When it comes to dating advice, there's one person I trust more than anyone — my mom. And I bet your mom has some pretty wise tips, too. Because unlike our friends, our moms have decades of wisdom when it comes to dating, breakups, singledom, and marriage. They've been through it all. So, dating advice from moms tends to be pretty legit.
Sure, a lot has changed since my mom was last single in 1987. (Tinder didn't exist back then, and the dating app's founder Sean Rad was still an infant who probably swiped at Cheerios instead of humans.) But the basics of dating have stayed the same, and that's why you shouldn't discount what your mom has to teach you about finding love.
I'm glad I've turned to my mom for dating advice over the years.
In 1997, she taught me that boys chase girls at recess because they have crushes — and two decades later, I think that holds up outside recess, too.
In 2007, when I felt weird about towering over my eighth-grade boyfriend at our school dance, she told me that the height difference didn't matter as long as I was happy otherwise.
And in 2017, when I was stressing out over what to get a new boyfriend for Valentine's Day, her first suggestion was "Lingerie!" (I went with a cocktail shaker for his bar cart. Would he have appreciated lingerie more? Probably. See, moms are always right.)
In that spirit, I asked 18 women about the biggest lessons in love they've learned from their moms.
"Be with someone who makes you feel treasured."
— Karina, 24
"If you’re avoiding asking them a question, it’s because you already know the answer."
— Claire, 24
"Never get married young. The longer you wait, the bigger the diamond."
— Catherine, 22
"You’re single until you’re engaged."
— Grace, 23
"Condoms are cheaper than diapers, Jess."
— Jessinta, 20
"My mom said, 'You have to wade through a lot of penises.' That was the most shocking. But also... not wrong?"
— Claire, 30
"My mom always said to look at the way a man treats his mom and how his father treats his mother. Will tell you a lot!"
— Jasmine, 24
"In NYC, dating for straight men is like getting overwhelmed in the supermarket. There are so many great options that they don't know what to pick. They look at how many options there are and think, 'Wow, I have so many options - I must be special.' Remember that they're not, and you are."
— Laura, 25
"My mom taught me that a leopard can’t change his spots. Once a cheater, always a cheater."
— Marissa, 22
"No matter how much people love each other, they either bring out the best or worst in each other. Look for someone who makes you better."
— Remy, 23
"My mom always said to never get into a long-term relationship or marry someone who’s a sh*tty ex to people they’ve dated before."
— Sofia, 26
"No hookups until you're in a committed relationship."
— Annie, 24
"Date the nerdy guys because they’ll be more likely to appreciate what they have. (Thanks, Mom — LOL.)"
— Hilarey, 27
"Stop wasting time on losers that you’re going to be too embarrassed to know in 10 years. If you can’t talk about him with pride, he’s not the one. Be with a guy who puts effort into who he is. You don’t want to be seen with someone who is less than what you are."
— Sara, 21
"'Don’t date schmucks. They’re not worth your time.' Jewish mom for the win."
— Amanda, 29
"I was once talking to a guy and my mom said he was so hot that he was probably a disaster to deal with, so I could either hook up with him once or marry him, because anything in between would be a total headache."
— Hannah, 23
"'You are a Ming vase and should be treated as such.' (Because they are rare and precious, according to my mom!)"
— Becky, 21
— Elyssa, 28
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