Fellas, listen up. Here's what you need to know before dating a Southern gal.

Couple Driving in Red Convertible Car Through the Lowcountry
Chris Rogers
| Credit: Chris Rogers
  1. She's never late. You're simply early.
  2. Family comes first. This involves the good (all those cherished family recipes!) the bad (drama happens) and the ugly (if she has a sister, you'll witness plenty a petty fight). Her main men: Her dad, brothers, and Gramps too. And if Momma doesn't approve, just keep on walking.
  3. Know the basics. As in: how to use a grill, how to bait a hook, and how to dance. There's nothing more unattractive to a Southern belle than a man holding a fishing pole upside down. Bonus points for knowing how to shag. For those who don't know, "shag" is a dance and a mighty-fine movie that you should watch...before dating a Southern girl.
  4. She always does her homework. Before y'all started dating, she ran a thorough background check, which looked something like this: girl consults friend whose cousin had a roommate who went to grade school with you.
  5. Manners matter. She learned her manners from her momma–and that middle school cotillion. With that being said, manners work both ways. She'll expect you to treat her with chivalry and respect, and in turn, she'll be the sweet, polite Southern belle that her momma raised her to be. That is, unless you make her angry. And if she falls silent, bless your heart—you're in big trouble.
  6. Keeping your word is key. While she might expect you to hold the door, make the first move, or offer to pay for dinner, she really pays attention to honesty, integrity, and self-awareness. Oh, and flowers. Always flowers.
  7. She's an old-school girl at heart. She'll say her favorite restaurant is some trendy, all-local, all-organic place that serves main dishes the size of a golf ball. Chances are, she wouldn't mind brunch at Cracker Barrel.
  8. She likes when you make plans. A night when she doesn't have to coordinate between group texts, or look into restaurant reviews and make the high-pressure decision, on top of getting her face ready, fixing her hair, and making her purse? Sounds too good to be true.
  9. "Getting ready" takes on a few different meanings. It can mean spending an hour curling her hair. Or it means throwing on a pair of cowboy boots, getting to the tailgate as early as possible, and opening up a cold beer before noon. With Southern women, the only time that really matters is suppertime.
  10. When you date a Southern girl, you date all of her friends, sorority sisters, and roommates. She'll real-time reveal all of your flaws, strengths, and fights to her girlfriends. As one Southern girl puts it, "if you mess with a Southern girl, you'll meet a squad of southern belles ready to whoop your butt."