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6 Truths I Want My Son to Know About Girls

My fourth grader has his first big crush. It involves a lot of recess time, imagined phone conversations and angst on how to show his feelings.

To be honest, I’m a little shocked this is happening so soon. I thought with boys I’d could wait for the hormones to really kick in before they began shedding tears over the opposite sex. But the time is here and, so, there are a few things I want him to know:

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1. Girls are people too

They might think more, think differently and express themselves in, perhaps, perplexing ways. But girls are just like boys, except way more tapped into their own feelings. Respect and be kind to every girl you meet, be a good friend first and ...

2. Please wash your hair

I know you want to wear your pajamas to school most mornings and that soaking in a bath or shower is a chore that takes you away from playing with Legos or Clash of Clans. But please, please wash your hair (and your body). The way you present yourself is your calling card—whether you are 9 or 90. And dirty boy hair smells like vomit. I know of no girl (or human) that wants to sit next to that in art class.

3. Be yourself

Never pretend to be anything or anyone you are not. No good friendship can ever come from misrepresenting yourself, not matter how much you think it will help to win their affection. You are you for a reason. There is a perfect match for everyone (perhaps several, but that’s a conversation for when you are older), and the fun of it is finding that person who gets your unique brand of humor and loves your freckles, fart jokes and robot dances.

Know that you can be alone and be happy. There are going to more downs than ups in love, but embrace it all.

4. Stay loyal to your boys

Relationships are all about balance. When you have on blinders for one person, one thing, one love, you will inevitably lose the friendship of others. You have to continue to work at all of your friendships. You will always need Your Boys, and she will always need Her Girls. If she says otherwise, run the other direction. That’s called being a stalker.

5. Be patient

There is more time than you will know to “find your girl.” For now, I will be your date on Saturday nights at the movies and bumper bowling. I’m not afraid to share you. I know there will be day when I’m no longer your favorite girl, and I’m OK with that. But for at least the first 20 years of your life, I’d like to be pretty darn close to the top of those faves.

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6. You will be OK on your own

I dread the day you have your heart broken. It's such a big heart, and the crack will be vast. Know that you can be alone and be happy. There are going to more downs than ups in love, but embrace it all. That's how men are made.

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Image via Twenty20/GibsonGirlPhotography

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