At what age did you let your teen start dating? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 07-31-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine is 11 so we have a while yet but I'm wondering what dating age is these days. When I was a kid we had to be 16 to date. Some kids started dating a bit at 15 I guess. I have friends whose kids seem to be dating younger than this. I don't know how it works when they can't drive.

What age was it in your house, or what age do you anticipate it will be?
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#2 of 24 Old 07-31-2013, 01:53 PM
 
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My daughter went to the movies with her 'boyfriend' when she was 12 (7th grade).  Does that count as a date?  Other than that she usually only saw him at school.

 

She had her first real boyfriend when she was 14.  But the 'dates' consisted of hanging out together after school, or watching TV at our house.  She's now 16 and has never had a boyfriend who had a Driver's License.  I would be really nervous about that.  I probably wouldn't allow her to go out with anyone who drove -- not until she has her license and can judge the other person's driving skills.   

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#3 of 24 Old 07-31-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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It really depends on what you call a date. Does meeting at the movies count? Going out with a whole group when you have a special someone in the group? Meeting up at a school event?

 

We've haven't experienced dates in the classic sense -- boy picks up girl in car and they go do something. But lots of other things have happened. 
 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 24 Old 07-31-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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We didn't set an age. DD has had male friends all her life. At 15.5, she started spending time with one boy in particular but either in a group setting or with parents (his mother really liked to hang out with me lol.) She was unsure about him so didn't let him get too close and eventually let him go. Then, around her 16th birthday, she reconnected with a boy who was a good friend since they were 10 but hadn't gotten to see much of last year. They started officially dating early Spring. Honestly, I thought I'd freak out when she first got a boyfriend but she's very obviously happy. He's a really fantastic kid who we've always liked.  He drives but he it's against the law for him to drive her until he's had his license a whole year (so not until January.) She only has a permit. It's a teen relationship. Who knows how long it'll last but it's happy and healthy now and we approve.

 

DD's school friends started doing the fake school boyfriend sort of thing in middle school. The kids never actually went anywhere. They were basically lunch time boyfriends. DD never got into that scene. Her friends outside of high school pretty much all waited until 16 without having any rules about it.

 

DS is 12 and I know he has a crush but he avoids that scene too. I don't suspect he'll be ready until around 16 too. 


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#5 of 24 Old 07-31-2013, 10:23 PM
 
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Do kids even date anymore? Frankly, they weren't even doing that when I was a kid in the eighties. The only way you could have a real, old fashioned date was if one of you drove a car, so one of us was at least 16. 

 

I think limits on dating are...pardon the pun...pretty outdated. I mean really, what difference does it make if the kid goes to a restaurant alone with someone versus hanging out at the mall with that someone and a group of friends, etc.? I've always understood limits on dating to be about sex (because how can stop a relationship from developing?) and frankly if the kids want to do it they will find a way to do so. Placing limits, IME, simply sends a message that they will need to be more "creative" (i.e. lie) about seeing the one they like. Not the sort of relationship I want with my kids. 


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#6 of 24 Old 08-01-2013, 03:12 AM
 
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My 16 year old had her first bf at 12 and started going with with her current bf right after she turned 14. My 13 year old now has her first bf and that mostly consists of them hanging out at our house or her at his house.  I think it's hard to set a certain age for dating.  From my experience if you forbid it they will just sneak behind your back.   And as far as them having sex, I think that if kids want to do it they will whethere we want them to or not.  I'd rather mine be open with me and know that I'm here to guide them and support them rather than hiding their activities from me.  My 16 year old is sexually active and she knows she can come to me at anytime.  My 13 year old isn't active yet but when that time comes she knows she can talk to me about it. 

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#7 of 24 Old 08-01-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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I let mine do things with family at 14/15(hang out with parents around or parents dropping off at movies, things like that) then at almost 17 my oldest was actually being picked up by her boyfriend and going on dates. My second teen is 16.5 but not dating, by choice. I didn't follow any certain age guidelines but I went by personality, trust issues, behavioral issues...for each child. And so far this is just the way things turned out by chance.

 

My parents' rule was that I be 16, but a few months before I turned 16 the fair was in town and I was asked to go on a date to it and my mom approved. That was the days of Big Hair and it rained!! But I have very fond memories of my first date :)

 

I very much enjoy that my girls' boyfriends/girlfriends are so willing to spend time with the family, that is very important to me. It makes me feel better about their relationship when the partner is willing to "share" time. My toddler has known my oldest daughter's bf since she was about 6 months old and she ADORES him and loves when he comes over. And he holds her and plays, and for some reason things like that matter to me. I used to be a single mother and if I dated I had to deal with those guys interacting with my baby so I was very watchful.


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#8 of 24 Old 08-01-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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My daughter has always had male friends. When she was little they would "play". Now they "hang out". When she was 12, she went on a "date" with her friend whom she had been "hanging out" with since 4th grade. His dad came over and invited her to dinner at Subway with their family, so she went on a "date" with him - and his dad and his younger brother!

I don't know when she will start having real boyfriends, but so far she just hangs out with her male friends and we call it whatever term suits her at the moment.
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#9 of 24 Old 08-02-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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My son has always had female and male friends both. I know he was hanging out with one girl in particular in the 8th grade. He is between his junior and senior years now and mostly hangs out with a great group of kids, but no one person is more special then the others. However I see nothing "wrong" with it if he was dating some one special. Early to mid teen years seems common to start dating here.
 


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#10 of 24 Old 08-02-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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My kids won't be allowed to date until 15/16.  We are Christian and actively discourage sex before marriage so when they do start dating there will be strict guidelines surrounding it. 


Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#11 of 24 Old 08-02-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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My kids won't be allowed to date until 15/16.  We are Christian and actively discourage sex before marriage so when they do start dating there will be strict guidelines surrounding it. 

 

 

Like what? 

 

My kids can date when they can drive.  I want them to be able to leave a situation if need be and I don't want them in a car with other young drivers.  So they'll have to meet up. 

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#12 of 24 Old 08-02-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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what is the definition of date we all are taking about.

 

1. going to something defintion?

 

2. or allowed to kiss defintion?

 

by the first definition - in our case it was 10. by 5th grade the majority of kids have a love interest. dd does too and once a week after school, they walk to the pizza parlor a block away from school and us parents pick them up an hour later.

 

personally i am not sure what my age limit is? i am not even sure if i have one. i have noticed as dd gets into the tweens its becoming more of a mutual discussion rather than me arbitrarily laying down an age. plus dd is very mature for her age so she has always been able to do things at a much earlier age than most of her friends. 

 

ETA: tonight dd told me she is going for pizza on sunday (this is funny coz dd does not really care for pizza but he loves pizza). when i asked her if it was her first date, she went ewwwwwwwwwwww NO MOM. we are just hanging out. sheesh!!! we dont date so young. ROTFLMAO.gifit makes me now wonder what she defines dating as. 


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#13 of 24 Old 08-03-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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what is the definition of date we all are taking about.

 

 

For my parents, dating was a little more traditionally viewed. Individuals showed interest and "dated" to get to know each other. You could date people without it developing into a relationship. You could be dating several people at a time without looking like a tramp. They just didn't have as many opportunities to know each other in a more casual way like kids today do.

 

When I was a teen, the term "dating" was equivalent to an exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Generally, you were friends first. You'd already gone to the movies as buddies with no expectations of kissing and such. You had already gotten to know each other enough to make a commitment through co-ed activities and projects. My husband was found this way. It wasn't until mid 20's that I really saw my friends start dating in a traditional way..... as a tool to get to know a person as a potential mate.

 

In my daughter's generation, I actually see a resurgence of the traditional date. She has gotten asked out on "dates" with boys who are interested but whom she has had limited interaction with. These she refused but we know many girls who are very comfortable with this style. DD's boyfriend came from a long term friendship. They only had one "date" prior to establishing their relationship though most kids will still say "oh yeah, they are dating now." DD's best girlfriend traditionally dated a boy for 2 months before she would call him her boyfriend. 

 

My DD's best friends have always been males. She has been having boys to the house, going to their house, seeing movies, etc with boys since 3rd grade. None were boyfriends and none considered dates.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#14 of 24 Old 08-03-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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My DD's best friends have always been males. She has been having boys to the house, going to their house, seeing movies, etc with boys since 3rd grade. None were boyfriends and none considered dates.

Ditto here. In fact dd's best friend a male she has known since they were 6 months old together. we still have sleepovers on the living room carpet that are mixed. 

 

dd generally gets along better with boys than with girls. 

 

in a traditional sense to get to know each other sense, kids are going for dates at 10. from dd's class. its not the buddy kinda get to know in a group, neither is it first kiss kinda. its more of a buddy kinda of just that person. more kinda like idol worship of stars. so whilst others tease, for the kids involved these are special buddies you want to know more about. 


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#15 of 24 Old 08-03-2013, 10:25 PM
 
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My son has had "girlfriends" (really in the loosest sense of the word, mainly talk on the phone and hang out at each others houses) for many years, but didnt actually put forth the effort of having alone dates at places like the movies until close to 16.
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#16 of 24 Old 08-04-2013, 02:02 AM
 
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I can't stop "school boyfriend/girlfriends" but they won't be able to ton a date without a chaperone until high school. For my oldest that'll be when she's 15, my other two will be 14 when they start high school.

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#17 of 24 Old 08-04-2013, 02:50 AM
 
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I didn't date as a teen, and now I have a 14 year old daughter, but this issue has not arisen yet.

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#18 of 24 Old 08-05-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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My youngest had her first "date" at 10 - with the boy across the street (they were best friends). He came over on Valentine's Day w/a teddy bear and flowers, then his Mom & I took them to the local pizza joint/Italian restaurant, where they sat at one table and we at another. When we got home, he walked her to the door and gave her a kiss on the cheek. They held hands walking to/from the bus stop, hung out here or there. All very sweet and innocent. In some ways, I think she uses him as the standard. 

 

As for more serious dating? Her friends were dating at ~14. She didn't have anyone she was interested in otherwise until she was 16ish. 

 

My oldest was, I think was around 15. 

 

I never had a set age when they were alllowed to start.

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#19 of 24 Old 08-05-2013, 07:20 PM
 
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Like what? 

 

My kids can date when they can drive.  I want them to be able to leave a situation if need be and I don't want them in a car with other young drivers.  So they'll have to meet up. 

You mean what will the guidelines be?  Okay, well for us purity before marriage is really important.  I know that isn't the case for most on here but those are our beliefs.  I'm not talking purity in a Duggar family kind of way, just that we believe sex should be saved for marriage and that a serious romantic relationship can lead to too much temptation.  So some things I can think of off the top of my head are dating in groups and encouraging them not to be alone in a one on one capacity.  No boy/girlfriends in their bedrooms.  No dating anyone (when they are over 16) that we have not gotten to know a substantial amount.  So he/she would need to come over for dinner, spend time with their father and I, etc.  If they are not willing to do that then clearly they don't belong in a relationship with my child.  We believe in not focusing so much on romantic relationships at a young age - you have the rest of your life to be exclusive with someone, youth should be for making friends, finding yourself, setting goals for the future.  Obviously I'm not naive, I know they will have romantic interest in a boy/girl.  But we will teach them our beliefs and we will set rules.  We have already begun talking to them about relationships/sex/purity/etc and will continue to do so as they age.  We're not going to lock them up and throw away the key but neither are we going to encourage them to become involved in situations that they are too young to properly handle.  Again, I am more than aware that these believes are contrary to pretty much everyone else on here but I believe as adults we should be able to have a respectful conversation about differing beliefs.


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#20 of 24 Old 08-05-2013, 09:22 PM
 
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I have not been on here in years, but this is exactly why I found my way back.

 

My 14 year old daughter starts high school later this week. Since roughly January, I believe there is a mutual "dating interest" between her and this boy she has been friends with since 8 years old. To this point, they've never been together alone and I'm not sure where/when/how that changes. She is not allowed to text him. I've seen enough things on the news and well, have certainly been caught up in some mildly inappropriate texting of my own (with my wife!). My daughter is very understanding of this. I was 16 when she was born and I think (I hope) she understands that I'm not being hypocritical when I discourage young sex, but I'm just wanting better things, a brighter future for her. She remembers the tough days when she was young and I had no money or was constantly working to keep her safe/comfortable/happy. I'm not too worried about the sexual component of young dating, given the situation, but at what point do I approve of her "dating"? Is 14 normal these days and as parents, what control do we really have over this?

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#21 of 24 Old 08-06-2013, 12:49 AM
 
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I have not been on here in years, but this is exactly why I found my way back.

 

My 14 year old daughter starts high school later this week.

Welcome back!

 

I have a 14 year old daughter who will be starting high school next week.  I'm wondering if this will start to come up.  I didn't have any romantic interests in middle or high school, nor did I have many friends who were boys.  In fact, mostly the opposite, the boys I knew were all pretty mean, so I can't really relate any of this to my own experiences, even if I could remember back that far. lol.gif   

 

My daughter does text some kids from her middle school, including at least one boy.  They all seem pretty young for their ages, though, not like they are looking to pair off.  I think there was only one girl in her 6th grade class who had a boyfriend.  Most of her friends do not have any romantic attachments, and none of them seem overly interested at this point.  She went to summer camp this year, and met a boy that I think she texted once.  He lives nowhere around here. My husband think she's more interested in friends and developing socially in that way, and working up the courage to be interested in dating.  She's never been very social, this summer was kind of a flowering.  Not only did she ask me to take her shopping for clothes this summer, she's done more things socially with friends. 

She has this one friend from kindergarten, and that girl apparently did have a boyfriend recently, because I keep hearing about the friend's "ex" which just seems funny to me. I don't think they ever dated in any typical way, they were just friends in daycamp together, maybe they texted, I don't know. 

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#22 of 24 Old 08-06-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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As other's have mentioned, "dating" itself is a very ambiguous term.

 

DD went on her first dates this last year (she was 13-14 and in 9th grade). Our rules are it must be in a group and no being at houses without adults.

 

It was a little funny because she had her first boyfriend starting in January.  She started talking to me in December about it and about he was not allowed to have a girlfriend/ couldn't date.  Ended up talking to the parents and found out that while we said, "she can date" and they said, "he can't date" we had virtually identical rules.  They didn't want 1:1 dates or hanging out in each others bedrooms, etc...  Once they understood our rules, he was allowed to "date."  They dated five months: texting, a couple movies, a school dance, dinner and lots of walking their respective dogs. I think it was completely age appropriate.

 

DD first expressed an interest in a boy (and had it expressed back) when she was 10-11 (6th grade).  They both wanted the other to know they "liked" each other but had no interest in going anywhere and doing anything together.  DS is almost 12 (going into 6th grade) and has zero interest in girls or boys in a romantic or sexual way.  He told me in the not too distant past that he is a "late bloomer".


 

 

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#23 of 24 Old 08-06-2013, 03:48 PM
 
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My sons are 17 and 19.  They were allowed to start dating at 16.  I work with too many teen moms who all began "dating" at 12 and 13.  These mothers have shared that they began having sex as they felt ready since they had been dating for several years.  It is something we talked over with our boys and they understood.  It seems to have worked for us.

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#24 of 24 Old 08-07-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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You mean what will the guidelines be?  Okay, well for us purity before marriage is really important.  I know that isn't the case for most on here but those are our beliefs.  I'm not talking purity in a Duggar family kind of way, just that we believe sex should be saved for marriage and that a serious romantic relationship can lead to too much temptation.  So some things I can think of off the top of my head are dating in groups and encouraging them not to be alone in a one on one capacity.  No boy/girlfriends in their bedrooms.  No dating anyone (when they are over 16) that we have not gotten to know a substantial amount.  So he/she would need to come over for dinner, spend time with their father and I, etc.  If they are not willing to do that then clearly they don't belong in a relationship with my child.  We believe in not focusing so much on romantic relationships at a young age - you have the rest of your life to be exclusive with someone, youth should be for making friends, finding yourself, setting goals for the future.  Obviously I'm not naive, I know they will have romantic interest in a boy/girl.  But we will teach them our beliefs and we will set rules.  We have already begun talking to them about relationships/sex/purity/etc and will continue to do so as they age.  We're not going to lock them up and throw away the key but neither are we going to encourage them to become involved in situations that they are too young to properly handle.  Again, I am more than aware that these believes are contrary to pretty much everyone else on here but I believe as adults we should be able to have a respectful conversation about differing beliefs.

 

 

That's the kind of home I grew up in.  I think it did help to a degree but maybe my rebellious spirit allowed me to choose to ignore my families beliefs.  Then again I was 18 the first time I slept with my boyfriend so theres that.

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