Parental advice I wish I'd heard
Do you remember the days when your mom dreamed of you growing up and marrying a rich man? Maybe she even told you to marry for money. Yes, I know it's wrong and I'm not about to hammer that point home because I assume you all know that too.
There is some value in those teachings though... but only if you twist them. Most things in life are better when they're a bit twisted. Here's the advice I'll give my daughter:
Find yourself a partner who has accumulated SOMETHING. I don't care if it's a set of matching towels, kitchen utensils or a house full of furniture. Something... anything that isn't clothing or jewellery. Why? Because it shows that this person is ready for adulthood. It shows that they understand that there are things that are needed to live independently and that they are willing to work for them.
Find yourself a partner who has a drivers license. It shows that they are independent and don't rely on everyone else to go where they want to go. A car is an added bonus and I don't care if it's a luxury sedan or a skedonk. Owning a car is about making an effort to cut apron strings. It's about having the drive (pardon the pun) for freedom.
Watch carefully how any potential partner treats the things they own. I don't care if it's a cell phone or that skedonk. If they've learned to take care of their things then they'll be able to take care of a relationship. If they constantly lose or break the things that add value to their lives then chances are they'll do the same thing to you.
Watch what happens when they hit one of life's speedbumps. Is there a parent who constantly bails them out? Be careful... they're going to expect you to do the same thing and they'll get angry if you can't. It comes down to a sense of entitlement. They believe people are there to make life easier for them and not because each human being holds intrinsic value.
Watch how they treat people who aren't in a position to beat them to a pulp. Are they disrespectful to people on the internet? Do they bother to ever engage with a waitress or a cashier? Expect the same treatment at those times in life when you are down and they feel as though they might be superior.
That's the advice I'll give my daughter when she starts dating. In the meantime, I'm going to teach her to value things, to embrace adulthood, to be independent and to treat people decently. After all, someone out there might give her potential partner the same advice. I want to make sure that she isn't the type of person I've warned her about.