By Joelle Theresa Ngo
There are just some things in life that are quite hard to figure out–like dating. Navigating the world of dating often comes as confusing and unpredictable. So, who to tell us more helpful pointers in handling relationships than our very experienced parents?
Here, Chalk asked moms and dads around for the best words of wisdom they could give us on dating. If they could turn time back to their 20s, how else would they have done it? Millennials looking for their The One, listen up!
1. Albert, 48
“If I could go back in time, I would say to my 20-year-old self, 'Dont be afraid to fail. Don't waste so much time going to the gym and trying to impress her with your physical body. Impress her by being confident and funny. Don't try too hard, but don't be too walang paki either. State your good intention. If she doesnt like you, persevere. Kayang makuha ang lahat sa tiyaga.'"
2. Mels, 36
"I wish I learned in my 20s that the true source of love is inside you, and you don’t have to depend on anyone to find it."
3. Jennifer, 44
"I married early and gave everything to the person I love. I have no regrets now that we have four beautiful kids, but I wish that I was able to maximize my youth more and explored more things about myself—like being able to work in the corporate world and do all the things I wanted to do before getting into marriage. I've also learned that when you're young, you tend to give each and every bit of yourself to the person you love—or you think you love—but you should always remember to save some love for yourself. Don't sacrifice your youth and dreams for any man."
4. Sharon, 34
"I wish I knew in my 20s how important it is to get to know the family and relatives of the person you're dating. I'm telling you, it's the surest way to find out everything you need to know about that person if you want to know what he or she is really like."
5. Jojo, 42
"I've always thought that I'll be able to change the bad qualities of the person I'm dating if we officially become husband and wife, but later on I've realized changing someone is almost an impossible task—especially during marriage. I wish I knew in my 20s that you must really like the qualities of the person you're dating or, at least, identify if you can tolerate that person's bad habits or vices. Because I've learned how crucial compatibility is in all aspects of your relationship—whether it's cultural, emotional, psychological, or even spiritual. I wish someone also told me that it's important to get to know the family of the person you're dating, because it plays a larger role in your future relationship than you can ever imagine in your 20s."
6. Edna, 47
"I wish I knew in my 20s that dating does not mean only the two of you has to be in the picture. Dating can be in the company of friends—and I've learned it's even better that way. Because with friends around, you will be able to get to know that person better since his friends will most probably tell stories about him. Moreoever, you will even know if the person you're dating relates well with other people!"
7. Allen, 44
"When you're a young guy, physical appearance plays a massive role in choosing a partner—but I wish I knew how much it can blind you as well. I've learned later on that you can tell what kind of girl you're actually dating by the type of clothes she wears. Clothes may just be an accessory to kids nowadays; but, if you look closely, it's actually a window to her personality. So don't base your feelings on outer appearances—it's completely deceiving; choose to see what she really is on the inside."
8. Jere, 40
"I wish I wasn't too shy to introduce myself to the girl I liked. Easier said than done for introverts! (Laughs) Unfortunately, it's part of the ballgame. I should've relied on humor to escape being timid! But in the end, I've realized genuine kindness—even after the courting, and not as a wooing strategy—will make you win the girl."
9. Aivs, 50
"When I was dating in my 20s, I overlooked the little things that my partner does. But a few years into the marriage, I've realized how those 'little things' were actually the big things—and how it can be major hints to his true personality. That's why I'm telling you now that it's a bad sign when a guy often asks you to pay for the parking or movie ticket, or if he always ask for the leftovers every time you two go out to eat. Beware, because there're a huge chance that the guy you're dating is extremely kuripot!"
10. Kathy, 36
"Don't be too easy, but don't be too difficult either. Balance everything. They say nothing worth having comes easy, but if you have to continuously fight for a spot, perhaps you should not be there at all."
See, dating while we're young can be quite challenging as relationships—and people in general—are often unpredictable. But as long as you're confident about yourself and have the right perspective, we believe it's going to be a great adventure! Which advice struck you the most? Share it with us in the comments below!
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Banner photograph from Chalk Magazine.