By: Alex Lim for The Good Men Project
My dear Son,
You told me you were messaging a girl and you were planning to meet somewhere at school. I wanted to ask if it was a date, but I didn’t want to embarrass you. I wanted to ask what she’s like. Is she nice? Is she smart? What type of music does she listen to? Is she like your mum?
It has been too long ago for me to remember. Was it like a switch? One minute you find girls annoying, and then all of a sudden, all you want to do is hang around them.
It seemed like only yesterday that the only girl you didn’t find annoying was your mum. When did that switch flip? When did you start liking girls?
I guess it doesn’t really matter how it happened. Or when. What’s important now is that you know what to look for, and more importantly, how to behave when you’ve found her.
When you were little you told mum that you wanted to marry her when you grow up. Well you know now that’s not possible. But at that time, you wanted to marry mum because she had all the qualities you want in a girl. If that’s true then you should ask ME because I’m the only one that managed to marry her. I’m the “expert,” so to speak.
I know you’re only 12. And you will likely have several girlfriends before marrying the right one. But you might as well learn from the Expert so that you don’t waste time making all the mistakes I made.
Do not get advice from your friends. Remember, “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
So here is a list that helped me when I met your mum.
What to look for:
- Look for someone that’s better than you. It’s as simple as that. Look for someone that you admire, not only for her beauty, but also for her brains, her attitude, how she treats her family and friends.
- When you find someone that is better than you, you will automatically want to be a better person around her. When you strive to be a better person for her, it will also uplift you.
- Nothing else matters. Her race, ethnicity, how many friends she has or how many likes she can get on Instagram. Not her social status or even her religion. None of that matters. Ask yourself this; “Does she make me want to be a better person?” If the answer is YES – then you’re with the right person at this time.
How to behave – A list of DO’S:
This will sound corny but it’s true because I’m the Expert. Chivalry is not dead. Be a gentleman. There’s the easy stuff you hear all the time; hold doors, help her carry stuff, pull out the chair for her, give her your coat when she’s cold. These are all good.
But then there are some details that seem to be lost to your generation. Like:
- Let her order first and wait for her food to arrive before you eat.
- Compliment her on how beautiful she looks.
- Be respectful in front of her parents. Don’t say “Hey, how’s it going”. Say “Good morning Mr. ____.”
- Be respectful to her parents even when they’re not around. Even if she’s angry at them, stay respectful.
- Surprise her with something for no reason. Like flowers, not like a snapchat. However, a snapchat story on how you got those flowers might be cool.
- Watch to make sure she gets home safely before you leave.
- Walk on the outside of the footpath when you’re with her.
- Don’t kiss and tell (come talk to me if you do not get this.)
- Make her laugh.
And then there is the really important stuff. Like:
10. Encourage her to aim higher (do better at school, run faster at track, play harder in sports.)
11. Challenge her to try new things, new experiences that will improve her as an individual.
12. Respect her opinions and decisions at all times.
If you can do 80% of these, she’ll love you. Do 100%, she’ll love and respect you.
How to behave – A list of DON’TS:
In no particular order – just don’t do this stuff:
- Hurtful pranks. I don’t get how anyone can play a hurtful prank on their girlfriend for a laugh. I know it’s all over YouTube and it gets a million likes. That just tells me there are at least a million people out there that won’t have a worthwhile partner. You don’t want to be one of them.
- Bodily emissions on purpose. Just like how you wouldn’t walk up to your teacher and fart or burp in her face, don’t do that to your girl. It’s not respectful. Save that for your buddies.
- Profanity. Don’t use any profanity directed at her, her family or friends. In front of her or behind her back. Respect.
- Let her down. If you say you’re going to be somewhere or do something, do it. Don’t let her down intentionally. Girls like men, not little boys. And men stick to their word.
- Stare at your phone. Don’t text, talk. If you’re with her, keep your eyes on her, not technology.
- Lie and hide. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Change, improve, and move on. If you are practising all these hacks, she will forgive you.
- Shame or belittle. Similarly, she might make mistakes, forgive with sincerity. Never hold a grudge, shame or belittle her.
- Gossip about other people. Even if she does, listen but don’t participate. Don’t tell her not to do it, just acknowledge what she is saying. She might feel annoyed initially but she will respect you for it in the long run.
Your girlfriend now might not ever be your wife, but if you follow the advice of this Expert, you will build a lifelong friendship. And perhaps the next girl you meet will be like your mum.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”
This post originally appeared on the Good Men Project.