What I Want My Kids to Know About Dating
This post is inspired by a post entitled 10 things to teach your kids before their first date. There were some great things on these lists, but the best part was that it started me thinking about what I want MY kids to know before they begin dating. Here are some of my thoughts…
On one hand, it seems ridiculous to be contemplating the things that I want you to know before your first date. On the other hand, it seems ridiculous to NOT be teaching you to be the woman and the men of God that you should be. And so, before your first date, I hope and pray that you will learn the following things…
1. Don’t try to impress your date. Be who you are! Let your character speak for itself. If you are messy, your date should know this. If you don’t want to be messy, then work on that and be the kind of person that you want to be.
2. Be respectful of his or her parents- work on talking with adults. Practice respecting your friend’s parents when you are in their homes. Show a genuine interest in getting to know them. This will take away a lot of the nerves that you might have when you meet the parents of your first date.
3. Only date someone you already know and like- I know there are a lot of theories on this, but in my experience, the best kind of dating is when you are having fun with the other person. You should already know that you have a lot in common before you take it to the dating level.
4. Boys- plan a special date with her interests in mind. Linds- appreciate whatever he does with no expectations- “The first date” receives so much hype and I’m not sure why? Boys, you don’t have to marry the first girl you date. Just enjoy it! And Linds, he might not sweep you off your feet or be everything that you have ever hoped for. Or he might. Either way, don’t set yourself up for disappointment or for swooning.
5. About the first kiss- This also gets too much hype. What you need to know is that you want it to be special, so don’t go around kissing every date. Treat it with respect- you will not regret this! Your Daddy and I had dated a whole month (this is not long at all- you should wait AT LEAST a year!:) ) before he kissed me. And it was memorable- on the rocks of Lake Michigan with a lightening storm off in the distance. YOU WANT IT TO BE MEMORABLE!
6. Learn to be a good conversationalist- Work on your conversation skills with your friends. Read lots of books. Treat conversations as a treasure hunt- your goal is to find out what really matters to that person. Your Daddy and I talked for hours and hours and hours before our first date. We couldn’t get enough, because we had learned this art of communication.
7. Be honest and accept honesty without falling apart- you will meet lots of amazing people in your lifetime. You will not marry most of them! So, don’t lead a date on if he or she is not someone that you are interested in dating again. And if someone breaks your heart, understand that God really does have someone better planned for you. And it is worth waiting for. Always!
8. Don’t EVER force a date to do something that they don’t want to do- Boys- be careful to respect your date. Treat her like a princess- because she is a daughter of the King. Know that there will be plenty of time for exploring the physical side of love and it too is worth waiting for. Lindsay- do not try to manipulate boys to gain their attention- through what you wear, how you act, or what you are willing to do. This goes back to #1- Be who you are! The guy that is meant for you will respect this and honor your decisions. You do not need to earn affection. (By the way, being a tomboy/anti-makeup girl worked just fine for me!!!)
9. Stick to public places- It is amazing how alone you can feel in the busiest places! Daddy and I went on a first date to a crowded coffee shop. It was delightful! When we officially started dating, we committed to stay in places that anyone could walk in on us at any time and we would not be ashamed about our behavior. Know that everyone has different standards, but expect that your dates will be willing to talk about these things and if you don’t agree, be okay with letting them walk away.
10. Honor God- I saved this one for last, because it is the most important. Please don’t look for a significant other to complete you. No one can fill the holes in our lives except God. So many people are hurt and lonely, because they expected the other person to make them whole. I pray that you, my dear children, will understand this- that you will seek to rely on God, that you will trust Him with your lives, and that you will expect the person that you love to have the same desire. Because they will fail you. They will disappoint you. They will let you down. And if all of your hopes and dreams are wrapped up in another person, your life will fall apart. But if both of you desire to honor God with your lives- well, then you will find your happily ever after!
Dating should be one of the best times of your life and I pray that for you, my darlings! Daddy and I will be cheering you on, praying for you, answering your questions, drying your tears, and being there for you all along the way.
All my love,
Pictures courtesy of the lovely Cass from Cass.JustCurious.