Poll: teenage dating


#1

At what age do you allow your kids to start dating? Not a group outing, but a boy and a girl, alone or with just a parent chaperone (if they are too young to drive).


#2

I don't believe in dating. Guys and gals can mix in groups and get to know each other in a structured or fun social scene but there's no need for exclusivity between 2 unless there are serious intentions in which case it should look like courting. I believe that you should know yourself well before getting to know someone else in such a context therefore suggesting 18+.

I wish I had done that 10 yrs ago and that's how I plan to educate my children. The teen years are formative years, they're not meant for giving your heart away and making oneself vulnerable on such a deep, emotional level.

I know a guy who was hurt so bad during his first relationship, theonky one he put his heart into, that he hasn't been able to truly love since. As teens they should be focused on finding themselves, not their spouse.


#3

I picked 14-15, but only because I wanted to pick the 15 option. That was how old I was when I started dating, but 14… I wouldn’t consider that “real” dating, and I’d be more cautious about it.


#4

[quote="1inICXC, post:2, topic:248564"]
I don't believe in dating. Guys and gals can mix in groups and get to know each other in a structured or fun social scene but there's no need for exclusivity between 2 unless there are serious intentions in which case it should look like courting. I believe that you should know yourself well before getting to know someone else in such a context therefore suggesting 18+.

I wish I had done that 10 yrs ago and that's how I plan to educate my children. The teen years are formative years, they're not meant for giving your heart away and making oneself vulnerable on such a deep, emotional level.

I know a guy who was hurt so bad during his first relationship, theonky one he put his heart into, that he hasn't been able to truly love since. As teens they should be focused on finding themselves, not their spouse.

[/quote]

I totally agree with you. In fact it sounds like a book I read a few years back by a young Christian man titled "I kissed dating goodbye". The dating system in our culture just sets up vulnerable youngsters for trouble. Going out in groups and getting to know one another without being exclusive with anyone is the best way to go!


#5

Girls can date six months after I've lost the ability to aim accurately, or after I've run out of room in the back 40, whichever comes first.


#6

[quote="Dorothy, post:4, topic:248564"]
I totally agree with you. In fact it sounds like a book I read a few years back by a young Christian man titled "I kissed dating goodbye". The dating system in our culture just sets up vulnerable youngsters for trouble. Going out in groups and getting to know one another without being exclusive with anyone is the best way to go!

[/quote]

So how do you make the jump between going out together in groups to being married? Surely there's a happy medium inbetween?


#7

I found that the kids going out in groups was a front, they were already dating at 16. But of course in my state kids get their driver's licence at 14. Most kids have access to cars at that age and some have their own cars by 16.

I was very upfront with both of my boys about their behavior and what is acceptable and what is not.

My oldest son married at 21 to his first girlfriend and they dated 2 years before marriage. The have been marriage 10 years now.

My youngest son came home with a girlfriend at 17 yrs old and we had a nice talk. We talked about no sex until marriage, talked about diseases and about are you ready to be teenage parents. My son's relationship was short and then he did not date until 20 again by his choice. He now refers to that girl as a high maintenance girlfriend. He learned fast on his own. He is now 21 and engaged to be married next summer to his second girlfriend.

If we are upfront with our kids, they can be sucessful.


#8

17 or 18, after they’ve finished most of high school, but while they are still home. I agree that younger than that teens need to be more focused on their own development. While I don’t like the tendency we have now to keep young adults in an immature state until 25 or more, I really don’t think 14-16 year olds are ready to deal with the emotions that can rise out of being a couple. And it does not seem possible any more to “play the field”. After 2 “dates” you are considered a couple in high schools around here ( and sometimes after just 1!)

If teems start dating or condsidering it while they are still home, parents have more influence over who is chosen where they go, how long and how often.

Early teen years are still a time of figuring out what you like, what is fun to do with others, and there are so many activities that can be done in groups. Real dating is truly an activity design for discerning a spouse. I’m not an advocate for the very formal courtship that some discuss, but I don’t see much point in doing what is called dating in this age unless you are ready to get married (or very close to it). I’m also not an advocate of waiting for perfect circumstances to get married (good job, plenty of money, etc.), but finishing undergraduate school is usually a good idea.


#9

This. You didn’t add the option, “I would prefer that my kids not date, but court when they are ready to seek a spouse.”


#10

I’ve known many parents I respect who’ve chaperoned their 15-year-old kids to the cinema on dates and they (the kids) went on to college and successful careers and families. So I supposed I should brace myself to watch lots of soppy teen flicks. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sixteen and 17-years-olds should date if they want to, date people their own age, people who’ve met their parents, people whove given them their parents’ contact information. You know, all the sensible stuff.

But no dating on a school night! And no dating if your grades fall below a 3.5 or if you have less than a B in any one subject! :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:6, topic:248564"]
So how do you make the jump between going out together in groups to being married? Surely there's a happy medium inbetween?

[/quote]

It's been a while since I read the book, but I do remember some suggestions for when a more serious interest starts taking place between the older teens. It was suggested that the two get to know one another better by meeting together for coffee or lunch and enjoying good conversations with each other.

The book pre-supposes that these suggestions are being taken by the parents and the teens who would be willing to cooperate in ways to get to know other teens without putting themselves in the way of temptations.


#12

[quote="1inICXC, post:2, topic:248564"]
I know a guy who was hurt so bad during his first relationship...

[/quote]

First relaltionships alway hurt bad. Doesn't matter if it happens when you're 16 or 56. That's why they call it bittersweet.

I remember my first boyfriend. His name was David. We spent hours and hours listening to The Who and in his parents' basement. I was 17, and he was 18. We were going to go to college, get married, and take on the world. Then he went off to college, met another girl, and wrote me a Jane Doe letter at the beginning of my senior year. Broke my heart completely and utterly. But eventually I was able to move on.

The key is resiliency, the ability to take a punch in the guts and get on with it. And this is true with romantic relationships and just about everything else in life. It's a life lesson best learned young, in my opinion.


#13

Depends on one’s definition of courtship. The best definition I have read is that it is a phase before engagement when two people are discerning if they want to be married. It carries no obligation besides exclusivity and a commitment to truly get to know each other. From a practical standpoint, that seems to entail some casual dating beforehand. Maybe not always required, but some means of reaching that point is needed.


#14

I started dating at 15, but I only did because I knew I had a firm grip on the reality of my own will-power and self-control. Had I not felt like I could keep my eyes and heart turned to God, I would have waited longer.

My sister started dating at 13. I personally think this is a terrible mistake, as it has skewed not only her views on relationships (children that age can only focus on the immediate satisfactions, because marriage is so far off) but also her view on church. The boy was someone she met at church, and so by dating him she started turning church into a socially-focused event rather than one of worship.

I think 15 was young. Looking back, I was just barely ready to test the waters of relationships, and I only came out alright because it wasn’t very serious, and that makes me feel quite lucky. I would have waited two more years, could I chose again, because by 17 I already was thinking about the future (college specifically) and, as a result, consider marriage to be something a bit closer. Not horribly close, but closer nonetheless.

Long story short, dating should only start when the people involved have a good perspective on God and their future.


#15

I think 16-17 is the best age to start having boyfriend/girlfriend type things, but group dates are fine if the kid is younger. Give em’ a break and let them have some fun. You need to learn how to interact with the other gender sometime. 17 year old boys need to learn that girls aren’t into video games, heavy metal, and wrestling! :o

(Yes, I know some girls are into heavy metal, wrestling and video games, but they are in the minority!)


#16

[quote="Dorothy, post:11, topic:248564"]
It's been a while since I read the book, but I do remember some suggestions for when a more serious interest starts taking place between the older teens. It was suggested that the two get to know one another better by meeting together for coffee or lunch and enjoying good conversations with each other.

The book pre-supposes that these suggestions are being taken by the parents and the teens who would be willing to cooperate in ways to get to know other teens without putting themselves in the way of temptations.

[/quote]

Still, all public situations. I would not want to marry someone if I hadn't spent some time in private alone with them first. That's how you really get to know someone. I would hope that when I have kids I can trust them enough to do that without me having to peer over their shoulder.

And yes, it relies on teens being willing. In my experience the more rules you impose the more rebellion you get back in return. A ruler can only rule if they've got a mixture of leniancy, mutual respect and discipline.


#17

:thumbsup::thumbsup: You are wise! :wink:


#18

I’m no parent but hey, your kid should date whenever it feels right. You can control your kids actions but no human force can control their feelings. As long as their not in an physically/sexually/emotionally abusive relationship or a sexually immoral/deviant relationship, why should anyone care. :shrug:

Hope this helps,

God bless :byzsoc:

David


#19

14 or fifteen without a doubt, or whenever they show a serious interest in dating. Oh sure the whole, go out in a group! thing SOUNDS nice, but some of us were hated and abhored by our peers and had no group to be in. I'm all for dating young, marrying young, having children young. My fiance's little brother is 13 and he has a girlfriend and I see not one little tiny thing wrong with this whatsoever.

I'm disgusted by the idea of "courtship" as it's being described here. TO me it's a blaring neon sign that says I DO NOT TRUST YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS. If someday my teenage daughter wants to go to the movies with a boy, go right ahead. i wanna meet him first, that's my only requirement. I don't plan on raising stupid children. I knew at 15 how to make smart decisions, and trust my kids will as well.

Yuck. Group dating. Sounds god aweful.


#20

Yuck. Group dating. Sounds god aweful.

Please refrain from using God's name in vain. It makes us respect you much less than we would otherwise.
Syri, of course you don't want to raise stupid kids. That's not what anyone here is suggesting. We have to remember, however, that there is a fine line between unnecessarily sheltering your child and protecting them from situations that, for them, could easily be problematic or dangerous.


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