Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Teenage Daughter Date: Be Afraid if You’re Not Teaching Them How

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You could say that my philosophy on dating is like choosing your favorite ice cream flavor: You need to try all the flavors before you decide on which one you like best.  I didn’t try all the favors.  I didn’t even know that I could try all the flavors.  In fact, when I had my first boyfriend in high school, we dated for over a year.  Now, for those of you who don’t speak teenager yet, that’s like forever in teenage land.  And if I could go back in time, I would do things a hell of lot differently.  Maybe if I had a clue as to why we date, or how to date, way back when, I would have picked better when it truly counted.  Instead I ended up with a broken picker outer, even worse, I ended up with an ass that I now call my ex-husband.  So when it came time for my girls to start dating, I didn’t want to sit back and ignore the fact that they were growing up.  I was and forever will be, totally content to ignoring the fact that I am getting any older.  And I knew it was up to me to make sure they got it right.

I’m not going to lie, at first, the thought of having my girls date was enough to send me right into the fetal position.  How could I stand on the sidelines and watch them go through having their innocent hearts broken?  It’s like sending in the lambs to be slaughtered.  And would I be able to restrain myself from hunting down the boys and inflicting pain?  Lots of pain.  But as any mother knows, we can’t keep our children locked up in a tower, protected from all the evils of the world. (Trust me, I know it sounds tempting… until they start annoying the crap out of you).  As any kick ass mother knows, what we can do is to guide and mentor them as they are learning how to date by passing along the following:

  1. It’s okay if a boy doesn’t like you. Boys are a dime a dozen, and if one doesn’t like you for whatever reason, it won’t be long before another one comes along.  Don’t waste your efforts on trying to change his mind, either.  You shouldn’t have to convince them that you’re wonderful.
  2. You will have your heart broken. It’s going to happen. You can’t avoid it. The only thing worse than having a broken heart… never putting your heart out there.  Don’t be afraid to take chances, you never know what can happen.
  3. Rejection is a part of life, and it’s certainly not the end of the world. There will be times when the shoe is on the other foot and you will be the one doing the rejecting.  Always be considerate of their feelings.
  4. Having a boy that just wants to be “friends” is a myth… that totally does not exist…not in teenage land, anyways. Come to think of it, not in grown-up adult land either.  That boy is hanging around in hopes that one day you will wake up and smell the coffee, aka, want to date him.  Be careful not to say or do anything that will lead him to believe that will happen.
  5. Don’t recycle. Once you have dated a boy and things weren’t great, don’t expect different results a second or third time around.  People don’t change.  With the right person, you will want to be the best version of yourself.
  6. Have fun. You are way too young to be so serious. If you find yourself crying over what a boy did or didn’t do, than you need to rethink why you are with that boy in the first place.
  7. Don’t be afraid to date the school jock, the so called class nerd and everything in between.  Don’t get caught up in the notion that you know what you want or like.  Our wants and needs will change as we mature.  Things that are important to us in our 20’s will be a lot different than things that are important to us in our 30’s.

I would like to tell you that you will never have to watch your child endure their first crush, or console them through their first heart break.  What I can tell you is, they will be okay.  All you need to do is make sure they have a safe place to land when it happens.  And in no time at all… I kid you not, like the very next day… they will have forgotten all about what’s his name, and on to the next drama filled teenage crisis.

 

 

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