Lessons for Life: TEENAGE DATING

John T Jones, Ph.D.

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Purpose: Dating is the important process through which couples get to know each other's likes, dislikes, personality and traits. Mutual interest can be undermined by excessive familiarity during the dating process. Dating requires an adult mind to cope with its challenges. A child's mind usually matures at about age sixteen. Dating before that time can have serious consequences.

The Lesson:

Just before I left my home because of the Korean War, a black-haired, green-eyed damsel who worked at the corner drug store asked me for a date. In fact, she arranged the date for us. She scared me to death. She was too forward. I didn't show up for the date.

The next day I made the mistake of returning to the drug store and I got her wrath. You know: “Hell hath no furry like. . . " It wasn't the first time I got into trouble over a young lady asking me for a date. A girl in my high school English class passed a card to me one day inviting me to a party. I gave her no reply and I didn't show up at the party. I don't have the slightest idea why she wanted to date me. I never had said one word to her. Well, you know what happened to me the next time I went to class. How humiliating!

The fact is that I never dated one-on-one until I got back from Korea. The local church authorities in my home town decided that all the young men being discharged from the Armed Forces were a menace to society. It would be much better if we were all married off. My brother-in-law, and his brother (who taught me all about birds, but not the bees) directed “The Pirates of Penzance. " I was a pirate and one of the keystone cops depending on the scene. My wife was a damsel and the only girl I ever dated one-on-one.

Ten or more marriages came out of that production. As far as I know, only one couple was divorced later. If you want to take a guess at the number of grandchildren that came out of that operation, our five children and their spuces have generated thirty-two (nine adopted).

Most of us didn't date much in those days. Our lives revolved around church and school and there were plenty of group activities for teenagers. Some did pair off and date. Most of the rest group- or double-dated. A few were promiscuous and ended up married before they wanted too. Such marriages were often not successful for some reason.

Will you be able to trust your spouse?

Here is my thinking for what it is worth. Will a person who has *** relations with a person he or she is not married to have *** relations with a person he or she is not married to after marriage?

Many are true to their spouses after marriage, despite that they had *** relations before marriage. Some are not.

Maybe some of you can answer this question: Does having had sex with more than one partner make a person susceptible to having sex with still more partners? Let me know. I think it would be wise to follow the advice you hear on television these days: Save sex for marriage. Abstain from premarital sex.

Tell your good friend that you are not going to have sex before marriage, and that includes petting which leads to sex. Then you will be able to have that question out of your minds and enjoy each other's company and get to know each other. (I really wish it could be that simple for everyone. )

Too often, couples engage in sex within days of meeting each other. Sex is their primary bond. They don't get to know each other before marriage (if they get married). In fact, they have only one kind of the three kinds of love.

Platonic Love

My old college professor said that this was the love you have for a person because you know him or her and appreciate his or her talents and shortcomings.

That's not exactly what he said, because I'm too old to remember. But you love your best friend because you have known him or her for a long time and have done many interesting things together.

Do you have a dictionary at your house? Look up platonic. What does it say? It says be like Plato. Have love without sex.

A good dose of platonic love is prescribed for those contemplating marriage.

Spiritual Love

Do you think that you are the spiritual child of God? Do you believe that you dwell in God's Temple? That's a thought that brings hope and happiness to many people.

Do you think that you can relate spiritually with your future bride or groom? You can if you now relate to your siblings, parents, and other relatives that way. (I guess you know that you are related closer biologically to your siblings than to your parents. In fact, siblings may join together to support or resist the activities of parents. )

Maybe you relate to a person or persons spiritually at your church. You certainly relate to God that way, don't you? I hope so.

Physical Love

This is a beautiful or beastly thing according to the spiritual and platonic relationships of the participants. It is not like eating in that you are just satisfying your hunger. Physical love must be learned and the best place for that is in marriage.

Physical love continues throughout marriage even into old age. There is plenty of time for physical love.

And what if something happens to a spouse that prevents physical love? Spiritual and platonic love have to take over the chores. That's another reason they are so important.

I thought this lesson was about dating!

Well, it is. But have a basis of understanding before you date. Realize that a date may turn into a lifelong relationship of great meaning. Also, realize that it can lead to a lifelong disaster. That is why understanding is important.

Here is what I suggest: Wait until you are sixteen to date. Double date and have group dates with good friends. Pre plan your dates. Don't just go out. Decide that you are going to go hiking, swimming, to play tennis, fish, etc. Decide that you are not going to park on “Passion Flats" and neck.

Dating should be fun, not too structured, interesting and educational in some way. So go to a museum and then to dinner.

Don't go to an R-rated movie, a party were you know it will be just drugs, booze, and sex, or other such activities. Don't decide that you can resist temptation and go anyway. Many are drugged without their own knowledge at parties. Set a curfew and follow it. Don't stay up too late. Go home and do your homework or go to bed. Give your parents peace of mind.

Conclusion on my part:

Knowing the basis for dating and the nature of human relationships will provide a useful backdrop for your life.

For The Little Children

Because of the nature of this lesson, there is no story for the little children. You should teach your children that they should not date before they are sixteen years old and that they should start out dating double or in groups. Teach your children about love and how they should show it to each other. Now you can write your own story.

copyright©John Taylor Jones, Ph. D. 2002-2005

John T. Jones, Ph. D. (tjbooks@hotmail.com)is a retired R&D engineer and VP of a Fortune 500 company. He is author of detective & western novels, nonfiction (business, scientific, engineering), poetry, etc. Former editor of international trade magazine.

More info: http://www.tjbooks.com

Business web site: http://www.bookfindhelp.com (wealth-success books / flagpoles)


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