As if there isn’t enough pressure on dating as it is and crops up Valentine’s Day. Bear with, I’m not really a kill joy about this loveable day, and I do enjoy a good box of chocolates now and again and some lovely flowers, too. But the thing is, with all the hype around love and romance, sometimes folks who are already dating or even married feel undue pressure and those who are single just might feel a bit left out.
Good thing we’ve released On Dating Inside Out, Episode 4 from Series 2. In it Cat Williams offers insight on what dating is really all about. It is not only an opportunity to get to know another person but you can learn a lot about yourself, too.
When I was a teenage girl, the last thing I thought dating would do was teach me about myself but in hindsight, I can see very well how it did and some of the growth opportunities that opened up through dating, though they didn’t feel like opportunities then, more like hindrances.
For example, dating helps with establishing boundaries. These boundaries are important not only when it comes to putting the brakes on going further in a sexual relationship than one is comfortable with but also they can play a role in deciding on what type of people you want to hang out with, even at school.
In hindsight, had I understood this last point, I would have found it much easier to stay in a spacious place as a teenager and not feel the pressure of hanging out without someone just because they were popular and so on.
This type of dating doesn’t show the concept at its best at all. In fact, it can taint the experience and cause confusion about dating. But lots of good advice out there to clear up confusion. One tip is to speak to someone you can trust when presented with dating challenges. This could be a parent, an older sibling or an auntie. You might be thinking—fat chance that I will be talking to a parent. She won’t understand.
Try her. She has likely been there and done that, though in a different generation with some different challenges. I know, I know talk about dating can be quite awkward. I remember avoiding the topic like the plaque but upon reflection, a conversation about dating opens the door to self-discovery and could bridge communications gaps.
Likely my idea of dating was a totally different idea than either of my parents had. It wasn’t until I turned about sixteen, the dating age they set, that they laid down the rules, curfews and all. But still no specific talk about etiquette, if you know what I mean.
I think, however, had we chatted about what I thought dating meant, they would have found themselves far more at ease than they could have ever imagined. No grand ideas at all, certainly when it came to romance. Just thought it was cool to have a boyfriend to walk me from one class to another, to carry my books, to chat to on the phone sometimes.
That was my level of maturity at the time and according Cat Williams, we all differ in this area. Key, I think, is to get to know yourself, enjoy the teenage years, sharing activities and interests with friends, whether you are dating or not. The same goes for Valentines’ Day—enjoy it in any case.
For more tips on dating, check out Series 2: Episode 4 – On Dating Inside Out. Watch this space for more hot tips on enjoying your teen years.