Rules, Shmules.

I see a lot of “rules for dating my son/daughter” posted online. These posts irk me immensely.

The rules for the dating the daughter paints a picture of a father with a sawed-off shot gun, guarding his princess’ bedroom (while she sneaks out the window & jumps on the back of a Harley and rides off into the night).

The rules for dating the son paints a picture of a molly coddled son with mom giving the stink-eye to any female that smiles at her beloved boy (all the while having him firmly anchored to the apron strings).

I find these list ridiculous. I mean seriously? So, after a glass of very bad red wine, (It was organic. I won’t be suckered again though.) I compiled my own list. It’s less one of rules and more one of values I hope to instill in my sons.

1. Respect yourself.
2. Respect your partner. (Whenever you decide to have one)
3. Be a “whole” person. Have your own interests. No one is meant to “complete” another.
4. Choose to be kind, think before you react. (Expect your partner to do the same)
5. Have values, convictions and standards. Hold those values and don’t change them just to be “liked” by anyone else.
6. Strive to be respected vs feared. Intimidation is a false front for insecurity, in the end it won’t get you what you want.
7. Carry yourself with dignity and class.
8. Fight smart and with compassion, not dirty and with the intent to wound.
9. Never stop learning.
10. Know that you can learn lessons from anyone, especially those you might initially underestimate.
11. Don’t underestimate anyone. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Keep this in mind and treat everyone with dignity and respect.
12. Never be fake/wear a mask to be liked. People can see through that. If someone is worth knowing, they will find beauty in your vulnerability.
13. Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes. Never be intimidated into silence. (Can’t claim credit for this one but it’s golden)