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In America, it seems like all the TV shows and movies glamorize the teen "love" relationships. Peer pressure makes you feel "stupid and ugly" if you don't date.

We have the great American dating game: "you date 'em or you hate 'em." There are hardly any genuine friendships between guys and girls. Often, if you pursue a friendship with a person, they think you like them romantically.

You get sucked into the subtle pressure that if you don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend, something must be wrong with you. Many times our self-esteem revolves around whether we are dating or not.

As a result, we spend a lot of our time trying to impress the opposite sex, to lure them to our way. Most teens are totally preoccupied with the notion of dating. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, that's all you think about.

If you don't have one, you think about the one you wish you had. It all revolves around the American myth that if you date you will be happy. But because these kinds of relationships are totally based on insecurity and not maturity, they usually end up with someone's heart getting broken.

Too many people are forced to compromise their Christianity and end up dating anyone they can, even a non-Christian, just because they feel the pressure of the American dating game. I know that with all your friends dating, and all the TV shows and movies saying it is cool and fun to date around, it might not be popular to NOT date.

There's another issue to deal with regarding dating: your personal happiness. You look around and see all the dating couples, and it seems like they are very happy just because they have this relationship.

What no one seems willing to talk about is this: If you are not happy before you date, you will not be happy when you start to date. In fact, it could be more dangerous!

If you start to date, and you do not get happy, then you think, "Maybe it's because I need to get more intimate, or go all the way."

So you end up doing what you never wanted to do just trying to get happy, and you never find the happiness you were looking for. Let me save you the trouble - find your happiness in Jesus.

You might not want to hear this, but if your reason for dating is to try to fit into this myth, you are not ready to date. Wait. Let God show you that you are all right the way you are, without a romantic relationship.

Only then will you be mature enough to handle a dating relationship.

Source: Quit Playing With Fire by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by Teen Mania Ministries

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
 
Ron Luce was the co-founder's and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise up young people who would change the world.
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