The 9 Best Pieces Of Dating Advice From Your Mom That You Should Actually Listen To
Your mom's dating advice may not always seem that relevant, but there may be more to her comments than you think. While maybe not everything about her dating life can apply to yours, there are some important things to listen to from her end. In the end, old-fashioned dating advice from your mom may actually be able to help you get what you want in love. Of course, you don't want to mimic everything about dating in previous generations, but as you turn away from anything "old-fashioned," you may miss some sage pieces of advice that are actually relevant.
"In terms of dating, young people can learn a lot from their baby boomer parents that will actually help them to become better daters and be able to discover what behavior is unacceptable from their dates," relationship expert and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle. So if you've been ignoring advice just because it's coming from your mom, maybe now is the time to listen up.
While your mom might still be stressed out by the mere thought of dating apps, she might have some advice up her sleeve that can still apply in the world of modern romance. You just have to listen closely. Here are nine dating tips from your mom you might want to actually take.
1. Talk On The Phone
It may feel weird when a date calls you, because our generation is so texting-oriented, but consider this advice from your mom as a serious suggestion. "So much is lost in translation; especially when a relationship is new," Dr. Kendra Kubala, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, tells Bustle. "Avoid miscommunication via texting, and have a conversation." Plus, there's a special little rush knowing someone is taking their time to hear your voice.
2. Focus On Your Manners
It doesn't have to be a loaded conversation to suggest being kind to your partner, and even practice a little bit of etiquette. "Be gracious and kind and even go the extra mile by being on time, holding a door open, and being attentive," Dr. Kubala says. "Although it seems this way lately, appearing disinterested does not make one appear cool. If you decide not to pursue the relationship further, communicate this directly to the person without ghosting." You don't need to do anything over-the-top, but your mom's advice about putting your phone down on a date might actually be a good move.
3. Maintain A Level Of Privacy
It's a good thing that this generation is more open talking about sex, and other aspects of relationships, with their friends. But your mom's advice to maintain a level of privacy about your relationship might actually be helpful.
"Keep some things private," Dr. Kubala says. "'Not everything is for everyone' is a good motto to keep in mind." Keeping the photos of you making out to a minimum, and discussing with your partner what makes them feel comfortable in terms of social media presence and PDA, can be helpful.
4. Really Get To Know The Person You're Dating
In the name of keeping up appearances, or trying to seem chill, you may be missing out on really getting to know people. "Do not try to jump into a relationship without getting to know someone first," Rappaport says. "It is always a good idea to view dating as an opportunity to get to know someone so you can determine if they would make a good partner. Dating is an essential tool ... Take your time and don’t rush." Going on dates, and learning about someone bit by bit, may seem old fashioned, but it's likely a good bet.
5. If You Want To Make It Official, Do It
If casual relationships are your thing, then more power to you. But if you're seeing someone you like, do what your mom would tell you to do and actually tell the person how you feel.
"Make it official," Dr. Kubala says. "Whatever mode you choose, be open about having the conversation with your partner." This sense of security and partnership can be a really good feeling. And if the person you're seeing isn't on the same page as you, you'll have the benefit of knowing it sooner rather than later.
6. Quit Playing Emotional Games
Playing games may feel like the norm, and sometimes it may even feel fun. But your mom is right: it is a mark of immaturity.
"You may fall for someone who sweeps you off your feet," Rappaport says. "It is important to maintain objectivity and not let them play games with you and your emotions. Immaturity takes many forms and you need to be mindful of recognizing when someone love bombs, breadcrumbs or ghosts you." All of these games have their names that your mom might not know, but you should know that you deserve more than this kind of behavior.
7. Be Mindful About Sex
You may bemoan your mom's prudish view of sexuality, so it's easy to forget that you at least partially have your parents' generation to thank for sexual liberation. So try applying some of her views on sex with nuance. "It is [often] a good idea to avoid having sex with someone until you get to know them and feel safe with them," Rappaport says. Adding an additional layer of thought before jumping into bed is still entirely possible, even as a sex-positive person, and your mom will likely be glad that you're being more mindful.
8. Don't Just Do What Everyone Else Is Doing
Maybe you've heard your mom echo this advice on different stages throughout your life, but it's worth listening to once again as you navigate the world of dating.
"Sometimes being in a relationship is driven by not wanting to miss out," psychotherapist and relationship expert Kelly Bos tells Bustle. "If you find yourself single, or in between relationships, make the most of the time to yourself." Remember how your mom used to say "if this person jumped off a cliff, would you?" and take inventory on your motivations for finding love.
9. Expect Respect
Your mom may have a lot of expectations when it comes to dating, but first and foremost, moms mostly want to make sure you're being honored and respected. You don't have to follow the same rules of respect that her generation did, but you can heed her advice by demanding a level of respect from your dates.
"Your date(s) should always treat you with respect," Rappaport says, ".... You deserve to feel good about yourself and that someone really cares about you." It's hard to argue with a mom about this basic level of dignity.
No matter how your mom was raised, she likely has a few pearls of wisdom when it comes to dating. Experts agree that if you distill some of her life lessons, you may be able to find some applicable advice for the modern dating world. This kind of advice has likely been right under your nose for a while: You just need to look at it more closely.