5 Keys to Understanding Teen Dating
Dating today is sooo different from when I was a teenager. As a mother of a 15 year old boy, it’s an interesting and educational experience. I’m not sure really when the lingo and terms we used changed. So I needed to get a vocabulary lesson in order to understand what the heck was going on.
I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned to maybe help you understand what the heck your teenagers are talking about.
- Talking – “Talking” is the term which means that you may be interested in someone and you text them A LOT. At this point, you haven’t committed to “dating” them. It basically means you’re interested in someone. However, a teen has to be careful because if they are texting with someone but they aren’t interested in them, the other person can assume that they are “talking”. To me this is similar to flirting except we actually did it in person not through an electronic device.
- Dating – “Dating” mean that you are “going steady” or “going out” with someone. The use of this term was hard for me to get used to because it seems so old fashion. This term isn’t as bizarre as the last. It’s meaning is straight forward and clear. However, I have a mental block with using this term and revert back to the lingo I grew up with which was “going out”.
- Mobile Teasing – Mobile teasing is a term I made up to refer to when girls send provocative photos through apps like Snapchat or text messaging. In the old days, if a girl sent a guy (usually in the form of Polaroid) a provocative photo, it definitely meant that she was interested. Today, it doesn’t mean that at all. And unfortunately I learned this the hard way. I girl was sending my son pictures of herself wearing cute outfits. Based on my experience, I thought this meant that she was interested. My son proceeded to ask her to “date” him and she shot him down. Now, I don’t give advice about that. So confusing.
- Mobile Dating – Mobile dating (again, a term I made up) is when you are dating someone and you mostly communicate through text message and Snapchat. I remember being on the phone for hours with my boyfriend. To me that was so much better than sending a million text messages. You learn so much about the person and get to see if you truly gel. I really don’t know how teens date like that. In text messaging you can’t know the person’s infliction or if they are being sarcastic. AND the amount of time it takes to have a simple conversation is crazy.
- No Absence – Back in the old days (1980s), you had to wait until you got to school, went on a date or got a phone call from that special someone. That anticipation is what can really ignite a relationship. As they say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. However, with teens today because they are ALWAYS texting they don’t have that time to miss the other person. Not only that, if my son receives a text message, he has to stop everything and respond. Where is that time to build the anticipation and the longing to see the other person?
I definitely prefer the old school way of flirting and dating. It was so much simpler and a lot more fun. Needless to say, I don’t give my son much advice because I really can’t. I do talk to him about matters of the heart and the importance of respect. So there you go, for those who have teenagers or soon to be teenagers, hopefully this will help shed some light to what your kids are talking about.
I also encourage parents to stay in communication with your teens. Things are much different than when I was a teenager. It’s actually kind of mind blowing to know what goes on with teenagers today. But that’s for a different article.