As I sit here and watch you play with your action figures or as you cuddle with me on the couch, I am constantly reminded that these days won’t last forever. Soon you will be a teenager and another girl will capture your heart and your attention. I probably won’t like her. I’m not sure anyone will be good enough for you. But as much as I want her to be perfect for you, I want you to be ready for her and I want you to be perfect for her.
Dating is such a tricky thing. There are millions of people in this universe and it is impossible to connect and be compatible with every single one of them. You won’t like everyone that you meet. I wish that I could make the dating experience simple and easy for you, so you can avoid any possible heartbreak. But I can’t and I don’t really want to. I want you to fall in love and more than anything, I want you to capture the magic.
Knowing how to date is half the battle. Dating a girl is not a contest, it is not a prize and it is not just something to do. I want you to think about your sister – and every boy you wanted to punch in the face for not treating her right. Don’t be that boy.
I have raised you to know right from wrong. I have taught you how to treat people. I never imagined I’d be giving you dating advice right now, you are only 11 years old, but I’m a dork and today I have my thoughts organized. One day you will be thankful for these words of advice and I hope that you will remember each of them.
- If you like her, tell her. Ask her out on a date. A proper date. Do not invite her over to watch television. Take her out to dinner or to a movie. Pick her up and take her somewhere. If you ask her on a date, be prepared to pay for the date. It doesn’t have to be real fancy, sometimes the best dates are simple ones.
- When you do go on that date, do not text her that you are outside or honk the horn. Get out, knock on her door and politely wait for her. I will expect you to pick up your date and walk her to the door at the end of the date.
- Leave your cell phone in your pocket or at home and talk to her. Get to know her. Ask about her interests and share your interests with her. Try new things together. The purpose of dating is to get to know her.
- Do not string her along. If you do not have a connection with her, tell her immediately. Be kind and honest but gentle with your words.
- Respect her. Respect her feelings, her boundaries, her words, her ideas and her space.
- Don’t wait for her to call you. If you miss her and want to talk to her, pick up that telephone and call her.
- Open doors for her, pull out her chair for her, give her your sweater or jacket when she is cold.
- Don’t be a goof ball. I want you to make her laugh and smile – but don’t overdo it.
- Tell her she is beautiful and remind her every day. In fact, I want you to tell her nice things all the time.
I hope that I have raised you well enough to be the kind of man who I know you can be. The kind of man who respects woman and treats them with love and kindness. It will not be easy and at times you may feel pressured to act differently, in those moments I want you to remember how you would want a boy to treat your sister and stand up to the pressure and act in a way that I can always be proud of you.