Growing up, most of us are taught very little about dating. Today, issues like abusive relationships, acquaintance rape, abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and the rise in cases of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases have complicated dating and affected sexual behavior.
These are only guidelines for initial dates but trying them out can help you develop important skills that increase communication and give you time to look beyond physical attraction. They can also help you to delay sexual activity until you know your partner better and you feel emotionally ready to develop a deeper relationship.
Many initial dates occur between two people because of physical attraction. However, problems often occur when you confuse physical attraction with compatibility, trust and love. It is suggested that the plans for initial dates be clear to help prevent confusion and the possibility of finding yourself in an awkward situation.
This helps to provide more safety and control for both individuals, as well as providing a more relaxed atmosphere. Meet for lunch or for a school-sporting event, for example. These kinds of dates provide you with the opportunity to be social and to talk. Be creative and don’t feel confined to "traditional" kinds of dates.
Of course, this is good advice anytime. They impair your judgment and interfere with your ability to control your speech and actions. They can cause you to say or do something you would not say or do when sober, thereby possibly jeopardizing your chances for developing a happy and fulfilling relationship with this person. (Another reality is that taking drugs and drinking alcohol, if you are under 21, is illegal and it is also a violation of school policy.)
It’s better if the first few dates take place with a reasonable amount
of time between them. A good guideline is five to seven days apart. This allows
you some time to reflect on your experience together and to decide if you want
to go out with them again. Dates which follow immediately after one another
give you no time to breathe. If you don’t take time to find out if you
are really compatible with the person in the beginning, you may be more likely
to find yourself in an unhappy relationship.
Last Modified: February 5, 2004