A Modern Look at Abuela’s Dating Rules

A modern look at Abuela's dating adviceSome of those old-fashioned dating ideas may actually be more sound than you think. Here's a look at those rules that make more sense today than ever.

Boy meets girl. They exchange numbers. Boy doesn't call. Three days later girl calls boy-"How ya doin'?" They go out,and spend the night together. Boy leaves next morning. Girl never hears from him again.

While many would say with a sigh of resignation that this is just the way relationships are these days, I've been wondering how much of Abuela's old dating ideas are relevant today. And no, I'm not talking about going back to chaperonas, or avoiding kissing until you get married. I'm talking about taking a page from previous generations to learn about grasping the deep, enduring love we yearn for.

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There's an old Spanish refrán that says "En el amor, el hombre caza y la mujer pesca" (or "In love, men hunt and women fish"), and I think that this funny saying summarizes all I heard from the older generations in my family when it came to finding love. In their eyes, men need to feel that they pursue the woman and that she's someone to go after. All women had to do was cast their little bait into the water: a flirty smile, flickering eyelashes, an extra sway in their walk, and the "fish" was theirs.

As a college-educated, modern woman, I laugh at the proposition of acting "flirty-dumb" to get a man. But, with no fish to call my own yet, I'm finding a lot of common sense in those old-school methods of dating, particularly those involving playing hard to get. While I have no plans of becoming the next Jessica Rabit to "trap" a man, I've decided I'm not going to pursue anyone, but allow myself to be pursued instead. It's what Abuela used to say, hay que dejarse valer (allow yourself to be valued), that speaks to my own sense of worth and self-esteem. These are values I want to elevate and demonstrate no matter where I am or who I'm with. These values also need patience and time. I used to be proud of being the kind of woman who knew what she wanted and went after it. But now, I'm changing my tune. I'm worth being valued and pursued, and I'm willing to wait for the guy who sees that.

Next time you meet a great guy, you may want to consider taking these pieces of advice. They may just work for all of us!
1. You're worth his callback: Don't call him no matter how tempted you are. If he doesn't call back, he wasn't worth your wait.
2. He called a week or two later: It doesn't matter if you have nothing to do; you're too busy for someone who was too busy to call back.
3. Wait for it, wait for it: No first date kiss and no third date spending the night. Kiss only when you really feel something for the guy that goes beyond the passion of the moment. Only open the bedroom door when you are both totally committed in the relationship.
4. Let him treat you like the woman you are: Wait to have your door opened, and thank him effusively for any romantic gesture. You deserve it!

And like my abuela used to say, ¡Eso es así!

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