The smell of his cologne swirled through the air and traveled down the stairs a few minutes before my son physically did. It was a tip off that he was about to head out the door to meet up with his friends for the night.
As he rounded the corner and walked into the kitchen, I casually took note of his appearance. He was decked out in his finest khakis, had on a zippered pullover sweater, leather Sperry’s, his hair so perfect it looked airbrushed, and it meant one thing — this was not going to be simple night of chilling, eating pizza, and playing video games with the guys. I had a suspicion, that this night his plans included meeting up with members of the female tribe.
“Mom, can I borrow your car for the night?”
“Nothing, but I kinda wanted to drive a nice car tonight because me and the guys are going to meet up with a couple of girls we met over the break.”
Bingo! My suspicions confirmed.
Seeing him go through the process of picking out the right clothes and actually grooming to try to impress a girl was something new and, well, a bit heartwarming and sweet. Back, not so long ago, when he was in high school he had many friends that were girls, but none he would have considered as “girlfriend” material. I admit, I got a kick out of what he was doing but then I got a strange feeling, and something didn’t quite sit well with me. That’s when “mom mode” kicked into action.
“Can I borrow your car?”
It wasn’t the request itself that bothered me, but the reason behind his request made me pause and then proceed to delve into another one of my exhausting “Mom’s Lessons on Life” lectures with my son. I didn’t have a problem lending him my car and I had no problem with him trying to impress a girl, but at that moment I did not want my 19-year-old son to think that the way to impress a young lady was through a nice car or through material possessions.
I really wanted him to know was that a girl should like him for him and not because he showed up driving a luxury car or to feel that he had to “spoil” her with material trappings. I wanted my son to know that as a 19-year-old in college, there were other ways to impress a girl and certain things that he should be aware of as he navigates the rough road in search of love. But most of all, I wanted him to find a girl who was perfect for him.
So, I sat him down and gave him my slightly unfiltered list of things I thought he should know:
“Dear Son, here’s why I won’t let you drive my car and other motherly advice on dating and relationships”
19 Lessons About Dating and Relationships
1.Are you looking for someone to love you or are you looking for someone to love what you own?
If you feel that some young girl will not want to spend time with you because you’re not driving a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus, then you’re looking for the wrong girl. She should be attracted to you, your confidence and how you treat her. You’re a college student, and your car is appropriate for a college student to drive. Be thankful you have one. So, tonight you can drive your own car.
2. Never feel you must pay for love, or that love equals what you can afford to give.
If a girl equates the level of love with the level of gifts you can give her, then once again she’s more interested in the “gift” than you. If she doesn’t understand the emotional commitment of love, then quite frankly, you’re dealing with gold-digger in training. When the money runs out, so will she. So, run.
3. Find someone you can hold a conversation with.
Is she interesting, can you discuss deeper level topics? Are your conversations one-sided? Being able to have long meaningful talks is an important aspect in any relationship.
4. Find someone you have something in common with.
Find things you both like to do. It will strengthen your relationship and allow you to do more things together.
5. It’s healthy to have separate interests.
Although it’s important to have things that you can do together, it’s equally important for you both to have a separate hobby or interests. Having a little space to do what you like and what she likes will allow you to keep things interesting.
6. Find someone that shares the same morals and values that you have
If one is too conservative and the other is too liberal, there will be lots of conflict. Are your views on religion, family, etc. similar? These things will become more important issues as you get to know each other and eventually make or break a relationship.
7. Find someone who believes in your dreams and one that you believe in their dreams.
Be each other’s cheerleader. Support and encourage each other to become better people.
8. Look for someone who takes turns in leading the relationship.
You are looking for a future partner, not a boss or someone who always needs to do what they want, and your needs are put second. Likewise, it’s important for you to give in when appropriate. Find someone who understands compromise.
9. Don’t try to change each other.
You’ll only end up with resentment.
Don’t allow her to alienate her friends or alienate you from your friends. Having mutual friends is fun, but it’s important to keep your friends and be able to do things with the guys. The same goes with her. She needs to have girl time with her friends.
11. Don’t date anyone who is too possessive.
In the beginning it may seem great that someone wants you all to themselves, but after a while this behavior will may become toxic and dangerous to your relationship and well-being.
12. Treat girls with respect and make sure they treat you with respect.
No means no and that applies to your own personal comfort level. If a girl is getting too aggressive, then remind her “no means no” – equal rights count here. Make sure you respect women and they are equal in the relationship. Value her as a person.
13. Never allow a young woman to compromise her integrity while she is intoxicated.
You want someone to have a clear head and heart when they make the decision to be “more than friends”. Protect her from any regret she might have when she sobers up.
14. Raging hormones do not always mean love.
Learn to tame your hormones. They can cloud your judgement and allow for some bad decision-making. Remember, lust and love are two different animals.
15. Always use protection.
16. When you really like a girl, pay attention.
Listen and observe what she likes, what her passions are, and what little things make up her personality. Remember these things, they will be important when you want to do something special for her.
17. Grooming and keeping your place clean is important.
Girls truly do not want to be around a slob and will not want to spend much time at your place if it looks like a science experiment or bomb went off.
18. Be mannerly and classy.
Always open doors, have good table manners, and always be gentleman.
19. Only when you find a girl who likes you for you, treat her like a queen and then will I loan you my car for the night.