It may be interesting to have this conversation with the youth about how their dating behaviors now (and not just chastity) can help them prepare for their future families.

youth group discussions on dating-47

Setting aside the dangers of hooking up, what about those social skills gained as youth date a variety of people?

When I would talk to my students about this, the response is NOT that they didn’t want to date – it was that the expectation was: that if they asked someone out that must mean that they wanted to “be” with them – so the pressure was too heavy.

We would giggle and laugh through this wonderful phase of our lives.

And date-by-date we would gain more confidence and the social skills to take us into our college years, where dating had a different goal.

(For the Strength of Youth, Dating) The growing culture in many high schools is now a “hook up” culture, and no longer a “dating” one.

It is about “who is with who”, and not about “who I should take on a date this weekend”.

Blessed be the young men who understand that dating isn’t just about taking out the girls they have a crush on. “We just meet up with a group of friends – we don’t go on formal dates.” “Are you doing dating things that might require the emotional maturity this standard gives you an age for? I love this standard because it is something that the youth can do with exactness. There can be a certain status in high school if you hook up with someone and it makes them feel “desired”.

Just like the young men who are aware at the dance and make sure that every girl gets to dance – how wonderful if they made sure that each girl also gets to go on dates and gain these same experiences. Packer said: “When you are old enough, you ought to start dating. And as with all of the standards: they will never regret living them! Maturity may vary from individual to individual, but we are convinced that dating should not even begin until you are 16. The alternate view is that if you don’t have a significant other, you must not be desirable.

Hence, the next question: (For the Strength of Youth, Dating) I remember when I first started dating – and all of the awkwardness therein.

My girlfriends and I would always talk about waiting for the guy to get the car door, or to hug or not to hug when he walked you to the door at the end of the night.

Here are some thoughts on this subject by Shannon: Most youth love to talk about dating.