Fatherly Wisdom: 16 Ladies Share What Dad Taught Them About Love

father & daughter
Love, Family

When it comes to love, dads try their best to protect us from the boys that will break our hearts. They make us promise at a ridiculously early age (around kindergarten) that we won't date until we're 30 (which seems fine at the time, since all boys have cooties anyway). In our early teens, dads threaten to answer the door with a baseball bat when our date comes to pick us up (and warn us that he better actually come to the door, regardless).

But for all of the guarding they do, dads also guide us to make the right decisions when it comes to love (even if no guy will ever measure up to their standards). Read on for the best love advice that these 16 ladies received from their fathers — from when to fall in love, to when to walk away, and how love is actually kind of like a potato...

1. You Can't Force Someone To Care About You.
"My dad overheard me in a fight with my boyfriend when I was in high school. I was screaming at him and telling him he didn't care about me (I just found out he cheated). My dad came into my room mid-yell and said to me, 'You can't force someone to care about you. You can't manipulate it. If he doesn't care, it's his loss.'  I never chased a guy or tried to make him care after that." -Renee, 26

2. You Can't Throw Love Around.
"My dad is very Russian, and once told me, 'Love is not a potato. You can't throw it out the window.'" -Vicky, 35

3. Make Sure You're Committed.
"Prior to getting married, my dad told me, 'Be committed to the commitment,' because my husband will make mad someday, and I must stay loyal to my vows until my love catches up, and that only happens with time." -Nichole, 39

4. Marry The Man Who Accepts You.
"My father told me, 'Do not marry the guy who wants you to change. Marry the one who believes that being with an irrepressible, untamable, and unapologetic woman makes him the luckiest man on earth.'" -Sandy, 35

5. Be Wise About Forgiveness.
"My dad taught me the importance of being able to forgive without being made a fool of, which is important in any relationship. His actions and charisma spoke louder than words, and I am forever grateful for what he taught me, not so much in words, but by his actions." -Laura, 79

6. Have Fun.
"My dad always said to have fun with each other, and to remember where it all started!" -Colleen, 26

7. Loneliness Is Better Than Unhappiness.
"My dad told my sister and I that it is better for us to be lonely than to end up in unhappy marriages." -Michelle, 39

8. Choose Someone You Value.
"My father told me to choose someone that I value as much as I value myself." -Linda, 59 

9. Don't Fall In Love Easily.
The best piece of advice my dad gave me about love is to never fall in love too easily. It's real easy to let your heart take over and not listen to your head, but it's important to listen to both. He told me to take a look at the guy's background, his financial stability, his outlook on life, his health, and most importantly, how he treats his mother. Any man that treats his mother with love and respect is a lot more likely to do the same with you." -Carly, 36

10. Never Settle.
"When my dad was a kid, his grandfather used to tell him, 'The girl for you hasn't been born yet.' This isn't meant to be taken literally, for obvious reasons, but the intention is sound. Roughly translated, it's best interpreted as, 'You're a darn good catch, so never feel like you have to settle.' When people doubt themselves, they sometimes jump the relationship gun and end up with subpar partners because they're afraid no one else will want them, or that their 'stock is depreciating' over time. Instead, it's better to be alone or dating casually than to waste your time on something less than positive—wait it out. This wisdom stuck with my dad, and he's reminded me of this many times. The only serious relationship you should be in is the absolute best one for you, with someone who will be there for you and appreciates you in turn." -Hannah, 23

11. Above All Else, Make Sure He Makes You Happy.
"My dad told me, 'I don't care what he does, if he's rich or poor, fat or thin. As long as he makes you happy.'"  -Beth, 28

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12. Be Able To Live Without Him.
"When I asked my dad about love, he told me, 'Just make sure you can live without him. Never be dependent, it's not attractive.'" -Erica, 29

13. Boys Are Like Buses.
"Boy's are like buses, there's always another one around the corner." -Maffy, 25

14. Don't Run From A Fight.
"The best advice my dad gave me about love is to never run away from a fight with someone you love and care about." -Teju, 22

15. There Are Different Reasons For Different Marriages.
"Your first marriage is for money, your second marriage is for love, and your third marriage is to marry someone 20 years younger than you! I swear he keeps repeating this everytime he sees me." -Angelina, 27

16. Love Is The Little Things.
"Love isn't big grand gestures. It's the small things, everyday. My dad never did huge things for my mother, but every day he would do something small for her, and those things add up over time." -Brianna, 26