I recently had a conversation with my twelve-year-old daughter about dating and falling in love. I knew that it would be coming, but I wasn’t exactly ready for it. I mean who is?

As my firstborn informed me, things are not like they were “back in the day” when I was her age. I just turned 42 and in a child’s mind, that’s REALLY old. 

For her privacy, I’m keeping our conversation out of the blog, but I do want to share some advice that I gave her. A lot of this advice was given to me later on in life and I wish that I had gotten it sooner. But, I believe all girls should hear something similar to this.

Fall in love with yourself first
You can’t love someone else until you love yourself. I want you to look in the mirror and smile back at that beautiful girl. You are beautiful inside and out. You are smart, strong and have such love for your family and friends. You must see that before a boy does. 

Always be you
A boy should like you for who you are, not for who he thinks you should be. Pick a boy who falls in love with your soul first. He must love you for your inner beauty, your intelligence, your sense of humor, and your compassion for others. That is what attraction should be.

Don’t chase a boy
You want a boy with self-confidence who is not afraid to ask you out. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think that girls should not chase boys.

You will have your heart broken
You will hurt and it doesn’t get easier as you get older. Give it time and turn to your mother, sisters, and friends for support. Crying, friends and ice cream will help.

Don’t rush
This is true in every aspect of your life. Take your 20’s to enjoy your life, career, and friends. Don’t be pressured into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Regardless of what boy’s say, you are not cool if you take part in certain things.

Never let a boy make you feel unattractive
It takes years to build self -confidence and a boy should never let you feel unattractive. If he does, move on- immediately.

Perfection doesn’t exist.
Nobody is perfect. You are not. I am not. And boys are not. You must accept their flaws and love their other qualities.

You will know when you are in love. He will build you up, he will be proud of you, he will smile when he sees you, he will brag to his friends about you, he will be faithful, he will hold your hand, he will tell you that you are beautiful when you have the flu and he will do anything and everything possible for you. And you will do the same for him.