Dating rules from my dad

All Woman

DATING is a game of chance. There are unknown rules, special codes and expectations that come with the experience. And the nature of dating makes it often difficult to navigate, especially if you don't have any practical knowledge to help guide you along.

Luckily for some of us, our fathers are vested in making sure that we are adequately equipped for the journey that could lead to “happily ever after”, with sage advice often passed down for generations.

This week, All Woman asked readers to share tips from their fathers that still resonate with them.

Dexton, 27, IT specialist:

Never go to live with a woman, no matter how good she makes it sound, and if you are going to cohabit in a rented place, make sure your name is also on the contract. Some women have a tendency to be more disrespectful when it is their place.

Kelsie, 30, teacher:

Daddy told me to always tell people where I am going on my dates even when I have been on a few dates with the guy and feel comfortable enough. In addition to that, he even made me establish codes that I could use if I felt I was in danger and needed help. Unfortunately, he was right about wanting me to do that. I thought he was just being overprotective of his only daughter, but he just knew that horrible people exist among decent ones.

Georgia, 35, police officer:

I remember when I was about 16 and daddy saw that I was head over heels in love with the neighbour, and oh yes, the guy was eyeing me too. Instead of reprimanding me and being upset, daddy told me to protect myself because he couldn't do it for me. And that didn't mean just sexually, but in matters of the heart as well. He said, “Don't fall too easily, honey, take your time to know the person.” He didn't want to discourage me from dating, but he wanted to make sure that I knew love shouldn't be taken at face value. He was so right!

Dana, 24, law student:

“Don't just take a man at his words… measure his actions.” That's what my father always told me. He said he spoke from experience because he was slick with his words – I mean, 12 of us by 10 mothers should be proof enough. He said that men will analyse a woman and will promise to satisfy her needs, when in fact their assurances are just empty words. This sound piece of advice saved me from a broken heart on several occasions. Daddy's amorous ways served some purpose in the end.

Leroy, 40, businessman:

My old man told me that unconditional love doesn't go in one direction, and if it is shared by two people, then both should be able to feel the effects of it. As a student, a lot of girls used to take my possessions while pretending to love me. My old man saw this trend and counselled me. Fortunately, it was the best advice he could ever give me. From that moment on, I stopped proving myself to women and in a way to myself, that love is a two-way street and women had to show me they were bringing something to the table also.

Pearl, 38, receptionist:

When I was a girl, Daddy would always tell me that I deserved respect and should demand it. He told me to prepare myself to be independent always and remember that nobody was more important than I was and the things that I believe in. He told me these things 28 years ago, and I have to say they have grounded my dating experience.

Lala, 29, business owner:

Daddy said so many things and rightfully so, because dating is so complex and tricky. The most memorable ones, though, would be: never chase after anyone — if they want to be with you they will do the chasing; follow your heart but choose wisely; and never lose yourself to anyone else, which I basically think means don't compromise your values and beliefs just because of a man.

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