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Readers Respond: At what age should teens start dating?

Responses: 107

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10th Grade

My daughter is getting married this June. She has been dating this boy since 10 grade through college and getting her masters degree. I think you should let your teen date starting in 10 grade.
—Guest jack

I'm 14-and Grounded

So the golden rule of my family? No dating until college. I understood and I know that going behind anyone's back is bad, but I ended up dating this guy. He takes A.P classes, is in Jazz, Guitar, and Band club, and extremely sweet. I know how boys are, and he's the type of guy you want to SHOW to your parents. So in conclusion, depending on how mature your kid is, let 'em date. Trust is a virtue!
—Guest Ashley

Dating.........Y/N

I think the age that a child begins to date is completely dependent on their maturity. Also, if they are doing other inappropriate things, like smoking, they can't be trusted with a girl or boy behind closed doors. My mother asked me when I was 11 what I thought a good age would be to start dating. I answered 11 and she laughed. She was set on 15 but when I turned 14 and got a boyfriend, she was totally fine with it. I have been with him for 9 years and we have one baby girl. My first love turned out to be the one. But anyways, trust your children because they might be just like me and have a great love sense. If they start getting too involved to fast, tell your child to slow down and tell them that if their partner really loves them, then they will wait. My husband waited 4 1/2 years for me!
—Guest truthful

Did you know how young kids are dating?

I am 13 and my mother has told me everything I need to know, she told me I will not start dating until I am 14. In a year, I'm pretty happy. My friend and all of her friends started dating at 11; which made me start to die inside from jealousy. My mom could see me having a boy friend just to hang out with and stuff. I brought up the idea makeing out or whatever too. She was sooo serious... "No, if I eeevvvveeerrrr catch you two making out I'd kill him then you!" Just joking but she would be pissed. Also I have one friend, the best ever! I am homeschooled; so it will be verrrrryyyyy hard for me to find a boyfriend.
—Guest DeAnna

Dating for Marrige

teenagers now use the word 'love so loosely. They say they are in 'love' with someone that they just met. But in truth its rarely 'love' rather it is normally LUST. As a teenager you should not be thinking about marriage, so why would you date? Many people use the excuse of experience. 'My child needs the experience of dating, so they know what to do.' Sorry, but that is the stupidest excuse ever. If you use that excuse, then you are essentially saying that you are also OK with teen sex, since they need the experience to know what to do in the future. Are you getting my point? Some things are made to be experienced at a certain time. Thus, I believe that when you make the decision to date, you should date to marry that individual. Dating is not something to try for fun, it serves the purpose of helping you get to know the individual that you are going to spend your life with.
—Guest

Strict parents

I think teens should be allowed to date before the age of 20 so that they experience and know when in love or not. I know that teens are very curious and they would like to start dating at the age of 12, but lets not discourage them. Instead give them support.
—Guest not yet dated

when you know what love is

i think lik for example if there are 2 aged 11 people who are dating, one knows what love is and truly loves the other, and one doesn't and is treating it as a game, will make a broken heart. i mean, i was 11 and i got with this boy and we had a great time together, i mean its kind of crazy to know that we were hugging etc but yea. just to know what love is will be fine.. the age doesn't matter much..
—Guest flo

Teen Dating

I told my daughter a while back that she would not date until 16--she did have boys as "friends" and did group activities BUT did not get her first boyfriend until now at age 18. I am completely happy with that! I would have let her date at 16 BUT this is much better. She is a great kid and I trust her a lot. I know we are only human and anything can happen BUT she is happy just holding hands and cuddling a bit--being her first boyfriend she is handling pretty well. We like him he is a bit younger but will keep them "grounded" a bit more. The boy's dad pretty strict and since my daughter is 18 she is an adult. I give advice if she needs it, but boy's dad still "in charge' and I am kinda happy with that as I said to keep them grounded. Although, I believe they have come to an agreement about sex and wanting to wait until marriage. Happiness for me, I hope that it all works out that way!!!
—Guest mona

Date b/w 14 - 20 and depends on ...

Teens may date between ages of 14 and 20, but it all depends on the maturity of the "dater" and "datee" AND the parents involved. If parents have questionable behavior or are unable to supervise their teen properly, my teen will not date their teen unless they are prepared to meet only in our house. I understand that some parents are forced to live their teen home alone all day because of job pressure but I am not prepared to gamble my teen with their teen (by letting my teen begin FIRST dating experience with their teen). Period.
—Guest Worried Hopeful

My daughter is dating!

My daughter is dating a 15-year-old and its something new. She has had other boyfriends but she thinks that this time is different . I am letting her have her boyfriend but I always keep an eye on them, but I let them have there own time. I thought this kid was a bad kid but once I got to know him he was a great guy. My daughter and him have talked about having sex and there not ready for it and she told me. I think that all parents should let there children at age 14 or up have there first boyfriend or girlfriend just let your child know that your completely fine with it and show your child that they can trust you and that you can trust them. Well, my daughter just started dating this young man and I'm totally fine with it!
—Guest marisol

my daughter is 14.

My daughter is 14 and wants to date a 16 year old. He just turned 16 and is very nice. I had to get to know him first. I was completely wrong about what I thought of him at first. He is very much like my daughter. I'm very glad she found a boy like him. It just all depends on what the boy is like. So parents, get to know these boys!
—Guest J.A.S

I think at age 15

I'm in middle school and guess what! There are 6th graders having sex and on condoms. There parents don't know eather. The boys bring the girls into the boys bathrooms and pull down their pants. Its disgusting and I'm a girl. Many girls are still "pure" but there are a lot of girls that wear thongs. At least 10% of the 6th graders aren't virgins. How do I know this at age 11? It's everywhere.
—Guest Horselovera9

when you like someone you want to please

I have shared with my kids that the problem with dating too early( before you get a good sense of who you are) you have feeling that may feel like love. Parents will try and poo poo this but to a 13 or 14 it feels like love, and when you love or even like someone you want to please them and then you may spend more time trying to be the person that you think the other person wants and not spend time growing and maturing into the person you deserve to be. The teenager can become stunted in their own growth. I don't believe a 13 can be mature, not self confident mature. let them group date until 16.
—Guest tellit like it is

16 Seems a Good Place to Start

As a parent of 4 teenagers our rule has been no dating until age 16. Okay to have friends and go to co-ed group activities where there is supervision and we know the families. To me the bigger concern is the age difference between the kids. Kids should be within a year or so of each other at this age group and 18yr-old should not be dating 14-15 year-old. There is such a huge difference in experience.
—Guest DLS

Date Before College

I don't know why some parents think that to just start dating in college is a good thing, because it's not. Both men and women who go to college and start dating without any experience are likely to be taken advantage of. If you feel that you can trust your teenager enough to allow them to date then you should let them date and lay down the law. You need to make sure they know that their education is more important as well. Dating in highschool should be acceptable because it will teach a teen faster than anything else that you have to work hard for something you want and that life is not going to be perfect. Trust me, I have learned this at age 13 and I didn't even date somebody. I just liked somebody.
—Guest amanda

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