Dating Tips for Teens Part II

P1050515

A Page Elise Made for the Dating Tips Scrap Book

12. There is a “discard pile.”

13. Look for good fruit, what are they producing in their life?

14. To the young women in the class, I would say:  If you’re standing in a lunch line or somewhere and a guy pokes and jokes with you, he isn’t trying to be mean. He wants you to poke and joke back.

15. To the young men in my class, I would say:  Girls do not understand “Locker Room Talk” and are usually grossed out by it.

16. Do you even know the other person’s eye color?  You must know the other person’s eye color.

17. Give them a 90 day trial period to see it they are a good match. From Steve Harvey’s book, Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

18. Never kiss someone until you’ve prayed with them. (If they don’t pray, then…ask them to consider the idea, or ask the person if you can pray with them. Prayer is a sign of spiritual sensitivity. It could be a good sign to knowing how a person will respond to you when you are in pain. The opposite of this statement is not true. Just because you’ve prayed with a lot of nice people, does not mean you are in a place to kiss them.)

19. Girls tell stories, guys try to do stupid stuff. (I’d like to qualify this statement. This tip was given in relation to the small group meeting offered each week at the school where I taught. The differences between how a group ran when it was made up of all female members compared to how the small groups made up of all male high school students were very different.  An example of stupid stuff was one all male small group had a competition to see who could put their mouths completely around their large red plastic drink cups. I don’t remember a group of all female students I led over the years ever trying the drink cup challenge.  The young women in my groups talked and shared stories of what was going on in their lives.)

20. Accept that you will let each other down because no relationship is perfect. -Noah Martin.

21. I believe the sixth love language is presence.

      (Gary Chapman has written a book called The 5 Love Languages, The Secret to Love that Lasts. Chapman explains how these five activities help relationships:  Gifts, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service.

In addition to these five traits, I believe presence with another person is a love language. I believe that there are people who express themselves through their actions by meeting others at the cross roads of their lives, by being present and not being distracted when relating to others. I believe giving someone your whole and undivided attention (not checking cell phones, etc.) and full attention is a way of loving another person. I believe presence is a combination of giving a gift, quality time, and an act of service. Physical touch and words or affirmation may or may not be involved.  However, the persons physical bodily presence is involved. The love language of presence can be seen in people who are dependable and show up just when you need them. These people know the value of being aware, attuned, and making an effort to being at every activity that is important to another person in his/her life. I would explain to young adolescent girls I believe their fathers do care about them by going to their games and sitting on the couch with them as they watched a TV show, even if they never say a word to them after the game or during the show.  Their dads were showing care through the language of their presence. Their dad’s presence was a way of speaking to them.

We know presence is a real experience, because the absence of it is very real. When a parent can’t make it to a game, a child can feel a sense of loss. We want people in our lives to be a witness to our experiences and mirror our accomplishments, our pain, our needs back to us.  When a parent, a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a loved one dies, a part of the grief process is missing that person’s humanity; no longer having that person’s presence, or witness, creates an emptiness in our lives. We need people who love us to be present to the events that mean the most to us in life.

We can also say presence is real from the negative experience of it. For example, when another person is in our space too much, we feel smothered.  Being poked through facebook, texted, emailed, phoned and showing up unexpectedly, can make anyone feel overwhelmed.  So there are healthy and unhealthy aspects of presence. We know when presence is healthy in a relationship, because it draws us toward another person; we want that person in our lives. When presence is unhealthy, their acts of presence push us away from them.

We can also say that physical presence is real, because a virtual presence is a nice connection, but it’s not enough.  I believe spending time with someone via the internet, gaming, or social media propels people to want to spend time together in each other’s actual physical presence. Too many people are ‘catfished’ today through the internet that again, physical presence with another person is an elemental part of relationship. If 80% percent (or more) of a message that is sent to another person is found in a person’s body language, then you need the person you care about you to be in your presence to truly get to know them (and for them to know you). A virtual relationship can not convey the cues that can only be discerned through another’s body language.

Your very existence, your presence is a gift to others.  Knowing how the power of your presence affects those around you, for good or for bad, is important in relationships. Interpreting another’s presence when they around you is also very important. The effort to be present means a lot to people these days. Giving of yourself by being in the presence of another, especially when you are invited, and when it is important to that person, is a gift. Beyond being a gift, presence is a love language.)

22.  Don’t date a snake. They bite!

Mrs. McCabe’s Dating Tips

Back in the day when I was teaching high school students, there would inevitably come that moment when I would look at the student’s sitting in front of me and see nothing but glazed over eyes.  Perhaps it was 5th period -just after lunch, or maybe even 6th period –to which they had already been to five other classrooms full of adventure, moments of stress, or a test or two.  The only thing that helped get my students attention back to my subject was a counter intuitive move. I would change the subject and offer a dating tip. Sometimes it was a simple thought. Sometimes I offered a bit of advice along with the tip. Snap!  In a matter of seconds, I had the students’ attention!  The students were awake and focused in my direction!  Then it was back to learning.

P1050508

Unbeknownst to me, several students began writing these dating tips down and passing the collection of tips onto the sophomore and junior class to gather more bits of dating advice the following year.  In 2012, one of my students made the ultimate craft project for me by making a beautiful scrap book with a collection of over 30 of my dating tips.

P1050504

I understand there are many people who offer dating advice these days, including people like Steve Harvey, whose day time talk show focuses on helping people find functional, healthy relationships. Much of Harvey’s advice on dating can be found in his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

My dating tips were specifically for the average high school student. For the sake of an enjoyable memory, I will be sharing my dating and relationship thoughts over the next several blogs. I may add a few more thoughts that I’ve gathered along the way. I hope you enjoy reading them, as much as I enjoyed discussing them with my high school students!

1. Keep your eyes on your own French fries.

2. Know when to play “hard to get.”

3. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t find it! (Create a list of 10-15 traits you’re looking for in another person. One of my high school student’s had the following request on his list:  Must have all body parts.)

4. What’s going to set you apart from everyone else?

5. Think about the timing of things for yourself.

6. The Jesus in you attracts the Jesus in others. (Henri Nouwen.)

7. Go for cool families. Nothing is more attractive than a Christian family that gets along and is peaceful.

8. If you see Christ in someone, then…go after them!

9. Know when to chase and when to give someone space. (All relationships have what I call a “haggle stick” or like an invisible yard stick where there is a push and pull between two people. It is not helpful to cross midway on a “haggle – relationship yard stick”- by poking someone on facebook a bunch of times or texting 20 or more times until you get a response. Your friend will move away from you, because he or she feels chased. If you want someone to move towards you, leave the other person alone, and go do something you enjoy away from them for a few days or weeks. Don’t disrespect yourself by crossing a midway point between you and another person on the “relationship haggle stick.”  In the book A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis and Fari Amini studies have shown, when two puppies are each tugging and fighting for a shoe that it isn’t the shoe that either pup wants, it’s the love of tugging with another of it’s own kind. That’s why neither pup wants to let go. I believe people are the same way. The “haggle” in the relationship is part of the joy and connection of what we love about friendships!)

10. You can find women all around the world, but you must find the one you can rest with. She must bring you peace and comfort. Quote found in the book Against An Infinite Horizon:  The Finger of God In Our Everyday Lives by Ronald Rolheiser in referencing Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

11. Opposites attract and then they attack.