Things I Want My Teen Son to Know About His First Love

This post: Things I Want My Teen Son to Know About His First Love

Written by: Kristal Leon

When you’re in the day-to-day thick of raising your kids, you just don’t realize how fast they’re growing up. One day, I was wiping the jelly off my son’s sticky fingers and the next his voice had changed, he stood taller than me, and he found his first love. 

The truth is, when I found out my son had a girlfriend, my heart hurt just a little bit. That’s when I realized my boy was growing up and that I had to share him with a new love in his life.

But it wasn’t merely the fact that he had a girlfriend. It was knowing (from my own young dating experience) that dating sure has its share of highs AND lows. And that made my heart hurt even more. 

I wanted to keep him close and protect him. But I also knew there were so many amazing experiences waiting for him on his journey through love… from those first unprecedented butterflies he’ll feel when someone catches his eye to sharing life-changing moments on epic dates. It’s both breathtakingly beautiful and filled with equal parts joy, uncertainty, and terror.

Of course, I hope my son will experience the sweetest and most magical of firsts. But before his journey begins, I want to share a few important pieces of advice to keep him grounded and prepare him for the beauty (and even possibly the heartache) that lies ahead. 


Love Yourself First, Sweetheart

Loving yourself should always be your top priority. Making sure YOU’RE content, fulfilled, and happy with the reflection you see in the mirror will put your relationship on solid ground. Plus, when you’re truly happy with who are, it helps you realize that you are complete, even outside of a relationship and that is SO important.

Don’t Settle

When it comes to romance, don’t settle for anything less than true reciprocity, and don’t settle for just “any” girl (or partner) merely so you can be someone’s boyfriend. Seek out someone who is just as excited and devoted to you. If the feeling isn’t mutual, then there’s no point in waiting or hoping things will change; they typically never do. Have high expectations  – you deserve someone who’s truly worthy of your love.

Don’t Try to Change Someone

You are who you are, honey and your girlfriend (or partner) is who they are. Of course, we all have areas in our lives that leave room for improvement, but that doesn’t mean we should allow others to mold us into someone they want us to be. Don’t try to change someone to fit your likes, needs, or wants, and don’t allow someone to change you. You deserve to be loved exactly as you are.

Build a Foundation of Trust

Start by being an authentic, caring, and compassionate boyfriend. Remember, too, that your trust is earned, it won’t be handed to you on a silver platter. Don’t lie. Don’t sneak behind her back. Don’t share anything confidential she shares with you to your friends (or anyone else). And, DON’T cheat. Be open and honest about who you are and expect the same in return. That’s how strong relationships are built… one solid brick at a time.

Speak Up

With every relationship (romantic or otherwise), communication is key. You hold the power to set the tone in your relationship. If your girlfriend says or does things that put a strain on the relationship – tell her in a gentle, loving way. And, when she comes to you, LISTEN. Create a relationship based on honesty and trust… those are the relationships that stand the test of time.

Don’t Be Afraid of Heartbreak

Don’t let the fear of heartache keep you from dating and finding the love of your life. Life is unpredictable, and nothing lasts forever – so make sure to keep an open mind and an open heart. 

Learn From Every Relationship

Every romantic relationship in your life, whether it lasts three weeks or three years, will teach you invaluable lessons. Consider yourself a work in progress (because we all are) and know that every relationship will shape you. When you’re in the dating world, you learn a lot about others, but you also learn a lot about yourself. Consider it a self-discovery journey!


Laughter will always be the best way to bond with someone you care about. Don’t get too serious in the relationship too fast. (Life is too serious, anyway). Have fun, go on adventures, and laugh! You don’t have to spend a ton of money on dates or special outings – sometimes, the best moments are silly and spontaneous! 

When it’s Time to Let Go, Brace Yourself… It Will Be Hard

There’s nothing tougher than letting go of your first love. Whether one of you broke it off or it was a mutual breakup, it’s still agonizingly hard. That first love is special and powerful and beautiful. But so often those first loves don’t last and that’s okay. All you can do is give yourself time to heal and move forward with faith and courage.

You Will Have Ups and Downs

New love can be both beautiful and difficult. Fights, struggles, miscommunications – you’ll likely go through it all, hon. But with every high and low, you’ll learn a little more – about each other, about love, and about what it truly takes to make your relationship work. 

Take It Slow

Don’t rush into things, my darling. Take things slow and steady, be patient, and nurture your relationship over time. It’s easy to get caught up in the “newness” of it all, move too quickly, and want to spend every waking moment with each other, but the best relationships build over time. What starts with a bang, usually ends with a bang.

Common Sense Sometimes Goes Out the Window

When you’re young and in love, it’s easy to toss aside all common sense. That fluttery, heart-pounding, “I can’t imagine life without you” feeling you get when someone has stolen your heart can cloud even the most mature of judgments. You’ll find that love will make you act in silly, unexpected, and even foolish ways. The bottom line is, DON’T get caught up in the moment and do something you’ll regret later. 

You Can Survive Heartache (Even If it Doesn’t Feel Like it At the Time)

Falling in love can make you feel like you’re on cloud nine one minute and send you into earth-shattering heartache the next. I’m not going to tell you it will be easy because it won’t. In fact, it will feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life (up until now, that is). But you WILL get through it… one day at a time. I promise.

Never Ditch Your Friends For Someone You’re Involved With

Dear one, falling for someone can be such an amazing experience. But don’t forget about all the special friendships you’ve developed through the years. Your guy friends need you and you need them. Don’t put them on the back burner with the hopes that they’ll stick around. Plus, if or when things go sour in your love life, your guy friends are the ones who will pick you up on a Friday night and help you forget your heartache in their own silly, wonderful way. 

About Kristal Leon:

Kristal is a military wife and mom and the creator of A Sailors Wife Blog.  She created A Sailors Wife as a resource for parents and spouses of both Military and non Military families. You can follow Kristal on Facebook here. 


If you enjoyed reading, “Things I Want My Son to Know About His First Love,” you might enjoy reading these other posts!

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know Before She Starts Dating

Lost Love: Helping Your Teen Bounce Back After a Breakup

Blinded by Love: 10 Signs Your Teenager is in an Unhealthy Relationship

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