Do you need to be an expert to give dating advice?

Recently I was on a TV show with another sex educator who was apparently a virgin waiting until marriage. Another person on the panel gave him a hard time for this but I am all for people educating about sex, as long as they are not giving one view (which he wasn’t).

But the issue did challenge me. Was he the right person to be talking to young teens about sex? Considering the demographic and the content that can be taught, I think so. Kids at a younger age do need to not only be challenge on issues to do with sexuality (which he stated he did) but given a lot of factual information on sexual health and anatomy (which he is more than capable of doing so).

But when it comes to dating, how do you became an expert? As someone who has written a dating book, I don’t feel it’s something that was taught to me during my doctoral program (although I can input great sexual health and sexuality advice) but more from my experience working with clients who had relationship issues and also from a lot of dating myself. At a certain age, when you have an understanding of people, you are able to reflect on the past, having put those past incidences through life experience filters and an educated mind first.

Eighteen-year-old Natasha Bure (daughter of Full House’s Candace Cameron Bure) has written a book titled, “Let’s Be Real: Living Life As An Open and Honest You”. Whilst I think it’s great that she is a young woman keeping it real and expressing her views, I was also concerned to hear her dating advice that the point of dating is to find a husband after then hearing she has never had a boyfriend before. Yes, dating is important if you want to find a husband but shouldn’t be the only goal. There is dating to be had before you know what you should be looking for in a husband. But does an 18-year-old girl know and understand that and should an 18-year-old girl who has never dated before be giving advice? I suppose because there is less facts that can be taught about dating as there is with sex, this for me greatly differs to the virgin teaching sex.

I welcome others opinions, but I am concerned when an opinion such as this is considered “advice”. I suppose someone could say the same about me, but I’m not 18, I’m 31, with multiple degrees and lots of personal and professional experience in dealing with dating and life. Something I didn’t realise I needed when I was 18 and beyond. This is one of the issues these days with how our free speech is had. We can use social media and only need a following online to be consider an influencer. The scary thing is that the numbers online make someone an influencer, not an education nor life experience.

It’s important when reading an expert or anyone’s opinion to challenge it with your point of view, even if it’s my expert opinion you are reading. I say what I say because I believe in it but also because I want people to think about their own point of view. If you don’t agree with me or others, ask yourself why and consider what views it is that is yours. This is a way to help people and educate them and even how a virgin teaching sex education can help our next generation to think too.

Whist we are living in a world where anyone with another online smarts can be considered an influencers, it’s important to continually question the advice of those we read and if we disagree, go in search of the answers from around us and within ourselves. There is one area where no one can be an expert on, and that is what is truly you.

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