Recently, I got the chance to review the book May I Kiss You, written by Mike Domritz. Mike Domritz is an educator who has over a decade’s experience teaching parents, teachers, and students about dating, communication, respect, and sexual assault awareness. This book was of interest to me for a few reasons. First, having completed the majority of my Master’s Degree in mental health counseling and having worked with victims of sexual abuse as well as at risk youth, the ability to educate clients in a real-world way with applicable literature is appealing. Second, right now I am preparing a series for our youth group focused on relationships with God and how that translates into living a sexually pure life, so the addition of real-world examples that help youth respect themselves and their significant others is appealing. Third, and the most important reason to me, is that I have three daughters and I am constantly questioning how to educate them about relationships, respecting themselves in relationships, and finding a guy who will respect them and their values, as well as teaching them that it’s ok to demand respect from boys (not that my girls are anywhere NEAR ready to start even thinking about dating, but it’s a worry, you know?!).
That said, I appreciate this book very much. Some highlights: The author takes a no-nonsense view of respect in relationships and demands that both partners be willing to communicate with one another about the steps that they are taking (the focus is physical, but I’m sure the principles could apply to other aspects of relationships), and be willing to face rejection in order to show that they respect their date/boyfriend/girlfriend enough to ask for permission to move forward. He discusses the various reasons why people choose not to ask permission (fear of rejection, misunderstanding social cues and assuming they don’t have to ask permission, etc), and the benefits of partners asking permission of each other (person asking gaining more respect by asking, opening the lines of communication between partners, partner being ask feeling valued, etc.). Beyond being full of good information, I find the author’s style to be quite engaging and entertaining. I’d highly recommend this book as a tool for therapists, school social workers, or youth pastors, and as a parental reference for educating children in how to conduct oneself in a dating relationship.
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