Friday my daughter will turn 17 and will go on her first date. Yes, that's always been the rule; she couldn't date until she was 17. The kind of date where a guy actually comes to the house and they go out somewhere unchaperoned. Now that it's here, I have mixed emotions, but I can't back down now.
I always hated dating. It always seemed like such a waste of time. Mainly because, I found, that guys would be on their best behavior for the first couple of dates and, if there was a third or fourth, they would change. By then, there were usually some feelings to contend with and I would find myself disappointed that, now that they were actually letting their true self be known, they weren't the type of person I really wanted to be around.
But my "dating years" came after I was married and divorced, in my early twenties, with a young son to take care of. I wasn't merely dating for the fun of it, I was on a mission. I wanted to remarry and have a father for my son. I realized that what I had to do was be honest and up front about my purpose for dating. It's difficult to go out with someone, get to know them, and then sometime down the line tell them what I really wanted and then never hear from them again. So, crazy as it sounds, I would tell them from the beginning. If they weren't at all interested in getting married any time soon, that was fine, we just wouldn't go out again. I just couldn't see wasting any time.
The funny thing is, when I started dating my husband, the first thing he told me was, "I'm never going to get married." Well, that did it for me . . . I knew he was the one. A blogger friend has pondered the question of love at first sight. I didn't fall in love with my husband the moment I laid eyes on him, but I did know he was going to be a part of my life. And after three years of being part of each others lives we got married.
And now, my daughter is starting to date. Luckily, her first date is with a young man she's known for three years and that's the way it should be. I suggest that it's best not to go out with someone you don't know very well. If you're already friends it's so much easier and makes so much more sense, because you can just be yourselves.