THE ART OF DATING
Questions Teens Ask Most
by Larry Van Landuyt
Q. I am crazy about this really cute guy (or girl), but he
(she) doesn't seem to know I exist. How Can I get him (her)
to notice me, and like me?
We receive this question from teens more often than any other.
And the answer is that you can't. That's right, you can't get
someone of the opposite sex to like you.
Don't misunderstand. This doesn't mean you are helpless to find
friends of the opposite sex, or that you are doomed to a life of
loneliness. There is much you can and should do if you want to
have friends and someday find the husband or wife of your dreams.
But it's not a matter of what you can get. It's a matter of what
you can give. Many teens try to get others to like them. For
girls, this. means dressing in the latest and most expensive
styles, being a cheerleader or member of a sports team or being
on the student council. Far many girls, it means dressing
seductively and flirting. And to keep the attention of the guys
these actions seem to get, these girls do things such as necking
or petting, or more, on dates.
For guys, the get approach means being considered a "hunk" or a
"jock," owning a racy car or having lots of money. It means
taking the right girls to the right places and making "the right
moves" on dates - even if you really feel wrong about doing so.
These aspects of the get approach may seem to work for a while,
but the people you attract by these methods, frankly, won't be
very nice people, and the relationships that develop won't last.
So what should you do? Instead of getting, concentrate on giving.
First, realize that the best way to gain the attention of members
of the opposite sex is not to latch onto a "steady." Instead, it
is best to meet and learn to enjoy the company of many different
types of people.
Next, realize that the most important thing you can do during
your teen years is to develop emotionally, intellectually and
academically into a pleasant, balanced person. Put another way,
you should become a person of quality who is a real prize for
someone else of quality. Then you won't need to "catch" them -
they will want to catch you!
Jesus Christ taught this principle when He, said: "Give, and it
will be given to you; good; measure, pressed down, shaken;
together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with
the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you"
This means that if you become an attractive, kind, friendly,
warm, talented person - if you have nice qualities to give -
others who have these same qualities will be attracted to you. It
takes time and effort to become this kind of person. But that's
fine, because "cheap popularity" is just that - cheap. It has
little value and it doesn't last.
Q. I think I'm in love. Is there a way to know for sure?
What is true love, and how do you know when you're in it? Do you
"fall" in love? Does your heart "skip a beat" and your mind begin
First, let's consider what true love is not. It is not the surge
of warmth one feels when near the person he or she "loves." It is
not the physical excitement, the rising pulse rate, the blushing,
the nervousness. It is not day-dreaming about the person when he
or she is gone, nor staring at the person when he or she is near.
It is not the loss of appetite or fitful sleep of a girl or guy
who can't stop thinking about a certain person.
These are merely physical and emotional responses. They are
triggered by our body chemistry when we're in the presence of an
appealing person of the opposite sex. They are only feelings -
happy, exciting, powerful feelings, certainly, but just feelings
- not love!
True love is much more than emotions. Oh, it includes emotions
and sensations, but it goes much deeper. And this is where many
go astray. They confuse the feelings and emotions of romance with
love. This is a tragic mistake.
Here are four qualities of true love:
First, real love must be selfless. When you love someone, you
want the best for the other person. Your object is not to get
from him or her. Real love isn't concerned with getting
affection, gifts, attention or anything else from the person.
Love means trying to do what is really best for the one loved.
Second, real love survives trouble. The type of love that
vanishes with the first misunderstanding or hardship is not true
love. It is just a passing, selfish, romantic interest.
Third, real love remains steady over time. Right here is where
many people who are planning to be married should stop and think.
A courtship that has lasted only a month or two may not be based
on love, because it has not yet had time to prove itself. Love
takes time to grow strong enough to last.
Fourth, although it is accompanied by romantic feelings, real
love does not die when the first excitement of romance decreases.
Instead, it takes root and grows as the months and years pass.
True love is not blind. It sees the other person as he or she
really is, with faults as well as good points. Only in this way
can you see the character of the person, and decide whether he or
she is the one with whom you want to share the rest of your life.
True love is based upon thinking as well as feeling, and the
thinking must come first.
Q. All the other kids my age are dating, but my dad and mom say
I can't because I'm too young. When is a person old enough
to go out on dates?
Parents and teens often disagree on this point. Have you noticed
how some teens view dating simply as a chance to have fun at some
activity with someone of the opposite sex? Caring parents,
however, see dating as a complex relationship accompanied by
emotions and physical pulls that require maturity to be handled
Being alone with a teen of the opposite sex on a date is not a
situation to be taken lightly. The ability to properly channel
newfound emotions of sexual awareness does not come automatically
with those emotions. Wisdom and character take time to develop
So when should a young person date? This question should be
answered for each teen by parents who use good judgment based on
God's Word. The age will vary slightly for different individuals.
Often, teens who have not yet graduated from high school may
profit more from group activities and social events than by
pairing off on unsupervised dates.
Q. I'll be graduating from high school in a couple of months
and am interested in a guy who is 24. He wants to date me,
but my mom says I cannot date him bemuse he is too old for
me. What difference does age make as long as we like each
When two people are out of their teens' and are mature adults, an
age difference of a few years (sometimes quite a few years -
Keith Hunt) isn't too important. But the teenage years are a time
of major changes in a person's life.
There is a far greater difference between a 17-year-old and a
24-year-old than between a 27 year-old and a 34-year-old, even
though the years between them are equal.
Although you are more mature than a younger teen, you still have
not reached full adulthood. Your adult friend has already faced
more of life than the few years between you might seem to
indicate. This means the two of you cannot help but be mismatched
in terms of mental maturity and experience. (That would depend on
a lot of factors - this statement is way too narrow, and cannot
be applied as a general rule - each case would have to be
evaluated on its own - Keith Hunt)
The fact is that often, an adult man who dates a girl in her
teens does so only to selfishly take advantage of her naivety and
immaturity. (Maybe some cases but certainly can't paint the whole
wall with one brush stroke - way too narrow an answer - Keith
We believe you would be wise to follow your mother's direction.
What you see as an exciting new adventure, she recognizes as a
situation that is almost certain to bring you much hurt and
grief. She is trying to protect you from the heartache and pain
that may await you. (Again, each situation must be taken
individually. The answer to this question was coming from the
typical WCG mindset through its theology system, and they had a
TERRIBLE track record for marriages in their colleges, marriages
that lasted that is - Keith Hunt)
Q. parents don't like the guy I'm dating and are trying to
split us up. Why don't they want me to have fun and be
If your parents disapprove of your friend, be cautious! Your
parents really want you to be happy: They have probably seen
similar situations - perhaps in their own experience - where
someone has been deeply hurt, and they don't want that to happen
Realize that your parents know you better in many ways than you
know yourself. Also realize that they were once teens themselves.
They've seen more of the trap doors of life than you have.
Consider their advice seriously. Talk to them calmly when both
you and they have the time. Ask them to explain why they do not
care for your friend. (Possibly true, but let's face it, some
parents are often wrong - parents are not infallible - so careful
with this answer - Keith Hunt)
If you will hear them out, you can learn a bit more about
yourself, and about your friend. And you can avoid the heartaches
many have reaped because they ignore the best source of dating
advice available - parents! (Many times just not true, parents
can be bias and a whole lot more other things too. So depends on
the parents and maybe what "church" they belong to - Keith Hunt)
Q. So many guys today seem to think dating and sexual
intercourse automatically go together. I haven't given in to
my boyfriend yet, but I'm feeling the pressure and I don't
want to lose him. Can you help me?
God's law forbids premarital sex (Exodus 20:14, 1 Corinthians
6:18). Having sex before marriage is a grave mistake you're sure
to regret later in life. Look at this letter, for example:
"I always thought of myself as a nice girl because I wouldn't go
'all the way.' With every new boyfriend, necking became just the
thing to do. But also with each it became less exciting. About
four years ago after losing my virginity I met the man who
would become my husband. I cannot put into words how much I love
this man. However, there is a major problem. Because of my
previous sexual experience, my senses are deadened. Now I wish I
could go back and erase all the relationships I had with other
men. What a true blessing it must be to have a wonderful sexual
life with your mate!"
The young woman who wrote the letter above points out just one
sad result of premarital sexual experimentation. There are many
others, including unwanted pregnancy, abortion and a vast array
of sexually transmissible diseases.
If the young man you are dating doesn't respect you enough not to
engage in premarital sex, how much do you think he really cares
You will have to decide what you value more - the temporary (and
it will be just that) attention of a guy or your personal
happiness for many years to come. Men will have to decide whether
to indulge in temporary physical pleasure now or to buck the
crowd and wait to enjoy sex with that one special girl in a
loving marriage, as God intended.
Choose God's way of life and you will never regret it!
Q. My parents say it's not good to go out with the same guy
(girl) too often. Most of my friends are now going steady.
Is there anything wrong with going steady?
The idea of steadily dating one person to the exclusion of others
when you are too young to seriously consider marriage is not good
for several reasons. Humans naturally seem to want to possess
things - or even people! - exclusively. But in friendships with
the opposite sex, this approach limits social development. It
hinders meeting and getting to know a wide range of people since
it tends to announce that you are special friends with only one
guy or girl, and hence off limits to others. It's actually a
selfish point of view.
Going steady is essentially lazy. Boys are spared the bother and
embarrassment of asking new girls for dates. Girls feel a sense
of security, knowing they will be assured of regular dates.
Familiarity is another matter to be considered. The familiarity
created by steady dating makes it easier for the boy to make
ever-bolder romantic advances on subsequent dates - while it
becomes more difficult for the girl to say no.
Stated plainly, dating only one person multiplies the pressure
to have sex.
After scores or hundreds of hours alone with one another, it is
difficult to maintain godly moral standards.
Teens should be friends with everybody and not go with any
one person exclusively until they are old enough to have dated
many different people and to be considering serious dating in
direct preparation for marriage.
Entered on this Website September 2007