Age for Dating?


Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to know what you all think: what age is it okay to start dating at?


That depends, for myself or my future kids? :smiley:


I graduated from high school at 17 and didn’t turn 18 until after my first semester of college. I went on my first date at 19…

I think after high school is the time to look for a spouse…I met my husband while I was a senior in college and ended up marrying when I was 22 after a year out of college.

The right age for dating is based somewhat on whether or not college is in the plans. If you’re like me, I wanted to get married after college, but not during, so being allowed to date at 18 worked perfectly.

I voted 18. :thumbsup:

Now if I have kids, that’s not to say I wouldn’t let them go to prom with someone or go with a group to the movies or something…but I’d try to discourage exclusive relationships until they would be 18.


I have a 16 year old son. We always told him he could not date until he was 16. He had friends who were allowed to date at age 14. We would only allow the big group of friends gathering. Some of his friends in this group were “paired up” as “couples” though. He never was. He had girls calling him, asking him to go here and go there, and he would then call others so it was always a group thing. The girls got frustrated with this. He found it funny.

He has been allowed to date for 6 months now. He has not done so (and it is not for lack of interested girls). He says he does not have time and that he is too young for the “drama” his friends go through (several of his friends have “steadies” and are always calling him to either 1)cry if they are girls or 2) complain if they are guys.

He says he will wait until after high school! (yippee!!):smiley:


It depends on the kids and the circumstances. Some are more mature and trustworthy than others, but I’d say that anything under 16 is too young, period. The younger ones would probably be OK in a group situation, but they aren’t ready for the 1:1 stuff yet. And I would certainly discourage “going steady” and exclusive dating until after high school, but that won’t stop some kids. I know because I was one of those who went steady behind my mother’s back – at the age of 15! :eek:


It depends.
I’m 19 and still have only gone on one date…but for me personally I date to find a potential spouse, not for “fun”, thats just an outing, or some other reason.
Maybe I’m too old school though but thats what works for me. When I was 16 I wasn’t ready for marriage, so I wasn’t looking for it. :slight_smile:


I started dating my now husband (been together over six years but married less than one) when I was 16 so I think it depends on the maturity level of those involved :shrug: One of my teachers in middle school told the class that she would never date anyone she couldn’t see herself marrying (baptist school and one of the kids asked why she was still single and not dating anyone because we all thought she was so awesome – obviously all the men her age should be flocking to be with her). I really looked up to her and that became my personal philosophy about dating as well. My parents never said anything to me about dating other than don’t get pregnant and come to us if you want to get protection :rolleyes:


When you are ready to consider marriage.


I put 18 and over. That is when I personally think people are getting mature enough to understand what is involved with dating. I know everyone mature’s differently. I just think high school relationships aren’t really worthwhile and mature but again it depends on where you come from.

I knew that in high school, all boys wanted from me was sex. Sorry to generalize guys, I am sure there are some well intentioned young men on here who aren’t like that, but that is how I looked at it.



Our son is the same way. He wants to put all of this time and energy into his music.


15 & 17 y/o daughters----nothing can be done unless it is as a group…or Dad and/or I get to chaperone. They have exclusively chosen the groups.

Dh is of the frame of mind that all boys are evil. He once chewed a young man out who was waiting for a ride at the entrance of the middle school with dd2, for just being there with her (waiting for his ride) because they were the only 2 standing there. Word of it spread, I did feel bad for dd2, but then again I see his point.


That’s a good idea. It’s good for teens to hang around in mixed groups so that they can get to know each other in a reasonably safe environment.

Dh is of the frame of mind that all boys are evil. He once chewed a young man out who was waiting for a ride at the entrance of the middle school with dd2, for just being there with her (waiting for his ride) because they were the only 2 standing there. Word of it spread, I did feel bad for dd2, but then again I see his point.

What was the poor kid supposed to be doing, instead? :shrug:


I asked him the same thing, after his usual all boys are bad speech he said they could have waited at different entrances, I said “but you told her to wait at THAT entrance”, “well then HE should have moved to another one, that would have been the respectful thing to do.” He was dead serious, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Trust me I plead their cases, if not they wouldn’t even be able to go out as groups.


And his father is supposed to read his mind and pick him up at that other entrance, right? Oh, wait, that’s what cell phones are for - except he has probably been forbidden to carry a cell phone in case a girl might phone him. :rolleyes:

I can just see it. “Son, why didn’t you wait at the entrance I told you to? Do I have time to wander all over your school looking for you?” “Well, Dad, there was this girl and she was waiting for her Dad to come, so I had to move.” “What? You don’t like girls, now? GAWD, what have I done to deserve this, now? Are you quitting sports on me, too?” “DAD, no, you don’t understand!!” “You better believe I don’t! Any son of mine, doesn’t like girls, I don’t know. We’ll have a talk with your mother when we get home.” (Awkward Silence the rest of the way home.)

Poor kids these days!! I feel sorry for them - we used to hang out with and phone whoever we wanted; our parents had no clue and cared even less, as long as we were home in time for supper.


I have no idea what any modern audience means by dating. If you mean social situations involving parties of both sexes, in a group engaged in activities suitable to their age and circumstances, suitably supervised, fine, about 16. If you mean serial exclusive relationships that involve experimental sex, NEVER. If you mean serious social dating exclusively with one member of the opposite sex for the purpose of increasing emotional intimacy and leading to courtship, the time is when you are ready to marry and have children.


I answered 18, because I am teaching more of a courtship model. Dating is for finding a person to marry, and no one has any business doing that before 18. I realize that I cannot probably perfectly achieve this with my kids, but it’s what I am going to teach and enforce under my roof.


I agree 100%. :thumbsup: I don’t want my kids to start “serious” relationships early (like I did), cave into sexual pressure (like I did), get their hearts broken 2 or 3 times (like I did), and then sometime later find their spouses. If they’re going to date (court), they need to be the right age to handle the possibility of marriage. Even though 18 is still very young for most kids to get married these days, it’s a realistic benchmark, in my opinion, for beginning to date.


I picked none of the above.

Dating in my view is just the wrong way of looking for a spouse. Actual looking is wrong too.

It is like going to store and trying on all sorts of clothes before we decide to buy one and stick with it. Many of you are probably saying what is wrong with that? Everything is wrong when we are choosing out of personal preference. That screams selfishness, which is the exact opposite of God’s greatest commandment to Love him and Love each other. Love means “to will the good of the other” Not ourselves (selfishness)! Oh but he or she has to be smart, have a job, can’t be fat or too skinny, or God forbid independent. (Independent of what the community, Catholicism is the community)

God will take care of us if we Love. He will guide our hearts to the one we must marry; if we have been truly living as good Catholics (loving, forgiving, generosity) there is nothing our Love will not be able to overcome (even a horrible spouse). Those are truly fortunate people, they get to Love so much!

My children will not be allowed to date (in the very way it is meant now). The closest thing they will have is their loving parents helping to guide them and their hearts to someone one who is worthy of and is a true child of God.

Ha! Have we learned that we cannot choose for ourselves! 16 years old! That is like sending sheep to be mislead and slaughtered.

So, so very sad. We still don’t listen.
God gave us the way we have to stick to the road.

God’s faithful servant
John A. H.


You don’t give the option I was looking for.

When they are ready to seriously look for a spouse and get married. That might be 18, 27, or never.


I started dating when I was fourteen. In retrospect, I definitely should not have done that! My first truly serious relationship started when I was sixteen, and my current very serious relationship started when I was three weeks from eighteen. I wasn’t technically allowed to date until I was eighteen, but my parents knew about most of my relationships and were okay with them because we weren’t really dating, more spending time with family/youth group/church etc.

I voted 17. It allows high school relationships, which can be good things, without allowing dating when you’re simply too young to think about anything serious. (My parents were high school sweethearts and I’ll hopefully marry my high school sweetheart.) No matter the age, though, no one should date just to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

From my experience, I don’t think rules like this are effective very often though…

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