There is a lot of hub-bub about uplifting our daughters and giving them advantages so that they don't settle for unworthy men. My thoughts run a little differently. We should do that, but we should also prepare our young men to be worthy of them in the first place.
Before we send our sons out into the dating world, there are a few lessons we should teach them.
1. Coming of age. This phrase has come to mean having intimate relationships with a girl. It is something Hollywood movies are made of, and it's a crock. Becoming a man has very little to do with your conquests and more to do with your willingness to make sacrifices and honor the standards of a girl. It isn't an instant or a moment or an action. It is a lifetime goal to be as mature as you can.
2. The measure of a man. The measure of a man does not come in size of biceps or height. It does not come in fancy cars or dance moves. It comes in respecting himself enough to respect girls.
3. Have fun. When you date, show the girl a fun time. Make her laugh. If you took a survey, most women put sense of humor and intellect right up at the top of the list. Learn how to laugh at yourself, but never laugh at the girl unless she laughs first. Otherwise, it might come across as belittling.
4. Never force yourself. Your friends will share the untruth with you that "no" means "yes," and that you should be forceful with a girl. Never, ever, ever force yourself into a girl's life. Never try to influence her to break her standards. Always respect the "no."
5. It's OK to say "no." If a girl tries to tease you or belittle you into breaking your own standards, it's OK to say "no." It does not make you any less of a man to wait until the time is right. Don't let your friends bully you into doing something you're not ready for.
6. Don't be bullied. This may sound crazy when you hear it, but boys can be just as bullied as girls. Bullying can come in the form of manipulation, and there are plenty of girls out there who will try to manipulate you. Set your standards and live by them.
7. The art of conversation. Practice talking to girls. Be their friend, first. Learn to say, "I'm sorry." Be open and honest about your feelings. Real men talk about how they feel.
8. Group dating. Start out in groups before pairing off. Get a gang together and go bowling or to the movies. Play in the park and go to dances. Learn to get to know girls in a group, first. Then, when you're ready, ask one out.
9. Make a list. As you date girls, and get to know them better, watch for things you like about them and things you don't. Make a list of the qualities that you love and keep a list of "I can't stand(s)." Make dating the process of finding a girl who's not perfect, but who's perfect for you.
10. Don't look for the girl in the magazine. Teach your boys that real women don't look like the girls in the magazines. Those women are touched up and photoshopped. Teach them that the body is the vehicle for the spirit and that the spirit is what counts. Beauty is found beneath the surface in the qualities that make a woman what she is. She is not a trophy to show off to your friends.
11. Follow-through. There is nothing manly about telling a girl you'll call her and then not calling. Girls may be hurt by you not having any real interest in them, but nothing hurts worse than not knowing. Be direct. If you don't want to see her again, just tell her.
12. Don't jump into commitment. It is fine to be alone. It is better than being with the wrong girl for the wrong reason. Take your time, and have fun until the time is right.
Let's work to prepare our young men to be the kind of dates we would want our young women to go out with. We need to help them know their worth so that they can develop into good men.
Becky Lyn Rickman is an author and a 35+ year (most of the time) single mom. Visit Becky Lyn's Website. or write her at email@example.com