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middle-school-1Usually a guide is full of guidelines, but in the case of the Middle Schooler’s Guide to Dating (#MSG2D), everything really boils down to just one guideline.

Actually just one word!

“One word,” you ask? “Can it be true?”

Yes it can. And it is.

Here’s that one one-word guideline for all middle schoolers hoping to date:

Don’t!

Thar she blows! That’s it! It’s as simple as that. Just don’t.

Why?

Good lands! The reasons are practically endless, but middle-school-2bottom line, 12 is too dang young. You aren’t even ready to handle a motor vehicle. How could you be ready to handle someone’s heart?

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Have you ever thought of how tender and fragile your own heart is. (Yes young men, even yours.)

That’s one of the reasons you want to date, isn’t it? You think it will give you value and fill your soul with so much meaning you could write your own hit pop song. Maybe even two! Am I right?

It’s OK to be honest. I felt that way when I was your age (and I was a guy). Heck, I wanted to be dating in THIRD GRADE. And in hindsight, I can’t tell you how thankful I am I couldn’t get a girlfriend until my Junior year. Of COLLEGE!

It was perfect timing.

Middle school? Not perfect timing. Perfect way to get your heart broken.

middle-school-3Middle school men: If I know you at all (and in addition to having once been in middle school myself, I have three boys who either are or were middle school men) this is your idea of an amazing middle school dance.

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middle-school-4Senoritas of middle school: If you’re anything like my two teenage daughters (or my wife) who all survived middle school and lived to tell about it, this is more of what you’re thinking of when you think about that same dance.

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middle-school-5But the reality of the middle school dance is this.

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And why?

Well, the simple answer is what I just pointed out. The difference between boys’ and girls’ expectations for a dance are so divergent, but it’s also a matter of simple math.

Have you learned ratios yet? (It’s math you’ll actually use in real life.)

 

The reason most middle school dances wind up with a bunch of girls dancing alone together, is because the ratio of girls to guys at middle school dances looks a lot like this…

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middle-school-1…compared to this.

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That’s like a 5-to-1 ratio! And, again, almost all of those girls are hoping against hope to meet their prince charming on the ballroom/gym floor!

 

middle-school-3Meanwhile, though those bow-tied boys may be looking for their first bae, the truth is that they’d all rather be dressed up like these dudes.

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But of course, their mom wouldn’t let them, so they put on the bow tie and hang out by the snack table. Like they say, you can dress up the middle school boy, but you can’t make him dance.

So, to all you middle school men of valor, I urge you: DON’T!

Just don’t. Don’t date. Not now.

Have fun being one of the guys, but more than that, learn how to relate to other guys about topics other than sports or girls. I’m talking about friends your own age, teachers, pastors, coaches, and especially your Dad if he’s around)

Speaking of, don’t look to a girl to make you a man. Real men are called up to manhood by other real men, so stop looking for a main squeeze and grow your guy friends. Real men, by the way know how to relate to the fairer sex, and they can teach you, but not if you’re off writing your own rules through trial-and-error, based on ideas you got from movies and the Disney Channel.

And to you noble maidens of middle school, I beseech thee: DON’T!

Just, no. No no. Don’t date. Enjoy your girlfriends, even dance with them, but learn how to grow in relationships with your own gender about topics other than fashion or boys. (Again, I’m talking about your friends, but also your mom and other wise female mentors)

And here’s an important truth to grasp: being desired by a boyfriend doesn’t make you special, because desire is not the same thing as love. That middle school boy also desires pizza and ice cream (and possibly sex).

You are not an ice cream cone. You are a young woman. Let the wise women in your life teach you who you are, and how to recognize a real man when you see one.

I hope this helps!

For more guidance I encourage you to consider walking through our Relation^ology online class where you’ll learn truth for thriving in relationships. Even better, grab some same-gender friends and watch the videos and read the posts and discuss. Here’s the first video in the series.

Still set on pursuing that dating relationship? At least visit our hot topic page dedicated to dating and learn more about how to navigate the dating world with greater maturity and clarity.


DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to go beyond what a blog post can accomplish? The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better?  And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!