What lies have your mother told you about dating?
One of the classic ones that my mother told me when I was being bullied by boys in my neighborhood was “baby they like you and they just don’t know how to say it”. This of course confused my adolescent rationale. In my mind the guy that likes me would never be mean to me, but I also knew better than to think that I could outwit my mom. So growing up I figured when a guy was mean to me it was his awkward way of masking his true feelings of infatuation. Now as I am saying this I realize what a farce this little white lie was. Yet when my daughter approached me about a boy teasing and harassing her I almost told her the lie thank God I chose to digress. I do not want to confuse my daughter and fill her head with my misguided dating myths. I want her to learn to trust her instincts first and foremost if he is being mean to her it should not be tolerated at any standpoint.
Mothers we have to stop feeding our daughters these lies about men. We cannot coddle them with deception for they will be defenseless in the dating game. How can they protect themselves from despicable behavior if they believe it is actually admiration?Let’s be honest if a man is mean to you he unequivocally does not LIKE YOU. The man that wants you will show his admiration for you and will never send mixed messages. Ladies we have to call as we see it because our instincts do not lie to us. When I was growing up and being picked on the boys did not like me for some reason I was the unwanted target of conjecture and ridicule. The man that likes me would NEVER subject me to such cruel and unusual punishment.
As a mother, I understand the need to protect our child. But the best way to protect them is to liberate them with the truth. Use your experiences as a way to absolve them of any doubt as to how a man should treat a woman. Arm them with the truth so they always value their worth. Deceiving them is the worse thing because it makes them putty in a cunning person’s hands. Remember knowledge is power; truth will always remain solid, and unwavering under all circumstances. Now I know I can say that most of these myths come from families that are without father figures. I know this because when my father speaks to me as an adult it is pure and unadulterated fact when it comes to dealing with men knowledge in which I wish I could have possessed years ago which would have been used a safeguard against the games men play. Of course, this can be countered by the statement a man will only do what you allow him to. If you allow him to be mean to you while you treat him in a high regard then this behavior will continue. Yet, if you are equipped with the truth early on now I am not saying we as mothers are purposefully deceiving our daughters of course there is no malice intended on our parts. It is definitely not a conscious decision. We do it because we do not want to hurt them by telling them that boys are being rude for whatever reason they have a great disdain for our daughters. We need to inform them that they should stand up for themselves and inform these boys that their disrespect will no longer be tolerated and if they cannot show respect then they will be dismissed accordingly. I know it sounds harsh but boys need a taste of reality as well. For if they are to become men who respect women we owe it to them not to tolerate this type of behavior for they will only emulate it during their adult years and make horrible men to the women in their lives. We have to teach our daughters to respect their decision and not renege on their positions if they are to be held in a high regard.
We devalue their worth when we teach them that disrespect is admirable. Later in life this cripples our daughter. They grow up trying to prove their worth. They look for signs instead of listening to his actions. They are confused looking for love in all the wrong places. When a man treats them with admiration and respect they are befuddled and often mistakenly emasculate him for being kind. We often wait for the other shoe to drop because we do not value who we are. See that white lie we tell our daughters delves deeper than we ever imagined. It is essential to their mature growth that we arm them with the truth. It is imperative that we are aware any deception on our part will be detrimental to their emotional health and well being. They will often seek validation and never rely on their own judgment. They will never trust themselves because when they did in their youth they were wrong as we as mothers knew better. We never want to take away their ability to trust themselves otherwise it will be the blind leading the blind.
Furthermore, we have to teach them the rules of dating and not confuse them with exception to the rule. For if the exception were always true then there would be no need for the rule. Case in point, a man is with a woman for years and has not married her. The woman in the situation will conclude he is not interested in marrying her yet you as her mother may tell her he needs time, people change, and you or someone you know has known someone in a similar situation and the man in that situation did indeed marry said woman. Well that’s an exception and not the rule, in reality if a man wants to marry you he will. The indecisiveness you are feeling is on your part, his actions speak volumes. He does not want to marry you own that and move on. You have to trust yourself and no one else. Always remember that although there is an exception to every rule air on the side of caution and follow the rule.
You see by arming her with the truth will save her a lot of heartache and pain. The truth will inevitably set her free. We always say how we want to raise our daughters financially independent but we also must liberate them emotionally as well. We need them to be emotionally independent in this dating game. Let us focus on their overall well being. We need more women strong in the mind, body, and soul. Now am I saying arming them with the truth will absolve them or mishaps in love? No, but they will be more aware of the pitfalls of dating. We should teach them that “the man who wants you nothing will keep him away, and a man that does not want you nothing will make him stay.”
What pre-conceived notions did you form about dating from the teachings’ of your mother? Share your thoughts below.