17 dating rules for my sons

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 30, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Wow, there is a lot of bitterness out there. These rules are great, and would not only serve a young man dating, but will serve an old married man too. Here are my thoughts on them:

    1. Face to face communication shows you care.

    2. You will spend pleanty of time at home, get out while it is easy.

    3. Opening doors shows respect.

    4. If your man can't pay for a date, then what do you expect from marriage?

    5. When you return a lawn mower you walk it to the door, why not your date?

    6. Kissing every girl will get boring, only save it for the good ones.

    7. Who wants to date somebody that doesn't listen?

    8. Honesty, what a concept.

    9. Be faithful.

    10. Women of all ages love kind and gentle touching that shows you care.

    11. Since when is being considerate a bad thing?

    12. You don't just marry a person, you join their family and friends.

    13. Who doesn't like to be complemented?

    14. Server her, that may include cleaning the whole house.

    15. Small supprises are fun.

    16. Who doesn't like hand written notes?

    17. What quality guy wouldn't get married?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 29, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    From my experience number 9 is particularly important. Don't try to seriously date two or more people at once. Most likely it will result in complications and problems that will ruin all of the relationships.

  • redthunder Ogden, UT
    May 28, 2014 12:44 p.m.


    You're right! Rather than loving and accepting someone for who they are we should absolutely try and change them. Try and push our views on them. And...trying to compare beer with something as personal and emotional as same gender attraction is what doesn't fly. It was a good effort though.

    Point being: If my son were gay and he chose to pursue such a lifestyle I am gonig to treat him no different. I'm sure it's hard enough without the added parental disappointment. I know way too many people who have lost friends or family to suicide due to the crushing pressure from the religious community. Your church teaches, above all, to be Christ-like. And...that means loving unconditionally.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    May 28, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    I get the modern day Princess concerns, but this article is a mom's list for her boys, not a list for boys who want to date her girls. The care that a young man puts into his dating is indicative of him and helps define his character, regardless of the girl's reaction.

    From the perspective of a father of daughters, I support another post on here. Regardless of what my girls think...there is a 50/50 chance that I'll see your text if you text ask my daughter on a date. The answer will be no. If you honk, the only one coming out of the door will be me. If you show up at my door with your pants below your hips, there is a shotgun waiting just inside the door.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 28, 2014 5:50 a.m.

    Laura Bilington: Their are US Marines who spend a tour of duty at the White House standing ram-rod straight waiting to open the door every time the President comes or goes. Every President except FDR has been perfectly capable of opening that door himself, and opening a door is far below the capabilities of a Marine. But it is done as a sign of respect. Maybe it is a tradition that we should stop if Hillary Clinton is ever elected. We wouldn't want to send a sexist message to the world would we?

  • offenderforaword South Jordan, UT
    May 27, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    Wow some people get bent out of shape over something like opening doors and miss the bigger point.

    I like that this is encouraging making dating "out of the ordinary". Going on a date should be more than just hanging out, and it's good to have a plan.

    Exclusive dating should include faithfulness, including in communicating when it's time to head for the exit
    While you may not agree with everything on her list, it's a good discussion point for parents and kids to set some positive expectations. Nicely done.

  • Insert Dumb Screen Name Here Provo, UT
    May 27, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    @Laura Bilington How is opening a door for an able bodied person not respect? I was taught to hold the door for women (my sister, a girl, taught me that one) and for the elderly. Many elderly people can manage the door themselves, but I feel that I am showing respect to my elders when I hold the door for them. We have turned into a society where politeness, table manners and common courtesies no longer exist. I think that is sad.

    A message to young men reading this article. Some of these things may seem antiquated or out of fashion. But I challenge you to try them on your next date. I bet you will not only separate yourself from the other guys but impress her parents as well.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    May 27, 2014 9:06 a.m.


    Trying to label this little list as divine revleation is more than a little silly. Some items here are more important than others, and much of it seems to be focused on the undeniable virtues of unselfishness and respect. I can get behind that, even though some of the specifics aren't nearly as important as the author makes them out to me. I doubt any Church authority has ever had a direct revelation about honking in a driveway.

    In particular, the texting prohibition betrays a mind that hasn't accepted how today's teens communicate. Yes, face-to-face is probably preferable in most situations, and a phone call isn't going to hurt, but very few girls would be offended by being asked out via text. It's situation-dependent, of course, but just because a 50-year-old mom would find it rude doesn't mean her 17-year-old will.

    Overall, if you think many teenagers or even single adults, LDS or not, are going to seriously look to an octegenarian for specific dating advice (beyond the obvious stuff), you're in fantasy land.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    May 27, 2014 8:45 a.m.


    Your point is taken, but you put too fine a point on it. I'm not wild about this list (it's a little obvious and aggressively "traditional" for my taste), but there's nothing "hateful" about the intentions behind it. Applying the term "hate" here is to make unfounded assumptions.

    Most parents' vision for their kids includes them marrying someone of the opposite sex, which will end up being correct for the vast majority. The ones whose kids turn out to be gay will adjust, some better than others. It sounds like you're espousing the need to counch every conversation with kids about dating, romance, and future plans in gender neutral-language for fear of traumatizing them. There's a line where "sensitivity" crosses the line into "policitally correct balderdash," and you're approaching it.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 27, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    To Ranch: Since most of the audience here is LDS, saying it is ok to have same sex relationships won't fly here. I am a devote Mormon, and I can say that I am an alcoholic. Often I come home and think to myself, "I'd like a beer". But I have never had a beer. The world tells me I should give in to the temptations that I constantly have, that is the way God made me so I should embrace it. But the Lord's way is to cast off the natural man, resist the temptations that I have which are contrary to God's commandments. Same sex attraction is a powerful temptation for those who have it, and we should help those with it to resist the temptation in a loving manner. Teaching that giving in to the temptation is wrong is not hatred (like JD in Vegas said), it is our duty as part of the covenants we make with God.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 27, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    Overall this seems like some pretty good advice. There is always the possibility that one of your sons will be gay. Now is the time to begin making sure that if one of your sons is gay, he will know he is loved regardless; and if he chooses to date another guy, he should also be told that it is okay too and these same rules apply.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 27, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    to cbj: Not texting for a date has nothing to do with the kind of woman you end up marrying, it is about the kind of man you are. Women have told me that they do not appreciate it as much as a phone call or in person, where they can actually have a conversation. Texting shows laziness, and fear. Women hate fear. They say "no" to fear. Talking to her shows you have confidence. And women want a man to be confident.

  • mancan HC, UT
    May 27, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    I have heard many of these rules taught by apostles of the Lord as they have shared their own experiences or directly said what single people in the Church should or shouldn't do while dating. For example, just a week ago Elder Ballard was speaking in the Mt. Vernon, Virginia Stake and told the men not to ask for a date by texting. Given enough time, I am sure I could find a quote from one apostle or another to support every one of these rules. I think it is telling that some who wish to change the Church to fit the image of the world are critical of these dating rules. Personally, in my dating efforts, I choose to give strict heed to the council of the Lord's apostles, not those who want to criticize them and what they have taught.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 26, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    I couldn't help wondering, how does not asking a girl out by text message improve the kind of girl you will eventually marry? I think some of these rules are just made up by someone who likes the idea of living by a lot of rules.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    May 26, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    I think this a great list. Similar to point 2, single people just need to date more--less pressure and more interactions. My father was going to skip asking to just ONE high school dance and his father (a HS coach there) told him, "I'm not going to let you be one of these guys who doesn't ask or go to dances; you ask someone or I will for you."

    While some of the 17 practices may seem outdated, that doesn't mean they are less valuable than they once were. Too often we've abandoned good traditions and practices out of simple laziness, convenience or selfishness.

  • Crisco B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Cougar Claws. You stay strong my man. I have heaps of respect for people like you.

    We need to address real change in the dating world I think. A new culture must be forged. Respect for women and their difficult roles. Respect for men and their difficult roles. Both believing and working together for the common goal.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    The interesting thing about many of the comments here is that the Pro comments seem to come mainly from people who are well past the dating age. As someone who is single, believe me when I say that dating is different than when you got married. It has drastically morphed in even the last decade. Accept this. I treat girls with courtesy and respect. My mother taught me this. And she despises the suit of armor chivalry. If you believe in that for your marriage and make it work, great. But understand that the culture has changed. I know that this encroaches on the little red school house "good ol' days" dating at the local dance hall paradigm, but we need to allow the natural social progress to occur. I have found that I can both treat girls with utmost respect and also allow them to open their own door. And girls of my single culture hav I'm great and large part embraced this concept. Some of the comments here reflect the complete myopia toward the modern singles culture. The movement is toward a more equal yoking of the husband and wife.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    May 26, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @ Laura Billington

    Women are to be treated with respect at all times. This includes opening doors for them. If there is a woman standing in a room, and there is not enough chairs for them to sit down, a true man would immediately stand up to give then a place to sit. A true man, like myself, shows respect and concern for women and girls at all times.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 26, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    Jenjen4, You are confusing courtesy and respect. Courtesy and care is shown when you open a door for someone burdened with packages or children. Opening car doors for able-bodied people of either gender is not respect. The idea that women are delicate flowers who will wilt if they are not waited on --but who, as wives are expected to provide for your every need---is as outdated as the notion that women should only work as secretaries, nurses or teachers.

    True respect is shown when you treat all people--women included--as equals. If you want your sons to succeed in the workforce, they need to learn that.

    There is no reason that each dating party can pay for their own dates via their own money (or their allowances, if that’s their source of money). Telling your sons that you will provide money so that they can pay for the full cost of their dates does not show respect for the dates nor your sons. Making an automatic “the guy pays” rule sets women up for a “he paid for it, so I have to do whatever he wants” rationale.

  • Jenjen4 Panama City, FL
    May 25, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    As a mother of 3 boys, I thought this article was spot on. So as I came to the conclusion and read the first few comments I was shocked it was viewed negatively! These are all things I expect my sons to be doing/do when they date. I taught them to open doors for strangers too! (GASP!) I'm not sure why everyone keeps bringing up the word outdated. When did being polite and treating women with respect go out of style??

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    May 25, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    Really people? Enjoyed the article. Then started seeing the disparaging comments. Did I miss something? Went back and re-read these 17 tips and found absolutely no shred of bad advice, anything remotely dated or chauvinistic or sexist or condescending... absolute, solid advice that if anything, isn't conclusive.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    May 25, 2014 6:41 p.m.

    Your assuming your son(s) will want to date girls. Your teaching him that dating girls is the only option, which is not the case. This assumption puts a huge amount of pressure on your boys and really in a way teaches discrimination. What if your son is gay and is attracted to males. Consider teaching your son(s) to date whomever they are attracted to, not "it has to be a girl" and let them know you will love whomever they date. The same rules can apply from your unrealistic list of expectations, but you won't be sending a hateful message to your son who may not want to date girls. Think about!

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 25, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    @Mayhem Mike, caring service and courteous behavior to one's partner is shown when they split the cost of dates 50-50, or whatever is reasonable given the relative incomes of each person. Caring service and courteous behavior toward one’s parents is shown when you pay for your own wedding instead of treating the bride’s parents as cash cows to put on a show when the Princess gets married. Caring service and courteous behavior to one's guests is shown when you don’t play Bridezilla and put on half dozen parties prior to the wedding and expect people to bring gifts to each.
    One of my sons married a girl with the surname of Russell. She was the last of the Russells and didn’t want to change her name. Neither of them liked hyphened names. So he changed his surname to Russell.

    As far as evidence of “caring service and courteous behavior to one's partner”, I’ll take that over a thousand door-openings.

  • Katoonka Spanish Fork, UT
    May 25, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Excellent suggestions. Thanks for a great article.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 25, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    Many of these rules are sexist and are a terrible preparation for marriage. Opening a car door for someone who is perfectly capable of opening it herself does not show respect. This sort of relationship morphs into one where a husband who opens car doors but wouldn't even dream of cleaning a toilet, wiping up mess, getting up to calm and diaper a howling baby before he brings it to his wife to nurse, or learning to cook so he can have dinner ready when she comes home from work.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    May 25, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    Hey Team Watkins,

    An additional amendment to rule # 6:

    No prolong kissing in a parked car and the violation of this rule will result in seeing your Mom's camouflaged face with a bandanna on her head staring you down through the driver's window........LOL!

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    May 25, 2014 1:35 a.m.

    The negative comments about this excellent article are clearly symtomatic of the selfish, cynical attitude in our society that has replaced kindness and good manners in relationships between men and women. I do agree, however, that the suggestions, if possible, should be adapted and followed by young women as well as young men. To you readers taking issue with the author's points, is the list of dating suggestions "old fashioned," inapplicable to our "advanced" society, not "hip" enough for you, or even laughable? They couldn't possibly appeal to those of the "me" generation, many of whom forget that "love" is a verb, not a feeling, and is exhibited through caring service and courteous behavior to one's partner. Perhaps lack of adherence to the author's suggestions, both during courtship and during marriage, will be a major contributing factor if one's relationships fail.

  • TLFinSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2014 11:51 p.m.

    I think these are excellent ideals to teach sons. And for the naysayers who say these ideals are too high in this day and age: It is better to aim for the stars and miss by a mile than to aim for a pile of manure and hit it dead center. By teaching sons the proper way to treat a lady they are more likely to find those daughters who have been raised to act like a lady. Don't forget to teach them to take their dates on occasional outings where they must experience getting dirty though... camping, hiking, fishing, or even volunteering to help build with an organization like Habitat for Humanity, etc. Those kind of activities will really weed out the princesses.

  • AKR47 Kalutara , 00
    May 24, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    Nice sexist article so in return what you propose for daughters. Never ever leave the kitchen.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    May 24, 2014 7:24 p.m.

    I think this is a well-intended article and it says good things that young men should do but the vibe I get from the article is really one-sided and unsettling. It wreaks of "okay boys, here everything you are responsible to do, and oh by the way, good luck, it's all you!" I was raised and taught to do all of these things, and I've done a lot of them with a smile on my face, but I've had jack success in dating. While I still agree it is important to treat women with respect and to be a gentleman, I think young men, (particularly in this LDS market) feel overwhelmed with everything "required" of us when it comes to dating. Besides which, in this new generation of feminism, women aren't exactly making it easier for us, nor are they doing a whole lot to encourage us, to fulfill our roles as men. As an older single person, I know this doesn't do a whole lot to encourage me, but it rather reminds me of everywhere I fall short, and I doubt I'm the only one who feels that way.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    May 24, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    I find many of the author's viewpoints to be outdated for the generation of girls her boys will eventually date. I also believe some of her instructions are confusing and even paradoxical. If she were my mother when I was dating I would have eventually tuned her out and just winged it, which isn't so good for a young man to conclude he has to do. Bottom line, I recommend dialing it down a couple of notches if you don't want these 17 rules to backfire on you.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 24, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    My mother taught me a similar set of dating etiquette rules, and they have served me well. My wife and I have been married 40 years, and I work hard to still apply them in our relationship. Being married to a princess is a wonderful thing if she treats you like a prince.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    It is rules like this that create what we call the dating game. It creates an atmosphere of princesses looking for the perfect man. I want my daughters to look a lot more for a man who is a good quality person, not just a butler or a prince. Let's face it, a knight in shining armor might open all your doors and kiss the lady's hand, but men wearing plates of metal went out of vogue and practicality some 500 years ago.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 23, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    The best method of creating a lousy relationship? Begin dating with a list of behavioral demands...

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    May 23, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    I have four daughters and have a list of rules for boys that have wanted to date them. Here are two of them;

    1. If you are in the driveway honking, you better be delivering a pizza because my daughter will never be picked up that way for a date.

    2. If you have trouble keeping your jeans pulled up all the way, I can help with that problem. I have two power staplers I am happy to use to prevent the sagging pant problem.

  • Crisco B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Another document indicating the "Demands of a Dating Diva." We must begin to recognise that the dative paradigm is not the be all end all of society.