Teenage love is in the air.
In the culture we live, dating is common even from the early teenage years. Even though is it common, there is still plenty of confusion and frustration that comes along with it.
Let me warn you on the front end — this blog post is not going to tell anyone to kiss dating goodbye. The conversation of whether or not a teenager should date is strictly between the parents and their child.
What I want to do is offer up some advice for teenagers who are dating. Often we make huge decisions (like who we should date) without much thought. Don’t worry, even your parents are guilty of absent-minded decisions from time to time.
Here are 11 truths no one tells you about dating in high school.
11 Truths No One Tells You About Dating In High School
You will date someone that you will marry, so be realistic about it.
It is doubtful that the person you are dating in high school will turn out to be your spouse, but eventually you will marry someone that you date. Before you start dating a person make sure that they are the type of person you want to end up with.
Your worth and identity are determined by the One who created you – not the one you are dating.
No boy or girl will determine your worth. My friend Todd Jones is writing a book right now (called Jesus-Colored Glasses that launches this summer) where he explains that the value of an object is determined by the One who created it and by what someone is willing to pay for it. In your case, Jesus created you and He died to redeem you. Your worth is infinitely more than any boyfriend or girlfriend could determine.
How someone treats other people reflects their core character.
Is he a jerk to his parents and everyone around him? Well, then he is a jerk. It doesn’t matter how nicely he treats you, he is still a jerk.
Love blinds you to a person’s flaws
The emotions you feel on a first date can cloud your judgement. Love will blind you and keep you from seeing a person’s flaws. Yes, we are all flawed people, but it is important to listen to what your friends and family say about the person you like. It may be hard to sift through other people’s advice to determine whether their concerns are legitimate, but knowing how others perceive your boyfriend or girlfriend is invaluable.
How much it hurts when it ends is directly related to how much you gave away.
Be careful not to cross physical AND emotional boundaries. I’m sure you have heard that you should not cross certain physical boundaries, which you shouldn’t, but just as important is making sure you do not cross emotional boundaries. If you are in high school you should not be discussing marriage. Crossing physical boundaries makes it easier to cross emotional boundaries. Crossing emotional boundaries makes it easier to cross physical boundaries.
The decisions you make today determines the type of person you date tomorrow.
You will find yourself dating a certain “type” of person. The decisions you make when it comes to which friends you hang out with, which events you attend, and the college you go to all shape the “type” of person you will likely date. Small, daily decisions determine our big life-moments.
Your parents still set the rules and parameters.
As a student you still operate under your parents’ authority. That includes dating. Any curfew, rules, or restrictions that your parents set must be honored. It is their job to look after and provide for you.
Only Jesus will complete your life.
If you are looking for a girl or guy to bring you unending love and acceptance, you will never find the right one. As I said above, people are flawed. Only Jesus offers unchanging love, grace, and forgiveness.
Don’t waste time dating a loser.
Life is short. Don’t waste time dating a lowlife. You know who that person is. We have all dated at least one. Go ahead and call it quits and stop wasting your time.
Dating one loser doesn’t mean that you must date another loser.
Just because you have dated a loser doesn’t mean that you have to date another loser. Nothing is wrong with you. You are not broken. And, as I mentioned in the first point, you’ll eventually marry someone you date. So you might as well take a good hard look at your standards and raise them now.
Jesus’ grace is sufficient for you.
There is forgiveness and restoration available to you, not matter what mistakes you have made or what boundaries you have crossed. Jesus has created you. He loves you. He wants a relationship with you. And as you navigate what dating looks like for you — what to avoid, what to embrace, and how to be obedient — Jesus’ grace is enough to guide and direct your choices.
What pieces of advice do you wish you would have listened to when it comes to dating in high school?