Who really teaches you how to date? That's the question I often find myself asking after I've brought up politics or spilled an entire glass of water all over myself on a first, maybe even second, date.
Sure, there are thousands of advice books out there. But if you really flip through the pages and highlight the parts that make your heart flutter, you'll soon realize the only things these books actually do is get you all riled up. And they do that so well, that you eventually become numb from doing anything. Wait 35 minutes before texting him back (Don't do that!), don't even bother reaching for your wallet — make him pay (You should always offer), always have him thinking you're on the verge of walking away (What the heck is the point of that?).
Do me a giant favor: Forget these books. How about our parents? Some will sit us down and spill out all the advice that their growing hearts have learned over the years. Some will be there to lift us up as we're starting to crawl underneath our covers over a broken, tired, heart. And some will just casually remind us, as we're on the way to work on a Friday morning, that no matter what, it's important to find someone who makes you happy. That's all the matters (Thanks, Mom!)
As women, we're often so curious what's rolling around inside a guy's minds — so I decided to sneak in for a moment, and ask 10 of them to tell me the #1 piece of advice they learned from their moms when it comes to dating, love, or successful relationships.
Here's what I learned:
1. "My mom gave me advice when I had my first heartbreak at 20. She said: 'What you put up with in a relationship, is all you'll ever get out if it.' It’s so true in so many ways." -Alex, 23
2. "It's simple. My mom once told me: 'Look at her mother and you'll see her future'." -Bryan, 25
3. "Don't rush it, my mold told me. If you think she's the one for you — or see a future with her and she makes you happy — then pursue it. Don't ever let her pressure you into something you don't want to have. Also, be honest with your feelings." - Dan, 27
4." If it's not working now, it's not going to. (Amen, Mom)" -Johnny, 30
5. "See how they treat the waiter at the restaurant. It’'l tell everything." -Cliff Montana, 26
6. "Don't ever settle for anyone." -Shayne, 29
7. "My mom was big on 'if you're in a relationship; you're part of a team.' So you need to learn to compromise and understand that it's not just about you, anymore. And with that comes a lot of responsibility. If you want to be a good boyfriend or husband, you need to put their needs ahead of yours. Because at the end of the day, you're a team. Her happiness is your happiness." -Thomas, 28
8. "Don't rush into a relationship you're not sure about. Be patient until you find the "right" person. -Barry, 34
9. "Trust your instincts — I always have." -George, 31
10. "'Best friends are the best to fall in love with.' That's something my mom told me when I was very young and it's stayed with me forever." - Grant, 29
Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She's the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From. She'd love you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or email@example.com.
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