What would you tell your daughter about dating? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom never taught me anything about dating. I don't blame her, I'm pretty sure she has high-functioning autism or Asperger's. But no one else ever filled in the gaps for me either. I started dating a young man when I was almost 19. Before then, I had been on only a couple dates, and had not done anything more than kissing. Married him at age 20, now we are divorced. I now find myself at age 27 single and clueless and anxious about the dating scene. But I'm ready to date, and I have a little thing going on with someone long-distance that I think we both want to take to the next level.

So lay it on me. If I was your daughter or best friend, what would you tell me about dating?

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#2 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 09:53 AM
 
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I will tell you what I tell my 24 year old sister.

~keep your legs closed.
~the only thing open after midnight is leg.
~don't allow him to become too friendly. Keep some distance and make him respect you.
~don't call him more than twice a week unless it is a necessity, until after the 2nd or third month of dating. Allow him to miss your presence.
~cultivate your hobbies and do them. Have something extra to offer.
~don't appear to independent or too needy.
~offer to pay for every other date
~ don't look for perfection, it does not exist.
~somethings you can make a man change after marraige. (My sister rejected a suitor because he wore white socks with dress shoes. Silly girl)
~If his family is crazy now, they will remian crazy after you all marry.
~Avoid a man with bad credit unless he is recovering from divorce, medical bills or a recent layoff. If he has a full time job and can't pay his bill on time, how can he support a family.
~ Share similar religious beliefs

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#3 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
~keep your legs closed.
~the only thing open after midnight is leg.
These appear to be contradictory

I don't agree with a lot of what the PP wrote, mainly because it's about playing games. I don't feel a woman needs to put on an act in order to get a man to respect her, or make sure she only calls once every couple of weeks or whatever. That's not real respect...those are just mind games.

I feel the most important thing when it comes to dating is to be yourself. If you're looking for someone to cling to then this is going to show eventually...it's difficult to hide that for long. If you're really independent then this will show, too. So the best thing to do is be upfront and honest and not try to make him think you're someone you're not. You will find in the dating world that a lot of men just want to get down your pants. There are some, however, who are truly genuine and want to know who you are as a person and cherish you. You will know the difference as you become more experienced with dating...it'll just become obvious after all. Decoding body language and reading between the lines helps with this. Also, I've found the more authentic I am and the stronger my intentions are when it comes to who I'm looking for, the easiest it is to find someone I have a strong connection with and I really enjoy being around. If you know who you are and who you'd like to spend your time with, then, odds are, you'll attract someone on a similar wavelength.
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#4 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zenful View Post
These appear to be contradictory

I don't agree with a lot of what the PP wrote, mainly because it's about playing games. I don't feel a woman needs to put on an act in order to get a man to respect her, or make sure she only calls once every couple of weeks or whatever. That's not real respect...those are just mind games.

I feel the most important thing when it comes to dating is to be yourself. If you're looking for someone to cling to then this is going to show eventually...it's difficult to hide that for long. If you're really independent then this will show, too. So the best thing to do is be upfront and honest and not try to make him think you're someone you're not. You will find in the dating world that a lot of men just want to get down your pants. There are some, however, who are truly genuine and want to know who you are as a person and cherish you. You will know the difference as you become more experienced with dating...it'll just become obvious after all. Decoding body language and reading between the lines helps with this. Also, I've found the more authentic I am and the stronger my intentions are when it comes to who I'm looking for, the easiest it is to find someone I have a strong connection with and I really enjoy being around. If you know who you are and who you'd like to spend your time with, then, odds are, you'll attract someone on a similar wavelength.

Playing games? I don't play games with men, and I don't advocate it. If a woman has to spend all of her time and attention focused on a man she has no life. A women with no life or interests of her own has nothing to offer a man. Live life the way that you did before the man came along.

I believe that it is tacky for a woman to chase a man. There is nothing wrong with making your intentions known, but in the end a man chooses a wife.

And this
Quote:
~keep your legs closed.
~the only thing open after midnight is leg.

These appear to be contradictory
is not contradictory. I would not allow some man to keep my out after a certain hour, it comes back to respect. The advice came from my Grandmother and it worked well for me.

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#5 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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I talk to my dd about relationships etc but she's too young for dating.

I tell her that most importantly honor herself! Know what she wants out of the relationship and don't settle for less. know how she is to be treated and again don't settle for less. To be respected and give respect.

I think the whole premise of women needing to keep their legs closed is gross. If you are a grown woman and you want to have sex then do with out shame or guilt, just be safe. And any man worth it will not look down on you because you know what you want and do it. After all if it's sex then you are BOTH having it and the double standard that it's okay for a man but not a woman is disgusting and misogynous.

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#6 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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I tell her that most importantly honor herself! Know what she wants out of the relationship and don't settle for less. know how she is to be treated and again don't settle for less. To be respected and give respect.

I think the whole premise of women needing to keep their legs closed is gross. If you are a grown woman and you want to have sex then do with out shame or guilt, just be safe. And any man worth it will not look down on you because you know what you want and do it. After all if it's sex then you are BOTH having it and the double standard that it's okay for a man but not a woman is disgusting and misogynous.


And not to be snarky, but geez midnight is pretty early for some! I used to get off work at 10 or later so a lot of dh and my early dates were way past midnight. DH certainly didnt think less of me because I am a night owl????

Call when you feel like calling...there is no "rule" on how much is too much.

You should never excpect to make someone change after marriage...and in the example of your sister, why would he stop wearing white socks after marriage?

Dont appear to be to independent or too needy - well, you should be yourself. Dont try to appear to be anything else.

Share similar religious beliefs - for some this is very important, for some it is not at all.

Dont really understand not being too friendly? How would someone lose respect for someone who they are friendly with?

The paying for everyother...well, again it depends. I think its a bit rigid to count everyother time, but offering or just paying when you ask for the date, or at other times is nice I think

The rest I agree with...though I really dont like rules as there are always exceptions.

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#7 of 24 Old 10-10-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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I would say the most important thing is to be yourself. If he doesn't like you for who you are, he's not worth keeping around. That doesn't mean you can't try to change a small habit that annoys him or that sort of thing, but fundamentally, you need to know who you are/what you stand for and he needs to respect that and be attracted to it--and vice versa.

As far as intimacy guidelines or physical boundaries, well I'll tell my daughter that God designed sex to be part of an intimate, ongoing, committed relationship which we call marriage. Since you're not actually my daughter and have probably already formed your own views on sex and physical intimacy, I'll just say that you should know what your boundaries are NOW before you are involved and know why you set them where you do. You are a lot more likely to make thoughtful, rational decisions about how you want to share yourself now than you would in a highly-charged passionate moment.

Finally, dating is supposed to be fun. Yes, in the end you may be testing each other out for a potential long-term relationship/marriage/parenting, but that doesn't mean the process is necessarily a serious and solemn one. Enjoy one another's company. Be friends to each other. Let the possibly future serious aspects of the relationship happen naturally, in time.

And finally I'd tell my daughter, if despite my own feelings on the subject, you decide to have sex before marriage, for God's sake get yourselves tested and wear condoms! I don't agree with premarital sex, but it's not worth dying for.

I wish you the best of luck as you find the man of your dreams, wherever he may be.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#8 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 04:07 AM
 
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I'd tell her to 1. make safety a priority. In other words, if you want to have any kind of sexual fun - get an STD test from the man and use condoms. Always. No Exceptions. They're very easy to do now (STD tests) and are becoming more normal. Never be afraid to put your safety first because your health is precious.

2. Don't lost your mind when following your heart. It's important to pay attention to your emotions, but it's equally important to pay attention to your mind and the logical/practical matters of the situation.

3. Don't expect to change someone. If you meet someone, and you don't like something about them or they have a contradictory lifestyle to yours, and you catch yourself thinking "with me, he'll be different. For me, he'll change. I'll change him" ... move on immediately. Most people don't change until they want to, for themselves. It's better to find someone whom you already like as they are, rather than attempting (and in all probability failing)to change them.

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#9 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone, I'm reading this thread with interest. Even the contradictory advice is good, gives me something to think about. Keep it coming...

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#10 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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"Personally, I always liked the idea of non-exclusive dating, but apparently that's not a common way to date. Um...follow the same rules you follow when you go out with friends and if your date tries to push you farther than you're comfortable with, tell him you can and will <violence>. On second thought, maybe I should find someone who's actually dated to help you with this."
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#11 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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My almost 16 year old has stepped a toe into the dating world.

She carries her own money.
She carries a cell phone.
She is in public places or supervised in another teen's home.

I tell her to have fun and be safe.


Is there anything else?

My dh dated only three girls and married one of them(me). I dated a lot.... maybe 30 guys before I realized that dh was the one to settle down with. I hope both my ds and my dd date a lot.
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#12 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 11:00 PM
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No one EVER regrets waiting for their first time, though so many regret having sex as early as they did.

Once you lose your virginity, you can never get it back.
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#13 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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Queen of the Pride, would you be willing to share a bit more about yourself? About how old are you? Do you have kids? Have you been married before? Edited to say, yes, you already mentioned that you were married.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle C. View Post
No one EVER regrets waiting for their first time, though so many regret having sex as early as they did.

Once you lose your virginity, you can never get it back.
I totally could be wrong here but as this is Mothering.com I suspect the OP has already had sex once, maybe more than once, and is in fact a mother.

However, I agree, it can't hurt to wait. To the OP, your comfort and satisfaction are worth the wait.

And I agree with the above poster who said it's supposed to be fun. Dating is supposed to be fun.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#14 of 24 Old 10-11-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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Ooooooohhhhh....I feel really stupid. I was thinking you wanted advice about talking to your dd, so I was thinking of what I'd say to like a 15 year old.

You should check out the "Tell Me About It" column by Carolyn Hax. Lots of dating type questions to give you warning about that sort of thing, and the comments section at washingtonpost.com is really educational too.

Be yourself.
Assume the other person is a person.
Do stuff you enjoy and you'll find people who like the same things.

As for making the long term thing more permanent, I'd say there'd have to be a reasonable plan for one of you to move nearer for that to really work.
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#15 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 02:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Noelle C. View Post
No one EVER regrets waiting for their first time, though so many regret having sex as early as they did.

Once you lose your virginity, you can never get it back.
Actually, I disagree. I know people who regret waiting. You have to be true to yourself. Even though my first time was with a guy that was a major UAV, I do not regret it. (we were together for 1 1/2 years) I DONT want my daughter to wait until marriage. Of course if she decided to I will support her, but I think waiting can cause a lot of baggage too. Dont get me wrong, I dont want her sleeping with any boy that looks at her either.

I guess I also dont like the whole "losing your viriginity thing". I dont feel I lost anything...I gained.

Ahh, it is way too late and I am coming down off a migraine so am rambly and not very coherent. I will stop now

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#16 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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Yea, I wouldn't have minded some extra experience before meeting my dp. He was my first (I was 21), and he turned out to be the one I wanted for a life partner.

Looking back, I definitely could have had some fun that first year in college without any regrets. I also don't like to think of it as "losing virginity", but rather "gaining fun experience."

But, that's a bit off topic.

The other piece of advice I'd offer is to make sure you know where you stand in terms of your views/ideas/values about sexuality. It's much easier to deal with people who are likeminded in their ideas about sexuality than those who hold totally opposite views to yours.

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#17 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 03:42 AM
 
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Best advice I have heard....

Make a list about what you want in a man... you know the list: attractive, fun, financially independant, educated...

(go ahead. I'll wait)

Now...
a) go BECOME that person.
b) throw away the list and date any damn person that makes you smile
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#18 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 03:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
~keep your legs closed.
~the only thing open after midnight is leg.
It took me a good 5 minutes sitting here trying to figure out what you where saying Must be more tired than I though

~the only thing open after midnight is leg. Meaning there is nothing out there to do after midnight other than sex.

 
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#19 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
It took me a good 5 minutes sitting here trying to figure out what you where saying Must be more tired than I though

~the only thing open after midnight is leg. Meaning there is nothing out there to do after midnight other than sex.
Ohhhhh! Now I get it! Thanks. I didn't know what that meant, either.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#20 of 24 Old 10-12-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle C. View Post
No one EVER regrets waiting for their first time, though so many regret having sex as early as they did.

Once you lose your virginity, you can never get it back.
Actually, I've met several "nice xtian woman" who tell me that they really wish they had some experience before they married. So they wouldn't feel like they were missing out on anything. Or so they'd know that what they have with their husbands is normal and typical.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-14-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Also, remember to trust your gut instinct. If the guy is rude to a waitress or even just has a creepy "vibe"....Run away from him.

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#22 of 24 Old 10-18-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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The one thing I would add that I think is important-

be discriminating.

How do you really feel about this guy? Don't just end up with someone "ok" out of loneliness. You need to really like (love!) someone and think they are amazing to give them your heart.

But, I think it's ok to go out on dates with guys who are ok, take your time to find out what it is you are looking for. I have friends who think too much about finding a guy who loves THEM & who chooses THEM but they spend no time thinking about whether the guy is actually a good one who THEY CHOOSE. It's really not the way to go about things... and it's sort of how I ended up a young divorcee myself (and now here I am a few years later happily married to an AWESOME guy).
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#23 of 24 Old 10-18-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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I think one crucial piece of advice is: if you fool around/have sex early on in a relationship, don't mistake those intense sensations for any kind of deeper emotion, knowledge or bond between the two of you. That sort of thing takes time and understanding to develop.

Also, decide how far you want to go physically beforehand. People make dumb decisions in the heat of the moment.
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#24 of 24 Old 10-18-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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I frequently tell my DD "you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect at all times. Never settle for anything less."
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