Family

Lessons about love from the women in our lives

By: Shannon Christie

Author: Canadian Living

Family

Lessons about love from the women in our lives

By: Shannon Christie

When it comes to relationships, a mother's advice can have true staying power. Although moms impart wisdom on countless topics, the insight they share as we negotiate the rocky road to love can make an indelible impression. While many are on the receiving end of Mom's well-meaning relationship advice, some now find themselves providing similar guidance to their own children.

Whatever side of the romantic fence you're currently on, you're bound to relate to some of the real-life stories we've gathered from Canadians about the love lessons learned from their mothers and grandmothers.

1. Lasting love

"My best advice wasn't from my mother, but my grandmother. She and my grandfather had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary when my grandmother wrote, ‘Give and take -- in that order,' on the inside of the card they gave me on my wedding day. I still have it, and have never forgotten that line."
-- Barb, 52, Ottawa

2. Perspective is everything
"When I was in grade 12, I was dating a girl in grade 9, but she looked old enough to be in college. My mom wasn't thrilled, but all she said to me was ‘Be very careful, son: Her dad is a lawyer.' Now that I have a daughter in high school, that advice is much less funny."
-- Kevin, 49, Orleans, Ont.

3. From the heart

"To this day, my mother says, ‘There's a lid for every pot.' It's her way of reassuring me that the perfect mate is out there, and not to waste time worrying about it."
-- Kelly, 33, Saint John, N.B.

4. Straight shooter

"My grandmother was widowed fairly young and never remarried. She could be very blunt, and had an opinion on most things. The relationship advice she repeated most often was ‘If you want a horse, don't marry a cow,' which, to this day, I still do not understand."
-- Dawn, 61, Cornerbrook, N.L.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find more sound advice about love from our mothers and grandmothers on page 2

5. A proven formula
"My mother always said, ‘Don't pretend to be dumb to get a man to marry you, or else you'll spend the rest of your life proving it's true.' I hope she didn't learn that lesson from choosing my dad!"
-- Catherine, 28, Toronto

6. Perfectly scripted
"My mom had me when she was very young, and all through my teenage years she reinforced the importance of getting an education and a good job instead of being distracted by boys. Her favourite line was ‘When a boy tells you that if you really loved him you'd sleep with him, tell him if he really loved you, he wouldn't ask!' I never had the opportunity to say it, which after so much preparation was actually kind of a letdown!"
-- Kayley, 25, Peterborough, Ont.

7. Smart money, honey
"My mother didn't ever have much to say about whom I dated, but she did tell me to keep my own bank account after I got married. She was very adamant about me having separate money, something of my own so I would always be able to look after myself in an emergency."
-- Kathleen, 38, Kemptville, Ont.

8. Fact over fiction
"I used to complain about guys my age not being romantic compared to the smooth-talking actors I had crushes on from movies and TV. My mom would always roll her eyes and say, ‘It's what he does that matters, not what he says.'"
-- Jenn, 35, Toronto

9. Two to tango
"My grandmother was a social butterfly. She told me, ‘Never marry a man who won't dance.' I think what she meant was that anyone can be taught, but an unwillingness to try new things is the bigger problem."
-- Sarah, 31, Calgary

10. Age gap

"My sister, who is older than me by 11 years, was like a second mother to me, and was always giving me advice about boys. She would say things like ‘Never get involved with anybody who has more baggage than you,' when my biggest question at the time was how to know if a boy even liked me."
-- Marie, 34, Montreal

Mothers may not always have the answers, but they can share their own experiences as a way to offer perspective and help us find our way when it comes to love and relationships.

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Lessons about love from the women in our lives