Dating is almost a misnomer for teens today. The truth of the matter is that very few teens are going out on the kinds of dates you see on cheesy movies from the Eighties. Instead, dating is more like a group activity. Once you get to know someone, however, you find yourself spending more time alone as a couple. Regardless of how you spend time together, there are common mistakes teens make in the fields of romance.
Failure to Communicate
To have a relationship with someone, you have to communicate. If you spend all of your time going to movies where you simply hold hands and kiss a bit before heading off to hang out with other friends, you’re missing out on some important conversation time. Being able to talk and get to know someone is the crux of a real relationship. Looking good together and meeting up as movie and party buddies is not.
Failure to Define the Relationship
So - are you dating? Are you together? Are you seeing other people? Are you exclusive? The seemingly little elements of the relationship are crucial. But they are the hardest things to discuss, often because we don’t want to rock the boat too early or we’re afraid of what his response will be. Remember, unless the two of you agree that you’re exclusive, either one of you can keep dating and hanging out with others. Be clear about what your relationship is about. If you’re not at the same place at the end of the discussion, move on and count yourself lucky for catching the problem early on.
Failure to Respect the L-Word
You’ve been together for three weeks and two days and you’re crazy about him. He’s everything you dreamed of. He’s perfect. He’s going to be your groom in another ten years when you finish medical school, so you tell him that. You casually drop the “L-word” and I don’t mean “like.” Unfortunately, “love
” is being used too often without any real meaning. Liking the idea of the guy, and being crazy about him are honest emotions, but they are not the deep, powerful soul-wrenching love you’re telling everyone you feel. You can’t force the feeling, so avoid using the word for a long time until you’re ready to go to court to defend the feeling.
Failure to Protect Your Physical Wellbeing
There is never a need to prove your love. If a guy is pressuring you to prove your love for him, bake him a cake with a candy sprinkles. There is no need to pressure yourself into activities you’re not comfortable or ready for simply because you think everyone is doing it or you feel like it must be the next logical step in the romance. If you lose a guy because you don’t like to hop into the backseat of his car, you haven’t lost much. Any one who truly loves you will take you as you are – including your physical limits.
Failure to be Open-minded
How often have you confessed a crush only to hear negative feedback from friends? You think he’s sweet, and your friends give you an earful about how ugly his clothes are and how horrible the two of you will look together. If you allow yourself to be talked out of a crush, date or even a relationship for something this trivial, you’re selling everyone short. Be open-minded in a relationship. The hottest guy
around might not be the right one for you. Keep your eyes open for the guy that makes you smile and feel comfortable being yourself. That’s the one you want – regardless of what your friends say.