Inside:They grow-up so fast and since I can’t turn you back into a little boy here is what I want my teenage son to know about dating
My not so little anymore boy is entering the teenage world of voice changes, growth spurts, awkward jokes, and attitude adjustments. I wish I could slow it all down, but all the giant shoes I keep tripping over every time I walk in the house tell me there is no denying it.
As if all these changes aren’t enough for a mom to deal with, there is another teenage right of passage that I can see coming at us at warp speed – DATING.
While the idea of my son beginning to date puts a twisted knot in my stomach and makes me want to take away his recently earned cell phone to at least hinder the inevitability of it all, I’m also a little excited for him.
I really want him to have the incredible memories of a first date, first kiss, Homecoming dates, and that crazy joy you feel when you’re in love with someone and that same someone is in love with you.
Those are such beautiful moments in our lives. I wish those for him more than anything – when the time is right.
And I know that time will be here soon.
So before I’m dropping off a teenage twosome at the movies and watching them walk away hand in hand, there are a few things I want my teenage son to know about dating.
8 Things I Want My Teenage Son To Know About Dating
Deep Breath. Okay, here we go…..
1. It’s always cool, honorable, and impressive to use manners.
We’ve tried to instill good manners in you from an early age. You know how to be gracious and polite, humble and respectful. Here’s where you get to prove it.
There will be so many opportunities for you to show her you are a gentleman. And while you are still young, you are old enough to understand that your conduct dictates the way others perceive you and the way they believe you view them.
Using fundamental manners and being polite to your date, and anyone you come in contact with, shows them you value and respect others.
2. Don’t post on social media without her permission.
For so many reasons, she may not want her picture or location displayed on social media. It may be a safety issue or even potential hurt feelings over what she feels is an unflattering photo.
As we’ve learned, there are ways for anyone across the internet to see and share your information, even if you decide to delete it. It’s still “out there.” Just to be on the safe side, and again showing respect for her, ask permission before you post.
3. Be yourself.
She agreed (or asked you) to go on a date for a reason.
She sees something in you that is wonderful and attractive–whether it is your personality, your heart, your outlook, or your intelligence (or all of the above). So don’t worry about what someone else is doing or saying, just take a deep breath and do and say what feels right.
You’re amazing as you are, and that is who she wants to be with on your dates together.
4. Take it slow.
This is an exciting time in your life. But it’s also just the beginning of a lifetime of building relationships. Move slowly and remember how precious each step can be.
Do not put yourself in a situation that makes either person anxious or upset. Even holding hands, hugging, and kissing–those first physical touches between you two–should be consensual. If either of you feels uncomfortable, just wait.
It’s not a race to experience everything as quickly as possible. It’s not a competition with your (or her) friends. It’s real life, real emotions, real outcomes. Enjoy getting to know each other and take your time with everything else.
5. You’ll be a part of someone else’s memories.
You’re not the only one who will carry these moments and events forever. Your date will remember where you went, how she felt, and how you treated her. She’ll describe you to her parents, siblings, and friends.
How do you want to be described? How do you want the memories of this time together to be recalled?
Your decisions, your attitude, and your words determine how it plays out in her (and their) memories. Choose carefully so that no matter what happens down the road, you are part of something positive in her life’s journal.
6. Share the spotlight.
Often conversations stall on the first (or 15th) date when you’re nervous, don’t know what to discuss next, or you’re still getting to know someone and aren’t sure what her interests are.
Hint: Ask her.
No one wants to listen to you talk about yourself through an entire meal, but it can happen if your nerves get the best of you, or you don’t realize you’re monopolizing the conversation. Avoid those scenarios by making a point to share the conversation with the other person. This connects back to the first tip of using manners and being humble.
You’re both learning about the other, so make sure you both get the chance to talk.
7. Go on FUN dates.
Ask her what she likes and dislikes–and listen. If she is afraid of scary movies, save those for a night out with your buddies. If she loves animals, an afternoon at the zoo would be a great date.
Choose activities that you’re both open to and ones that will help in the process of getting to know each other better. When the two of you feel comfortable and relaxed in the setting, you’re more likely to have fun and truly enjoy each other’s company.
I know it can be nerve wracking at first, but dating can also create some of the best memories you’ll make, so have fun!
8. Openly talk about the relationship.
Sensitive discussions can be difficult for adults, so teenagers diving into this new world of unknown relationships can be especially daunting.
Hopefully you will both have the maturity to talk through disagreements, discuss what you want from the relationship, and be able to acknowledge if something needs to change or end. Keeping a casual, open exchange going helps each of you know what the other is feeling.
I Still Can’t Believe This Is Happening
I’m not sure who will have sweatier palms when the day of that first date arrives, him or me.
More than anything I hope he’ll feel excited, prepared and not too nervous. And that he’ll always knows I’m here for him when he isn’t sure about the right thing to say, or what to wear or even how to handle that first kiss. I might be a little teary-eyed, but I promise I’ll be honest.
This was a contributed post. Dana is the content creator and founder of 39ishlife.com. She lives in Florida with her husband and four sons. When she’s not running someone to baseball or golf, she is writing, editing, and avoiding the sink of dirty dishes.