Okay, so this post was one I have been dreading. This whole series has been fantastic and I wasn’t sure what I could add to the conversation. My girl is 16 and has had a few “boyfriends” since middle school. She hasn’t dated but she did spend time with their families and the boys have been at our house and even joined us for holidays on occasion. We’re right in the trenches of the dating discussion. Since this is a frequent topic of conversation around here, I asked Casiday if I could share some of the things she’s told me with all of you. And because she is fabulous, she said yes!
TL: So Casiday, you’ve had a few boyfriends over the years and are currently single. How did that come about?
Casiday: Well, I broke up with my boyfriend in January and since then I’ve been single. I’ve talked to a few guys and even recently considered getting back together with one of my former boyfriends. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just want and need to be single right now. For me.
TL: Has that been hard?
Casiday: Sometimes, I guess. I have friends with boyfriends and friends without them. It helps to have a friend who doesn’t have a boyfriend so I have someone to do things with.
TL: What made you decide you wanted to be single?
Casiday: Mostly I just realized I needed to focus on other things. I want to focus on my grades and my relationship with the Lord. And also, it’s hard to find a guy who wants a real relationship with the Lord. They all think they can do whatever they want now and then be a “good guy” when they’re older.
TL: What are the qualities you are looking for in a guy to date?
Casiday: He has to love God and want a relationship with Him first. I also want a guy who really loves his family. He needs to be funny and cute. And I want someone who has a plan for their life and is working to get there.
TL: So what do you think a guy like that is looking for in a girl?
Casiday: Probably the same things.
TL: What are you doing to make yourself that kind of girl, the kind of girl a guy you want would choose?
Casiday: I guess I’m just doing the things I want him to do. I’m making God a priority and focusing on my grades so I can go to nursing school.
TL: If you could go back and tell your 12-year-old boy crazy self anything, what would it be?
Casiday: Chill out! Boys aren’t that important. Treat your friends well and make sure they are more important than any boy.
Okay, there you have it … words of wisdom from a 16-year-old. I think what I love the most about this girl of mine is the way she’s real about herself and her mistakes but also doesn’t let those things define her future. She is willing to make hard choices in order to get where she believes God is leading her. If I could go back, I’m sure I’d make some changes to how we handled boyfriends, etc. But when I sit with Casiday and talk to her about boys and friendships and priorities, I realize the big lessons sunk in. I don’t know that there is a single “right” answer about dating. I suppose it’s like most things we encounter as parents, we do the best we can in the situation we’re in as we consider the child we have.
xo, Teri Lynne
I loved what Casiday would tell her 12-year-old self … but it made me wonder, what would you say to your 16-year-0ld self?
Me? Pretty sure I’d be just like my girl and say, “Chill out!”