Karen Kindred, a marriage and relationship counselor, says dating teaches teens important relationship skills.
The new dating is hang-out, hook-up, break-up. There is nothing wrong with hanging out in groups, however, teens need to learn how to be in a relationship, and relate to another person on a one to one basis.
Gone are the days when someone actually picks up a phone, calls someone and asks them on a specific date, and then picks them up at their home and goes on their date.
The major goal of dating in the teen years is learning how to handle yourself in a relationship.
This can be broken down into 6 areas:
1. Know your elf well enough to speak your truth. Let the other person know what you like, what you want and how you feel.
2. To learn how to communicate in an appropriate manner, to be able to handle yourself in any given situation.
3. To explore how it feels to be yourself with another person. To feel confident and like yourself enough to really have fun and not worry what everyone is thinking.
4. To learn ways to get to know another person and have fun with them. Be sensitive to other’s feelings. To learn how to listen to others.
5. To be able to set boundaries and feel comfortable to explore new territory. Be able to say, “No”.
6. To be confident enough to be yourself.
Boundaries are huge. The rights of an individual are:
The right to say, “No”
The right to disagree
The right to your own opinion
The right to reciprocity equality in the relationship.
Other Dating Tips:
Go somewhere casual and fun on first dates.
Whomever asks, pays
Respect personal space
Do something active play a game or a sport
Pace your dating see each other only once a week for a date, as time progresses you can see each other more frequently.
Beware of texting!
Karen Kindred, LCSW, is a marriage and relationship counselor.