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.
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.
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.