Letter to my son: 14 Lessons in Love
(as appears in February issue of You!)
To My Awesome Boy
I think I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that one day you will grow up and love another so much, their place in your life will outshine mine. Don’t worry; as much as my ego will be bruised, I’m not bitter (especially as she or he will take my place in meal-time negotiations and in indulging your love of multi-player video games).
On the day of your arrival, the stork handed me an instruction manual which I dutifully read. Under the chapter, Long Term Care, the brief was very clear, “Your Mission for The Child, should you choose to accept it is to help him be good to people. And so happy.”
With that as our target, as we count down the days to Valentine’s Day, herewith are 14 Lessons in Love from me to you:
LOVE LESSON #1 Don’t lead people on
Enticing the affections of someone young, sweet and impressionable under false pretences will only make you look like a jackass in the end. It won’t deter everyone – but it’s probably best to be clear on the type of thing you’re looking for before you start toying with other people’s hearts.
LOVE LESSON #2 Don’t speak aggressively
If you talk to a woman with tenderness and show you appreciate her point of view, you are more likely to get a favourable response from her. This also works with sex.
LOVE LESSON #3 When it comes to break-ups, don’t be a coward
Don’t break up with someone on Twitter, Facebook, SMS, TV or any technology that saves you doing it privately and face to face. It’s just lame.
LOVE LESSON #4 Also … keep proposals private
…think long and hard before you propose to anyone publicly. You don’t want to be the guy on one knee with the ring in your hand facing a big wall of awkward silence and an audience. You will never be able to forget the nightmare while everyone else remembers it.
Video: Rafa Nadal's public proposal
LOVE LESSON #5 Like love, life is fragile
Have a rockin’ good time by all means, but cherish life; suck it up and never take its fragility for granted. Romeo and Juliet might be kicking it together forever in the afterlife. In hindsight however, even they might have appreciated the chance to share some more earthbound pursuits together – like a moonlight cinema screening or home shopping at IKEA – before they got there.
LOVE LESSON #6 Never mind the haters
If it’s only the opinions of others stopping you from being with someone, screw ‘em.
LOVE LESSON #7 It’s the person inside that counts
Don’t get hung up on little, fickle differences in looks and/or age. If you find a good one, hang on to them for dear life.
LOVE LESSON #8 Cheating is bad news
Don’t you and your little bit on the side wipe your muddy feet on someone’s heart. Likewise, cut your losses if someone tries to wipe theirs on yours.
LOVE LESSON #9 Hitting is a deal-breaker
Even if a woman strikes you, never hit her back. Just open the door, walk out and never come back.
LOVE LESSON #10 If you want to piss ‘em off, diss their driving
Don’t critique your partner’s driving. It’s irritating and (probably unjustly) superior.
LOVE LESSON #11 There’s no need to share everything
Even when you’re completely secure in your relationship, keep gratuitous farting and ball-scratching in check. That said; strut around in your undies at will.
LOVE LESSON #12 While we’re on the subject ….
… Never give your lover a Dutch oven. Your footy mates might think it’s hilarious, but then, you’re not counting on them for special cuddles are you?
LOVE LESSON #13 Make the bed together
You both benefit from what goes on in those sheets so don’t leave linen care all up to her (and if she’s ever seen About Last Night, chances are she’ll want to recreate some Demi Moore/Rob Lowe bed-makin’ love-makin’ at some point too).
LOVE LESSON #14 Never forget your mum
Don’t forget, you promise promise PROMISED that you would still let me hug and kiss you when you get older (even when you’re 25!) … but I’ll cut you a deal and stop the tissue spit and face polish if you like?
So there we have it; words of wisdom; remnants of mistakes. The best I can do is to pass on all I have garnered on the subject of love and relationships in the hope that one day you will find someone that loves and looks after your precious heart every bit as much as you do theirs.
Now, go get ‘em tiger!