~” So if you will allow me, if you’ve never had that conversation with your mother about dating, let me share her with you now.”
I was about twelve years old when the subject first came up about dating and having a boyfriend. At the time, my mother was not happy about it. I remember coming up with something profound and full of preteen angst and drama, telling her that I could not just turn my feelings on and off like a light switch. She grinned at me and rolled her eyes and walked away.
She finally sat with me and told me that with me being her oldest child and the one that she knew would surely test her patience the most, she had been preparing herself for talks about life and love. She confessed that she only ever wanted girls and that she wanted to have an open relationship with her girls, unlike the one that she had with her own mother. She encouraged me to come to her, to talk to her even when it seemed awkward, and admitted that any conversation that was uncomfortable for me would be for her as well.
My mother was the type that was brutally honest and very straight forward. That often turned into random conversations that mortified me as a teenager. She would bake a few batches of homemade peanut butter cookies, turn on a pot of tea, tell me to invite my girlfriends over, and then sit down in the midst of us, and smiling ask us what’s new with dating and strike up some girl chat.
My friends loved it. I found that they felt they could ask my mother anything and they were always happy to follow her advice. I have to say, she was always right. Always. Her insight and intuition was so on point and she had this knack for not sugar coating things. We talked about everything from talking to the right kind of guy to what your vagina should really smell like (I know, I know).
As an adult, I can now appreciate having a mother that was not too shy. We went shopping once and I picked up a t-shirt. She picked up a halter top and told me “Wear the halter top. Your shape is too cute to hide it. One day, you’ll appreciate the days that you wore the halter top.”
She was always dropping these gems, these little nuggets of wisdom that were so raw that they made me cringe as a teen, but that as an adult, I now know were priceless. I remember when I seriously started dating, she went on to explain things that she said that her mother never talked with her about. Things like “Don’t be scared of sex. Be selective. It is a wonderful thing with the right person. As a woman, sometimes you get your feelings caught up when you don’t intend to. But always make sure that you enjoy it. Never lay there and not enjoy it. That’s pointless.”
She empowered me to enjoy my femininity and love being a woman and the power that went with that. I recently had to remind myself of all of those things that she taught me about dating so that I could apply them to my current life. My mother never steered me wrong. And I was used to sharing her with others. So if you will allow me, if you’ve never had that conversation with your mother about dating, let me share her with you now. Here are a few gems that she warned me to never forget.
- A man must pay to play. He has to be willing and able to take you on dates where he pays. Ladies, none of that feminist shit. “The man must court you. If he can’t drive over to your house, pick you up, and take you out somewhere nice, he can’t afford to date you, or date anyone period for that matter.”
- Love Yourself. If you are not okay with who you are, how can anyone else be? “He can love all of your broken pieces, but not before you do first.”
- Never give it away for free. Her point was to not sleep with a man that doesn’t respect you enough to come and fix something at your house or help you if you really need it. “Never sleep with a man that won’t make sure that your oil is changed or that will fix your tire when it’s flat.” Plus, I’m sure there is a little wisdom about finding a man that is handy.
- Never share. Quite prophetic in a day when women proudly profess to being a side chick. “Never wait for him to leave his wife. He won’t. And if he does, a man that will cheat on his wife with you, will cheat on you. You can’t build a relationship with trust when it was based on a lie from the start.” and “You are worth more than having to wait for seconds to be with someone else’s man.”
- Be busy. Being too accessible is a turn off and creates dependence and a comfort in a relationship that breeds an unappreciative nature. “If that man is too busy following you, he isn’t the one. He needs to have some business about himself, and so do you. Be busy. Don’t answer all of his calls right away. Make him know and respect that you have other shit to do besides him.”
- It’s okay to say no. Sometimes what you want is not what you need. “Love is amazing and does not know boundaries. Sometimes you have to set those boundaries and walk away when what you love doesn’t love you back in the right way.”
- Don’t be afraid to cater to your man. A woman makes the house a home. When your man is doing right by you, don’t be afraid to do the same for him. “Girl, don’t be crazy. Fix that man’s plate or someone else will.”
- Being a woman is powerful. Respect and accept your femininity. It means you have the power to chose what, and who is in your space. Choose wisely. “Being a woman is the best thing in the world. Men recognize that and love it. Make him remember that and appreciate you.”
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