One of the most important things we at Amplify try to get across to teens is the need to take time to get to know someone well before any physical or emotional involvement. There’s good reason for this, because someone who is in that irrational phase of “love” that we might better term “infatuation” is…well…a bit crazy. According to an article in the New York Times reporting on brain research using MRI technology: “New love can look for all the world like mental illness, a blend of mania, dementia and obsession that cuts people off from friends and family and prompts out-of-character behavior – compulsive phone calling, serenades, yelling from rooftops – that could almost be mistaken for psychosis.” All of us remember what that feels like. I’ve often said that if I kept that crazy-in-love feeling for my soon-to-be husband much longer than I did, I would not have been able to graduate college, my brain was so addled. Unfortunately, some young people make rash commitments (like marrying in a month), or decisions (like hopping in bed with someone) before the rational part of their brain gets a chance to weigh in. Knowing this, when one of my daughters wanted to date for the first time in high school, we required that the two go through an initial period in their relationship where they group dated first…hanging out with friends or family rather than going on one-on-one dates. That gave them time to get to know each other better, and find out about each others’ character. I just put this strategy out there as something to consider as you think through helping your teens make good dating decisions.