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Modern Romance: Guiding Teens Through the Complex World of Dating

This parent is tackling the world of dating, seeking practical and thoughtful advice for teens and young adults stepping into their romantic journeys.

Hey MJ,

I've been thinking about how challenging the dating world can be for Black teens and young adults, especially in today's fast-paced and often confusing social landscape. I'm looking to gather some wisdom and practical advice to offer them as they navigate these new experiences.

What are some key pieces of advice or useful information that could help young people in their dating lives? I want to provide guidance that's both realistic and considerate of the complexities they might face.

Thanks for any insights you can share.



Dear Anonymous,

Entering the dating world as a teen or young adult, especially for young Black people, can indeed be complex and nuanced. In addition to emphasizing self-respect and the importance of communication, there are specific considerations that can be particularly relevant.

First, it's crucial to recognize and discuss the societal and cultural dynamics that young Black individuals may encounter in dating. Encourage open conversations about how race and cultural identity can influence dating experiences. This includes acknowledging stereotypes, societal expectations, and the importance of finding someone who respects and values their cultural heritage.

Encourage them to seek relationships where there is mutual respect and understanding of each other's backgrounds and experiences. It's important for them to feel seen and valued for who they are, beyond superficial assumptions or stereotypes.

Discuss the importance of setting and respecting boundaries. This is not just physical, but also emotional and digital. In an age where social media plays a significant role in relationships, understanding digital boundaries and respect for privacy is crucial.

Highlight the value of having a strong support system. Whether it's family, friends, or a community group, having people to talk to and seek advice from can be invaluable. This support system can provide perspective, advice, and encouragement.

Remind them that it's okay to be selective and take their time. The pressure to be in a relationship can be high, but it's more important to wait for someone who truly respects and appreciates them. Encourage them to focus on their personal growth, ambitions, and well-being, which are just as important as romantic relationships.

Lastly, address the topic of consent explicitly. It's essential they understand that consent is a fundamental part of any healthy relationship. Both they and their partner should always feel comfortable and in agreement with any progression in the relationship.

Navigating dating as a young Black individual involves balancing self-respect, cultural awareness, and personal values. By offering this tailored advice, you're providing them with a more comprehensive guide to explore their romantic journeys thoughtfully and confidently.

Kenbe la,



In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.

“Hey, MJ” is a platform created to foster a meaningful connection between M.J. Fievre and her readers. It offers a forum for open dialogue, personalized advice, and the sharing of collective experiences. The platform's effectiveness is rooted in Fievre's expertise as an author and speaker. Her work, particularly in the "Badass Black Girl" series, showcases her deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by her audience. Her background as an educator and her commitment to empowering young voices further enhance her ability to offer relevant and empathetic responses.

Readers wishing to engage with “Hey, MJ” can send their messages to All queries are treated with confidentiality, ensuring a safe space for honest and open communication.


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