Kidding! I’m kidding! I realize I can’t choose my future daughter-in-law. You can’t choose your own son-in-law. Perhaps you already have one of each? I can, however, teach my boys about choosing wisely whether it is a friend or a serious relationship. I’m going to at least give it the good old college try! I’m starting early!
You see, I have three sons and occasionally the subject of girls comes up. These “girls” have gone from icky to pretty almost overnight. I used to hear quite a bit about how pretty or how cute a girl was until I put a stop to it. I want my boys to truly understand that there is more to a woman than her looks. I’ve been telling my boys for years that the most beautiful girl in the world may have the ugliest heart. They are a bit cautious now and try not to start with the line “this cute girl.” Instead I hear tales of a smart girl in class, a kind girl next to them or a funny girl they have friended.
Perhaps it sounds crazy to start discussing my thoughts on relationships with my young sons, but I disagree. It took me thirty-six years of dating the wrong guys, one failed marriage and some crazy friendships to understand that if someone doesn’t pass the smell test then it is time to let them go. How someone treats you matters, and people don’ t change no matter how much you try to love them or help them. “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them” said Maya Angelou and I wish I learned this lesson earlier in my life.
It’s not that I want them to focus on finding a partner. My eldest son is twenty and my youngest is eight! I consistently reinforce that their education and their own goals and dreams come first. They are human however, and it is unrealistic of any mother to believe that they won’t experience life and love on their own terms. The only thing I can do is talk to them so that when they are faced with making a decision, they have the insight to make some good choices. Those of you who are wiser and more experienced than me may be giggling just a little bit but one can dream!
Regardless of whether you have a son or a daughter, the message is the same. Here’s what I am telling my children:
Do not waste one minute with the wrong person. You will date many different people but don’t let anyone mistreat you. Life is too short. Find your best friend, the person who sees you for who you truly are, the person who sees your potential. Find the partner who can laugh with you, that can cry with you and who can dream with you. Find the soul that acknowledges yours and brings out the best in you. Bring out the best in them. Anyone else is unworthy. It may take a while to find that person. Wait…and then wait some more. Focus on your education, your career and your life. Believe in building up a strong foundation for yourself and good things will come. Do not settle. You have the capacity for great love and you deserve that great love in return. This is the lesson I did not learn until later in life. Forever is a long time and even longer with the wrong person.
So that’s my spiel. They get it, or at least they pretend to. Too bad that life is never perfect and that being human means experiencing the complexity of emotions and experiences with different people. Sometimes we just need to get our hearts broken to become better and stronger. I just really want them to realize that they are good and that they are worthy, and that they deserve happiness with or without a partner.
What are your thoughts? Do you talk to your children at all about making good decisions with people they let inside of their hearts?