Well, happy Valentine’s Day!

A new survey found that 55% of singles reported having sex on the first date.  As reported by USA Today, sex therapist Laura Berman suggested that many people feel as if they know each other well by the first date because of their online and text-based interactions, that that “online sharing has definitely escalated some of this familiarity and quickness in which people get into sexual scenarios.”  (I would also suggest that the sexualization of media and our kids’ free and easy exposure to pornography and other sexual content is fueling the “hook up culture”.)

An article in CNN yesterday begged the question: “Who’s messing around with romantic courtship?”  (Answer: basically no one.)  As the article suggests, “we’re moving from traditional courtship rituals like buying flowers, writing poems and sending love letters to tweeting stuff like “TDTM” (Talk Dirty To Me) or “LH6” (Let’s Have Sex).”  This tech-fueled romance places young adults (and especially our kids) at a “greater risk for a lot of miscommunication, a lot of conflict, a lot of divorces.”  As Berman continues, “There’s a risk of losing that deep intimacy from eye-to-eye contact, which is so important for mating and courtship rituals ingrained in our DNA.  Without social and emotional intimacy, couples lack marriage bonding tools that are crucial to surviving difficult times.”

So what’s a parent to do?  It’s important to help point out the falsities and dangers in reality-TV fueled romance, pornography and the sexual and “romantic” situations portrayed in the shows our kids watch and the media they consume.  Also, keep in constant conversation with your kids about healthy sexuality and set clear boundaries.

Monitor your kid’s communication with those of the opposite sex, and become familiar/watch out for some of these problematic/red-flag texts from CNN’s text decoder:

AOC Available on cell

TMB Text or tweet me back

TD2M Talk dirty to me

RYS Are you single?

PCM Please call me

NT Nice try

NSA No strings attached

LMIRL Let’s meet in real life

LH6 Let’s have sex

KOTL Kiss on the lips

IWALU I will always love you

ICFILWU I could fall in love with you

D46? Down for sex?

BTYCL Booty call

BCOY Big crush on you

831 I love you (8 letters, three words, 1 meaning)

6Y Sexy

143 I love you (1 letter, 4 letters, 3 letters)

1432 I love you too

53X Sex

DWPKOL Deep, wet, passionate kiss on the lips

K4Y Kiss for you

LUH Let’s hook up

MTLA My true love always

MUSM Miss you so much

RUH Are you horny?

GYPO Get your pants off

I&I Intercourse and inebriation

ILUAAF I love you as a friend

GF Girlfriend

BF Boyfriend

And be sure to check out more of our resources to help parents protect their kids from pornography and Internet dangers here.