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Dateable: Are You? Are They?

(Paperback - Aug 2003)
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Parable recommended!

Overview

Passion. It's the fuel for success, for dreams, for life. But too many teens focus their energy and passion on the wrong thing-the wrong person. Dateable pulls no punches in telling teens the truth about dating while also directing their passion toward a greater purpose in life.
Teen relationships seldom last, the authors point out, so why should teens invest so much of themselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually? The answer? They shouldn't. Instead, they can protect their hearts, live with excitement, and enjoy relationships in a way that enhances rather than detracts from those they'll have in the future. With Justin and Hayley "telling it like it is," teens will learn how to be dateable and how to evaluate the dateability of their latest crush. And they'll get some much-needed perspective on sex, his/her communication, clothes, God-even "chick flicks." Dateable also includes sidebars, quizzes, callouts, and more.

Details

  • SKU: 9780800759117
  • SKU10: 0800759117
  • Title: Dateable: Are You? Are They?
  • Qty Remaining Online: 29
  • Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
  • Date Published: Aug 2003
  • Pages: 221
  • Illustrated: Yes
  • Age Range: 14
  • Grade Level: 9th Grade
  • Weight lbs: 0.69
  • Dimensions: 8.48" L x 5.52" W x 0.54" H
  • Features: Table of Contents, Price on Product, Illustrated, Ikids
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Topical | Adolescence/Coming of Age;
  • Category: YOUTH
  • Subject: Social Issues - Dating & Sex

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

It Will Not Last

Screech!What did he just say?

You heard me. Whatever relationship you are in right now, whether you are 14, 15, 16, or even 18 years old, know this:It will not last! Period. The end. I know, you are sixteen andsooo into this guy or girl-but understand that this relationship will not last. You will break up. It will end. It will hurt. It will get in the way of your purpose in life, and it will complicate things and distract you from your passion and destiny. I know, I know. I'm wrong about your relationship. It's different. You're the exception. You're right for each other. You can just feel it. You have so much in common. You like the same movies. You know each other so deeply that you even finish each other's sentences. You know what the other is thinking. It hurts when you're apart. Congrats! But that has nothing to do with it.

Hang with me now. I know it's a bummer to think about and even harder to accept. You may even refuse to accept it. But that doesn't change the fact that it's true. I may believe I don't have to wear clothes to school, but that doesn't mean I'm right. Just because you believe your relationship is different doesn't mean it is.

I'm not trying to throw a Valium in the middle of the upper moment you have going with your bf or gf, but you have to accept this fact. If you don't, dating will destroy you. It will rip you apart piece by piece. Crush by crush. But when (and only when) you accept the fact that it will not last, you can totally enjoy this dating thing.

For those of you who are die-hard romantics who have bought into Hollywood's version of Romeo-and-Juliet-teen-love-at-first-sight (movies which are usually played by actors who are on their third or fourth marriages, by the way), let's play it this way. Check these facts: Out of 100 married people asked, 22 said that they married their high school crush. Sounds great, huh? Maybe there is hope. But check this: Out of those 22 people, 17 got divorced. So 5 out of 100 people between the ages of 18 and 89 are still married to their high school sweethearts. Ouch! So you and your crush have two options-one, get married; two, break up. That's it. Get married or break up. The percentages speak for themselves. Still not convinced? Try this.

The average age people get married is 25. So take 25 and subtract your age. We'll call your answer "years left" (see formula below). That's how many years you have left, on average, before you marry. Now, write down how many crushes you have had in the last 12 months. Got it? Now take the number of crushes and multiply it by your "years left." The number you get is the number of crushes you will have before you get married.

25 - __________ = ______________ your age years left

_________________ X __________ = _________________ number of crushes years left number of crushes in last 12 months 'til you find "the one"

Now if you're one of those hardheads who thinks, "I'll show him. We are different. It's gonna work!" don't do something stupid like run out and get married and then call me to say, "See, I told you we were meant for each other." No! Don't call me after 2 years, or after 5, 10, or even 20 years. Give me a call after you've been married 35 years. Then you can say I was wrong about your relationship. You'll be about 52 years old. Call me and scream as loud as you can, "I told you so!" I won't hold my breath, though. See, getting married is not the issue. Anyone can do that. It's staying married that is the goal.

Here's why it's so important to accept that it will not last: If you hold onto the hope that your relationship will last and thatyou will defy all the odds, then you give away too much and waste your teen dating years. You end up so zoned on trying to make it work that you miss out on the best parts of the experience of dating. You set yourself up for failure. I want you to succeed. With the truth in this book, you'll know how to protect your heart and live with excitement and passion. I'm not knocking the dating process. I think it can be fun if you have the right goals in mind. I just don't want you to put so much pressure on the relationship that you take all the fun out of it. I want you to date, but even more, I want you to be Dateable.

Let's break it down and check some of the hardcore issues. First, let me tell you where I'm starting from. You need to understand some solid truths. Let's start with some basic things we can agree on:

TRUTH: Just because you date someone doesn't mean you will marry them.

TRUTH: Your dating experience will help shape your married life.

TRUTH: You will date several people before you get married.

TRUTH: Your spiritual beliefs have an impact on your dating life.

We can all agree on these truths. This is our baseline. Now let's look at what accepting "it will not last" as a truth will do for you. Totally accepting that the relationship will not last does not cheapen it or make it less important. In reality, it makes the relationship more valuable. You know that you only have it for a short time, so it becomes more important to you. You want to savor it more. You appreciate it more. You learn from it and protect it. If you truly understand that the relationship has an end, then the sweet little things will become important and the giant ugly things-like how he didn't call-will become no biggies. Would you rather waste your time freaking out about everything or enjoy the time you have? You know it won't last forever, so yeah, you want to enjoy it while you can.

Also, when you accept the truth, the pressure's off. A lot of lives are destroyed because of pressure to make a dating relationship work. If you believe that the relationship is meant to be, then you will do stupid things to keep it going. That's where couples can really mess up. You can get into a cycle that you just can't seem to get out of. You might get into sex to make the other person happy. You might try manipulation, violence, or using each other. You worry that your friends won't understand or won't like you if you break up. Or worse yet, your parents might get upset if you break up with "the perfect person." That's just not cool. Don't let others force you into a relationship that isn't right. Let me throw in a commercial here. Do not get your family deeply involved in your relationships. Let me repeat that: Do not get your family deeply involved.

Sure, you need to let them know who your friends are and who you are dating, but don't allow your dating life to get too tight with your family life. I mean, it's one thing to spend time with your bf/gf at home or hanging out with your family. That's not horrible, but it's a totally different issue to let your bf/gf get so involved in your family that they are as much of a fixture as you are. They're not your significant other. And no one becomes part of your family until you marry them. Making them part of the fam is way too much pressure. And what's worse is that it can make you get stuck in a relationship you want to get out of, because you not only have to break up with your crush, but you have to break up with the entire family. It's just not healthy.

You don't have to worry about any of this if you start the relationship already knowing it will eventually end. You can relax. The end might come this week or it might come eight months from now. It's okay. Just part of the deal. And you won't have to compromise who you are or what you believe just to feel accepted. If your boyfriend really wants you to have sex, you don't have to give in to try to keep him. Why would you?

Chapter Two

So it will last another week? Hey, you can just consider this the end of the relationship. No big deal. You knew it was coming. Yeah, there will still be some pain, but nothing like there could have been (more on that in How Much You Put In Determines How Much It Will Hurt When It Ends). You are protected from a lot of pain because you understand that it isn't going to last anyway.

Now let's look at this from the spiritual side. God knows that if we get too caught up in chasing, catching, and hanging onto a crush, then we stop growing. We stop seeing his power. His mystery. His love. The Great Romancer wants to romance you. He wants to show you the sunsets and give you the falling stars. He wants you to run with passion after him. He wants to shape you. He wants to give you your dreams, your desires, your destiny. But he can't do that if your crush already has your total focus.

Dating is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be safe. But we invest way too much in trying to make it work out. If we just let go and understand that it's a short-term thing, then we get the most out of it. We learn about ourselves. We learn about others. We experience a crazy, fun part of life, and we don't get destroyed during the process. We end up stronger, happier, and more successful. We understand what makes us tick. What we like. What we don't like. We find that desire that God has placed in us. And we don't get chained to a dying relationship.

NOTE: So far I've been talking mostly to the girls. You know why? 'Cause guys do not think it's going to last, as in married, forever, amen. Sure, he may tell you that you will be together forever. And it will seem like forever to him. But teen boys don't think much about things down the road, like planning weddings-that's kind of a girl obsession. A guy's forever is more short-term than a girl's forever.

So, girls, while you are planningyour life together, he's thinking abouthis future. He's thinking about what he wants to do with his life. Not your married life together! Marriage is not really a factor to him. Even if you decide to go to the same college to be with each other, you are still not the biggest issue in his life. And no, asking him if this is true will not clear things up. He will tell you what you want to hear, not the truth (see Guys Will Lie to You to Get What They Want).

All this doesn't mean guys are jerks and girls are great. It just means that we all have different ways of looking at things. The balance of the universe depends on this. Gifts are home-builders-you create, you give birth, you nurture and protect your families. So you tend to be on the lookout for the perfect home, the perfect provider, the perfect husband. It's the way you're wired. Guys are hunters-they have to go off to conquer and save the world. It's the way they were designed. So it isn't being horrible jerks that makes them this way; it's a well-designed plan. Once we all figure that out and are cool with it, we can start to have healthy relationships.

Now guys, you need to understand where the girls are coming from on this. They really think you are going to be together for the next 10 to 20 years, maybe even the rest of your life. As soon as a girl starts crushing on a guy, this whole dream world kicks into motion. She produces and directs this movie in her mind about the two of you. She sees the two of you laughing and playing together and you totally digging her. She is already picking out names for your kids.

Guys, hear me now, believe me later: The girl who has a crush on you is practicing signing her first name with your last name! Don't think she's not. She is! She starts that before you even start dating for real. She talks with her friends about all of this. They tell her how good you look together and they talk about what your kids will look like. This is even before you are officially going out. Don't laugh this off, guys. It's for real.

You need to understand this, fellas, because we are the ones who make the problem worse. It's like this. A girl starts liking us, and then we start telling her what she wants to hear:

"You are the most wonderful girl I've ever met." "I feel so different when I'm with you." "I've never met anyone like you."

"I want to be with you forever."

The catch is, guys know they aren't planning a marriage. If someone would push us to think about what we're actually saying, we would know instantly that we don't mean it like that. Notice that I didn't say we don't mean it. We just don't mean it like that. We know that any hot girl will make us feel different when we are with her. We know this-but girls don't. They think our words are the honest, how-we-feel truth. Girls build their lives and dreams around these words. But for guys, they are just words that we hope will get the girl to like us.

So, guys, help! We are responsible here. Think about what you're saying. You really know that it won't last, so don't pretend. What you are doing is emotional abuse. See, sexual abuse is sex by force or manipulation, and emotional abuse is manipulation of emotions, playing with her feelings. Don't manipulate a girl by purposely saying things that she will misunderstand. Guys, you know that a girl who is crushing on you is going to hang on every word you say. She is going to build a fantasy romance, leaving her vulnerable and willing to do whatever she can to make it work with you. So you take the pureness inside of her, expose it, twist it, and force yourself between her imagination and her dreams. Then you rip it out, use it, destroy it, and leave her to pick up the shattered pieces. All the while, you knew you didn't believe all the stuff you said. You just said it.

STOP! Don't tell her you love her. Don't tell her you want to be with her forever. It's not cool, even if that's what, you think right now. Because you're abusing her emotionally if you do. As men, we have been given a responsibility. Take it and be a man.

The guy is in charge of the relationship. You can't let it get blown out of proportion into this "forever-and-ever" thing. Be careful with her heart. Protect it like a mighty warrior. Don't let anyone damage it, not even you. You are the protector.

Some guys who are reading this are saying, "That's not me! I think it's gonna last 'cause I love her. The way I feel is amazing. She is the one." Okay, I'll give you that. You do feel like it will last forever, so let's talk about that feeling. You can't eat, you can't sleep, you get butterflies in her presence, your palms sweat. You feel like a total dork and it feels great. Newsflash for you: This isn't love. It's somebody else besides your mother thinking you are cool.

Continues.

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