Sex Education

Dating and Love

Dating

During adolescence, the social circle of the youngsters will be broadened and dating will become one of the many social activities. Through dating, you can get to know about yourself more and also learn how to get along well with others.

Different categories of dating

1. Group dating
This is the commonest type of dating among youngsters.
 
Advantages:
  • Help to build up friendship and provide an opportunity for finding your soul mate
  • Reflect on the problems and feelings identified during group meeting, and find out ways to accept others and express yourself appropriately
  • Identify and understand more about your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn about the psychological differences between boys and girls, and in turn learn how to get along well with the opposite gender
2. Individual dating
Individual dating is not just limited to dating between lovers. Individual dating may involve friends of the opposite gender coming together for a common interest, or friends wanting to know more about each other and develop a good friendship.

Attitudes of dating

  • Respect each other
  • Be honest and be your own self
  • No cheating and do not take advantage of others

Six wrong motives about dating

Dating per se is a good activity. However, if you do not have a correct motive, dating may result in a lot of misunderstanding; you may hurt others and yourself as well.

1. Peer pressure: Because most of your friends have a partner, you also want to have one
2. To show-off: To show-off that you have many dates
3. To evade problems: Due to the difficulty in facing family or academic problems, youngsters may use dating as a means to evade other problems
4. Taking advantage: Some youngsters enjoy dating because they can get some free entertainments
5. Wanting to be mature: Some youngsters think that individual dating represents maturity
6. Fascination about love: Due to the ideal presentations in films and novels, youngsters have a lot of dreams and fascinations about love

General advice

The mind of young people is continuously maturing, and their views, attitudes and values will change with time. Therefore, it is not advisable to choose your partner casually or prematurely and miss out the chance to widen your social circle. If you cannot identify any suitable partner at this point of time, you should participate more in group activities, make more friends and develop different interests. Through these group activities, you will meet more people of different personalities. Get to know your potential partner well before you start individual dating.

Love

When you first identified a potential partner, you should spend time to learn more about him/her and understand him/her. This will help you determine whether he/she is suitable as a marriage partner. At this time, you are in love.

Beware not to fall into the following love traps:

  1. Blinded by love
    Many people who are in love think that their partners are perfect without any shortcomings. You have to be very careful about this. Perhaps it is because you are too attracted by your partner to the extent that you cannot see any of his/her weak points; it could also be that your partner is trying to cover up his/ her shortcomings, or to change his/her habits temporarily to suit you. In fact, nobody is perfect. Partners should respect each other and accept each other's merits and faults. It is not advisable to hide your shortcomings; as time goes by, your partner will eventually discover your true self.
  2. Preoccupied with romance
    Most young people enjoy romance, however, if you are too preoccupied with having a romantic time, you may not have enough time for in-depth communication and mutual understanding. In addition, if you date too frequently, this may adversely affect your school performance, social activities and the time with your family.
  3. Intimate behaviour
    Young people should not get too intimate when they spend time alone with their partners. Affected by romantic atmosphere and sexual desire, physical contact becomes more intimate which will lead to uncontrollable sexual behaviour. Pre-marital sexual intercourse may result in pregnancy and many other problems, for example, the responsibilities of being a parent, the social pressure and the risk of school discontinuation.
  4. Lack of communication
    When you are in love with somebody, it is important for you to communicate with each other and be honest. Otherwise, misunderstanding and mistrust may result. For instance, if you think you need to have some privacy to develop your own interests, you have to communicate your needs to your partner frankly to minimize misunderstanding.

Avoid sexual urge

Whichever gender you are, sexual desire can be controlled. You should not be afraid to say "No" to your partner if you do not want to have sex with him/her. A person with principle would be respected. If your partner is angry about your refusal, you should seriously consider whether he/she deserves your love.

Ways to avoid sexual urge:

  1. Avoid staying with your partner alone in dark and quiet places
  2. Mutually agree on the acceptable level of intimacy. It is important to respect each other when making this agreement

Conclusion

Love should not be blind and irrational, rather it should be based on frank and honest communication, mutual respect and caring. Proper love should enable the partners to mature, to face adversity together, to complement each other and to bear responsibilities. At the same time, they should also be able to broaden their knowledge and make positive progress in terms of academic achievement, social and family relationships.

Sometimes partners will break up. When you break up, it is normal that you will feel sad, but it is really no big deal as love is only part of your life. Instead, you should accept the fact, think about why the relationship failed, focus on how to improve yourself and return to a normal life with normal social activities.

(Revised in May 2021)

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