23 Apr My teenage daughters asked me “Can you write something that’s useful to us for a change?” Fine, I’ll give it a go…
My daughters no longer look like that as they are now 18 and 16. However, I chose this picture because I think this was the last time when dad was still a hero. Since then, dad has become annoying, lamo, cringe, just never gets it, in other words, anything that is as far away from hero as possible. I miss those days…
Speaking of ‘just doesn’t get it’, when it comes to all things woke, dank, swole, snatched, lit or boujee, let’s face it, if you are over thirty, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about (and neither did I if I hadn’t looked them up). So, my daughters were right about one thing: I don’t speak their lingo. If I talk to them about ‘the importance of self-worth in one’s life journey’, they’ll either start yawning, or nod and pretend to be listening while thinking about what to wear to Arlo’s party. Add to this the fact that if life is a roller-coaster. One that lasted five minutes of which four minutes and forty seconds were fairly straight movements with the odd dip or incline and the remaining twenty seconds were a series of mind bending, heart stopping, tear inducing loop de loops, the teenage years are those twenty seconds. In other words, when they say “dad (or mum) you just don’t get it”, they are absolutely right.
I’m saying all this because until they shouted that request, which is the title of this article, I honestly and whole heartedly thought that not only were they reading my articles, but they found them useful and interesting. I completely believed they knew that they, and all young adults about to embark on their adult ride, were my priority target audience. How delusional was I… The good news is that, delusion is terminal, therefore I think that perhaps I know how to get the message across. It is by following these three simple rules:
For the love of Darwin, keep it short.
Imagine that you are talking to your fifteen-year-old self.
Be brutally honest rather than politically correct.
What I write about is relationships, and in particular, why do most turn dull and why do most partners stop seeing their other halves as fun friends, in some cases, they never even started let alone stopped. But why should teenagers be interested in such topics I hear you ask? Well the answer is that we begin to learn how to gauge relationships and long-term compatibility, and therefore how to value ourselves, when we are teenagers. Think of it this way, those who follow a healthy diet during their teenage years are far less likely to become obese later; they develop healthy eating habits that stick with them for life. In other words, it doesn’t only make sense, it’s actually quite reckless of us not to teach teenagers the better skills for gauging compatibility and enhancing self-worth. The ability to spot the red flags and realise that they are either selling themselves short or accepting being undervalued, in my opinion, is an ability just as, if not even more, important than that of measuring the area of a triangle or to know who Archduke Ferdinand was.
When teaching something, what is imperative is the language we use to ensure that the message is received and understood. And for this, I have asked for my daughters’ help. Please forgive me if I use the word ‘like’ like too much like from here on in. Just kidding, I have made it extremely clear that anyone who substitutes verbs, nouns or adjectives with the repetitive use of the abhorrent word ‘like’ will not be in my will.
Bearing all that in mind, here are ten no nonsense, straight talking, truthful, void of PC dating tips to teenagers that I hope they’ll find useful AND interesting:
You are right to think that your parents don’t get it
Yes, most parents are faking it with each other and not really happy about it and it’s very obvious to you that they are. They may laugh and have a good time in front of their friends, or even your friends; however, the minute they are alone, boredom, dullness, friction, bickering, lack of laughter is what they show, so it is only natural that you mistrust the advice of anyone not being true to themselves and therefore not leading by example.
Funny is far more important than sweet.
If you want to know if he/she is right for you, make a list of people you laugh with (I know it’s with whom you laugh, but I’m trying to speak teen…), does this guy/girl come in the top two? If not, then it’s not going to work not matter how sweet they are or how many flowers they buy or how much blood they donate…
Your friends know best.
There’s a reason why your bffs are your bffs. They know who you are, what you’re like, what are your buttons and therefore what type of guy/girl you would get on with (ditto reason as above for ending with ‘with’). So trust them, use them as your guide, if they say “no way, he/she’s the worst ever, then they are very likely to be right.
Of course looks are important, no, you’re not being shallow.
Listen, any adult that lies to you and says that looks aren’t important is either ugly, or they just gave up on life. Looks are the key to the front door, however, this does not mean that you will love living in that house. But without the keys, how will you even get in?
Most people are not that good looking so don’t say it if you don’t mean it.
We have an internal BS radar that always tells our brain when something is a lie or exaggerated. If you look in the mirror and think realistically you’re a seven, the minute someone says “you’re a 10”, yours and the other person’s internal radars will be having their own separate conversations saying “my human is so good at lying, and yours is even better at pretending to believe it”. Lying, or accepting lies will erode trust and conversations with someone you don’t trust very quickly become hard work and dull. Brutal honesty keeps the fun and excitement alive because it is the number one aphrodisiac.
To find a match, use M = 2P + L
I’ll give you a mathematical equation to measure if he/she is a good match. P = Personality, L = Looks, M = Matching Score. Rate P and L out of 10. The formula for M is this: M = 2P + L. A great match is a person who scores 23 or above. So, if someone scored 10 in looks but 5 in personality, M will be 20, therefore not a good match. But if someone scored 10 in personality but 5 in looks, then M will be 25, therefore a great match.
Don’t take it too seriously, use your free pass to make mistakes.
Do you know why most adults have crap relationships? Because of lack of training and by that, I don’t mean that I want you to have sex with hundreds of people, by that I mean I want you to make hundreds of mistakes. This is how you find out who you are, who you want and how you want to live. These are what your wonderful teen years are all about. So whenever you make a mistake, say the wrong thing, act the wrong way, date the wrong person, I want you to smile, congratulate yourself for learning something new, add it to your brain’s black book of experience and move on knowing that you now know a little bit more about what to do next time. Regret is the currency of morons.
Flirt as much as you want, it’s much better than being a frustrated thirty something year old.
I had a restaurant for eighteen years and if someone was to ask me what was the saddest type of customer I had, my answer would 100% be the frustrated thirty something. After a few drinks, they end up flirting with staff or other customers and after a few more drinks, they start to complain about their partners, life, wasted youth, becoming a parent too early, not having enough fun stories in their vault and so on. So if you’re thinking whether you should ask that girl, kiss that guy, dance to that song, play that game, go to that party or concert or trip or festival, then DDDDOOOOOO IIIITTTT.
When/if you have children, they need to see someone who smiles when they make mistakes because it reminds them of their youth, not a judgmental prude who deep down is jealous because they didn’t have as much fun as their children are having. Fun is a lifestyle choice that you learn during your teen years by making mistakes and being kind and forgiving to yourself. You don’t learn it by avoiding mistakes and being correct… The true definition of kindness is not measured by feeling sorry for starving children in Africa, that is easy to do, anyone, can do it. True kindness is measured by how happy you can genuinely be when see others are happy. Can you hear that your friends got into the university you were after but you didn’t and be genuinely happy for them? This is possible if you yourself experience many happy moments so that when there is the odd disappointment, it makes no difference. This is kindness. You can only be happy when you see others are if you recognise the sentiment. So do yourself a favour and practice happiness by making mistakes and forgiving yourself; I really hope you get that…
It’s not fun to have sex with people you don’t like or people who don’t really like you.
Having said point 8, there is one exception and I’m not saying this because I have two daughters. Having lots of meaningless sex actually makes you feel terrible. Not because of society’s obsession with girls needing to be virtuous or anything archaic of that sort, no, it’s because the poisonous feeling that your mind goes through after having sex with someone you don’t like, or someone you know doesn’t really like you. You slowly but surely start to be unkindly judgemental of others just so you can feel better about yourself. You adopt the attitude of “don’t judge me, you’re no better you ******”. This is the very definition of self-loathing. And even worse, what you are really doing is training yourself to get used to having sex with someone you don’t like, a practice that 90% of married couples have perfected. And that is why so many of your parents are miserable.
If it doesn’t work out, celebrate.
When you hook up with someone, there are three outcomes:
- works so well and you become best fun friends who talk to each other more freely with banter and humour and cheekiness and intimacy and freedom and brutal ballsy honesty than you do with any of your other friends.
- doesn’t quite go like (a) so you end it.
- doesn’t quite go like (a) but you keep going with it because you don’t want to feel like a failure so you fall for that old chestnut “love isn’t easy, we need to work at it”.
My final message to you is this, and please believe me:
If the outcome is:
Outcome (1) is obviously wonderful.
Outcome (2) is just as equally wonderful because it means you are not selling yourself short. It means you can see that perhaps you’re better off as friends. Not every two human beings are compatible, that doesn’t make either of them bad; so when your heart and brain are telling you something is wrong and you listen to them, pat yourself on the back, you have just increased your self-worth, well done, I and your parents, are extremely proud of you,
Outcome (3) is a disaster. This means that you don’t think you’re worth it. This is the only failure option. Don’t ever do it, not now, not ever.
I am now about to send this to my daughters to see what they think… Wish me luck.