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Mom's Best Relationship Advice and Tips for Finding Love!

Aug 20, 2008
In the mid-1960s, Motown great Smokey Robinson (backed up by his group The Miracles) topped the R&B charts with "You Betta Shop Around!" Goes something like this:

'There's some things that I want you to know now
Just as sure as the winds gonna blow now
The women come and the women gonna go now
Before you tell 'em that you love 'em so now
My mama told me...'you better shop around'

Don't Settle for the First Thing That Comes Along

"Well the best thing my mother has told me is watch out for fast women!" said Steve, a 39 year old bachelor with a wry smile. "She told me that long ago. Said they often turn out to be women you basically would not want in the long run. But wow, fast women sure are fun!"

Krystal, now 55, was raised in a home with adultery quite a bit of physical abuse. She and her sisters witnessed her mother being hit many times over the years under her parents divorced when she was 16.

"Divorce wasn't common in those days, and my mom changed after that. She told me to never settle, ever. She said that while she was raised at a time where women weren't free to do a lot of dating and getting to know different men, that she didn't want any of her daughters to be caught in that stale pool. She told me to respect myself, never let anyone (including men) disrespect me... but to enjoy myself and enjoy life."

Her youngest sister Katherine added: "Mom advised that I should get to know ME first and what I liked/disliked because I could never express to someone else what was right or wrong with the way our relationship was if I didn't know what it took for me to be happy and satisfied. She reminded me that I had a whole lifetime to fall in love, and encouraged me not to rush into love because I felt it was what I was expected to do or had to do (ya know how some young women will talk themselves into being in love when they become intimate with a man?). Then she told me not to wear too much "rouge" (blush)... because men would never marry a woman that looked loose! LOL!"

At 27 Antonio is hot on the hip hop music scene in Los Angeles. His parents immigrated from Bolivia in the 1970s. "Look, 80 percent of the things my mother says I don't agree with. Maybe it's because she's a woman, but when it comes to relationships she is the judge, jury and executioner! Bring yo gurl or potential gurl around and I'll be damned if Mom doesn't expose her for the Princess she is or the tramp she is within 30 seconds flat!

The point I'm tryin' to make is that parents know the game because they seen it all. A father will read yo man like a book and a mother will give you the 411 on the so called woman of yo dreams. You might not want to hear it but hey, that's how it is."

Fathers stepped in to fill in the blanks when Mom didn't have relationship advice for her offspring. "My mom didn't specifically give me any advice on love, I'm more so a product of my father's training" wrote Dionne, a 30 year old marketing rep from Dallas.

"When I was about 9 or 10, I remembered my Dad telling me that when I grew up, I mustn't allow any man to treat me badly...and I haven't so far. My father also always allowed me to have the best of anything he had to give or share with me. For example, if he had some fruits, and I wanted any...he would pick out the best looking ones or pieces and offer them to me, and keep the lesser ones for himself. For better or worst, I think I grew up to subconsciously use that standard to judge any man I become involved with. If I don't see/believe that they consistently take the initiative to always offer me the best...then I know that their time is limited, because I won't really trust their alleged love for me."

Don't Make My Mistakes!

Not all the advice received from Mom was positive. Sherilyn sent an email to share the dating tips learned from her mother. "From my mother I heard: 'Don't use me as an example in love, I make horrible choices and have suffered in love.' She is very, very correct in that statement. Though I'm an accomplished person in my professional life, sadly I modeled a lot of my dating behavior after her and make horrible choices in men too."

Carmen's mother focused on self-esteem and acceptance. "From my mother I learned 'A man will treat you as well as you INSIST, and as badly as you ALLOW.' And from my father 'everyone you meet can teach you SOMETHING, even if it's only whom to AVOID!'

The Dirty Dozen Top 12 List

Many of the tips that came in were very popular, as they were provided by dozens of Moms to their sons and daughters. Here, in no particular order, are the most commonly quoted 12 pieces of advice:

1) Don't play yourself short. It's better to be the Mrs. than the Mistress!
2) Don't love him...but like him. Romance is for weaklings...it clouds your thinking.
3) Pick your battles...don't be a nag to your man.
4) Men pay for sex one way or another. It's always better to be the Mrs. than the Mistress!
5) Don't tell a man everything... they can't handle it. Don't reveal everything unless you wanna deal with b.s. all the time.
6) Learn the art of forgiveness. Don't bring up the past...unless you wanna deal with b.s. all the time.
7) Always keep "car fare" when going out on a date.
8) Always have a stash of your own money. Keep a savings account in your own name (even when you get married).
9) Never give out personal vital information on the first date.
10) Trust and Respect are EARNED not a GIVEN.
11) If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with!
12) It's just as easy to love a rich man/woman as it is to love a poor one!

Mothers are very influential over their children. Some of us take the lessons and use them, some of us discard every one of Mom's words as being bogus and choose our own path.

Without courage and risk of heartache, you cannot achieve the glory and wonders of love. Use Mom's teachings as a guideline on when and how to give of yourself, maintain personal boundaries of respect, and keep in your life only men and women that give as good as they get.
About the Author
(c)2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST.
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