I am an extremely bad dater. When I was a freshman in college, I was asked out on a date by this great Catholic guy. It was Lent and a Friday night, so naturally we went to eat something that did not involve meat.
We arrived at this restaurant that served fish and I cringed.
I do not like fish.
I went in as natural as I could. The waitress and the serving staff knew him and his family well, they went there often. We were seated at his family’s usual table and when they ask him if he wanted his usual appetizer, he said ‘yes’ and before I knew it, there was a giant bucket of crawdads sitting in front of me. For someone who has seen crawdads before, this could no big deal, but I had never seen them.
I would love to say that I handled it like a lady, but that isn’t true. Instead, I walked, quickly, outside and called him from his truck. I told him that I would go back in when the bucket of crawdads were removed from the table…real lady like.
Dating can be rough.
I recently sat down with some teen girls to talk about dating. They broke down both their dream date and their nightmare date. Although their dates were very different, their fears remained pretty similar: What if they say the wrong thing or they don’t dress to the occasion. What if they go some place that she didn’t like or what if he tried to move to fast? What if I fall on my face, because I am clumsy? What if I find out he is a jerk and hits on other girls while we are on a date?
Since this conversation, I came up with a couple of quick tips to share with teens when it comes to dating:
- It is okay to be awkward. Especially if it is a first date. No one said that you had to be an expert dater. My guess, he/she isn’t an expert dater either, so relax.
- Do not be afraid to say that you are not comfortable with where you are going for a date. If he/she says she has surprise for you and they take you to a drive in, RUN! That may be dramatic, but if you are uncomfortable, say you are uncomfortable with where you are and you would like to go somewhere else. (hint about what to do: you can either eat a lot of garlic and that keeps him/her on the other side of the car or call for a ride to help out.)
- Set your own standards. I talked with a group of teenage boys one day and one of the teenagers stood up and said, “I believe it should be the girls choice if we have sex or not.” No. I think it should be a faith choice. If you are a guy, and you are practicing chastity, then practice it regardless of what she wants.
- Be who you would be with your friends. The guy should probably be your friend before you go on a date with him, thinks shouldn’t change because title shifted from “hang out” to “date”. Continue to be who you are, if you are a messy eater, do it. If you snort when you laugh, keep it up. If you are awful at surprise, scream. Do not stop being these things, they probably have already seen them.
What tips do you give teenagers about dating?