Here's to raising boys to be gentlemen and passing on lessons we've learned from past relationships...
To my boys,
I know you guys are still into your animals and dinosaurs and scooters. I also know that I’m still your number one person, cuddle buddy and personal buttwiper. But I know my days are numbered. You’re both starting to become more opinionated and determined to do things on your own. You’re so certain about what you like and what you don’t.
One day, hopefully a very, very long time from now, you’ll find someone who you find more interesting (not prettier, of course) than your boring old mum. Although I’ll probably never be prepared for when that day comes, it made me think about my own relationship with your father.
How we act in front of you, as a couple, and as individuals, will play a big role in shaping your future relationships. As someone who grew up in a happy, blended family for the majority of my life, I knew that I wanted the exact same thing once it was time for me to have my own family. I’m lucky that I found your dad, who thinks the same way and believes in the same things I do. Getting there was tough but worth it. Mum had to kiss a lot of frogs and cry lots of tears before finding your dad. Here’s a little guide, based on all the relationships I’ve had, that might help when your time to date comes around:
Be a gentleman
Call me old fashioned, but I think being a gentleman will never go out of style. You’ve probably seen your dad open doors and hold chairs out for me – and I love that about him. Please do the same. Always, always, always offer to pay the bill – even if your date insists on going dutch. If you end up splitting the bill, it’s OK, as long as you’ve made the effort. Before you kiss that special someone, make sure that they’re ABSOLUTELY OK with you doing it first. You could even try asking but that might ruin the moment. Oh, and on that note, please always walk your date back to their door. If their parents are around, say “hi” and ask them how they are. Showing the ‘rents that you have good manners says a lot about how you were raised and I’d like to think your dad and I did/are doing a pretty good job.
There’s more to dating than just hanging out
Firstly, if you’re going to ask someone out on a date, call them or ask them in person. I know people nowadays love texting but nothing beats being asked out IRL. And besides, if EVERYONE’S doing it, it doesn’t mean YOU should.
One of the most important lessons you’ll learn when you start dating is that physical attraction is fleeting. Sure, a person might seem “hot” to you now but trust me, there are other hotter people out there. Take the time to ask questions, listen and learn more about the people that they really are. Find out what they really care about, what their dreams are. And if your instinct tells you they’re a good person, then by all means, go for it.
How to spot a winner
Now, for the most important advice of all – how to find THE ONE. The One is someone who’ll want to stick with you through the ugly and cheer you on through the good. They’ll be the type of person who will forgive you, who will stand up for you and who has a good heart. Someone who makes you a better person and gives you great advice but listens to what you have to say. Someone who isn’t afraid to admit that they need your help. Someone who loves telling you that they love you. I’m lucky that your dad is all these things and that’s what I love most about him.
I know that we all have a long way to go and that things can change. But what I can promise you is that your dad and I will work together to make our relationship even better and stronger so you’ll know what road to follow when your time comes.
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