10 Dating Lessons Dads Should Be Teaching Their Daughters

When women enter the dating scene for the first time, we inevitably encounter a lot of nasty shocks. If only we had someone who could warn us about the vilest games and tricks some guys will use to get what they want, it would save us a lot of heartbreak and regrettable experiences. Unfortunately, having this kind of honest conversation with your dad would be pretty cringeworthy so it rarely if ever happens. Ugh. Here’s what you probably wish you knew a lot earlier in life:

  1. His objectives are often very different from yours. Sometimes we all just want a casual thing, but for a lot of men in their 20s, hookup culture is where they live and being honest about their true intentions effects their hit rate. Expect a lot of BS presented in a pretty gift box of seduction with a ribbon of charm on top. If do you want more than sex, apply sense and cynicism to the situation.
  2. Pickup culture is real—and you’re the prey. For some guys, hooking up is more than just fun, it’s a competition to establish alpha status within their pack of douchy bros—and this has become the entire validation of their self-worth. In this context, you’re no longer a human woman with real feelings. You’re the game and the prize is the post-conquest boast to his friends. You can’t change this guy. You haven’t even met the real him because every interaction is a mask he wears to coerce you into his bed and straight out the door the next morning.
  3. Charm can be a clever delusion. When a guy’s goal is a meaningless hookup, morals can go out the window. He’s worked out what he thinks women want so he can use this to manipulate you. This is often a big display of charm, compliments, and pretending to agree with your opinions and share your interests. This temporary falsehood doesn’t matter because he has zero intention of seeing you again. If he seems too good to be true, it’s probably because he’s faking it.
  4. Beware the backhanded compliment. “I don’t usually find short/tall/skinny/curvy girls attractive…. but you’re pretty hot!” This is a jerk move with no reasonable defense. Some losers have discovered that an insecure girl is a vulnerable girl, and a vulnerable girl is more likely to be susceptible to his rotten pickup techniques. Being the “exception” to some loser’s shallow taste rules is not a win, it’s a misogynist ploy to attack your self-worth and the value of women so that you’ll be grateful enough for his attention that you’ll sleep with him. Don’t fall for it.
  5. You don’t owe him anything. It’s your first date and he insists on paying for everything. Is he a true gentleman or just a guy banking on an unspoken expectation that he’ll be compensated with access to your vagina? Allowing him to pay is a gateway to feeling guilty for not wanting to sleep with him, and this is his window of emotional exploitation. Yes, some guys are actually into this financial chivalry, but do we still need it in 2017? There are a lot of toxic guys using the idea of traditional chivalry for what it was originally designed for—asserting control.
  6. Several venues are still one date. Being whisked off on a multi-venue adventure for a first date can feel thoughtful and romantic, but it’s also several dates effort rolled into one evening. This could be as positive as it seems or it could be a sneaky way to fast track you to the point of getting naked. Several venues also mean more drinks, and alcohol is a convenient pre-sexual lube! Pay attention to the signs and don’t be distracted by flashy set changes.
  7. You’re probably not the only girl. For a lot of guys, it’s quantity over quality and chances are, you’re not the only girl he’s texting/dating/sleeping with—even when all signs suggest you are. Until you’ve had “The Talk,” don’t expect any commitment or loyalty from the owner of Tinder and a penis!
  8. Everyone has time to send a text. We’ve all had the excuses. He didn’t see the text, he was too busy working, his phone battery died… blah blah blah. When you genuinely like someone, you find the time to send that message because you don’t want them to lose interest and move on to someone more available. It takes a minute to send a message. If he can’t spare a minute to communicate with you during the day but has plenty of time for sexting at 2 a.m., you’re his hookup, not his future girlfriend.
  9. Love doesn’t always equate to kindness. This is the hardest pill to swallow—the truth that someone that loves you can still treat you like crap. People are messy, complicated, damaged, and very capable of emotional cruelty. Love can’t fix everything and some guys are just too damaged to stop hurting you no matter how much love you apply to their wounds. This guy will only cause damage to your self-esteem and his remorse won’t be enough to heal your wounds either. Someone else will love you better, leave this guy to fix himself—he’s the only one that can do it.
  10. Don’t become a trophy. The concept of masculinity in our culture can translate into a competitive, toxic environment that encourages some pretty dark ideals. Some men view the “quality” of women they can attract as symbols of status, literal walking representations of their success, like an expensive car or enviable piece of real estate. Healthy, nurturing relationships are about being loved for who we are inside—the aspects that make us unique. Make sure the men you date love you like your family and best friends do, not as a trophy of their own value.