Dating gives you a chance to meet new people and learn about close relationships.
You should want the same things from a boyfriend/girlfriend as you would from a good friend.
A boyfriend/girlfriend should:
- Treat me as an equal
- Share in decision making
- Respect my friends and family
- Listen to me
- Approve of the things I like
- Value my opinions and ideas
- Feel comfortable with each other ("I can be myself!")
Some basic rules to make dating fun
- Get to know the person as a friend
- Go out in groups or double-date (first)
- Make your limits clear
- Never drive with a driver who has been drinking
- Have a way of getting home if you become uncomfortable (money, cell phone, another ride!)
- Don't rush a relationship
- "She (or he) owes me sex because I paid for a date - whatever".
- "Love and sex are the same thing".
- "Love at first sight is true love".
- "Jealousy is a sign of love".
- "No really means yes".
- Calls too often
- Always wants to be with you
- Pressures you to get serious right away
- Know how to disagree without shouting or arguing.
A healthy relationship
- Support each other's goals
- Share in making decisions
- Express feelings openly
- Encourage each other's interests
- Understand the need for time alone or with family/friends
- Accept each other's differences
Communication is the key:
- Speak for yourself
- Listen to your feelings as well as facts
- Don't use put-downs
When something really bothers you:
- Know what you want
- Listen to each other
- Settle problems peacefully
Dangerous behaviors: (Can lead to violence)
- Extremely bossy
- Gets angry a lot
- Doesn't like your friends/family