Summary: What's it like in the dating world today, and should you choose to date or not? The question will be set before teens and lead them to a conclusion.

Last week we started our series on Dating for Dummies. If you remember, I told you about a little book that I picked up about 10 years ago, hoping it would hold the key to all my dating nightmares and mistakes. They had made other “for dummies” books that seemed to have all the right answers to all my questions, so I thought I’d give it a shot. What I found in that little book might have worked for some practical purposes—what to wear on a date, where to meet people, how to ask someone out, among other things. One of the best things I learned from this book was that I had to get rid of my pick up lines! I used to use some of the cheesiest lines to get girls. I actually would spend time on the internet looking for good ones to use on girls at my school—some of you are looking around wondering who in here has done that…well, I won’t call you out, but here are a few that I used:

-“Hey, can I have a quarter?” she’d say, “why?”. “Because my mom told me to call home when I found the girl of my dreams.”

_”Did it hurt?—When you fell from heaven?”

- “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

If you’re wondering whether or not these lines work, or if you’re using your notes sheet to write these down---then you definitely came on a good night, because Dating for Dummies is for YOU!

After I learned from this little book that using pick up lines is never a good idea, things for me started to turn around. We’re gonna get to tonight’s Dating for Dummies tips in just a bit, but first, let’s review what we talked about last week:

You got 3 freebies last week from my years of doing things the right and wrong way: 1. Start with an intelligent Designer---when you realize that God made you and that He loves you, you can know that He’s got somebody out there for you. 2. Make a LIST with your designer. I told you to make a list of all the qualities you want in a future mate. 3. Shift your FOCUS. We talked about how often we’re looking for someone to meet our needs and that’s about it, but when we look at our list, how many of us really measure up? If you want to find the right person, you’ve got to BE the right person.

Tonight, dating for dummies is taking a bit of a shift itself. To date or not to date, is that the question? Some of you want to date because you’re looking for someone to be with, some of you want to date because you’re bored sitting at home, some of you want to date because all of your friends are doing it. Some of you, you just don’t want to end up like this guy—(show trailer from Lars and the real girl).

If any of you end up with a doll for a girlfriend, I’m sure we’ll accept you, but that’d be a little weird!

People date other people because they want to feel good about themselves, they want to be accepted. Everybody wants to be loved, right? Nobody really likes to be lonely. But, is dating the only way to fulfill these needs? Maybe tonight, we can challenge those notions that dating is the way to feel loved and accepted, have fun, and find someone.

Even if we take what we learned last week, I think there’s another way for teenagers to think about dating. Around the time I picked up that little book, “Dating for Dummies,” I had heard of another book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” This one, I was sure wouldn’t have any answers about how to get a date, but as I was getting serious about my relationship with God, I read it. This book, is one that changed my life. I learned so much about myself, and God, and my ideas on dating. After reading the book I didn’t completely decide to kiss dating goodbye, but I had realized that not dating wasn’t the point. The point was that I was going about the pursuit all wrong up to that point. I had just wanted to date the best looking girls to be popular or look better in front of my friends…I didn’t really care what God wanted for me.

I’m not going to pretend that we can cover all there is to know about God’s desires for your dating life in two little weeks, but I want to cover the important stuff.

Dating for Dummies Tip # 4: Don’t Pursue STUPID love.

When kids are asked about love, here is what they say: When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.

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