Milkyway’s English Team
The word ‘teen’ is usually associated with one term: wild. Teens are supposed to be wild and adventurous, perhaps even rebellious. In our very Middle Eastern culture, one of the ‘many rebellious acts’ teens are known to aimlessly do, is dating. We asked our audience a while back about their thoughts on teen dating. The answers varied, most against than for, surprisingly. When we saw the different answers, we decided to ask our team a couple of questions regarding this subject. Our team is quite diverse, and we argue almost all of the time when talking about controversial topics, which raised our eagerness a couple of notches to run this debate and analyze the different points of view. This article will mainly consist of everything each and every one of us said.
Question 1: Why do you think teens date?
Shahd Fekry: Teen dating is relatively new, yet an extremely popular pursuit of our time, which leads to a conclusion: it’s a trend. Why do teens date? Maybe to gain experience for when they grow up, but mostly when teenagers feel lonely or depressed, they start looking for someone they can talk to about what they are going through, maybe even to have something to brag about amongst their friends.
Maram Mohammed: Teens date for a plethora of reasons. Some date to occupy their time, others to feel loved and cared for, a couple to be viewed as rebellious or a badass, and the list goes on. However, that doesn’t mean that every teenager out there doesn’t understand what they are getting into.
Rawan Elshiwy: It’s honestly hard to decipher each individual’s mindset regarding dating, and it’s rather invalid to set a specific criterion. What’s certain and unquestionable is that each teenager has a different POV due to many factors influencing that person. Some are hoping to seek solace and warmth from their partner, and others just want to experience that aspect of life, and the list goes on.
Question 2: Are you for/against dating?
Maram Mohammed: I am neutral. Generation Z raised a lot of idiots, but also a lot of teens who are ahead of their time. I am for when I see that those who are dating are actually mature enough to do so, and I am against when I see that the idiots are the ones involved. It varies from one couple to another.
Nada el Nady: I’m actually against teens dating since I believe that teenagers are not yet mature enough to hold themselves responsible for the consequences of their relationship. Even if you actually got involved in the relationship that you both reach a point where you take a step further and think about marriage, what if (especially for some Arabs) her parents didn’t accept you as a husband to their daughter? What are you both gonna do then? Mourn your lost love for the rest of your lives and fail at finding happiness anywhere else except between the arms of who you once thought would be your one and only?
Rawan el Shiwy: I avoid taking sides in such a controversial topic, but honestly, when it’s really down to it if you can withstand responsibility and think yourself mature enough for such a crucial step in life, then why not go for it? If you have commitment or trust issues, then don’t even bother with relationships until you have fixed your own issues.
Johnny Abi Younis: I am not against teens dating. Teenagers learn from those relationships for their adulthood. Even though they don’t really notice that they’re changing and growing, the relationships help them become mature.
Amr Khattab: To be honest, I am against dating because it hurts more often than not. However, there are exceptions. The reason why I am against it is due to the inevitable pain they will go through when they break up.
Question 3: If you are for dating; how do you think the two parties should act in order to make it a successful relationship, aside from their age?
Jenna: For a successful relationship, the two parties should spend time with each other and constantly be there for each other. Strong communication, honesty, love, trust, self-love, and forgiveness are the 6 most important factors that should be present in every relationship. Strong communication keeps the two parties interested in each other. Honesty helps them trust each other. Forgiveness is important because none of us is perfect and we sometimes do things unintentionally.
Asmaa: Both sides should come to peace with themselves before anything. If there is 0.01% of doubt towards the other partner, then this relationship will be unsuccessful. Trust should be the bond that connects both hearts together. Lack of trust will cause this relationship to fail. They both also need to respect each other in order to strengthen their relationship. Moreover, commitment plays a huge role in maintaining a healthy relationship with no doubts. If one of them is not committed to the relationship, then they should probably stop before they get any deeper.
Johnny Abi Younis: The most important thing for a relationship to work is loyalty: however, both parties should also trust each other. Not trusting your partner is as bad as betrayal. The two parties should also not hide stuff from each other. They should also avoid jealousy as well because at some point it gets annoying.
Question 4: If you are against, are you that way because of the way you were raised, influenced by a failed relationship of a friend perhaps, or just because of the way society views dating?
Maram Mohammed: I am neutral, but I am just not interested in the whole ordeal. I think that it is because of the way I was raised. My parents taught me what a successful relationship should look like. They didn’t just tell me to ‘never date’ because they knew I was smart enough to not get myself into a sticky situation. I choose not to date because I know I don’t have the time or the willpower to make it succeed. I think at such a tender age, everyone should only focus on self-growth, nevertheless someone else’s.
Renad Khaled : I can say I’m that way because of two reasons: I’ve seen many relationships fail so I know the terrible aftermath and the way I was raised. Dating was never mentioned in front of me. It’s not because my parents told me I’m not allowed to date, it’s because I just can’t add more responsibility to my existing pile. Being in love is not a bad thing; it’s just that adolescence is not the right age to fall in love.
Nada el Nady: It’s true that I have been raised in an atmosphere that bans dating and considers it a discourage, but it doesn’t really affect my opinion as much as witnessing the state my best friend has been in after she broke up with her douchebag of a ‘Prince Charming’. Why all the heartache? Just wait for the right time, and he’ll be right there on his white horse waiting for you to join him in his journey of life. Our age is not the right age to love, but the one when responsibility becomes embedded in our veins and running through our circulatory system is.
Rawan el Shiwy: I’d say mostly due to a failed relationship. Now I’m a very reserved person, and my parents are typical Egyptians too, but that never stopped me from doing what I want, regardless of traditions or teachings. Failed relationships can utterly destroy one’s mentality, yet it can also reshape a whole personality and shed light on self-growth and love. So, always make sure that you don’t lose yourself for anyone or anything, not even love, and always come out of a relationship with sweet memories and a pure heart. Try to use that for your own benefit instead of letting it change you into a bitter person.
Most of these teens agreed on one thing, which is you need to love yourself before you love anyone else. And honestly, we don’t think anyone could have said it better. We want to spread a message, even if it only reaches a small group of people. You need to put yourself first, make yourself a priority, because after all, if people come and go, you will stay.