Dating Lessons I Take (& Leave) from My Mother

Mami once told me that men can't be trusted. That's because she hasn't had the best luck with men. Papi cheated, and my stepfather was an unreliable partner. So you can imagine that her negative experiences affect my dating life. After all, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

While dating in my twenties, I carried over my mother's baggage. One guy I was dating wouldn't call me right back, and I'd panic, assuming he was with another girl, or worse, that he didn't want me any more. Or he'd look at another woman as she passed and I'd snap, cursing him out like a sailor. That's one thing that I didn't learn from my mother — how to burst like a melting pot. Mami always deals with her distrust, insecurity, and frustrations with tears. She cries about everything. And I mean everything.


I once hated that about her.

As a child, I'd watch my father come in and out of our lives, and Mami would sob. She'd hide in the kitchen, wash dishes, and weep uncontrollably. I saw my mother suffer in this manner because of my father for so long. I vowed never to let a man make me cry. If he did, I would never cry in front of him. A man has walked out of my door so many times and my expression remains stoic; once he's gone, I breakdown. 

I hate that about me. 

But it's not all heavy habits that I've picked up from dear old mom. Mami taught me to never leave home without lipstick, "cause you never know who you'll meet, Sujeiry." Because of Mami, I always go out on a date with enough money, "just in case he refuses to pay, Sujeiry." Or "in case you're stranded and need to take a cab, mi hija." And of course, she's taught me not to take any crap from any man, like she did. Mami always uses her love story as a cautionary tale and prays that my tale will turn out differently. 

I feel that it will. Because of Mami's lessons, I am cautious to an extent. But I am not a pushover. I also refuse to cater to a man's every need, cooking and cleaning every night, like Mami once did when she was with Papi. Those habits are outdated. So, when a man that I am just dating asks me what's for dinner, I reply with a "Where are you taking me?" Cause this apple needs to be courted and loved much more differently than Mami.

What has your mom taught you about men and dating?