dating in training

Sometimes I write things down specifically to my sons for future reference. They are thoughts I have now that I don’t want to forget to share with them later. (O.K., to be totally honest, since my near-death-accident I’m a little paranoid that I won’t always be there to share with them later).

With Valentine’s Day on its way it reminds me that one day my boys will be dating and dating is a tricky thing. Doing it right is difficult and honestly, it may be one of the most important things they will ever do. How they date will dictate who they date, and who they date will become their wife, and who their wife is will determine their future family and so forth and so on.

So date wisely. Here are a few expectations I have for my boys when it comes to dating:
1. Always ask a girl on a date. Straight forward and direct and always ask in person. If that just isn’t possible than ask over the phone. Never, I mean never, ask a girl on a date through a text, instant message, or email!

2. Always take a girl out on a date. None of this, “Let’s hang out at my place and watch a movie” nonsense. I expect you to pick her up and take her somewhere. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate, sometimes the best dates are simple, like a picnic in the park. However, it should always be somewhere that she will feel comfortable and enjoy.

3. Open the car door for your date. Open all doors for your date.

4. Pay for your date. No questions asked. Your father and I will make sure that you always have money for your dates. Do not ever split the bill!

5. Walk to the door to pick your date up. Never text from the car, or worst yet, honk! And always walk your date to the door at the end of the night.

6. Use your good senses when it comes to kissing. Don’t kiss every girl, but don’t be afraid to kiss the right girl.

7. Listen to your date. The best dates involve getting to know the other person, so take your date somewhere that will allow you to talk. Ask her questions and share insight about yourself. The purpose of dating is to find someone you could spend your future with.

8. Always make your intentions clear. If you aren’t feeling a girl then end it. Don’t string her along. It may hurt her in the short run but she will appreciate your honesty. If you are feeling a connection then let her know. Girls love clarity. It will make the whole dating process easier if you follow this one simple rule.

9. Always be faithful. If you decide things aren’t working out or you meet someone else you’d like to get to know refer back to rule #8.

10. Be physical the right way. Hold hands, put your arm around her shoulders or eventually her waist, kiss her head, put your hand on her knee. These sweet gestures speak volumes and make a woman feel cared for.

11. If the dating is getting serious get to know her family and friends and let your family and friends get to know her. Especially me.

12. When the time comes, tell her you love her A LOT. In fact, tell her all sorts of nice things, everyone deserves to be complimented, and show your love by your actions. Make her breakfast, take out her trash, offer your jacket when she’s cold, buy her flowers, randomly write her notes about how you feel…you get the point. Never forget to show her how special she is to you and when the time is right and you’ve found that special someone get down on one knee and ask her those 4 special words.

*My boys and I have started dating. Once they hit 5 I take them on regular dates. We have fun but the whole purpose is to teach them how to date.

Image Credit: Monica Flinders

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Sara Watkins is a stay at home mother of 3 rambunctious little men. She has a bachelors in psychology and a masters in social work. She likes to stand up paddle, take pictures, and bake however right now her whole world kind of revolves around her boys.