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It’s common knowledge that certain teen-age girls swoon over movie and TV stars. There was Elvis Presley, for instance, and before him Frank Sinatra, and long before his time Rudolph Valentino. But few girls actually ever expect to date such an idol. In fact, one of the functions of the celebrity is to serve as a focus for early infatuation without ever requiring the girl to do anything about it. It’s just as common for a fellow to daydream about a movie queen—and a good safe practice, because he will never be expected to court and win her.

Occasionally, however, a young person goes overboard in a crush on some unattainable person, so that he doesn’t make progress with those who are realistically available to him. It’s not just die movie or TV personality who’s unattainable. Many a young girl swoons over the football captain, the president of the senior class, or the most popular boy in the school, with whom she hasn’t the ghost of a chance. Indeed, she wouldn’t even know what to do on such a spectacular date if she had it. Similarly, an inexperienced boy will sometimes moon over a popular teacher, or the school queen—as unattainable for him as Miss Universe.

THE DATE FOR YOU and PROVE IT TO YOUR PARENTSAs long as these super romantic crushes prevail, the in experienced boy or girl will probably make little progress in getting a date with anyone; for no real and available person can rival the “dream’s” charms and popularity.

Realistically, the beginning dater starts with someone who is not much more socially active than he is. The boy who has never dated courts rejection or failure by asking out the most popular girl in the class two years ahead of him. But he may make a good start with a friendly not-too-experienced girl a year or two younger than he is. A girl who wants to begin dating should look about for some pleasant, shy, interested fellow in her own grade (or a class or so beyond) rather than wistfully pine for an older, inaccessible man about town.


Many a girl comes home with stars in her eyes at having been asked out by a boy, only to find her parents objecting on the grounds that she is still too young to date. And often a boy wants to take a girl out, but his mother or father insists that he give his full attention to his studies, saying, “There’s plenty of time later for playing around with girls.”

How can parents be convinced that you are ready for dates? This is a question that is asked by young people all over the country. Sometimes, of course, the parents are right, and their son or daughter is too immature to date. Actually it is up to you to prove that you’re ready to go out by proving that you’re grown-up. How do you do that? By taking real responsibility around the house; by helping with chores such as car-washing, cleaning, lawn-mowing; by showing an understanding and concern for your family’s problems and budget; by doing your school job well. Maybe you’ll also have to help your parents understand current dating habits in your community, so that they develop

confidence in the social situations open to teen-agers. It helps to encourage mothers and fathers to get out to parents’ meetings, to attend neighborhood affairs, and to keep up to date on school and social events. This last is your job. Do you let your folks in on your activities?

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