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All kinds of pressures exist in our society to become sexually permissive — to have sex!

How can you fight these pressures?

BE AWARE — Our sex drive is powerful! Sex is normal, but you have the responsibility to control it. Why? A high-powered car must be controlled or disaster can follow. Strong feelings must also be controlled. If you are old enough to date, you're old enough to recognize your own feelings…and handle them.

BE PREPARED — Don't set yourself up for trouble — Set up your STANDARDS instead –> before you even begin dating. Take time to think about what you want for yourself and for your future. Write down all your goals and standards, and post the list in a prominent place where you will see them every day!

Spend time in group activities, group dating, or double-dating instead of hours alone as a "couple" in "romantic" situations. Talk frankly about your feelings, your values and standards, your plans for the future. Don't allow yourself to be carried away with flirting. What you want from the flirting, and what your date wants from it, may be two entirely different things!

In other words, discover the joy of conversation, and avoid lots of touching and caressing. Respect the people you date and expect them to respect YOU!

Limit the number of dating times per week, and limit the amount of affection you show to your dates.

BE SELECTIVE — Dating the handsome football captain or head cheerleader may be exciting and flattering to your ego, but be careful! If he or she has a questionalbe reputation, you may be stepping into a lion's den under the delusion that you have the upper hand. 

Date people who are interested in who you are and who really care about you & what you think leads to a broader range of activities than dating someone who only wants to "park" ("hook-up")…

Look for good character qualities in the people you date: honesty,

REMEMBER YOUR 'SOMEDAYS' — Someday you will meet THE ONE you want to share your life with, have your children with, and grow old with. Don't let an infatuation lure you into an experience you will later regret.

Many young people don't realize that when they have sex outside marriage, they are actually cheating that special future person they haven't even met; yet that is what they are doing when they give themselves away in premarital sex.

You wouldn't give your special person a second-hand, used gift, would you? Then save the most important gift you have — your sexuality — for marriage!!

BE YOURSELF — When you begin to realize that you are a special, unique, one-of-a-kind person, you will begin to realize how much power you have over your life!

You can dare to stand up for what you believe; you don't have to feel pressured or forced into situations you don't like. YOU CAN CHOOSE! Insist on it! Use this power wisely, and you will find a great sense of peace in your life…

Let's wrap this up!

Choose to "group date" — at least until your mid-teen years, group dating is a win-win dating solution: less pressure, less stress, more people, more fun!

Choose your dates wisely — don't date every warm body just to have a date.

Choose to end a date — If you start on a date and feel uncomfortable, trust your intuition!! Tell the person you are starting to feel bad (maybe not physically, but emotionally!) and that you want to go home. Make sure you always have a cell phone to call someone, or at least change to make a phone call for help.

Choose your dating activities wisely — plan your dates — have places and times ready for your date, and make sure that others have that information in case of an emergency.

Happy Dating!!