My dear son, as your father, I want you to develop healthy relationships and I look forward to your finding the woman of your dreams. You will need to love her, cherish her, take care of her and respect her. You will be busy.
For now, I am going to be very square and share with you my value-laden advice. You won't want to admit it, but I know that you realize that older people have learned something over the years. So please don't dismiss what I'm sharing with you. Think about it and how it fits into who you consider yourself to be as a person. I hope that what follows will ennoble your life as you begin dating.
Honestly compliment your date on her appearance
Did she do something special to look prettier? Is she wearing an attractive outift? Notice and mention it. We all need genuine compliments to bolster our self-esteem. This is particularly so whenever we are undergoing a transition, like moving through adolescence into adulthood. Your date will cherish your consideration.
Pay attention to what she is saying
Your date should also be your friend. Eventually, the person you marry will become your best friend. So treat her accordingly. When she talks to you, pay attention. Ask questions and engage her in conversation. If something is relevant to her, try to develop an interest in it, too.
Does she need someone to confide in? We all do. But maturity and respect mean that you will never use anything she says in confidence against her. You may have buddies but you are not to compromise her personal space. If you feel that you want to share everything with 'the guys,' then perhaps you need to wait to mature some more before you pursue dating. Of course, should you find out that she is in distress, then it is time to seek help. That is the loving thing to do.
In general, although she is a young woman and very different from you, the basis of a relationship is caring, giving, respect and wanting to share what is on the other person's mind.
Don't be so busy looking cool that you mask your natural warmth
As boys become men, they often go through a stage where they are very uncomfortable with being vulnerable. They put up a front of being cool and not caring too much. If they come from loving families, this should just be a phase.
Don't think that because the 'chill guys' seem successful at eliciting interest from women that they should be your role models. As the years go by, you will notice that warm women and warm men form the most stable and loving marriages. You have a warm heart; make sure that she enjoys it.
Don't use her for your selfish reasons
For some reason, men may not think that the respect you show a mother is the type of respect that a young woman deserves. At its most extreme, there are horror stories of sexual violence. A man does not use or abuse a woman, ever.
However, people often do not feel that there is anything wrong in just hooking up and enjoying the experience. Why should I care about her if she doesn't care about herself? Or you may say that she doesn't care about you either and also just wants to have fun.
This is where you need to listen to the wisdom of experience and wholesome values. Sexuality is not merely another social activity. There will be 'sexperts' who will guide you towards expressing yourself in any way you want as long as it doesn't harm another person. Mutual consent is a starting point, but it's not the goal for how we have been raising you.
Sexuality has a spiritual component. It can be the most exalted experience that brings two loving souls together. On a lower level, it can leave you feeling dirty and depressed. Why? Because while the animal part of you may be thrilled, your soul is not.
You may tell me that you don't believe in any of this soul stuff but, even biologically, we are wired that sexual activity creates relationships. During intimacy our brains are flooded with chemicals that create love, trust and attachment. This is the lesser realized reason we seek out sex. We all need to feel intimately connected. All of the suggestive advertising that focuses on the physical is missing the point. Yes, as a man, you will be attracted and respond to the female form. However, your sexuality should be a motivator to develop and share in the deepest and most intimate fashion. This is when sex becomes making love and not the vulgar expressions that saturate our society.
Of course this brings up the topic of waiting for sex. You will say that there are different levels of sexual activity and how are you supposed to wait so long? Just remember that both you and the young woman you are dating have feelings, hopes and dreams. Don't trample on them because of impatience. Don't feel pressured by societal influence and don't pressure her. And don't think what I am about to say is 'uncool,' or whatever expression you use with your friends, but you also need to wait for when you are emotionally ready. You don't become intimate because the guys expect to hear stories from you. THAT IS REALLY NOT CHILL.
Lastly, if you do engage in any sexual activity, you absolutely must use protection, for both of your sakes. Just remember that condoms are not a foolproof guarantee of anything. They merely lessen the odds of pregnancy and disease transmission.
So, please listen to your father. He loves you.