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Letter to My Nephew
Being the mother of a daughter, I understand the fears mothers have when their daughters start dating. Being the aunt of a nephew, I’ve had to give serious thought to young men dating, as well. My conclusion has been that while the worries may be different, there are just as many for boy as there are for girls. One day I hope to send him the following letter:
I know that you hear all these things from your mom and dad, but humor me, because I love you, too.
It is hard for me to believe that you are of dating age. I remember when your opinion of girls was, “Yuck! They have germs!” Now I am sure that your opinion has changed and that they get your attention with their silky hair and pretty eyes. But there are still things you need to consider when you find a young lady that you want to date…
Always be polite to her parents. Whether it be on the phone or in person, always tell them who you are. (“Hello. This is ____. May I please speak with…) You are asking for their daughter and they want to know to whom that strange man’s voice on the other end of the line belongs. Always pick your date up at the door of her home and always ask to meet her parents. I know that you are thinking, “No way!”, but they are allowing their daughter to get into a car with you and go away from their home. As much as you may think you love her, they love her more. Remember that…
Remember that your own mother (and father) don’t get to meet your date. They have to allow their son to go out with a young lady that they know nothing about. So, please, tell them about this young woman. Perhaps even bring her by the house so that they can meet her. Parents of daughters have the advantage here because they have the opportunity to know whom their daughter dates. But your parents don’t get that opportunity unless you provide it for them. Be considerate.
Always treat your date with respect. It may seem old-fashioned, but open the car door for her. Hold the door when you enter and exit a building. Ask for her opinion. Don’t just talk about yourself. If you see your friends when you are out with her, acknowledging them is fine, but don’t ditch your date - even in theory - for their company. Don’t try to kiss her on the first date, and when you do kiss her, ask her if you may - don’t just assume that you can.
Never drink or do drugs and assume that your date is going to allow you to drive her home under those conditions. You shouldn’t be driving yourself under those conditions, much less take on passenger. Besides, drinking and doing drugs is an insult to her. It means that her company wasn’t enough.
When a girl says “No.”, she means “No.” Don’t try to change her mind by making promises that you cannot keep. Don’t tell her that you love her because you think it might change her mind. Dating is not about a physical relationship. There will be plenty of time in the future for such things. Take this time to learn about yourself, about others, about friendships, about relationships.
In fact, have enough respect for yourself that you consider sex to be a serious decision. Too often young women get pregnant and the young men who are jointly responsible are not held accountable. Understand the seriousness of the decision to have sex. Understand the consequences of the action. Understand what taking responsibility truly means. Sex is not an action to be taken lightly.
Friendship is the basis of wonderful relationships. Get to know the girl that you date. Find out who she is and what her goals are in life. Have fun. Enjoy her company. Dating should not be about pressure and expectation. It should be about getting to know someone and about self-discovery.
You are a wonderful young man and I know that you won’t disappoint your parents or yourself. I know that you are going to take the responsibilities of dating seriously. I know that you are going to make me proud.
I love you,
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