Learning and Love: Going Back To School

Updated: Sep. 20, 2019 at 8:28 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -School is back in session and that means a lot of brand new experiences for students, especially for high schoolers. And it's not just about books and classes. For many students, it means first-time dating and falling in love!

So what do you need to know if you’re a student and you’re new to dating? And what about parents whose children may be starting to date? I went to a relationship expert to get some answers.

It’s all about new clothes, new classes, new books and new relationships. It's all about learning, according to Laurie Berzack who says, "Kids don't always know who they really are inside. Like they desperately want to connect they want to fall in love and they want to be dating and they want to have all those wonderful first experiences of love...they see it everywhere."

Berzack is the owner of Carolinas Matchmaker in Charlotte. She knows about relationships and about rules for dating in high school. She says, “I think it’s really important for kids to understand that there is an emotional, a deep emotional connection that happens when you do, start dating. And I think that what happens, sometimes is, there’s a group mantra in terms of...you always want to do, kind of what the group is doing in high school, you don’t want to stand out in any way. So a lot of times, I think people start rolling out relationships thinking, well this is what everybody is doing, even when they’re not ready for one.”

In other words, you should only start dating when you really feel like it's right for you. Not for anyone else according to Berzack. "Relationships are terrific. I think, keep it on the, be relationship light when you're in high school. Have fun. Go out with groups. It doesn't have to get too serious. You know, just start, like just the small parts about dating and courting. You know, you don't have to have a steady boyfriend or girlfriend the entire time you're in high school. You're not gonna get married right out of high school anyway..."

And what’s that famous line from the movies about relationships..."it’s complicated." "It’s one thing when you’re in your 20 and 30s to understand what a true partnership is. But when you’re that young, it’s too confusing. Our brains aren’t able to process that when we’re in our teens,” Berzack says. So with that in mind, young people, talk to your parents about your relationships. After all, as hard as it is to believe, they were once your age.

And parents, talk to your children. But don’t overdo it cautions Berzack, “Be calm, you know, with your child. Not like constantly telling your kid what to do all the time. It’s like, if you can establish like, obviously the boundaries have to be there. But also, that fun time where your child knows that, like he or she can talk to you about whatever it is so that there’s like a safe zone where you’re not going to tell them what to do and you’re just here to give advice and listen to what’s going on in their world.”

High school should be a joyous time for you whether you’re a student or a parent. Berzack says take advantage of that thought and don’t let the thought of dating overwhelm. After all, chances are you aren’t going to get married right after high school, so you have lots of time to explore meaningful, positive relationships! And you can get more details from Laurie Berzack by going to her website: www.carolinasmatchmaker dot com.

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