Not until you’re 30. I know you’ve heard us say it. I’ll let you in on a little secret—we don’t really mean it. Maybe you already knew that which is why you felt able to take the risk to ask me to talk about dating.
There’s so much to talk about really. But, it doesn’t all need to be talked about now. You’re new to this, and we’re new to this (not dating…we’ve been doing that for a long time. We’re new to parenting a kid interested in dating.) I’m going to keep it simple now—like Dating 101—knowing that we’ve got lots of time for Dating 201 and 301 and so on.
- Dating is a good thing. We’ve joked about not wanting any of you to date for decades. That could lead you to think that we think dating is a bad thing. We don’t. Dating is good because relationships are good. God made us to need relationship and connection with other people. Your desire to date and connect more with other people is part of living out how He made you.
- I want you to learn about you. You told me about how you felt when you got the envelope that you knew wo uld tell you if you were accepted into Junior National Honor Society. You felt your heart beat fast and a heaviness in your chest as you anticipated opening it. You might feel some of those same things when you think about dating someone. I want you to study yourself and learn what it is that you feel and do because I want you to be an expert at discerning the difference between being interested in dating in general and being interested in a relationship with someone specifically. There is a difference.
- We will have rules. We don’t know what they are yet because we haven’t needed to make them yet. But, my guess is that when we do, they will be different than rules your friends have. The rules aren’t because we want to limit how much fun you have or keep you from growing up. We will give you rules because we want to give you very clear boundaries so that you know that within those boundaries you are most safe. Within those boundaries, you will still have freedom to be you and grow into the you you will become. We hope that the boys you date will also have clear boundaries, but they may not which means that you have to use a lot of wisdom to discern if dating them at all is a good choice. We need discernment too so we can help you make that choice.
- We are your best resource. My guess is that boys are a pretty popular topic of conversation among your girlfriends. That’s fun. You can ask them questions; but my guess is that they have more questions than answers. You can ask Google like we do for most things, but Google doesn’t care about like you like we do. We are your most invested, most dependable resource. Just come to us. Talk to us. We are for you and love talking to you about everything from kitty cat antics to boys.