Man, I know dating life appeared much more difficult in my teenage years than the sources and means for connecting in today’s generation. Computers didn’t reach the point of developing chat room capability. Cell phones were only for the elite. Writing consisted of sending notes back and forth either during class time, between classes or actual good old fashioned post office variety. For the quieter, shy person like myself- I had to really depend on my networking/ friendship skills to develop any sort of social life as a teenager.
So I know what my daughters are going through in the social department, even if they think I’m an alien from outer space when I try to talk to them about this.
My oldest begged and pleaded over the weekend to go on a double date with the “guy” of her entire year. Problem is, they were going to go to the movies on a double date an hour and a half away from where we live. She has a curfew and would have blown the curfew away by a couple of hours. The parents of one of the guys going didn’t want to talk to us at all. And this offer came about 20 minutes before they were ready to leave on the day of the double date.
Too many red flags came up for us to say no. She believes that she’ll never be asked out by this guy again. Actually, she believes she’ll never be asked out by any guy ever again. The drama that filled the room was something that would befit a soap opera actress. Once we were able to get to the heart of the conversation, she didn’t like our reasoning for saying no, but at least we were able to find out that once again, she feels that she’s not normal in the world.
Can someone please tell me at any age and at any time, define normal? What one person perceives as normal another may view as strange? If you are an only child, is that normal? If you have one parent in the household or two, is either one normal? If you are adopted at birth or adopted as an older child, which is normal? What if you lose one of your senses over the years, or have a birth defect, or struggle with a learning disability?
So I’m writing this to my daughters and letting them know that they will be ok as they navigate through the dating life. Everything is awkward in your adolescence and teenage years, and you’ll be able to look back years from now and wonder why you spent these years worrying so much about being liked, being accepted and trying to be impressive to others. Just be yourself and someone will come along who will sweep you off your feet and treat you as the queens that you deserve to have by your side.
And when you have children, you’ll have to go through this same conversation with them. Hopefully the talks that mom and I have given you will make you more confident to know how to make them feel comfortable. Embrace your unique qualities, show the world what you have to offer and I know the world will be a better place because of you.