When 8 of my students noted a book as their favorite of the year, I decided I needed to notice. (I serve these homeschooling teens as their academic advisor.) So I got a copy of Dateable by Justin Lookadoo and Haley DiMarco.
Here is what I have to say about the book:
–If you are a parent, prepare to be irritated.
–Reading Dateable is like walking into a room mid-conversation between a cantankerous-but-wise-older brother and his teenaged siblings on behavior and respect.
-The tone of the book is combative and confrontational.
-Lookadoo doesn’t bother with ideology of relationships– right or wrong or when. He starts with the fact that American teens tend to find themselves in immature relationships.
Lookadoo spends the book teaching:
-Girls to respect themselves and God’s commands on purity
-Boys to be men: respectful of girls and lead in following God’s commands on purity
He does it in the framework that teens need to face these facts:
-The relationship will not last (because teen relationships don’t usually last till marriage)
-A teen should not invest everything emotionally and physically in the relationship
-Teens should keep balanced lives, especially having lots of interests, activities, and causes that have nothing to do with the “romance”
-Girls and guys have different roles in a teen romance
-Girls and guys have to set, before God, their own boundaries in relationships
Then Justin tells how to develop healthy teen relationships. One thing I really appreciated was his affirming of roles:
-Guys are allowed to lead, to be strong and protective
-Girls are allowed to be mysterious and pursue-able
-All are to live lives respectful to each other and God’s commands.
If I was to write a book on dating, I’d have concentrated on philosophy and written with a kind, affirming tone. (And the teens would not have said it was their favorite book of the year.) My advisees actually enjoyed being told:
-“It will not last.”
-“Girls, shut up and be mysterious.”
-“Guys, be a man.”
Lookadoo gets his points across. It irritated me. The kids loved it. It works.
BTW: While I didn’t and can’t write a book on dating, I did write an e-text on Human Development from a Christian Worldview. It gives the scientific look at healthy growth and lifestyle.