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Dear Emily: My daughter is 16 and wants to date

by on December 06, 2017 12:45 PM

Dear Emily,

My daughter thinks that she is ready to start dating and have a boyfriend. I’m unsure of how I feel about it. She is 16 and easily influenced by her friends. What should I do and honestly what should I even think?

Dear Hopeful Parent,

Be open to it so that she can share things with you. Doing this will give you the opportunity to grow closer in your relationship and friendship. Think about it … If you are cutting her off and not letting her share thoughts with you then she is going to seek dating advice from her friends that likely do not have the same kind of knowledge and dating experience that you do.

Your daughter is going to be liking whoever she likes and “dating them” whether you know about it or not. If you are open, she will come to you in times of want and need. You don’t always have to say all of the right things, but having someone to listen to is always helpful and special. It will allow you to give your wisdom, stay in tune and up to date with what is going on in her life. You know, we all think the world is ending whenever something small happens when we are teenagers. So, it’s nice to have someone there that can help us get through heartaches and tough times.

Once she has this “boyfriend,” you have the right to meet him and engage with him if you feel comfortable doing so. When I love and care about someone I want to know everyone important in their life as well. I don’t blame you if you intimidate him a little bit either – let him know that he better be treating your daughter with the utmost respect or he won’t be a happy camper. I think young relationships are tough but can truly make a positive impact and help shape your daughter into becoming a young lady. That being said, never allow a boy to change who she is or to control her. Let her grow and figure things out but if you ever feel that he is being forceful or not respecting her in any way, with time it might be appropriate to step in.

Dear Emily,

What would be the right outfit to wear on a first date with a girl that I like and am taking out to dinner?

Dear Winner,

Exciting news. Congrats on the date. She said yes, first step means you’re doing something right! Continue to be yourself. If she agreed to going out with you then she must like how you present yourself already – so, for a first date clean yourself up, take a shower, scrub those pits and apply your favorite cologne (but not too much). I think simplicity is nice when it comes to a first date.

That being said, it does depend where you are going and what you’re doing but you can’t go wrong with a comfortable button up and flattering pair of khakis. As for accessories, show up with flowers. Honestly, maybe wearing a watch too, it can spark up a conversation if there is a lull. Also, don’t forget your wallet, because I still think men should be paying for dinner on the first date. Show up and be yourself – cliche but that truly is the right outfit to wear. Prep yourself, listen to good music while you get ready and tell yourself you’re going to crush this date. When your mind is being positive then your energy will radiate in the right way as well.

Emily Chertow is senior at Penn State University majoring in journalism. She offers nonprofessional advice from the point of view of a young person. You can send her questions or comments at


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