She was all I every wanted, “She was the most beautiful girl in the school,” I thought…until the next most beautiful girl walked by. It was at that point that I had to question my understanding of dating as a teen and the misguidance I had received from my peers. After all, coming from a household composed of a respectable, lasting relationship, something just didn’t seem to add up. I felt that I needed more time to evaluate the two in order for me to completely understand the differences they presented.
As an observer, I was able to captivate the awareness of the truth as it pertained to teen dating and what it meant to the parties involved. As teenagers, I believe that we are at the stage in our lives where we are most likely to be influenced by the world around us. It isn’t really about what we want or need, it’s more about what everyone else is doing and how we fit in the spectrum of their current conversation. It’s really not about the love we seek to obtain through a deep connection, it’s more about finding someone who will allow us to be apart of ‘the relationship club’ our peers value as cool. Because of the fear of feeling left out, we seek to find someone to join us on our journey of companionship in order to keep up with the ‘teen dating game’.
The Risk of Dating as A Teen
As a teen dating, we tend to throw ourselves into the fire without the necessary guidance. As a young teen, I remember the giving up of oneself in exchange for the right of being called a man by the guys. In their minds, a man was defined as a boy who gave himself to a girl in exchange for the party of high fives. On the other hand, the young girl that gave herself to ‘the right guy'(that popular athlete) is considered to be lucky to have experienced that through him. Unfortunately, they both seem to give without realizing what they’ll be losing in the process.
By closely observing my parents, I became a student of what it took to build a strong foundation to a lasting relationship. Unfortunately, based on what I was able to experience through my peers, the teen dating experience was for most part a short-term journey that only a handful of teens were able to prolong. Its core focus was mostly driven by lust and the sex that came out of it, instead of the building of something that can last a lifetime.
While exploring the world of dating, we are encouraged to give, instead of holding on. We are encouraged to mirror, instead of standing alone. We are not taught to respect our bodies, but rather, to exploit it for the sake of meaningless, short-term gains. We are not taught the value of sex and the deep connection that it allows us to experience with the one we truly love, but we’re surely taught how to use sex as an extracurricular activity for the sake of enjoying one moment.
My teen dating advice to those in this stage of life?
- Be yourself and accept who you are
- Value and cherish your body
- Take the time to understand love
- Be patient: Great things comes to those that wait
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Knowledge is power
- Love yourself and stand for something
Always remember..you are greatness!The only true judge of you…is YOU! Be not driven by the expectations of others, but instead know what you’re worth enough to be treated by the things you truly deserve.
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