I’m Not Just Raising My Son, I’m Raising a Man With a Loving Heart

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I often find myself sitting at a table with my friends and we shake our heads as we trade dating stories. Exasperated, we wonder, “What are these guys thinking?” Then we’ll say, “my son won’t be like that.”

I’ve considered this concept for quite some time. What will I tell my son before he starts dating?

Lots of things.

Never ever, ever use a pickup line. Ever.

You’re so incredibly brilliant. Don’t listen to those two-bit hacks that will tell you that you need some cheesy pickup line to get a girl’s attention.

You’re simply starting a conversation with another person — there’s not a lot of magic to it. Just introduce yourself and smile. That’s enough. Continues on the next pages…

Don’t let her pay for the first date.

This isn’t about feminism or lack of feminism and it isn’t about whether she’ll be an equal partner later on or whatever. If she offers, that’s great — but don’t let her pay for the first date.

Show her early on that you’re generous.

As she gets to know you, she’ll know that you’re generous in spirit and that’ll be good enough — but for now, the only way you can demonstrate your generosity is to not be a total cheapo on the first date.

Always use your imagination.

Honey, don’t leave it to your girl to come up with all of the great date ideas. I know you want her to pick things that make her happy, but you need to do some of the heavy lifting, too.

Also, make sure you surprise her sometimes.

Show up on her doorstep with flowers, send her a hand-written letter telling her how you feel. It can say something as simple as, “You make me smile.” Find out what her favorite food is and get it to her – stat.

Know that dates are important.

Remember her birthday, the day you started dating, and all of the big “firsts.” First kiss, first movie you saw together, all of it. It’s not too hard, sweetie, just write it down.

Then, you can use that imagination I was talking about earlier to show her in little ways that you remember.

Learn the difference between “leading you on” and “not ready yet.”

Please don’t give up on a girl quickly just because she wants to take it slow. Really think about it before you do. Does it really seem like she’s not interested? Do you see something there when she looks at you? I’m not saying you should wait around forever or be a doormat.

I am saying, be patient.

Girls want to know that they can trust you — so act like the boy I raised, and be that guy.

Also, make sure to let them know the difference when you say it.

If you feel the need to say goodbye, actually say goodbye.

You’re my son and I love you more than life itself, but if you drop off the map on a girl and don’t say something, I will whip your butt. I really don’t care if it was a one night stand (and I hope there won’t be too many of those).

If you no longer want to see or speak to a lady, say so, and let her down easy. It’s the right thing to do.

Always let her know where you stand.

I understand that you might not want to marry every girl you date, but just like you don’t want a girl to string you along, if you wait too long to define your relationship with a girl, you are stringing her along.

Please, honey. don’t wait months to make it Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or whatever official.

Don’t let your friends dictate who you go out with.

If I’ve learned anything from your eating habits, it’s that you have a mind of your own, my sweet. Don’t let your friends tell you that the person you’re dating isn’t good enough for you and don’t let them trash talk the girl, either.

If they do that, they trash talk you, too. Stand up for her, stand up for yourself. Let them know real quick that you won’t be taking any crap from anyone.

This should be enough to get you started, but since your mom knows pretty much everything, be prepared to learn more as you go.

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