My daughter met a “really cute” boy through a friend at school. They started “talking”, which means they texted back and forth, which means they were interested in one another. Within days, they were skyping and by the following weekend, they had their first date. On the second date, about a week later, my daughter asked if he would be her boyfriend and he said yes.
Oh, teenage relationships…this new dating thing, I thought to myself. She barely knows this kid, and she has asked to be his girlfriend. As the week went forward, we discovered this boy had a mysterious past, and though he seemed to be on track presently, we knew that things had not always been so, and no one would talk about it.
Over the course of the next few weeks, it became clear that he was a nice boy, but was very distracted, overwhelmed and a little depressed. He spent most of his time playing video games or sleeping. While most early relationships are packed with dates, texts and skyping, the lines of communication in this relationship seemed to wane. My daughter began to loose interest, leading to a quiet mutual breakup, thank God.
Teenage Relationships and the “Right” and “Wrong” Boys
As we move through this dating stuff, it is really important to me that she and I talk about what went wrong and what to look for in the future. It shows her what is important in healthy relationships first hand. It is my hope that we are fine-tuning her compass so that when the “right” guy comes along, she will know it, and will spend less time with the “wrong” guys.
The “wrong” guys sometimes show themselves right away with poor manners and behavior, but there are other types of “wrong”–many nice guys that would be great for someone else but not her. It’s important not to get bogged down with a. How nice the guy is, and b. Wanting to be in a relationship at all costs.
Reflection and Reward
Seeing her work through these matters helps remind me what’s important, too. Not to rush into things, to trust my inner voice, not to be too trusting, to think about a relationship and watch how it emerges or doesn’t–rather than jumping in to “fix” it or change it into what I want. As with all things, some relationships grow and blossom, others don’t. Not all will succeed. That’s part of life. When you have a good one, cherish and nurture it, when you don’t, allow it to go, freeing both of you to find the “right” one.