24 Black Women Share The Best Love And Dating Advice They Received From Their Moms

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Just like family photos, recipes, and traditions, relationship advice gets passed down from generation to generation. Some of the first lessons in love I learned—even before I was allowed to date—were from my mother. She prepared me with guidance about what to look for (and avoid) in a potential partner. And even when I insisted on learning things the hard way, she was there to wipe my tears and remind me that better was coming.

As Black women, so many of us have received our first love lessons from our mothers who have been there and done that. And on a holiday like Mother’s Day, which is all about giving our matriarchs their flowers, we owe it to our moms to thank them for their wisdom when it comes to manifesting and maintaining relationships. To celebrate the holiday, we asked 24 Black women for sage love advice passed down to them by their mothers. These are the gems they shared.

“People have the ability to change in general, so make sure that the person you’re choosing as your partner is someone that you want to be with forever at their core.” – Maiya, 30

“Never go to bed angry with each other. Remember that you and your partner are on the same team, and communication is key. Stay up and talk all night if you have to, but never let the animosity linger.” – Reneé, 46

“Watch the way he treats his mother. Odds are, that’s how he’ll treat you.” – Kiah, 41

“Relationships take work, but make sure it’s work that’s worth doing. Focus on how they make you feel.” – Makeida, 32

“My grandma used to say, ‘You shouldn’t be with a man who makes you wear a bra,’ and my mom used to say, ‘Never buy a man sneakers because he’ll walk out of your life wearing them.’ As I say this, I think I understand what they meant. My grandma meant to be with a man who was comfortable with all of you and would never put you in an uncomfortable situation. My mom meant that I need to be wise about who and what I’m spending my money on.” – Sarah, 35

“My mom always used to say a dangerous man is one who never communicates his dissatisfaction. That’s the type to leave you high and dry with no warning.” – Cassandra, 34

“The way to keep the spark in your marriage is by doing the things that made you two fall in love with each other in the first place. Compliment each other often, and never let the things you do for each other go unappreciated.” – Tanya, 52

“Never leave the house without looking your best! You don’t want to run into Mr. Right looking wrong.” – Sidney, 48

“Demand respect. Love is respectful, and it’s kind. If a person isn’t giving you kind love, then you don’t need to be a part of it.” – Roxanne, 65

“My mother always used to say the person you attract is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Always pour into and invest in yourself. Hold your head high in any room you walk into and always remember your value, because your person will learn how to treat you based on how you treat yourself.” – Faith, 44

“Relationships don’t have to be hard. But they will be without communication.” – Dominique, 24

“Growing up, my mom always used to say, ‘True love brings clarity, not confusion.’ If the relationship leaves you feeling confused and unsure about where you stand with them, it’s time to cut your losses and go.” – Simone, 42

“My mother always told me when you’re first getting to know someone, take it slow. Take your time getting to know them and never rush to be with someone before you’ve seen them in every scenario.” – Drea, 38

“Never marry a man you wouldn’t want your future son to be like.” – Monét, 27

“Make sure you choose a partner who not only brings out the best in you but reminds you that you can do anything you set your mind to.” – Sharice, 46

“My mother always said you’ll know a man has husband potential when he’s a man of his word. He’ll move heaven and earth to keep the promises he’s made to you.” – Amber, 35

“One thing my mom always used to preach is that a person who didn’t recognize your value the first time around doesn’t deserve a second chance with you. As I navigate these dating streets, where ghosting and spinning the block seems to be the norm, I’m so happy that she set that standard for me. Her advice is a necessary reminder to date intentionally and weed out potential suitors who only want to waste my time.” – Audrey, 39

“My mama, being the God-fearing lady she was, always used to quote Proverbs 18:22: ‘A man that finds a wife finds a good thing.’ It was her way of letting me and my sisters know that it’s not our job to chase after a husband. Because of her, I always believed that my husband would find me in God’s divine timing, and I was right.” – Rita, 56

“Choose a partner you know you can depend on. When the storms of life come and test your relationship, knowing that your partner will show up for you no matter what makes all the difference.” – Jamila, 32

“Never hit below the belt while you two are in a fight. Some stuff you can’t take back.” – Reece, 49

“My mother warned me to never lose myself in a relationship. Focus on your education and goals, and always have a sense of identity outside of who you’re with. At the end of the day, a relationship won’t be the thing to make you feel whole. You have to put the work in to fulfill yourself.” – Aiyanna, 29

“My mom said a man who isn’t being led by God can’t be trusted to lead a household.” – Kyra, 37

“I used to talk to my mom a lot before she passed about wanting to give up dating. I felt so defeated by the men I had loved not loving me back or not loving me the way I needed to be loved. Her response was always that I would meet my husband when God knew I was ready. I always felt frustrated by that response because it felt like the typical thing people always say to single folks. I met my husband two and a half years after we lost her, and I’m so glad the sliver of me that believed she was right still held on. Even though I was devastated at the thought of living without her, it was her advice that gave me the courage to surrender to God’s will, which led to me meeting the man I always prayed for. Her advice didn’t fail me.” – Wendy, 57

“Love is a choice. Make it an easy one.” – Dayna, 36

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