Lesson 10: Dating

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: To consider the qualities the student would want to seek in a romantic partner and to discuss proper dating etiquette.


“What are your thoughts on dating? Do you look forward to having a boyfriend or girlfriend? Today we will begin talking about meeting that special person, asking him or her on a date, and treating him or her respectfully.”

Discussion: Traits of a Spouse

Have the student consider the character traits of an ideal friend. After discussing the traits, tell the student that these are the same characteristics of a good spouse. In order to marry a person with outstanding character, you date a person with outstanding character.

“Generally, demonstrating these traits yourself will attract a boyfriend/girlfriend with similar priorities and characteristics.”

Discussion: Meeting a Boyfriend/Girlfriend

“Similar to finding friends or networking, finding a boyfriend or girlfriend takes getting out and about to meet a variety of people. You will find you mesh with some people better than others. The important thing is to actively make time to enjoy group activities. You’ll meet others who share interests, forming friendships and maybe one of those friendships will blossom into a romantic relationship.”

  • When you realize you are romantically interested in another, would you be willing to ask him or her on a date?
  • How would you ask? Or, How would you want to be asked? (It’s nice to be given specific information, such as, “Would you like to go to Chili’s with me on Friday evening?”)
  • If you are asked on a date and want to decline, how can you do so politely?
  • What might you do if you want to accept the invitation, but don’t know the person very well? (Suggest a group activity or double date.)
  • If you are of driving age, how might you accompany/ transport your date to a location? (Walking, bus, taxi, etc.)
  • Do you think it’s acceptable to date someone you work with? (There are no laws against it, but it is generally frowned upon because coworkers assume there is preferential treatment, jealousy may become an issue, and there will be tension or strife in the event of a break-up. Most companies do not allow a supervisor/ subordinate to be in a marriage relationship and there are laws against preferential treatment between family members who work together.)

Exercise: Planning a Date

Have the student plan three to five date ideas, keeping in mind his or her current location, budget, and transportation. What would he or she wear to each? What should he or she bring?

Discussion: Respecting Your Date

“It is vital to respect yourself, understand you are valuable, and expect to be treated as such. This doesn’t mean you are spoiled or expect fanciness on every date. It means you respect yourself enough to know your physical boundaries and comfort zones. If you’re uncomfortable or are being pushed further than you want to go sexually, speak up! Politely and calmly state your limits and say you feel respected when he or she stays within those boundaries. If that doesn’t go over well and you feel your date isn’t listening to you, have the self-respect to leave the situation. Bring a cell phone and call a parent or friend to come pick you up or take the bus home.”

“On the same note, it is vital to respect your date. He or she is valuable and has physical and emotional boundaries. As your relationship progresses, find out what the boundaries are and respect them.”

Conversation Starter:

How else can you demonstrate respect for your date?

  • Good listening
  • Thankfulness
  • Willingness to branch out in food and activities the other person enjoys
  • Honesty
  • Punctuality
  • Avoid cell phone use on a date
  • Asking questions and not making the conversation all about you
  • Especially on the first several dates, avoid asking about exes, weight, or personal subjects
  • Good manners (table manners, opening doors, etc.)
  • Dressing appropriately

Exercise: Dating Standards and Etiquette

Have the student self-reflect and explore answers to the following questions:

  • The person I date must:
  • The person I date cannot:
  • When will my date meet my parents or guardians?
  • What good table manners should I be practicing?
  • If the date goes well, how soon will I call and ask for another date?
  • What will I do if I’m feeling disrespected?
  • Who will pay for the first date? The dates thereafter? When and how can that question be discussed?


“Today we talked about the traits of a person you would want to date, how to meet potential dates, and dating standards and etiquette. Next time we meet we will continue our discussion on dating.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: