He’s Just Not That Into You, And That’s Okay: Teaching Your Daughter About Dating
One of the most complicated things about being a teenage girl is dealing with all the new emotions and hormone surges that awaken the urge to date. As a parent, you can be a big help to your teenage daughter as she navigates the complex world of dating and relationships. Of course, there will be highs and lows, from that first date to the awful breakup. However, if your daughter is armed with the right tools for handling dating at every step of the way, she will ultimately come out a winner when it comes to relationships.
Sometimes, your teenage daughter will have a crush on someone and that person will not feel the same way. It’s a good idea to teach her the best way to identify people to date, how to maintain her boundaries, and how to get over unrequited love at her age. Teen romances can significantly affect a girl’s self-esteem, for good and for bad, so parents should make sure their daughters are as prepared as possible to enter the dating world.
Here are 5 very important things to teach your teenage daughter about dating and recognizing when someone is worth her heart:
1. Identify dating possibilities.
Teenage girls may have fantasies about dating unobtainable people, but the best relationships take place when two people share similar interests and ideals. Teenage girls should look at prospective dates in classes, clubs, extracurricular activities and community groups that they belong to. Generally, teen girls date others from their school, but there are other ways to find friends to date, such as youth groups, church groups, jobs and more. Teens should only date other teens, as a big age gap can lead to difficulties.
2. Identify good characteristics.
Of course, most people are first attracted to someone based on looks, but teenage girls need to know that it’s the personality that makes or breaks a relationship. They need to look for people that they have chemistry with and that treat them with respect. Teen girls don’t have to date the first person that asks them out, nor do they have to date someone that they feel uncomfortable around. Conversely, if that person isn’t really responding positively to her cues, they may not be interested in dating.
3. Identify signals that show interest.
Flirting and showing that they are interested in someone is not necessarily a natural instinct for teen girls. Teach your teen that getting to know someone includes asking about their interests, sharing jokes, smiling a lot, making an effort to spend time together between classes or at clubs, and so forth. If the other person is interested, they will do similar actions, signaling they might be willing to date. If your daughter is not seeing or feeling the same interest from the other person, it’s a good sign that they simply aren’t interested in anything more serious than a light friendship.
4. Identify personal boundaries.
Teen girls can be easily influenced by someone they have a crush on, and may be pressured to do things they don’t want to or aren’t ready for. Sometimes, another person may toy with your daughter’s emotions for entertainment or sport, without respecting her feelings. As a parent, you must teach your daughter to respect herself and demand that others do so.
5. Identify ways to move on.
Whether your daughter’s crush simply isn’t interested or she is dealing with the heartbreak of a breakup, you can help ease her through the pain of it all. While it may not seem like a big deal to parents, teen relationships are very important to them, and their suffering is real. When you acknowledge your teen daughter’s heartache and help her move on, you are teaching her about self-respect and rising above obstacles toward a brighter tomorrow.
To learn more ways you can connect with and help your teen navigate their adolescent years, visit Help Your Teen Now.