Southeast Texas Family Ministry. Lessons For Adulthood: Dating

Lessons for Life

Dating for Teenagers in Southeast Texas

For generations, Americans generally understood dating. In the last generation or so, a lot of those understandings have been eroding.

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The following outline is one my wife and I used to talk with our teenage boys about dating: 

chivalry and teenage dating, teenage dating guide, dating advice for Christian teenagers, Boys, here are some guidelines I would like you to use in your dating life. I believe if you do, you will look back and find that they made the dating process much easier for you – and better for your dates.

  1. Ask for a date in person or by phone. It is easier to ask for a date using a text, e-mail, or social media. However, the girl’s perception of a request made by text or social media is also that your request is “no big deal”. The date is less likely to be canceled if you have asked in a more personal way and she has accepted in a more personal way.
  2. The time together is more important than what you do. Lots of things can be a date. A picnic, horseback riding, a hike in the Big Thicket, or bringing a girl on a fishing daytrip with your family. Movies, dinner, and dances are of course traditional and easy. Talking is important. If your first date is to the movies, make sure the next one is somewhere that makes it easy to talk and get to know eachother.
  3. Let them know there will be some kind of chaperone, at least for the near future. Usually this will mean your parents or her parents will be in the same restaurant, movie, or hiking trail.
  4. Listening is more important than talking. You are young. Statistically, you’re not going to marry anyone you date this year. Learn to listen and understand more about people. Get better at communicating. What does she like? What is her relationship with her family like? What are her hobbies? Listen for where your interests intertwine. Does she say anything that raises a red flag?

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Dad’s Story: I shared an anecdote from my dating days about something really racist a girl I thought I knew said when we were out for a drive. It was too far outside my comfort zone, and it was our last date.

Question to Son: Have you heard anyone raise a red flag when you were in a social situation?

Mom’s Story: My wife shared an example from her dating life about something a potential boyfriend said that made her know he was not the right fit.

The goal of this part of our discussion was to help our sons understand early in life that we don’t have to try to make every dating situation “work”. Some people will not be the right fit, and that is fine. It is better to politely move on when you know the differences between you are too great.

  1. Don’t brag. Good women will like you because you are nice, not because you are the world’s best basketball player or fisherman.
  2. Don’t rush. Take your time and get to know people. Someone does not have to be your girlfriend after your first or second date.

There is no set number of dates of when you are supposed to kiss someone or to do anything else. You only get to be young once and the rest of life lasts a long time – enjoy it.

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  1. For the near future, any date will involve your parents or her parents driving. We are happy for you to do things and have fun, but we also want to keep you safe. We understand that you have responsible friends that can drive, but we are not comfortable with that at this time.
  2. Always follow up after a date. The next day, we expect you to reach out by phone, e-mail, or text. Say something like, “Thank you for coming out. I enjoyed getting to know you better.”
  3. Be honest – if you’re not interested, transition to something like “I think it will be cool to get to know you as a friend.” Girls are smart – they will get it. I know you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it is better to be honest than just to string someone along or to disappear and they do not know why. That really will hurt their feelings more. If you are interested in seeing them again, say something like, “I’d love to go out again, would you like to try the new restaurant?” or , “That was fun. It would be great to go out again. Would you be my date for prom?”

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We felt like this was appropriate for a first lesson.

We will follow up soon.

I am big on trying to guide our children by example, but it also important to say some things outloud.

After all, someone is going to talk with my children about dating. Shouldn’t it be me?

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Thank you for joining us. Feel free to take this information and modify it as needed to talk with your child about dating.

  • Daryl Fant, Publisher. SETX Church Guide
  • (512) 567-8068
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