Should Teens Kiss Dating Goodbye?
When I first heard the title of the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I rolled my eyes. I thought dating was a must. How else would you ever find a mate? Then it occurred to me: if we’ve got this all figured out, why do half of all American marriages end in divorce? Obviously, our “dating as a pathway to marriage” model is not yielding great long-term results.
Some parents are bucking the system by discouraging traditional dating. Their kids socialize plenty, in groups, and as friends. But they don’t pair off exclusively with a boyfriend or girlfriend until they’re seriously considering that person as a potential spouse. The idea is to choose someone to date based upon shared values, rather than entering into a romantic relationship based upon physical attraction alone. Some families even agree that mom and dad must approve before any real “dating” goes on.
Whether this new approach makes sense to you or not, the bottom line is that you must seriously consider the potential pitfalls of dating for your teen. If your teen does date, you need to give some thought to the rules that are needed to make that experience as safe and beneficial as possible. Not all teenagers are magically mature enough to handle such a great responsibility at the standard age, and you need to do what’s right for him or her.
Dating topics to think about: