a message to young girls: by Rachel

i know Marriage Week is technically over but there was still one last message to share.
Rachel is the creative genius behind Hidden Beauty Photography. at only 16 years old, she is incredibly talented and has a great eye for finding the beauty in all of her subjects.
not only is she talented, but she also is incredibly sweet, kind, and wise beyond her years.

Rachel sent me this message about what she hopes girls know when it comes to dating.
i think as women, sisters, mothers it is our duty to help young girls around us understand this message as well.
so i wanted to share her thoughts with you in hopes that you can help influence young women [and men] you come in contact with.


I feel that sometimes we teenagers need to be reminded of something very important:
we don't have to have a boyfriend/girlfriend.

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I am 16 years old, and will be 17 in just about a month, and I have never kissed a boy, or even gone on a date with one. This isn't just because no boys ask me, this is by choice. Society puts too much pressure on us to date as soon as we can, and to have a steady boyfriend. This causes girls to settle, and sometimes make bad decisions, but it's perfectly fine to wait for something that's worth you, someone that shares your standards and morals, and one of the most important things, respects you.

As adults looking back, we're not going to want to tell our children we dated every jerk that asked us out, we're going to want to tell them how we stood up for ourselves and only dated when we knew we were ready, and we knew the person was worth it. Because, believe it or not, who we date, kiss, and marry, will probably define who we are. Some of my best friends kissed a boy because he took them on a date and he liked them, and people were pressuring them too. To this day, it's the thing they regret the most. The boys turned out to be jerks, the girls had to get away from them, and from now on they're going to have to live with the fact that their first kiss was wasted on a boy who just wanted to brag about kissing a girl.

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One of the things I hear all the time when I tell people I've never kissed anyone, is that "it's just a kiss!" But, the thing is, it's not. Not to me. A kiss is one of the lighter forms of intimacy, and our first kiss is going to be one of the most important in our lifetimes. Regardless of how many boys we kiss, how memorable they are, our first kiss is one that we are guaranteed to remember forever. Personally, I would rather wait a long time and have a special kiss, one that I won't regret, then kiss the first slimy frog that shows up lips first.

What we do now is important and we don't have to go along with what everyone else says. In fact, if we stand up for ourselves and our beliefs, people are going to respect us and admire us. Don't waste any time on a guy you are sure won't be good for you, don't waste your first kiss, your first date, just because it's taken so long for you to reach it. Hold out for someone special, and don't be ashamed of it! You'll be glad you did.


i really appreciated Rachel’s words of wisdom.
she wrote more about this on her blog here.

as someone who did date a lot in high school, i do regret being so boy crazy and not focusing on getting to know who i truly was first.
[i have to make a quick note and say that most of the guys i dated weren’t and i am still friends with some of them]

i was Adam’s first girlfriend, his second kiss ever, and his first love.
and that means a lot to me.
i wish i had waited for Adam and had that special first kiss with him instead of others.
and that’s something that i will always teach my own children.
because all the heartbreak and drama before Adam came along really wasn’t worth it!

thank you Rachel for sharing your message with us!!
be sure to check out her photography blog and her facebook page


holli h. said...

This was cute and insightful. It's refreshing to hear from a 16 year-old with such a good perspective! Jacob and I were actually talking about this last night--how getting married makes you wish you could've saved all your love and affection just for that one person. sometimes you have to date around in life, and so that can make it hard/impossible, but younger people can at least rule out NCMOs and that kind of silliness. this is something I definitely wan to teach my future children as well. great post!

Skye McLain said...

I am sharing this with the girls in my youth group! I think it will be very affirming to them to see someone who is there age with morals and values like this. Such a wonderful post!! Thanks so much for sharing it! :)

Mel said...

It's wonderful to hear this out of a young women!!!

She is so right. looking back...until I was 16 I was looked down on by my girlfriends. They constantly talked about how sad it must be to never have had a boy kiss me or go on a date with me. All of my girlfriends had had boyfriends...had kissed..and some of them even had sex. They all treated me terrible and after a while I reaaaaally tried all I could to meet a guy...just so I wouldnt be looked at like that anymore (my gosh, teenagers really are bad arent they^^)

With 16 I met my first boyfriend. It was a real love story. He loved me and I loved him, he was the first I kissed or had any intimacy with. We were together for 7 years before we broke up (long and terrible story) We often talked about having kids etc. And for the longest time it seemed as if he would be the man I would marry. Again, all of my friends looked at me as if I was nuts. Telling me that I was to young to settle for a the first guy I have kissed etc.

After we broke up I kind of went wild. I embraced my single hood for about a year...before I met my now boyfriend, which I love and apreciate from all my heart.

Looking back. I don't regret waiting in my teenage years and I if I'd married my Ex, I know I would never have regreted the fact that he was my only one.

What I do regret, are some of the choices I made during my single time.

So yes please...It is so worth the wait and I find it so increadibly wonderful to hear these words out of a teenage girl. I really wish more young women out there would have the guts to say no.

Mel said...

I really have to stop posting such long comments.

I'm sorry ^^

MacGirl said...

Such a great post, and a mature one for someone so young, I admire Rachel greatly.

I was like you, I didn't have my first kiss till I was 18, it was with a lovely guy who I dated for 18 months. Were we in love, at the time, yes. I respected him and he had the utmost respect for me. He was a lot of firsts and he handled every one with respect and showed nothing but care for me. We split because of long distance and he's now go on to marry someone else.

I have no regrets at all. In contrast to my old housemate. We were sitting watching the Sex Education show one evening and she casually mentioned the number of men she had been with (in a more than kissing way!). At the age of 22 she had been with 64 men/boys. She said she regretted all but one, who she dated for 8 months. I went through a large portion of my years at university single, by choice as I didn't feel I could offer someone the time and effort required in a relationship. Compared to her I have no regrets in anything I have done.

I wish more young women would read this and take this message to heart. This post will be featured in my Friday Finds post this week! Well done!


Lori Peterson said...

Rachel is truly wise beyond her years. I feel very fortunate to know her and she is truly a very special young woman. She has values and character and I am reminded that there is a quote that says “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” I wish more girls would take the time to figure out who they are before trying to be what someone else wants them to be! Beautifully written and very inspiring for young women!

Tam said...

Wow, refreshing to hear something so profound from someone so young! Good for her!

Ingrid said...

Wow, I really love this! I'm a little bit younger than she is and I'm glad that there is someone out there who wouldn't keep bugging me with the annoying question "So, why don't you have a boyfriend already, huuuh?". I guess some people fail to realize that it is still my choice and I won't go out with any random guy I meet at a party just because I "have to".

Ashley said...

Such a great post and so refreshing to hear too. I look back now and wish that I would have waited to date. I didn't have lots of boyfriends but I was always in a relationship and never really had time to focus on just me.

Denise said...

Oh my this is AMAZING! I am so glad you shared this because every girl needs to read this! Dating isn't everything. Great post :)

Anonymous said...

That's beauitful meg! i wish every girl her age felt like that.

Unknown said...

Bravo for this post, there are so many you girls (boys too) that need to hear/read and understand this!!

Carsedra of: