For My Son On His 16th Birthday

Now that you are sixteen you will have the opportunity to go on dates. Hooray! Right? Well, yeah, but there are some things you need to know. Some provisos, caveats and quid pro quos, as they say.

First, date in groups for a while. You have already been on a couple of group dates for school dances, and that’s the kind of thing you should continue to do a lot, though maybe in smaller groups. Don’t feel the need to do one-on-one dates right away. Work up to that.

Second, always, always, always show good manners, whether you are on a group date or just the two of you. This means you open doors for her, pull out her chair, pay attention to her, ask questions about her, and really listen to what she says. These are not relics of a bygone era, nor is this an invitation to develop an act. You must really be interested in her and your behavior must at all times communicate the message that the evening is about her, not you. This is not easy, and for most people it doesn’t come naturally. It takes practice. Don’t feel bad if you make mistakes, just apologize and make a firm commitment to be better the next time.

Third, keep the big picture in mind. Being in high school and dating can make it seem like life is all about what’s happening between you and a certain girl and your crowd of friends. It’s not. Your relationship with God and his Son, your family, your teachers and school work, are all much more important than any social activity or set of friends or dates. That does not mean that these dating experiences and social issues are not important, they are, but there are other things that should always be higher on your list of priorities. Don’t let dating become a problem that impacts your success in one of the higher priorities.

In conclusion, I want to tell you how much I love you and admire you. People respect you, even adults. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. It makes me feel so proud when church leaders, other parents and especially mothers of girls you know call up and compliment you. You are very popular with mothers. Some guys will tell you that’s the kiss of death with girls, but don’t ever believe that. It shows you have responsibility, honor and dependability, that you are clean. Stay that way. It will pay huge dividends. Be careful. Have fun. When in doubt, call. We’re here for you always.

You may also want to check out this sage dating advice from Kevin Barney and others.


One Response

  1. Good Website! I wanted to ask if I would be able pages and use a handful of points for a school assignment.

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