I dated--not passing judgement--just talk to me and listen. He was great. But if a boy bothered me, he'd head him off at the door. And my dad was only 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed about 125 lbs.