Read an Excerpt
Are You? Are They?
By Justin Lookadoo and Hayley Morgan
Fleming H. Revell
Copyright © 2003
Hungry Planet, LLC
All right reserved.
Screech! What did he just say?
You heard me. Whatever relationship you are in right now,
whether you are 14, 15, 16, or even 18 years old, know this:
It will not last! Period. The end. I know, you are sixteen and
sooo into this guy or girl-but understand that this relationship will
not last. You will break up. It will end. It will hurt. It will get
in the way of your purpose in life, and it will complicate things
and distract you from your passion and destiny.
I know, I know. I'm wrong about your relationship. It's different.
You're the exception. You're right for each other. You can
just feel it. You have so much in common. You like the same
movies. You know each other so deeply that you even finish
each other's sentences. You know what the other is thinking.
It hurts when you're apart. Congrats! But that has nothing to
do with it.
Hang with me now. I know it's a bummer to think about
and even harder to accept. You may even refuse to accept it.
But that doesn't change the fact that it's true. I may believe I
don't have to wear clothes to school, but that doesn't mean
I'm right. Just because you believe your relationship is different
doesn't mean it is.
I'm not trying to throw a Valium in the middle of the upper
moment you have going with your bf or gf, but you have to
accept this fact. If you don't, dating will destroy you. It will rip
you apart piece by piece. Crush by crush. But when (and only
when) you accept the fact that it will not last, you can totally
enjoy this dating thing.
For those of you who are die-hard romantics who have bought
into Hollywood's version of Romeo-and-Juliet-teen-love-at-first-sight
(movies which are usually played by actors who are on their third or
fourth marriages, by the way), let's play it this way. Check these facts:
Out of 100 married people asked, 22 said that they married their high
school crush. Sounds great, huh? Maybe there is hope. But check
this: Out of those 22 people, 17 got divorced. So 5 out of 100 people
between the ages of 18 and 89 are still married to their high school
sweethearts. Ouch! So you and your crush have two options-one,
get married; two, break up. That's it. Get married or break up. The
percentages speak for themselves. Still not convinced? Try this.
The average age people get married is 25. So take 25 and subtract
your age. We'll call your answer "years left" (see formula
below). That's how many years you have left, on average, before
you marry. Now, write down how many crushes you have had
in the last 12 months. Got it? Now take the number of crushes
and multiply it by your "years left." The number you get is the
number of crushes you will have before you get married.
25 - __________ = ______________
your age years left
_________________ X __________ = _________________
number of crushes years left number of crushes
in last 12 months 'til you find
Now if you're one of those hardheads who thinks, "I'll show
him. We are different. It's gonna work!" don't do something
stupid like run out and get married and then call me to say, "See,
I told you we were meant for each other." No! Don't call me
after 2 years, or after 5, 10, or even 20 years. Give me a call after
you've been married 35 years. Then you can say I was wrong
about your relationship. You'll be about 52 years old. Call me
and scream as loud as you can, "I told you so!" I won't hold my
breath, though. See, getting married is not the issue. Anyone can
do that. It's staying married that is the goal.
Here's why it's so important to accept that it will not last: If
you hold onto the hope that your relationship will last and that
you will defy all the odds, then you give away too much and
waste your teen dating years. You end up so zoned on trying to
make it work that you miss out on the best parts of the experience
of dating. You set yourself up for failure. I want you to
succeed. With the truth in this book, you'll know how to protect
your heart and live with excitement and passion. I'm not knocking
the dating process. I think it can be fun if you have the right
goals in mind. I just don't want you to put so much pressure on
the relationship that you take all the fun out of it. I want you
to date, but even more, I want you to be Dateable.
Let's break it down and check some of the hardcore issues.
First, let me tell you where I'm starting from. You need to
understand some solid truths. Let's start with some basic things
we can agree on:
TRUTH: Just because you date someone doesn't
mean you will marry them.
TRUTH: Your dating experience will help shape
your married life.
TRUTH: You will date several people before you
TRUTH: Your spiritual beliefs have an impact on
your dating life.
We can all agree on these truths. This is our baseline. Now
let's look at what accepting "it will not last" as a truth will do
Totally accepting that the relationship will not last does not
cheapen it or make it less important. In reality, it makes the
relationship more valuable. You know that you only have it for
a short time, so it becomes more important to you. You want
to savor it more. You appreciate it more. You learn from it and
protect it. If you truly understand that the relationship has an
end, then the sweet little things will become important and
the giant ugly things-like how he didn't call-will become no
biggies. Would you rather waste your time freaking out about
everything or enjoy the time you have? You know it won't last
forever, so yeah, you want to enjoy it while you can.
Also, when you accept the truth, the pressure's off. A
lot of lives are destroyed because of pressure to make a dating
relationship work. If you believe that the relationship is meant to
be, then you will do stupid things to keep it going. That's where
couples can really mess up. You can get into a cycle that you
just can't seem to get out of. You might get into sex to make the
other person happy. You might try manipulation, violence, or
using each other. You worry that your friends won't understand
or won't like you if you break up. Or worse yet, your parents
might get upset if you break up with "the perfect person." That's
just not cool. Don't let others force you into a relationship that
Let me throw in a commercial here. Do not get your family deeply
involved in your relationships. Let me repeat that: Do not get your
family deeply involved.
Sure, you need to let them know who your friends are and
who you are dating, but don't allow your dating life to get too
tight with your family life. I mean, it's one thing to spend time
with your bf/gf at home or hanging out with your family. That's
not horrible, but it's a totally different issue to let your bf/gf get
so involved in your family that they are as much of a fixture as
you are. They're not your significant other. And no one becomes
part of your family until you marry them. Making them part of
the fam is way too much pressure. And what's worse is that it
can make you get stuck in a relationship you want to get out of,
because you not only have to break up with your crush, but you
have to break up with the entire family. It's just not healthy.
You don't have to worry about any of this if you start the
relationship already knowing it will eventually end. You can
relax. The end might come this week or it might come eight
months from now. It's okay. Just part of the deal. And you won't
have to compromise who you are or what you believe just to
feel accepted. If your boyfriend really wants you to have sex,
you don't have to give in to try to keep him. Why would you?
So it will last another week? Hey, you can just consider this the
end of the relationship. No big deal. You knew it was coming.
Yeah, there will still be some pain, but nothing like there could
have been (more on that in How Much You Put In Determines How
Much It Will Hurt When It Ends). You are protected from a lot of
pain because you understand that it isn't going to last anyway.
Now let's look at this from the spiritual side. God knows
that if we get too caught up in chasing, catching, and hanging
onto a crush, then we stop growing. We stop seeing his power.
His mystery. His love. The Great Romancer wants to romance
you. He wants to show you the sunsets and give you the falling
stars. He wants you to run with passion after him. He wants
to shape you. He wants to give you your dreams, your desires,
your destiny. But he can't do that if your crush already has your
Dating is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be safe. But we
invest way too much in trying to make it work out. If we just
let go and understand that it's a short-term thing, then we get
the most out of it. We learn about ourselves. We learn about
others. We experience a crazy, fun part of life, and we don't get
destroyed during the process. We end up stronger, happier, and
more successful. We understand what makes us tick. What we
like. What we don't like. We find that desire that God has placed
in us. And we don't get chained to a dying relationship.
NOTE: So far I've been talking mostly to the girls. You know
why? 'Cause guys do not think it's going to last, as in married,
forever, amen. Sure, he may tell you that you will be together
forever. And it will seem like forever to him. But teen boys don't
think much about things down the road, like planning weddings-that's
kind of a girl obsession. A guy's forever is more
short-term than a girl's forever.
So, girls, while you are planning
your life together, he's thinking about
his future. He's thinking about what
he wants to do with his life. Not your
married life together! Marriage is not
really a factor to him. Even if you
decide to go to the same college to be
with each other, you are still not the
biggest issue in his life. And no, asking
him if this is true will not clear things
up. He will tell you what you want to
hear, not the truth (see Guys Will Lie
to You to Get What They Want).
All this doesn't mean guys are jerks
and girls are great. It just means that we all
have different ways of looking at things.
The balance of the universe depends
on this. Gifts are home-builders-you
create, you give birth, you nurture and
protect your families. So you tend to be
on the lookout for the perfect home, the
perfect provider, the perfect husband. It's
the way you're wired. Guys are hunters-they
have to go off to conquer and
save the world. It's the way they were designed. So it isn't being horrible
jerks that makes them this way; it's a well-designed plan. Once
we all figure that out and are cool with it, we can start to have healthy
Now guys, you need to understand where the girls are coming
from on this. They really think you are going to be together for the
next 10 to 20 years, maybe even the rest of your life. As soon as
a girl starts crushing on a guy, this whole dream world kicks into
motion. She produces and directs this movie in her mind about
the two of you. She sees the two of you laughing and playing
together and you totally digging her. She is already picking out
names for your kids.
Guys, hear me now, believe me later: The girl who has a crush
on you is practicing signing her first name with your last name!
Don't think she's not. She is! She starts that before you even start
dating for real. She talks with her friends about all of this. They tell
her how good you look together and they talk about what your
kids will look like. This is even before you are officially going out.
Don't laugh this off, guys. It's for real.
You need to understand this, fellas, because we are the ones
who make the problem worse. It's like this. A girl starts liking
us, and then we start telling her what she wants to hear:
"You are the most wonderful girl I've ever met."
"I feel so different when I'm with you."
"I've never met anyone like you."
"I want to be with you forever."
The catch is, guys know they aren't planning a marriage.
If someone would push us to think about what we're actually
saying, we would know instantly that we don't mean it
like that. Notice that I didn't say we don't mean it. We just
don't mean it like that. We know that any hot girl will make
us feel different when we are with her. We know this-but
girls don't. They think our words are the honest, how-we-feel
truth. Girls build their lives and dreams around these words.
But for guys, they are just words that we hope will get the
girl to like us.
So, guys, help! We are responsible here. Think about what
you're saying. You really know that it won't last, so don't pretend.
What you are doing is emotional abuse. See, sexual abuse is sex
by force or manipulation, and emotional abuse is manipulation
of emotions, playing with her feelings. Don't manipulate a girl by
purposely saying things that she will misunderstand. Guys, you
know that a girl who is crushing on you is going to hang on every
word you say. She is going to build a fantasy romance, leaving her
vulnerable and willing to do whatever she can to make it work
with you. So you take the pureness inside of her, expose it, twist
it, and force yourself between her imagination and her dreams.
Then you rip it out, use it, destroy it, and leave her to pick up the
shattered pieces. All the while, you knew you didn't believe all
the stuff you said. You just said it.
STOP! Don't tell her you love her. Don't tell her you want to
be with her forever. It's not cool, even if that's what, you think
right now. Because you're abusing her emotionally if you do.
As men, we have been given a responsibility. Take it and be a
The guy is in charge of the relationship. You can't let it get
blown out of proportion into this "forever-and-ever" thing. Be
careful with her heart. Protect it like a mighty warrior. Don't let
anyone damage it, not even you. You are the protector.
Some guys who are reading this are saying, "That's not me! I
think it's gonna last 'cause I love her. The way I feel is amazing.
She is the one." Okay, I'll give you that. You do feel like it
will last forever, so let's talk about that feeling. You can't eat, you
can't sleep, you get butterflies in her presence, your palms sweat.
You feel like a total dork and it feels great. Newsflash for you:
This isn't love. It's somebody else besides your mother thinking
you are cool.
Excerpted from Dateable
by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley Morgan
Copyright © 2003 by Hungry Planet, LLC.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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