When we are young and starting to learn about love, we don’t want to hear any advice. At least, I didn’t. I was as wild as any teenager usually is and I wanted to explore and find out what romance and sex were about all by myself. The consequence of it is that I wasn’t the slightest inclined to hear any piece of advice from any adult, especially coming from my mother – she was the enemy trying to ruin my dreams with overprotection, wasn’t she?
Even when I would follow her suggestions, I would make sure that she never knew that I had, so not to give her the taste of victory. But nowadays I recognize that my mom was right about many things that she said to me. And in a humble gesture of gratitude, I am going to share with the world ten things my mom was right about love, just in case you want to be smarter than me and adopt some of these precious instructions from now on.
1. ‘If he doesn’t treat you like a princess, he isn’t worth it’
She always defended the idea that if a man truly loves you, he will always do his best to ensure that you are always happy. If he doesn’t, he just doesn’t love you. Simple like this.
2. ‘He is a man, not a child’
When I was trying to make excuses for a boyfriend’s bad behavior or wrong decisions, defending him blindly, my mom would always bring to my attention that I should never treat him like a child, as if he had no idea of what he is doing. ‘Don’t look down or up on him, but in his eyes, as an equal’.
3. ‘Never believe when he says that he isn’t like his friends’
Friends are the family that we choose. Nobody can force us to hang out with who we don’t want to. So if he has friends who enjoy a behavior that you don’t like, my mom told me to be quite sure that my boyfriend was acting in the same. Just not in front of me.
4. ‘Never allow a man to pay your bills’
Being a single mom herself and the daughter of another single mom, it was understandable that my mother would dread the idea of being financially dependable of a man. But she was also sure that paying for my own bills would allow me to choose the man that I wanted and loved, and not anyone available just because I was too afraid that I couldn’t support myself.
5. ‘If he doesn’t care about his mother, he won’t care about you’
Except in very exceptional cases, as if he was unlucky enough to have an awful mother, she used to add. But her idea is that his mother is a men’s most loved woman in the world, so if he can’t treat her well, he won’t treat his wife nicely either.
6. ‘Make sure that you know what you can forgive and forget’
This was one of the most important pieces of advice my mom has ever given to me. She was a true believer that we should only forgive and try to forget a mistake if we could actually do so. If you weren’t going to be able to deal with the mistake in the long term, you were better off breaking the relationship up instead of turning it into hell.
7. ‘It will never be perfect, so you should know your priorities’
Mom could be seen as a bit of a pessimist when it came to relationships, but I think she was trying to be realistic here. She knew by experience and observation that a relationship would never be perfect and that we had to accept it. But we also should know what are these things that we couldn’t live without so to settle only for someone who could provide them.
8. ‘A man doesn’t exist in your life to solve your problems’
Many people keep relationships just because they are afraid of being single, to ease anxiety, or to share the bills. But my mom always defended that you should only be with someone because you purely want to be with that person and nothing else.
9. ‘Never leave a fight unfinished’
From the books ‘never go to bed angry,’ my mom believed that you should always end what you started so you would never need to go back to it again. You were always supposed to reach an agreement at some stage, so everybody could sleep well and start fresh on the next day.
10. ‘Don’t pretend that sex isn’t important’
Coming from my mom, quite a reserved woman, this sentence was a bit of a shock first time I heard it. But it is one of the favorite things I’ve heard from her. The point here is to accept the fact that being sexually satisfied is as important as emotionally, and that there isn’t anything wrong with it – it is just the way we are. So we should never pretend that we are happy in bed when we aren’t.