Save Your Teen the Drama and Teach Them How to Date

Teen coupleI was super late out the gate when it came to the fine art of interacting with the opposite sex. I mean, I could friend a guy in a minute, talk about WWE wrestling, and whoop them mercilessly in back-to-back games of pool. But knowing what to say or how to respond in situations outside of the comforts of casual conversation were real learn-as-I-went.

That kind of hard-knock education is something I’ll pass on to Tween Girl so she’s already hip to some of the pitfalls before she’s even fully in the game. As soon as she started taking an interest in boys, I started getting in her ear and availing myself to answering her questions and hearing her horror stories, whenever they start coming up. And dealing with teenage boys, they are bound to come up sometime. I’ve got my bases covered for all my kids, whenever I have some more:


15. Movie night at home is a trap. It almost always melts down into a hot-and-heavy make-out session — sometimes more — especially if a sofa is involved. Go watch your movies in a nice, public place. Oh and by the way: making out in a nice, public place is tacky.

14. Don’t let your hormones set you up for a lifetime of regret. There’s always time to stop and think about what you’re doing before you do it — that goes for sex, letting your boo talk you into something that goes against your better judgment, applying to a college you really don’t want to go to just to be with them, anything.

13. If a guy says he’s not ready for a girlfriend, believe him. Don’t press the issue, don’t try to pressure him into a commitment, and don’t take it personal. You’ll spend too much time trying to wrangle him into a spot he’s not trying to be in, which will almost always end up in disaster.

12. Treat girls like you want your mother, sisters, or favorite cousins to be treated.

11. Even if young ladies don’t treat themselves with respect, see number 12. Just because someone isn’t being raised right in their household doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act like you aren’t. Besides, you might put them on to a whole new way of thinking about themselves.  

10. Making out in public is tacky.

9. A bad reputation is easy to get and hard to shake off. In many cases, it doesn’t matter what people think about you. But when it comes to having hoochie stamped across your backside, there’s a lot more at stake. You don’t want someone remembering you as the class ho when they’re leafing through their high school yearbook.

8. Relationships are built on communication and expression and, most importantly, honesty. Those three things working together will make some conversations tense, awkward, or uncomfortable, but they’ll save a whole heap of headaches in the long run — even if they hurt in the short-term.

7. Never trust somebody who refuses to meet your parents.

6. Hickies are gross and super tacky, but should you give one by accident and the other person freaks out, there are two possible causes for their meltdown: 1) they’ll have to hide it from their parents, and that’s a very viable reason, or 2) they’ll have to hide it from somebody who’s going to want to know a little more about where this passion mark came from, and that probably means they’re a cheater.

5. Exes are off-limits. Exes of your friends, exes of your siblings, exes of anybody in your inner circle. There are too many folks in the world worthy of dating to recycle somebody’s leftovers. Next.

4. A guy who disrespects his mama is guaranteed trouble. If he can’t treat the woman who pushed and puffed to bring him into the world, what makes you think he would be kind and gentle with you?

3. If he refuses to wear a condom, don’t have sex with him. If she refuses to let you wear a condom, don’t have sex with her.

2. Someone who really cares about you wants to uplift and encourage you to do your best. They don’t hate on your goals and crap on your progress. So if they’re spitting negativity, they’re bad news.

1. Think beyond physical attraction. Some of the kindest, most intelligent, beautiful people aren’t necessarily Hollywood body doubles. The sooner you get past measuring somebody’s worth according to the way they look, the sooner you’ll cut yourself off from some real knuckleheads.

What dating gems have you imparted to your son or daughter?


Image via michi003/Flickr

Read More >