Dating can be tricky when you are young. What’s the right age to date? What is considered dating? This topic can often be a delicate one to address, especially mother to daughter, and can often make mothers recoil thinking she is my baby; she is too young to date. But the time will come when every young girl ventures out on her first date. So to save the arguments, slammed doors, and “this isn’t fair” comments, here is some advice for venturing out on your first date. 

Mothers often want to keep their daughters from dating as long as possible; many know the pains of heartbreak and want to protect their daughters from disappointment. But this is the time where moms should take a step back while keeping a guiding hand out in case they need it to fall back on. Mothers are there to help provide knowledge and guidance when it comes to navigating the first relationships young girls have. Helping them to know what boundaries need to be set and prioritizing important things and drilling them in, so they have the constant reminder that they call the shots when it comes to feelings and physicalities. With luck, they will be listening to this advice, and hopefully lead to healthy relationships. 

Being Authentic

Never try to be someone you are not when it comes to dating. It can lead to confusion about who you are. Remain true to yourself and do not let another person change you to what they want you to be, nor should you let someone pressure you into doing anything you want to do. 

Remain Independent

Life is not about depending on another person for support. Keeping your independence will ensure that you are remaining true to your self. Your life should not revolve around trying to spend every spare minute with them, and it is also essential to keep the relationships with your friends and family as a priority. 

Are They Bringing Out the Best In You?

It’s one thing to be with someone because they are cute or on the football team, but are they bringing out the best in you? Are they making you happy? 

Unhealthy Relationships

It is also essential to know the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one. Are they sweet and kind to you when it is just the two of you? Does that personality change around friends to being demanding and uncaring? These are all signs that point to that relationship leading to an unhealthy path and possibly even a toxic environment. An abusive relationship does not have to be physical to constitute abuse. A relationship can also be mentally abusive and just as dangerous as a physically abusive situation. 

Respect

Every relationship should be built off of respect. When you have respect, trust is gained in the process. If they do something beautiful for you, make sure they know you are grateful for their thoughtfulness and caring gesture. Every woman should know how nice it is to receive flowers or gifts, but it shouldn’t be expected that your partner always gets you something. 

It Goes Both Ways

A relationship is a two-person dance, and this should be learned early on when young girls first start dating. It takes both people to work at a link to make it strong and healthy. Not every relationship you have will last, and heartbreak is hard, but if the two of you broke up, it could be because the needs of another person were not being fulfilled or there are disagreements. Which at a young age, no relationship is ever going to be a perfect one, and that can even apply to adult relationships. But dating while you are young will help you to understand various aspects surrounding your relationships. 

There Is Nothing Wrong With Being Friends First

A lot of young girls refer to this as the “friend-zone.” It is ok to date someone you have been friends with for a while; it could even lead to a possibly stronger relationship. 

Self Love Comes First

To date, you should first learn to love yourself. Getting to know yourself and who you are will not only help with romantic relationships but will help to understand what you stand for, what your values are, and what you may or may not be ready for when it comes to a relationship. When it comes to your body, you call the shots. Don’t let anyone con you into doing something you may not be physically or emotionally ready for. 

When your daughter is becoming a teenager, there is never a set time when letting them date gets easier. But knowing that they have these tools can sure help when it comes to helping them become strong women. 

 

Dr. Catherine Barnes is a Jacksonville, Florida-based educator with over 25 years of experience. A graduate of the University of Florida, Dr. Barnes forms her educational philosophy around the belief that “kids deserve a fighting chance—even if you have to fight to give it to them.” She understands that, by adapting to modern students’ needs, today’s teachers can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and has allowed her to continuously embody success and vision in her field.