Post # 1
I am not even married, let alone having a teenage child, but I was talking to FI about dating and a question came into my mind:
“At what age would you let your children start dating?”
Extra questions for you to answer in the comments:
Would it be different for a daughter than for a son?
When did you start dating?
Do you wish you would’ve started sooner/later?
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
What do you define as “dating”?
Post # 4
I kinda sorta started dating at 14 (it never got beyond hugging). I didn’t really start having an actual realtionship until I was 17. I would say I’d let a kid start dating once they had their driver’s license because it was super duper awkward to be driven around by parents when you were supposed to be on a date.
Post # 5
@AnaA: 16. If he or she wanted to see their bf/gf and they didnt have a car then I would let them come over or they could go over there but I would not drop them off somewhere.
Post # 6
I’m not really sure you can ‘allow’ your child to start dating – kids always get boyfriends and girlfriends in school.
Post # 7
@lovekiss: Good question!
Have a SO who’s not actually a friend, but more than a friend. They could go out (alone or not, that’s another question), have physical intimacy (not sex o.o or anything… kissing, holding hands maybe… things that aren’t done with friends of course).
I guess lol!
Post # 8
@AnaA: I answered 15, both for a daughter and a son. I went on my first real dates the summer I turned 16, and that was the right age for me. I just wasn’t super interested in dating before that – I just wanted to spend time with my friends.
I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 18 – for the same reason as above (time with friends was more important!) Zero regrets – my high school BFFs are still my best friends well over a decade later, we have amazing memories of fun times together, and I do not wish I’d spent that time with some boy.
Post # 9
Well.. I started “dating” at 14, but I don’t really consider dating that age to be serious. I didn’t have sex until I was 18. I was a good kid. I had a kindergarten boyfriend but I hardly think that counts 😛
I’d probably let my future kid go on group dates at that age… that’s what I did and I turned out fine.
Post # 10
@AnaA: My mother sort of encouraged me to date growing up and I have a feeling that I will probably be a very strict parent because of her careless insistence. I had long relationships for the age I started dating “11” and I would consider it dating because we went on unsupervised dates/held hands/met up before school/hugged and kissed/went to each others houses/were together outside of school. I dated a boy for 5 months when I was eleven and then “school dated” other people off and on because my mother pushed it.
So I started dating at young and part of me wishes that I had started later on. However, I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have those experiences.
I don’t think I will let my child date until they are 16 but life will probably change that plan.
EDIT: I know I can’t control school dating but outside dating is just too much when you are in grade school and my mother was lucky that I had such an over developed conscience. Kids in grade school know all about sex and are very uninformed so there really is no way that anyone can expect them to be safe alone. I think I would allow them to go on dates alone at 16 but other than that they would need someone to drive them so I would probably be in the surrounding area anyway. I think grade school boyfriends/girlfriends would be welcome to talk on the phone/hangout while supervised.
Post # 11
I would say high school. So 14 or 15. My mom tried to not let me date until I was 16, and I felt that all it did was cause me to hide things from her (and it’s not like I was doing anything crazy). At the same time, I don’t really want my future children to get too attached to someone too young or to lose themselves in a relationship that will, most likely, not last.
I had my first real boyfriend at 15 and I know that I lost myself a lot in that relationship. I think it’s hard for someone that young to be able to be in control of their feelings and to now allow those feelings to swallow them up. While I don’t really wish I had waited any longer to start dating, I wish I had chosen someone different and less controlling. My first boyfriend was older (17 when we started dating), which I think, in a lot of cases, is also a bad thing. We weren’t on the same page AT ALL in terms of experience and I think that caused me to do a lot of things I wasn’t ready for (not just sex).
Obviously, every kid is different, so I don’t know if I will have a “rule” or anything like that. I just hope my future kids are involved in sports or something else that will keep them busy and their minds off of dating for as long as possible.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I picked 15, because 14 still seems a bit too young to me (I was 14 in grade 8!). I don’t think we’ll have an actual rule like “no dating until you turn 15”, but we’ll use it as a guideline and might adjust it accordingly depending on the situation. We’ll follow this guideline regardless of the gender.
I had my first boyfriend at 15 (a couple months before my 16th birthday) and I wouldn’t change it, because it gave me a good foundation for when I started dating my FI at 17. We only dated for a month and a half and it was a really awkward relationship and his parents had to drive us everywhere and it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be (aha blame chick flicks for my overly high expectations). It taught me a lot about how to navigate a relationship though and I think it showed me that I wasn’t quite ready for a relationship yet. I like that I got to find that out on my own and I wasn’t desperate for a boyfriend anymore after that 😉
ETA: I know I can’t control what my child does at school, but I was raised with the belief that it’s inappropriate to date during elementary school and I never had the desire to “date” at that young of an age (for example, if I told my parents that someone in my grade 7 or 8 class was dating someone else, they would say that it was too young and an inappropriate school activity aha). Growing up, I just always saw dating that young (11/12/13/14) as kind of ridiculous.
Post # 13
My own parents allowed me to start dating at 15, but I didn’t actually go on a date until I was 19. I didn’t date in high school.
With my own future children, I would say 15 is a reasonable age to go out on dates – like to a movie, skating, reasonably priced dinner, etc. But I would want to briefly meet the date first, so I can be sure my kid is not getting involved with the wrong crowd of people. I would also want to know if they are having sex so I can make sure they are being safe about it.
I remember when I was in middle school (so 11-13/14) and some kids had BF/GF’s, and they were like those week long “relationships”. That’s ridiculous.
Post # 14
I was sneaking around to go on “dates” when I was in grade 7, 8 and 9. I don’t think you can really control when they start dating or when they consider someone their boyfriend or girlfriend… I had boyfriends from like grade 4 onward! I think you just need to educate them and hopefully teach them to make good choices. they will be making out behind schools and at the movies whether you “let them” or not.
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Well according to this definition, I “allowed” DS to have a girlfriend at 12. I’m pretty sure he was holding her hand in school, and definitely called each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.” Honestly, any parent who thinks they can stop their child from developing a relationship in school is delerious. When they are at school, they will do as they please.
We started letting them “hang out” together after school at 13. They are now 15, almost 16, and are still together. They go to school events together (go to different high schools), she comes to our house, DS goes to her house, her parents and Mr. LK and I trade off taking them to movies/bowling/various events. She’s a good kid, and we count ourselves lucky.
Post # 16
Probably 15 or 16. Being “boyfriend and girlfriend” at school at 10 or 12 doesn’t really count. That’s not dating. If they wanted to talk to their “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” at age 12 on the phone, that’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t mind supervised hanging out either (in the home with parents present). But I’m not going to be dropping them off at a restaurant to eat and they’re not capable of driving. Dating means going out on dates without supervision. I would probably consider letting them go on a group date at 14 but other wise I’d probably say 15 or 16 for actual dating.
I started dating around 16. I think it was fine, I wouldn’t have done it sooner or later. It would be the same for boy or girl.