“Well?" Ron said finally, looking up at Harry. "How was it?"
Harry considered it for a moment. "Wet," he said truthfully."
Ron made a noise that might have indicated jubilation or disgust, it was hard to tell.
"Because she was crying," Harry continued heavily.
"Oh," said Ron, his smile faded slightly. "Are you that bad at kissing?"
"Dunno," said Harry, who hadn't considered this, and immediately felt rather worried. "Maybe I am.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Do you remember this scene? When Harry kissed Cho? Man, I love those books.
For me, young love is tender and nostalgic unless it involves my kids, when it instantly transforms into something seriously uncomfortable, like an itchy wool sweater I can't wait to rip off. I try to be cool and nonchalant. I think back on my own high school dating experience (which was, for the most part, great). And still, I feel this compelling urge to retrieve and display the proverbial shotgun. I know this is weird. I'm weird. And freaky.
Recently, Rebecca has started dating. Our family rule is that you have to be 16 in order to date, and she turned sweet 16 way back in September. Her recent spurt of dating, however, has caused us to have lots of discussions about dating and guidelines and just what, exactly, dating should and shouldn't be. I want her dating experience to be fun and carefree and a means of forming friendships with boys. I want her to get to know lots of different people, so that eventually, a long, long, LONG way down the road, she'll have a good idea of the kind of person she'd like to marry. Baby steps to serious relationships.
Neither Sterling nor I want her involved in a serious relationship at 16, so we have encouraged (by which I mean required) her to group date -- double, triple, whatever. But here's the rub, culturally, traditional "dating" is not a big thing round these parts. As a result, she and her date often have a hard time drumming up dating compadres. Part of the problem is that the teens we know don't seem to want to devote money or time to someone they don't "like" like. I think they should go out as friends -- go bowling, go to a trampoline place, go put-put golfing. See a concert. Watch an Indie movie. Plan a scavenger hunt. It's not a lifetime commitment or symbol of undying devotion. It's a fun night. A DATE. For heaven's sakes. Bless their hearts.
I'm working on drumming up some group dating business in my daughter's corner of the world. Who's with me? Can we start a movement? And what should we call it? Adults Advocating Group Dating (AAGD). Or Dating Can Be Fun (DCBF). Or Go on a Date -- It Won't Kill You (GOAD - IWKY).
Any ideas on how to encourage casual dating?