Love U2® Dating Smarts – more details

LU2 Dating Smarts Binder

This program, designed for middle or junior high school teens, provides fun, engaging ways to address the topic of friends and first romantic attractions. Through the use of activities, stories and visual media, this unit gets young teens thinking about the building blocks for healthy relationships and the importance of establishing boundaries as they prepare to enter the dating scene.There are four core lessons and two optional but strongly recommended lessons. Lessons one and four use the same activities presented in the original Love U2:  Relationship Smarts but develops those concepts in more depth for this age group.Lesson One begins with a focus on self. It explores four basic dimensions of maturity with an emphasis on how developing emotional, mental and social maturity takes personal effort. The lesson moves on to help teens consider their values through an “auction” activity complete with play money, and leads to a discussion about what’s attractive and what’s important beyond appearances when thinking about friends and romantic attractions.

LU2: Dating Smarts Maturity Poster

Lessons Two and Three, entitled Crushes 101 and Crushes 102, address some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns teens have about early attractions. This session offers tips and practice for such things as: the do’s and don’ts of showing interest; how to tell if someone is interested in you; what to say or do if you are interested in someone; how to start and keep conversations going; how to ask someone out; fun things to do to get to know someone better; practice through role-playing; saying “no”; and dealing with rejection.Lesson Four focuses on the differences between infatuation and love, and the importance of friendship as a foundation for relationships. It contains a “Test Your Love Smarts” quiz and an “Is it Love or Infatuation” activity enlivened with descriptions from real teens.Lesson Five centers on an episode from the critically acclaimed DVD series, My So Called Life, which portrays all the mercurial ups and downs of infatuation. A number of sub-themes are included, ranging from jealousy and insecurity about how to act to friends passing letters and spreading rumors. This DVD brings to life many of the issues addressed in this unit and engages teens through the use of video drama. The lesson concludes with a discussion of Shakespeare’s powerful, Sonnet 130, fromThe Art of Loving Wellanthology.

LU2: Dating Smarts 7 Principles

Lesson Six focuses on another selection from The Art of Loving Well, entitled The Makeover of Meredith Kaplan.”  This story provides a rich opportunity for teens to vicariously experience the joys and uncertainties of early romance and to discuss the importance of attractions, appearances, and friendship as the basis for any relationship.The lesson ends with “Setting Dating Expectations”, a group activity that includes a questionnaire that can also be sent home to parents as a conversation starter.Note: Selections from The Art of Loving Well:  A Character Education Curriculum for Today’s Teenagers are required reading for this curriculum. This anthology of short stories, poems and fairy tales about romance and relationship brings concepts alive, touches the emotions and engages teens in a way that straight information does not. It is available by separate purchase from The Dibble Institute. The My So Called Life DVD episodes are available at most video rental stores, online at, as well as from Netflix. The episode “Self-Esteem” portrays all the themes raised in lessons one to four and is well worth the effort to locate and use.