In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, all the talk is of romance. Whether you’re alone and wishing for companionship or enthralled with a new paramour, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the hype and make a dating decision that you’ll ultimately regret. Project SOS offers these tips for dating safely and sensibly.
1. Get to know your love interest first: Building a friendship before entering a dating relationship with someone new is crucial. Take time to get to know him or her by spending some no-pressure time as friends. Find out more about his or her personality, interests, background and morals to assure that the two of you truly are compatible as a potential couple.
2. Be clear about expectations: Let it be known early on how you expect to be treated in a dating relationship. Set boundaries, particularly when it comes to getting physical with one another. And be prepared to stand up for yourself, should your romantic interest cross a line.
3. Be open with your parents: While you need and deserve a bit of privacy, your parents also need and deserve to know what’s going on in your life, particularly when it comes to the people you’re associating with. First, they’ve been young and in love, too, so they can offer sage advice when it’s needed. Plus, should a relationship take a dangerous turn (it does happen) your parents’ knowledge could prove crucial to your safety.
4. Take dating seriously: Emotions can run high in a dating relationship and it’s unfair to toy with them, intentionally or not. Treat your romantic interest with respect and honor his or her expectations and boundaries.
5. But not too seriously: Don’t put pressure on one another. After all, you’ve got lots of time to decide whether young love ultimately will lead to marriage. Have fun, make memories, laugh and don’t forget to spend time with your friends, alone and as a couple.
For more on developing healthy relationships, setting boundaries, reaching life goals and more, contact a certified life coaching professional with Jacksonville’s Project SOS at 904-296-9950.
Do you have any more safe dating tips for teens? Share them with us on our Facebook fan page. Have a happy and safe Valentine’s Day!