What it’s really like dating in the South

Yes ma’am and no ma’am are crucial

The South has a different way of handling many aspects of life, but one of the things that stands out the most is how we approach relationships and dating. There are unspoken rules and traditions that southerners can’t help but follow.

Big Daddy

No doubt, the scariest part of dating (at least for guys) is meeting their lady friend’s father. A majority of southern dads are very protective of their little girls and like to play the roll of tough guy to intimidate the boy that’s calling on their princess. Rodney Atkins portrays this idea perfectly in his song “Cleaning This Gun” where the father cleans his shotgun on the front porch as the boy comes to the door. I can’t tell you how many times my dad references this concept when I talk about guys.

But one thing is for sure, if the dad approves of the boyfriend, that’s a very (rare) good sign.

Side note: A southern gentleman always goes to the door when he picks up his date. The “I’m here” text just doesn’t cut it. This also gives the parents the opportunity to make their inevitable judgments.

Forever a Daddy's girl

Forever a Daddy’s girl

Family matters

Family is very important to southerners, and they like to spend time together on a regular basis. Whether it be Sunday lunch after church or cookouts on the Saturday nights, couples are frequently exposed to each others families.

Make sure you compliment Granny on her sweet tea and Aunt Sally on her banana pudding. Play hide-n-seek with the little cousins. You want to get brownie points with the family, you need to be on their good side.

Love in the back of the truck 

Country boys love trucks. Country girls love guys with trucks. So of course the perfect date includes the bed of a pickup truck. Like a sappy love song, fill the truck bed with pillows and blankets and go to an open field for stargazing (for extra points, have Sam Hunt playing in the background).

Outdoor adventures

Dating in the South is special because we have such beautiful land to take advantage of. Great date ideas include a relaxing day of fishing, going muddin’ if the environment allows, a day trip to the waterfalls or really anything that includes taking in the fresh air and sunshine.


It’s even better if you can take the dogs with you. Because honestly, what southern family doesn’t have a pet dog or two?


The most important part of a good southern relationship is the amount of respect present. Country boys know better than to treat a woman bad because there’s a whole community watching that would be willing to whoop his ass if he hurts her.

Southern boys are raised by their mamas to treat ladies with respect. And this shows in the way they treat the girls they date. Southern manners are just so darn irresistible. If a boy says “yes ma’am” or “no ma’am” to my mama, they’ve totally won her over.


So take note of these quirks that make southern relationships unique. Remember to mind your manners and kiss up to the family and you’ll be earning brownie points with your sweetie in no time.