21 Things I Will Teach My Daughter About Dating

My daughter is 10 months old right now, but I’m already dreading the day when she starts taking an interest in boys (or girls, if that be the case). Will she get her heartbroken? Will she know what to do when she develops that first crush on someone? Will she tell me about it? I’ve saved up 30 something years of experience to throw at her when the time comes. She’ll probably be mortified and lock me out of her bedroom, but in case she reads this one day, here’s what her mother has to say:

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Joe St. Pierre

1. You only have to be you. Plenty of girls will go out of their way to change themselves to please someone else. They’ll change their clothing style, their hair, their hobbies, their likes, their dislikes. That’s a lot of changing and is way too much work. If you want to work hard, focus on finding out who you are. Then stay that way.

2. Avoid people that cheat. If they cheated on your friend, they will likely cheat on you. Immature people lose interest fast. You’re way too interesting for anyone to lose interest in you.

3. If someone is interested in you, let them make this known on their own terms. Don’t make it too easy and don’t be aggressive about it. It may take a while and you’ll have to be patient, but you will find out eventually. It’s worth the wait.

4. Every person that you meet or even fall in love with does NOT need to be your life partner. Go out with lots of people. Fall in love more than once. Realize that the more people you meet, the more you will know what you can live with and what you can’t live without.

5. While you can never control when you will meet someone you want to marry, the older you are, the better. People change so much when they are younger. There’s a much better chance of wanting the same things and continuing to want those same things if you meet when you’re a bit older. So when it seems like you’re the only person without a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t panic.

6. Do not compromise your values to make someone else happy. A person worth loving would not ask you to do that.

7. Love without fear, but be wise to someone that does not give you back what you offer in return. Know the difference between an obstacle and the Great Wall of China.

8. Friendship is the greatest basis for an actual romantic relationship. Make sure the person you fall in love with is a good friend.

9. Wear sunscreen. This has absolutely nothing to do with relationships, but I’m your mother and I’ve kept you alive for the past 10 months, so that allows me to offer you other important advice about anything I choose for as long as I live.

10. Pay attention to how someone makes you feel when you’re with him or her. A great relationship can give you energy, is another source of companionship and support and makes you feel good about yourself.

11. There will always be someone prettier, kinder, smarter, more athletic, taller, skinnier, funnier and richer. Stop competing and just be happy with the marvelous person you are.

12. Everyone makes mistakes, but some should not be tolerated. Figure out what you can live with and what you can’t, then stick with your decision.

13. Just when you think it’s the end of the world, a new world is just beginning, I promise.

14. Breakups suck. There’s really no easy way around them, especially with someone you love. You will feel better at some point. But remember this experience to learn from it and know you are never alone.

15. If you haven’t heard from someone you are interested in after going out with them… if they haven’t texted you, called, if they’ve broken plans repeatedly – they’re sending you a message. The busiest person in the world will find a way to communicate if they want to reach someone.

16. Avoid dating a close friend’s ex. It’s an incomprehensibly huge sea, so choose another fish. Close friends are hard to replace.

17. Don’t send angry emails and texts. Your anger will fade, but emails and texts live forever.

18. Never drive and text. Or drink and drive. Actually, never leave the house.

19. When you make the decision to end a relationship, do it as quickly as possible and don’t second-guess it. The longer you drag it out, the more hurtful it is.

20. If you’re in the position of having to reject someone, do it kindly and thoughtfully. Don’t leave it open ended, but think about how you’d want it done if you were getting dumped.

21. Call your mother and tell her every single detail of your dating life. Your happiness is my happiness. I’m here to cheer you on. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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