What is your take on teen dating?


A few weeks ago I met this boy at the beach while I was with a friend and her family. He is a very nice Christian, we have a lot in common (to the point where it sometimes creeps me out lol), and overall he’s just a great guy that I’ve taken a liking to. His mom has offered to take me to the beach with their family and invited me over to their house, but I’ve had to decline the offer because my parents are rather, how do I put this… sketchy on the subject of anything to do with the opposite sex. I’m 16 years old now and will be graduating in less than two years, and so will he, so we are the same age and everything… his mom does not have a problem with him dating as long as she is there and approves of the girl. How do I approach my parents about this? I’ve never had the urge to tell them about any boys I’ve met because I’ve really never taken this much of an interest in any of them, nor have I ever gotten along this well with any. However, they give off a lot of hints that they do not feel comfortable with me around boys for whatever reason… it baffles me because I keep reading in my religion books how dating is encouraged in the later high school years when gone about in the appropriate manner (group dating, always being supervised, etc.) and it’s quite possible that this relationship may work out, who knows right? You never know what God has in store. Anyways, my question is how should I go about doing this so they feel comfortable? I have no problem with them meeting him and he is more than willing. And how do I convince them that I am trustworthy? I feel as though I’m a good catholic… considering what I live around. My parents are not the greatest examples, yet I am still a virgin, I do not do drugs, etc. but telling them this is like trying to convince them that pigs can fly… they do not trust me at all and they honestly have no reason to NOT trust me. Please help me!!! A parents point of view would be great…


I found this relatively quickly. Catholic Answers Live is reputable and airs on EWTN. Peace be with you.



Do you think it'd work to ask them what would make them comfortable? I'd just be very open and honest with them. Tell them that you like him, maybe ask them if he could come over for dinner sometime and they can meet him? Maybe he could ask your dad if he could take you out on a date?

I'd let them set the grounds. Just know that your parents love you, and they are probably so worried because they want only the best for you!


Unless you are thinking of getting married in the next couple of years and so is he, which given you are 16 and he is the same age I seriously doubt, then you should not be dating, the purpose of dating is to find a spouse.

You parents probably recognise that neither of you are ready for marriage and raising kids yet, you should listen to them. It is not an issue of trusting you, they KNOW that anyone can fall into sins of the flesh if they allow themselves into situations where those sins are possible. If you are wise you would not even trust yourself.

And I would hope at 16 your would be a virgin!


Let me start off with a side note- One of the best things about dating is that it can be fun, pure and simple. You don't need to be ultra serious and stoic. Sure, it's about seeking a potential partner, but it's also for learning how to interact with the opposite gender, make friendships, etc, and having fun. What's immoral about hanging out at an arcade or a pizza place and having a good time?

Whitacre_girl has some great advice as well.


I understand that the purpose of dating is to find a spouse, and in all of my theology books it says that dating is encouraged in the later high school years in order for young persons to socialize and figure out what type of person you get along with best. So this is what I am going off of… And really what is the harm in going on group dates, or attending dinner with one another’s family and getting to know each other? I just cannot see it.


Thank you! This is exactly my point I’d like to make with them :slight_smile: If only they thought as you did…


Your theology books don’t know what on earth they are talking about and are clearly written by modernists who do not take seriously avoiding occasions of sin.

And the rest of you need to stop telling her how to manipulate her parents into letting her act against their better judgement, they know whether their own 16 year old daughter is ready for this or not.


Don't worry about it. Try to tell them your intentions, "Look, mom and dad-I just want to chill out. Heck, you two can even occupy the pizza booth at the other side of the counter! I'l buy-do you like mushrooms?";)

By the way-I LOVE mushrooms on my pizza, so slice me in.


[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:8, topic:202570"]

And the rest of you need to stop telling her how to manipulate her parents into letting her act against their better judgment, they know whether their own 16 year old daughter is ready for this or not.


Shame your looking at it that way .

Sometimes parents are the ones who need to have their eyes opened that there child is getting ready to date or something.

Take a deep breath my friend~no one is manipulating anyone.


When parents demand that their children wait to date until they are ready to find a spouse, they are taking a huge risk with their child's life and soul.

Generally speaking, once a person is "of age," either 18 or 21, they move out of their parents' house. Not always--I'm aware that in this economy, many adults are moving back in with their parents.

But for the most part, the norm in the U.S. is for adult children to move out and live on their own (or with roommates).

And once they're out, they're full-fledged, legal adults, and they can date whomever they please and do whatever they please with that person.

Euugh. Scary, isn't it? They can go away for weekends with their dates, or have their dates spend the night in their beds--and there isn't one jolly thing that their parents can do about it. In all likelihood, their parents have no idea what is happening.

But when a teenager dates, the PARENTS still have the authority and the means to control the dating experience for the teenager.

And believe me, there will be no spending of the night in the bed between unmarried people in OUR house!

If the teenager breaks a rule during a date, the parents can make sure that the couple does not date again, or dates only in the presence of the parents, or dates only after a month of grounding has passed or dates only after many acts of penance (usually in the form of household chores) have been completed satisfactorily.

Unless the teenager is a prodigy with his/her own money supply, parents control the money, the car, the locks in the house, the food supply, the computers, the TVs, the stereos, the iPods, the telephones, the good times, etc.

Parents can even go so far as to pull up stakes and move a thousand miles away if the dating situation becomes dangerous to their teenager's life or soul. (Dr. Dobson actually recommends this in his new book, Bringing Up Girls, and he has recommended moving in other books.)

The fact that the parents have control is not necessarily a punitive thing. Parents can talk to the teenager about their dates and impart their wisdom onto the teenager. Parents can have a major influence on the teenager's dating behavior as they model a loving marriage and show their children how marriage is a picture of Christ's relationship with His Church.

My husband and I allowed our teenaged daughters to date, and we were very glad that we controlled the situation. We did a lot of serious discussion with our daughters throughout their dating years and helped them to understand the consequences of their choices.

Now our daughters are 24 and 27. The 24-year-old married the boy that she started dating at age 14 (she was 22 when they got married). The 27-year-old is still a free spirit and to be honest, we hope that she is making good decisions about her dating life. But we have no way of knowing for certain, since she lives 2300 miles away from us. The control is HERS, not ours. We're fairly certain she is making wise decisions.

So in conclusion, I would rather my children date while they're still living at home and I have some serious (and even unpleasant!) influence over their dating life. I would NOT want my children to start dating after they move out, because then I will have little influence over their choices.

To the OP--show your parents this post! (I'm 53, BTW, old enough to have gained a little wisdom about teenagers.)


I’m 18, and although I’m a bit more mature for my age, still haven’t dated, because I know I am not ready yet. I can tell you at 16 if I had dated the consequences would have been awful :frowning: because you will mature a lot more in the future, even month to month!

No matter what you want to think, dating IS checking out people to marry, idk why you’d be doing that seeing as you’re what, a sophomore or junior…

A friend of mine has been dating, and it looked like they’d be getting married this next year (she’s my age, he’s a year older). Then she started praying about it and realized that she was not prepared, emotionally or mentally, to be a wife.

Think about it. You date to meet a spouse. Maybe you date for a year or two, and then marry. Let’s face it, nine months after you marry you’ll probably have an infant to take care of. So when you’re dating, you’ve got to be prepared two or three years in the future to be raising a family. You are NOT old enough to do that right now.

I totally understand the emotional needs, and the feelings of loneliness. The more involved you are, this young, without thinking about marriage, the more hurt you will be when the relationship DOES end. The more hurt you are, which you will be, the harder it will be for you to open up to your real future spouse when God allows your paths to cross years from now… and you’ll be hesitant and afraid to get involved because the real possibility of getting hurt will constantly be on your mind.

And you say you are a traditional Catholic… you should know that you need to avoid at all costs having a Protestant raising your children. Just check out these forums, they are full of examples of where this goes wrong. Do you really think a Protestant will be happy with you taking the kids to a Traditional Latin Mass, week after week for years? Perhaps at the beginning he’ll tolerate it, but this cannot last forever.

Again, I totally understand what you’re talking about. PLEASE obey your parents and PLEASE try to look at this without emotion, it will not work. A friend who dates couldn’t even convey to me the temptation when you’re dating, even though they both are set on remaining virgins until marriage, it was a daily struggle for them. You need to have a certain level of maturity to be able to, with God’s help, confront that kind of temptation.


Well, I don’t know your parents so i can not tell you how they will respond to anything I say. I know that when I was your age, there was just no talking to my parents. They made the rules and I either bowed my head down and complied or there was a price to pay. (Yes my parents were hard headed)

Now that I am older, I understand why my dad did not want me to date (I don’t agree with his reasoning). I am just trying to provide insight into how your dad’s mind might work. once upon a time, all dads were 16 year old boys. They remember vivdly the effects a pretty girl could have on them. No matter how much they started out with the intention of respecting girls, one kiss and …the tempatation would be SO great they would say ANYTHING to keep going. It is as if some alien entered their brain and made them loose all common sense. Heck, they didn’t even know they could feel like that until they did.

So your dad knows this guy probably has good intentions. It is just that your dad also knows this guy has not ‘been too close to you’ yet either. He know there will be a momeny when the alien will enter this guys brain and he will loose all reason. Your dad does not want it to be on his little girl.

So… to recap. Only you know your parents, what will work on them is you judgement to make. Perhaps you could see this as a coming of age experiece. The first steps in relating to adults as an adult and not a kid

So althoug I did not answer your questions. I hope I did help you feel supported



Although the Church says dating is to find a spouse, you are clearly not obligated to marry anyone! The Church says after about 2 years you should know if you can or can’t marry that particular person. My priest says you should date as many people as you can in order to find out who your spouse should be. It is also a great way to learn lessons and grow up.


Hey now, that sounds strangely like common sense~watch it there. :wink:


You are blessed with wisdom, be sure to thank your teachers :slight_smile:

OP please listen to the above it is all pure wisdom and completely in line with the advice given once upon a time by esteemed Catholic teachers on such matters.

You might want to forget your theology books and check out “THE CATHOLIC GIRL’S GUIDE” by Rev. F.X. Lasance. This classic received the blessing of Pope Pius XI in 1927 when it was first printed and you can trust your immortal soul to its advice without hesitation.


Dating is part of the spouse selection process. But that doesn't mean you need to go into every dating relationship thinking "I might marry this person." That's a ludicrous idea. The folks who said that dating helps you learn how to socialize and interact with the opposite sex and learn what you like, don't like in a potential mate are spot on.

Many years ago it was actually encouraged by the Catholic community for younger people to casually date many people. Why? Because casual dating with multiple individuals would dial down the seriousness and therefore the near occasion of sin. Sometimes things that come out of the keyboard by people like Advocatus Fidei make me wonder how they possibly deal with real life; surely they condemn everyone and everything that doesn't fit their extremely narrowminded idea of what is moral and what is not. I'm sure he also believes anyone who goes to a "novus ordo" Mass and fine with it is destined for hellfire. Ridiculous.

You live under your parents' roof and are subject to their rules OP. That said, as a 16 year old you should begin to strike out on your own. Time to deal with these sensitive subjects face to face with them! Just talk to them, explain the situation and state your intentions. You just want to get to know this guy better, right? What's wrong with that? No one is talking about going steady, much less getting married. Note that all you're thinking about casual dates in groups, going to public events, hanging out with his family, etc. You're not asking for him to approach your parents for a formal courtship with marriage in mind!

Keep it light, keep it casual, keep it friendly. I can agree with the traditionalists that you should keep the romance to a minimum; you are just 16 after all and not thinking of marriage anytime soon. But if you do that, you're fine and you can disregard the rest of the lunacy that Advocatus Fidei and his ilk are spewing.


Not at 16 when you still had two years left at school it wasn't Bucket, and definitely not with non-Catholics.


So, um~are you two swapping cookie recipes and gardening tips? I see a great future for you guys! :wink:


[quote="MWashamx3, post:6, topic:202570"]
I understand that the purpose of dating is to find a spouse, and in all of my theology books it says that dating is encouraged in the later high school years in order for young persons to socialize and figure out what type of person you get along with best. So this is what I am going off of... And really what is the harm in going on group dates, or attending dinner with one another's family and getting to know each other? I just cannot see it.


Please share some of those titles with me. I have yet to read them.
The term dating in my culture means going out without family members along, and usually ends up with kissing.

Group dates, dinners with families and getting to know each other around other people all sound good.

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