Many of the young men from my generation, including myself, were raised in households that were primarily run by women. Even though there may have been positive male figures around who could shed light and provide insight on a lot of the things we were experiencing, there was always a small disconnect because he wasn’t our biological father or didn’t live on our home.
So, when it came time to interact with the opposite sex, without witnessing a healthy and functional relationship in our household, it was difficult. You were left to figure out the rules of manhood on your own.
Taking bits and pieces from the men in your life that you looked up to or admired without even knowing if their way would yield any positive results. But at the end of the day, what other choice did you have? Attempting to connect with the male energy in your environment is a natural thing and it was only so much our mothers could teach us. That’s why it’s important that we lay the foundation for the younger generation, so they don’t have to make some of the same mistakes we did.
So, I put together a small list of dating tips that our young men can follow to get them started. Keeping in mind the best teacher in life is experience but having a small blueprint to follow won’t hurt.
- Personal Development
It’s important for young people to understand the preparation it takes to have a successful relationship. So, before we allow them to begin dating and courting women make sure they first get the best understanding possible of who they are.
In my opinion, Knowledge of self is a key component to your personal development, and this can be obtained in many ways. You can start by teaching them about the history of your family and their immediate ancestors so they can have a clear understanding of where they come from.
It’s also important to teach them about our history in this country and all the obstacles we’ve had to overcome to be where we are now. Racism, disenfranchisement, and the prison industrial complex have all become a part of the black experience in America and our kids should know about it. You’re probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with our young men dating? Well, how will they know what type of companion there looking for if they don’t know who they are?
- Don’t Let Sex Dictate Decision Making
Often times, when a young man begins having sex it can cloud their judgment and prevent them from handling their responsibilities correctly. Early in a young man’s life their primary focus should be excelling in school and using extracurricular activities to find what their passion will be in life. One of our job as parents is to ensure they understand the importance of spending your youth chasing your dreams and attempting to establish yourself.
If that’s done correctly, the process of finding a mate becomes much easier. A central part of rebuilding our communities is creating the proper family structure. In my opinion, that starts with the man maneuvering responsibly through life in his adolescent years and not making mistakes that will have a lasting effect on his future.
It’s important that we have these discussions with our sons so they can know how serious this is. When young men allow sex and the emotional roller coaster that comes with most relationships to dictate their actions, they may find themselves in adult situations there not old enough to properly deal with.
- Honesty Is The Best Policy
Even though Honesty is number three on the list, it’s just as important as the first two. One of the first things a young man can do to ruin his relationship experience with a young lady is to begin lying. That’s what makes their personal development such an intricate part of this process.
In most cases, if a young man is comfortable with himself and understands who he is he won’t feel the need to lie. Some young men who deal with multiple women at one time may feel the only way to maintain those situations is by being less than truthful.
That way of thinking can’t be farther from the truth. In my opinion, taking advantage of a woman emotionally is the sign of a week man and speaks more to how you feel about yourself not how you feel about the women. They need to know that life isn’t about what you do, it’s about how you do it. In the end, being completely upfront about your intentions is the only way to keep a clear conscience.
We should teach our boys these things early on, so they don’t create any bad habits and not get off to a bad start with their dating experiences. Like I said earlier, our community needs strong family units and that starts with the man. In my opinion, we set the tempo of the relationship which essentially gives us control over how things turn out. Make sure your son understands the power he has and the importance of using it wisely.