Monday, October 18, 2010

The “Dating” Child: Is There A Good Age?

So, I have some funny ideas about dating. Not me, my kids. Specifically my daughters. I say my daughters because they’re of dating age.

When I say “dating age” I mean, they are over 16. Sixteen was a number I chose when my girls were in late elementary school to early middle school. I figured it’d give me time to “mold” their idea of dating.

What is my idea of dating? Well, I have a lot of my-past-really-sucked-in-this-area dating ideas. What else do we have to pass on to our children other than our experiences, especially the ones we want them to avoid.

Holding hands

  photo by soundlessfall

One of the things I would do when my daughters would talk about their 5th grade friends who were dating was ask them, “And how’s that going? What do they do when they date?” Usually the answers were, “They broke up and now they like this other person. They don’t do anything.”

Of course I’d take the opportunity to point out how un-fun it must be to “date” someone for such a short amount of time and all the drama that goes along with it. How lame that they’re dating but they don’t do anything. What’s the point? I wanted my girls to see how silly dating at 11-12 was.

For me, dating should be intentional. Why are you dating this person? What do you expect out of the relationship? I don’t want them to go out with a boy because that’s what the other girls are doing. I don’t want them to date a boy because he’s “hot” or popular.

Seriously, how much baggage did you have as a young teen with the boys you dated? I had plenty that really shaped my future in a pretty negative way.

Broken Heart

photo by

As my girls got older they hung out with girls that weren’t interested in dating either. And when I say “not interested” I mean they were so busy with so much other stuff, dating was waaay low on their list. These girls were involved in sports, church, work, school, etc. They hardly had time to hang out with each other let alone make room for a boy.

I was completely fine with that. I had no desire to deal with dating drama. We’re in a small town and they were able to see the consequences of what dating held for many high school girls: heartache, pregnancy, anger, etc.

We all know that there are successes in dating in high school. Some girls meet their future husbands. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Dating can also be good, on the flip side of everything I just mentioned. It can help you grow as a person. It can teach you to enjoy another person in an intimate setting. You can learn to think about someone else aside from your family members. If you were to break-up you’d learn to deal with hurt and heartache.

Being a mom to two young ladies, I have to say, 90% of me is very happy that they have yet to date at the tender ages of 17 and 19. They have been able to grow themselves as individuals and become confident young ladies.

Had they come to me and asked me to go on a date, I probably would’ve talked with them about it and depending on who it was (we’re in a small town) it probably would’ve been fine.

Well, tonight my oldest called me and said she thinks a guy wants to go out with her this Friday. I almost broke down in tears. LOL I’m not ready for it as her mom, but would NEVER say that to her. Well, I would, but she knows me well enough to know it’s about me and not her. She knows my love for her and how precious I think she and her sister are.

This is all about me in case you hadn’t noticed.

This isn’t the first time she’s been asked out, but she has yet to have a date yet. She wants to be a teacher and is goal oriented right now. She’s not at college to get an M.R.S. degree.

I know the day will come when she will find a guy that she really digs and is ready to make that leap. I’m the one who will need prayer because she’s my oldest daughter and it’ll just be one more step into her adulthood.

This post was more therapeutic than looking for a response. And to think, I have two little boys coming after my girls! My oldest is already asking me about dating! Sigh…kids.


Liz Mays said...

It's through dating that they discover the type of partner they will need in life. They need to weed through the muck to find that prince. As much heartbreak and hurt as my daughter has gone through, it's all been necessary for her to find the one who has the qualities best suited for her.

Good luck! You'll be ok, I swear!

Mimi N said...

You are totally right about weeding out the guys and finding the "right" one. I've never actually stood in the way of any dating. My girls just haven't been interested. It's so strange to me. I mean, we rarely talked about it other than in middle school because it started in 5th grade. I definitely wasn't doom and gloom, but when they were little like that, the answer was when they turned 16 we'd talk. They never came to me and said they liked a boy although I would jokingly ask occassionally.

I know they'll all be good. None of us wants to see our kids get hurt so that'll be really hard for me, as I'm sure it is for every mom. But it'll happen one day. You would seriously not believe the schedules these girls have. It honestly leaves no room for a guy. For themselves I've asked them to let go of a couple of things, but it has yet to happen. What do you do?

Unknown said...

I am so thankful for blogging sometimes - it gives us all a chance to work out our feelings without inflicting them on the people that we love. Your daughters sound like bright young ladies and I think it's wonderful that your oldest isn't out to get her M.R.S. degree...she'll have plenty of time to find the one when she's ready to look.

I am so not ready for any of this - thank gosh my kids aren't even tweens yet.

Mimi said...

Oh, such a bumpy road for you and them. JD, who is 18 just had his girlfriend of 2.5 years break up with him.

We are ultimately happy about it, but he is heartbroken which means I am heartbroken.

All we can do is guide them and pray about it.

We'll get through this together.

Hugs & love,

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