2011/07/06 in Relationships

We all need someone who understands us like nobody else does. Someone we can be ourselves with and feel comfortable with.


Someone to share our good and bad times with. Dating can give you this kind of relationship. But dating only one guy or girl has its bad points too. If you’re wondering whether going with someone is right for you, we’re glad you called this tape. We’d like you to listen for a few minutes to some of the advantages and disadvantages of dating. We hope that some of the things we’ll be saying will help you make the decision that’s right for you.

Nobody has to tell you how rough the teen years can sometimes be. There may be problems at home getting along with your parents, brothers and sisters and problems at school. Tough decisions about your future are facing you now, or will be soon. If you fall short of some of the standards and goals you’ve set for yourself, you get really down on yourself. These years can be a time of great stress and strain for you, and having someone you feel especially close to can be really great. Going with someone can give you this kind of closeness. Dating casually doesn’t usually let you know one person well enough to develop this special type of comfortable, sharing relationship.

If you tend to be on the shy side and have problems getting to know or getting into relationships with guys or girls, dating may also seem like the answer to your problems. It’s probably easier for you to continue a relationship with one person than to meet new people.

Dating also means security. You can always count on having someone around to do something with, whether it’s studying for an exam or going to a concert. There’s a kind of personal security in steady dating, too. You don’t have to worry about getting turned down when you ask someone out or worry about not being asked out.

But sometimes too much security can turn into a drag. No matter how comfortable you are with your steady, or how special or exciting your time together can be, you can still get into a rut. If you end up doing the same things, saying the same things, and going to the same places with the same person, you miss out on a lot of the fun that being with different people can mean.

There’s a very good chance that you’re not going to marry the guy or girl you go with in junior high or high school. This means that, sooner or later, the two of you are going to break up. This can lead to hurt feelings. One of you may not want to end the relationship and will feel put down and rejected. Anger, resentment, jealousy, and hurt are all powerful feelings which can and do develop when a couple splits. It’s just as bad when two people stay together even if there’s nothing left for one of them in the relationship because he or she doesn’t want to hurt the other person. Guilt feelings about breaking up with someone who still loves you can be pretty hard to handle, too.

Another disadvantage to dating is that it can cause problems between you and your parents. Many parents do worry about their son or daughter spending a lot of time with just one other person. They might not come right out and say so, but it’s usually because they’re afraid that you’ll become sexually involved. Which leads us to what can be the most serious problem in dating — that it often does lead to sex before the guy and girl are ready for it. The reasons for this are pretty obvious. Your interest in sex and your sex drive is very strong at your age, especially if you’re a guy. You’re together a lot, often alone. You care for each other, maybe even love one another. All of these things taken together can, and often do, lead to sex whether you’re ready for it or not. As we said before, only you can decide whether or not to go steady. It has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side. you will have someone who understands you and your special problems and cares for you enough to share your bad as well as good times. If you’re shy, it feels good to be comfortable with a member of the opposite sex. You’ll have the security of always having someone to do things with, and none of the hassles of playing the dating game. But, on the negative side of steady dating, there’s the chance that your dating security can turn into a drag. You’ll be missing out on the fun of being with different people and doing different kinds of things with them. If you break up, there’s bound to be anger, hurt and jealousy. You might get into hassles at home if your parents disapprove. There’s a good chance that steady dating will lead to sex before you’re ready to handle it.

We hope that some of the things we’ve talked about will help you make a decision that’s best for you. If you feel that you can’t — or shouldn’t — tie yourself down to one person right now, stick with that, even if you’re pressured by your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you think that steady dating is for you, make the most of your special kind of relationship.

For additional support and resources please call our 24-hour Teen Hotline by dialing 2-1-1 or 954-567-8336 (TEEN.)

Teen Tapes is produced by the University of Wisconsin