“It’s not you, it’s me: High School dating, Part 3″

A couple years ago, I got invited onto the Lady Antebellum tour bus. I had just watched their show and I owned their CD, so I was a bit anxious to sit and make small talk with them.  I walked on their bus and waited to shake their hand, and was surprised when one of the guys in the band cut off my, “Hi, I’m Ja…” with a, “Jared?!, What are you doing on my bus?!?”

Apparently, he’d been at a camp I’d spoken at a few years earlier.  Oddly, all of the sudden I felt like he may ask me a question, and I didn’t feel like quite the groupie I did a few minutes earlier.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit a slight happiness inside me erupted, as if the balance of power had turned a bit in my favor.  Turns out, not only are they talented, they were really gracious and wonderful people.

There are moments of life like that, where something gets reframed, and all of the sudden you go from being a person who is there to take to being a person who may be able to give.  I think we go thru life looking for the types of people we would want to meet, or who we want to rub shoulders with, but we never think of ourselves as someone that another person might actually want to talk to.  Our self-confidence is often connected to who we are with, and thus we spend our lives looking to be connected to the right people, whether friendships or romantic.  When this happens and when those relationships end, sadly so does our self- confidence.

I think our natural intuition when we are in high school is to find a person we deem worth dating, or becoming involved with that will give us that boost.  Our focus becomes finding that someone, who for a few hours or a few months could make us feel self-confident in a way we never have.

I certainly don’t speak of it condescendingly, we all do it, I just would like to suggest a different paradigm for high school relationships.  Instead of focusing all of your time on finding someone worth dating, focus your attention on becoming a person worth dating. (Obviously the goal is getting married, but that feels about as far off as grandchildren at this stage of life).  In other words, if you were in someone else’s shoes, would you want you to date you?  If you do this, the greatest thing you will experience is realizing your self-confidence doesn’t have to belong to someone else. That’s a gift worth giving yourself.