I remember this like it was yesterday. I was around the age of 10 and my Dad asked me to go for a walk with him to his favorite spot. I lived on a property that had a natural running spring on it. During the summer the area was quite beautiful and very peaceful. My dad had built him a place to sit out of a couple of huge sandstone rocks. It was his chance to get away from the stress of everyday life. The fact he invited to me to his special spot was very impressionable on this young mind. He wanted to me to meet him down there in about 10 minutes. I knew I was going to have to get ready fast. I remember getting dressed as fast as I could. I open the back door and took off running to the gate. A huge smile was on my face and this was going to be something special as I made it past our red barn. I arrive at the gate. I was so excited, I could hardly get the big silver gate open. Finally, after a small struggle, I was running to the spot. I got down there and my Dad was standing there. “Son, I want you to have a seat.” He noticed that I was starting to take a liking for girls. This is the dreaded talk I am guessing that we all go through one time in our life but it wasn’t. My dad sat down that day and told me how a man was supposed to treat a woman. It is special for a man to open a woman’s door, to pull out a chair, if they are cold you offer your jacket. It was in that moment I learned what being a gentleman meant. I took what he said to my heart and followed through with it since that very day. However, I have been really doing some thinking about this subject and it has started to bother me. I think what my Dad told me that day was a lie. I think in my Dad’s generation that it really was like that, but if my dad could see some of the stuff that goes on today he would be depressed that men no longer treat women with respect.
Chivalry is not dead, but it is looked upon as something that is used as a motive to get someone in the bedroom. (I want to say as a disclaimer before I continue on in this article, this does go both ways.) I think being nice gets you nowhere in a relationship. I remember the first time that I opened a door for someone I was on a date with. They just gave me this look. I still to this day have a hard time explaining it. It was the same look you give an adult after they tell you they farted. She was confused as to why I was being nice. The idea of just opening her car door meant I wanted to get in her pants. Does anyone else find this wrong? I think chivalry today is just a joke compared to the days that our parents and grandparents grew up. The idea of chivalry is a code that knights used to live by in the medieval times. This is why you will hear people say that they are waiting for their knight in shining armor. Funny thing is, once they find their knight, it doesn’t last at all but I will get to that in a minute. My dad told me how to court a lady and I feel that you have to adapt to the times because times have changed. He told me that a guy should take care of the girl. I think there needs to be a compromise between old and new. I think a guy can take care of his family or a woman. That doesn’t matter. However, the thought of doing something sweet or chivalrous is now just a way a guy or girl is trying to sleep with you. Could it be that people are just genuinely nice? I dated a girl who had cerebral palsy. I never noticed her for her disability, but anytime she would walk down the stairs, I would help her. Not, because I thought she needed my help, but because I cared. I feel that things like this will get you nowhere in today’s times of dating.
I remember sitting on that rock and listening to my dad talk about how to treat the person that you are with. “Treat them with love and respect and you will get that back.” There are days I wish my Dad was still here so I could look at him and ask him why he lied to me. I think today is a different time than what it was 20 years ago even. I believe that people are too wound up in themselves to know if someone is showing compassion and care for them or not. I understand being a little selfish because we are all to a fault. There is no denying it. I think we are too wrapped up in ourselves to know if someone else cares about us or not. It is this sort of thing that makes me really worried for the future generations. We are too stuck in our own lives to take the time to just to tell someone that we care. I am one of these people that has wanted to go to a busy mall with a sign that said free hugs and just see what happens. I know most days that are all someone needs to have a smile on their face. Instead, we are too busy with our phones, jobs and other stuff, that we forget people’s feelings. It is a sad state that we are in. This is more than just relationships of love and dating. This is also for family and friendships. I want you to understand why I am afraid for the generations of the future. This is from a study from 2012. Nearly 1 in 6 high school kids have seriously considered suicide. 1 in 12 have actually attempted suicide. This will keep happening because we are too damn worried about ourselves to realize that someone needs a friend.
The next thing that my Dad talked to me about was love and marriage. I have stuck to most of what he has said in this department. I almost wish he never would have had this talk with me because I know I am in the minority of things when it comes to this. I want to start with the easy one and work our way to possibly pissing a few of you off reading this. At least I warned you. Never put your hands on a lady. Again, I do feel this goes both ways, but why would you lay your hands on someone you love. I have heard of cowardly things to do, but scaring someone to stay with you, shows that you have a complex yourself. I know of men that have told their women to walk behind them 10 feet because they do not want anyone to see the two of them together. How these people end up in relationships that last years is beyond me. I, personally, have never laid my hands on a woman and am going to keep it that way. Couples will fight, couples will bicker, but that gives no one the right to lay their hands on a woman or a man. I also want to throw in downgrading someone is just as bad. I have seen that on both sides and experienced a little bit myself first hand. People can be cruel, it is human nature. The things people will say will get to you. Remember what I said about showing respect and being nice? Apparently being an asshole will gets you everywhere. This is one that has baffled me for years. How it is that someone can be treated like complete dirt, and they will stay with that person for a long time? They will complain about not being happy but will keep in the same situation. That is on you. Being an ass will get you everything, being nice will cause you to lose everything.
The final thing that my dad talked to me about was how special a relationship and a marriage was. I think this has been the bitter pill that I have swallowed in life. In today’s society this really is a joke. I remember his reason to me as to why you should date. “The reason you date a girl is to find the woman you are going to marry.” I have had this mindset my entire life, but that thought has really started to dwindle in the past few years. I think our society can keep their mind on one thing long enough for a relationship to last a long while. We have dating ADD. It feels that we want to move on in a split second and not really worry about feelings or anything. Dating is no longer looking at the future, dating is about what you can do for me now. I don’t think we look at how our life could be with someone as much as we look at what that person is doing for us now. I have been in one relationship in my entire life that has lasted over 8 months and that can make a person sick to their stomach.
I hate to tackle the subject of marriage, but I have to do. My Dad and mom were married for 47 years when he passed in 1997. I remember him telling me how special it is to find that one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. I wanted that with all my heart. That has been one of the biggest dreams that I have had in life but I wonder if that was a lie too. The divorce rate is at 50% in the United States. Does anyone take marriage seriously? I think all some couples see it as is a tax break and a piece of paper. I loved going for walks and seeing the older couples out for a walk. The couples that still after 50 years of marriage, you could tell they were still in love. The person they are with is their entire life and nothing is going to change that. I remember my dad telling how special it was to get to 25 years. I have a very sick feeling that 75% of couples that are married in the next 10 years will not even make it to 25, let alone 10. Marriage is not what it used to be. I will always be a supporter of gay marriage for this reason. The LBGT community gets what love is. They understand how special marriage actually is.
The reason this has been on mind lately was because of a phone conversation that I had with a friend of mine. They pointed me out to a Facebook status that stated the following,
“Sometimes people will say they love you, but they love themselves more and will always put themselves before you. They will bend you and break you until there is nothing left of you. It’s just so hard to make yourself, let go of someone you love and even harder to realize that they never really loved you enough and they will always put everyone else and everything ahead of you. If there is anything I have learned in this life, it’s that you can’t trust anybody and it’s hard to find someone that will love you for who you really are and be by your side thru everything good or bad.”
Sadly, as much as it breaks my heart to say, this is the truth.
I know this is not what you are used to from me, but I had to get this off my chest. All the things my Dad taught me as a kid seems like a lie but I am glad he instilled in me the values I have. I think we have to stop looking at things with blinders on and remember how the generations before us were like. We need to take lessons from them on how to be in not just relationships but in life. Being nice will get you somewhere, all you need is one person to appreciate it.