Are your parents against teen dating? Did you catch feelings for someone? Can’t step forward because of your religion or culture? Or, are you just not sure how things work?
Well, I’m glad you’re honest with yourself, bud! Many teens claim they know everything about dating and mess up their life.
Well, dating so early can get messy, so it’s better to take parental advice or speak to a school counselor. However, I understand everyone isn’t as privileged.
So, here I am with a think-piece to clear up all the fog.
Take a deep breath, believe that you’ll be all ready to dive into the dating game by the time we wrap up, and hop on this ride…
Teen Dating Infographics
What is Teen Dating?
Different teens have different ideas about dating. Generally, you pair with someone you’re attracted to and spend time together to have a serious relationship.
Teen dating is hanging out with a person with a goal of getting in a relationship during your teenage years. Some might define it as simply hooking up, some might expect to find their Mr/Ms Right.
Some teens define dating as simply two people getting along, having fun, and learning their boundaries together… Others might want to feel like adults with partners.
Though it’s not that unusual in modern times, dating in teens comes with ups and downs. So, before you jump into this, know these…
Truths about Teen Dating
Though there are some progressive parents, most hardly feel alright about their kids dating in their teens. They may try to convince you against dating or you may feel irritated with their advice, so begin the journey with these truths…
1. Romance in teens is super normal
As per the Department of Health and Human Services, dating in teens encourages emotional growth and building social skills. Interest in dating is a healthy and normal sign in teens
You might be curious about romantic interests around 14, for another, it’s 17. That doesn’t make either of you any less normal.
Very few teens go on dates nowadays compared to earlier… even if they’re really interested in the idea of romance. It’s because of the introduction of technology and the vast definition of relationships.
Whether they date or not, most teens become interested in dating in high school or college.
2. Dating is important for relationship skills
To build a romantic relationship, you must learn to communicate, handle rejection, figure out your deal breakers, and understand commitments.
A relationship is the responsibility of another soul. Dating, on the contrary, is a lighter alternative.
Teens learn many aspects of full-fledged relationships from dating. They learn to care, become selfless, and independent, learn the meaning of intimacy, figure out their sexuality, boundaries, and so on.
Moreover, the media mostly depicts unhealthy relationships as “perfect”. Teen dating helps you understand the rights and wrongs in relationships.
Modern dating revolves around texting, phone calls, or video calling on social media. They don’t feel comfortable meeting face to face in real life, so this helps them deal with social anxiety.
3. You may have THE conversation
If your parents know you’re dating, they will talk about peer pressure, your values, and your expectations. They aren’t nagging, don’t get them wrong. They’re just concerned and want the best for you.
Rather, it’s great if your parents do this. It means they’re open-minded, supportive, and careful. They’ll tell you how to respect another person, their morals about sexual activities, and all other perceptions.
Even though their ideas are backdated, it mostly comes from their personal experience.
If you have any queries on dating like behaving around them or their loved ones, showing courtesy, or how to protect your dignity, ask them.
Ask your parents to support and guide you throughout. Also, ask them to give you some amount of freedom to learn on your own. Ask them to not eavesdrop on calls or check texts.
4. They may interfere at times
Though parents promise to not interfere in your life, they’re still responsible for you. Whether you’re unnaturally mean to others or are on the receiving end, they’ll step in to help.
During adolescence, you’ll undergo severe confusion. Down the lane, you might feel embarrassed, silly, hurt, or proud of yourself.
Whether you have a heartbreak, break others’ hearts… whether it’s about your first kiss or sex… your parents or caregiver will advise you.
They’ll lend you a shoulder to cry, correct you if you go astray, and even discuss safe sex and sharing nudes. It might feel weird and uncomfortable but they’re trying their best.
Books, movies, porn, or even your friends’ experiences aren’t enough to learn it all.
5. They’ll set some rules for you
Your safety is your parents’ priority so when they talk about rules, don’t misunderstand them. Parents usually apply relaxed curfews for older teens.
However, if you’re very far from 18, habitually lie, and are a bit childish, you’ll have less freedom. They’ll ask to meet your date and drive you to your date.
For older ones, if you behave maturely and are honest, they may not exert these rules. They’ll ask you to not date strangers and someone much older than you.
They’ll also ask you both to keep your cell phones on you all the time, to stay in touch constantly, and give updates about your whereabouts to your parents.
When a teen starts dating online, they don’t usually notice tech risks. So, expect some cell phone and tech rules and boundaries.
So, how does dating happen? Let’s know it from here…
Stages of teenage dating
Dating isn’t what it was back in your parents’ time. If you stay updated with current dating methods, you’ll protect yourself from harm.
So, you and another person are dating only when you go through these stages…
Phase 1: Social Media Investigation
This is the first phase when you “stalk” or investigate the other person’s account. You contemplate whether the other person is worthy of being a prospective date.
If it’s dating apps, you look for honest bio like “looking for fun only” or “not into casual dating”, pictures, and hobbies. If it’s a platform like Facebook, you have more to investigate from their wall.
Within a very short time, you evaluate your compatibility and if they look interesting, you text them. Within a few hours, you get a response.
Phase 2: Familiarizing
In this phase, you both exchange texts and fun media like Snapchat, cute and funny videos and pictures of animals, memes, or literally whatever you like.
This way you know one another’s taste. You may even talk about serious stuff if you’re open to it. This phase might take from a few weeks to months.
Phase 3: Hang out
If the second phase worked for you, you feel like knowing the other person better. You hang out in person. It’s not dating yet, so you don’t call another person’s son or daughter your boyfriend or girlfriend just yet.
You only take a good look at them from up close. Your parents may mistake him/her as your partner already, but be very clear to tell them what’s cooking.
So, are you ready to date? All the teen girls, let’s find the answers here…
How to start dating as a teenager girl
As a teenage girl, you’ll face much more restrictions in your dating life than any teenage boy. Your parents only want to keep you safe. From their POV, you’re still a kid so let’s know how to start dating and stay safe to prove that you’re making the right choice…
1. March within your circle
Whether you’re an older teen or a younger one, there’s no mhow eaning to dating strangers so soon. Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college, choose someone from your institution.
It’s safe because they know if they mess up, you or your parents can access them and their parents. It’s convenient as you guys will have similar schedules. You get more time to hang out.
You can also know about their reputation from mutual friends.
If you already have someone in your circle, indirectly approach with a smile. Discuss your likes, ask theirs, and mention movies, or restaurants you wanna check out. If they get the hint, they’ll ask you out.
If they don’t, ask them on a date. Be brave, girl! Have more confidence… and if they refuse, don’t take it to heart. Even if they pass mean remarks, know that you did well avoiding a loser.
2. Enjoy your right to choose
You might not get the one you liked. Many girls date whoever comes forth during this low period (guilty laughs). Don’t go for anyone who looks cute and seek someone with compatibility.
Your friends might all have dates, but that’s not enough reason to date.
Make sure to not choose someone who’s much older or younger. Don’t go for a gap beyond 3 years.
You may debate that your parents are 10 years apart. They worked out because they’re adults, you have yet to reach that maturity level.
Older teens or young adults may convince you into sexual activity or pressure you. You have a higher risk of unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Also, some age gaps are just illegal.
3. Know them before committing
Dating is fun and casual, so no need to introduce the heavy relationship parts too soon. Take your time knowing your dating partner and keep the romantic relationship for later.
Spend time with your potential matches without any form of intimacy. Hang out like you do with friends but put your guard up.
Don’t promise them to date too fast. Have fun spending time with other potential matches too. If you don’t feel like dating someone, don’t lead them on or force yourself to socialize with them.
4. Don’t be a peer pressure victim
Girls develop at a different pace with different feelings and you’re all unique. So, if all of your friends are dating but you don’t feel an ounce of attraction for anyone… It’s okay.
There’s nothing normal to you. If a friend says you’re not normal or you can’t hang out because you don’t have a partner or you don’t get their feelings… they aren’t your friends.
They’re immature and have no idea of what they said. Befriend people who think you have the right to choose your life… because you deserve it.
If you’re interested in dating but your friends order you to only date a certain kind… if you don’t agree with their idea, deny.
5. Set boundaries and ground rules
Dating is your first step into serious relationships so you gotta build your foundation yourself. Your parents may restrict you with rules, but at some point, you’ll be responsible for yourself.
Whenever you go out on dates, tell your parents or older siblings about your plans and your date.
Leave them your date’s contact, tell them when you’ll be back, update them every hour, and keep this person’s contact on speed dial.
Don’t post about your relationship status, pictures, statuses, or tag one another on Facebook. Wait until you’re exclusive.
Decide if sexual relationships are a priority. Teen sex is risky and not your best bet. Though if you insist, insist the male to use condoms. Birth controls can’t protect you from STIs.
6. Propose group dates
You’re interested but going out with another person all alone sounds intimidating? Well, why don’t you try out group dating? Group settings will make you feel comforted.
Both of you find people among your friends who already have dates. Choose a casual or fast-food restaurant… it might even be an ice-cream parlor, movies, concerts, museums, zoos, aquariums, school cafeteria, or the park.
7. Keep an eye out for red flags
Most of you have Disney movie expectations from dating. But the other person might not be your prince charming. Look out for signs of abuse and toxicity aka red flags.
If they insult or demean you, force you against your consent (in literally anything, not just sex and making out), invade your privacy, or make you feel disrespected in any form… don’t ignore it.
This may become a major issue in the long haul, so leave them… don’t entertain apologies because they can’t take back your hurt.
8. Don’t delay while grooming
For teen girls, looking your best is important – not because your crush won’t think you’re beautiful, but because it boosts your confidence. And your best look depends on YOU!
Whether you like makeup or not, you like fitted clothes or loose ones… it’s your style.
Make sure you don’t overdo anything and dress according to date venues. For instance, wearing high heels to the amusement park won’t work out.
Plan your outfit before so you don’t run late. Punctuality is a virtue and it’ll give away a good impression. You’ll also feel calm during the date if you don’t rush.
9. Behave just as you do with friends
Since the first impression is on your mind… you may act too serious or go out of your way to look more feminine. But your best bet is the real you… not the “type” your date likes.
Your date also wants to know you well and accept you… so you can’t pretend for too long, otherwise, it’ll work for the wrong reasons.
Moreover, just as you split with your friends, insist on splitting the bills. None of you are adults so that money is either coming from part-time or your parents.
If you asked them out or chose the restaurant, insist on paying the entire bill. This is your first step to being a proud lady.
10. Pick the conversations wisely
During your date, don’t discuss anything controversial or dramatic as you might unintentionally come off rude… at least not on the first date.
For the first time, you don’t even know how they react during angry fits, so make sure to dodge politics, game teams, religion, finances, and exes.
Rather talk more about your common grounds, daily activities, how they like the outing, or tell them what you like about the date.
Discuss what else they like to plan for the next date if you enjoy it. If they didn’t enjoy it, they might not reply properly. Don’t ask them out for the next date until two days later.
However, if you’re a guy, you might wanna make the first move. Let’s check what you need to know here…
How to start dating as a teenager guy
In their teenage years, boys’ hormones get the better of them. Your parents can’t stop worrying about how to get a date as a teenager… while you worry about how to even start.
If your dad doesn’t tell you how to, you’ll find everything along with some teenage dating advice for guys here…
1. Socialize in group events and outings
Keep an eye out for more social events where you’ll meet new people. If you’re more outgoing, you’ll cross paths with many interesting people.
It’ll strengthen your social network which is pretty important for teenage boys. Attend group football match outings, rallies, and parties.
If someone catches your interest, ask a mutual friend to introduce you. This way the other person will be less wary of you.
2. Don’t forget your best bet is class
Your class is possibly the safest place to look for dates. Make sure you check everyone out whether you go to school in person or attend online classes.
If you have a school group chat, it’s a good idea to look up everyone’s pictures, if you didn’t meet any classmates for a long time. Connect with them one-to-one for homework and assignments.
Naturally, escalate it to get their personal number for homework guidance. You’ll have many ideas to start small talk.
3. Make sure you have common interests
When you slowly befriend them and talk about daily life, discuss your likes and disliked activities. Physical attraction is cool but compatibility and chemistry are even more important.
Notice if you like their personality, if your beliefs align, if you like the same sports team, interested in similar (not same) activities like music, martial arts, or anything that you do.
If you don’t have any particular interest, think if you want to try out their club. If they don’t have any particular likes, offer them to join your club.
4. Ask them out in group hangouts and plan alternatives
If you hang out in groups, your crush will feel more comfortable. An out-of-the-blue date may make them uncomfortable. Sneak into their heart with a thoughtful group event.
It might be to the arcade, amusement park, casual restaurants, or any other place that accommodates groups. Make sure to invite quite a few of your date’s friends and mutual friends.
Things may not always go as planned, so make sure you always have backup plans ready… whether it’s a one-on-one date or a group date. Have multiple date activities in mind in the same area.
Make sure your crush’s favorite activity is one of them.
5. Plan the one-on-one date with their opinion
Don’t assume your crush is comfortable with you after the group date. After the first date, discuss what else your crush likes, so you can have a second date.
Say “I was planning on watching a match this weekend, what do you feel like doing?” They’ll feel happy that you care about their choices.
Tell them that you don’t plan to have a group date this time and ask for their opinions. If they decline this offer, don’t force them.
Be respectful and say “Well, you won’t mind if it’s a group one then?”
Handle rejections maturely and try to move on soon. Take time to let your emotions go in private. Don’t be mean to them because they don’t owe you anything.
6. Be yourself during dates
When you get on that first date, you’ll be nervous so it’s hard to act your usual self. Rather, fake confidence with smiles, periodic eye contact, relaxed body, straight back, and shoulders.
Keep your head up but don’t be too tense, bend your neck naturally if your date is shorter. The lack of any of these might make you seem uninterested.
Don’t overdo it either, or else your crush might feel uncomfortable. Do it so long you feel comfortable. Don’t pretend to be an adult or try to behave like their ideal. Let them know the real you… the teen you.
7. Be prepared with conversation starters
Though it might feel obvious to talk about regular things on the date, usually you’ll be at a loss of words. Your nervousness gets the better of you and you can’t keep the conversation going.
Skim through decent conversation starters beforehand. Choose something from their individual interest or something or someone that you both hate. Stay away from risky topics.
Ask safe and open-ended questions that won’t make anyone uncomfortable. Don’t focus on yourself and always include them in the conversation.
If they ask you anything, be honest. If you don’t like their question or they bring up a sensitive matter, respectfully decline.
8. Adapt hygienic habits
This one goes without saying but hygiene is important. Brush your teeth, take showers regularly, wear fresh and clean clothes, and wash up after working out.
If you stink, your crush will run far away from you so hygiene is a priority.
However, if you naturally have body odor issues, use deodorants. Don’t try to scrub yourself too hard, else your skin won’t be happy.
9. Practice good table and interpersonal manners
The way you treat others defines you. For instance, hold the door for your date, escort them like a gentleman while crossing roads, match your pace while walking, and actively listen to them as they speak.
Make sure you have your table manners at your fingertips. Don’t eat with your mouth open or make noise while eating.
If you have finger food, clean your hands on a napkin before touching your phone or anything else.
Don’t touch your partner without their consent. Ask them before any physical contact. Make sure you treat everyone else like waiters or any passer-by with kindness too.
10. Don’t check your phone too often
Being in contact with your parents or guardian during the date is a good habit.
However, don’t focus too much on the phone while you’re together. Your date expects undivided attention, so don’t check social media during that.
If you’re having an intimate conversation, put your phone on vibration. This way your date will feel cherished. Put your phone in your pocket, so even if it vibrates, you can get back to it later.
If you’re not heterosexual or don’t identify as a boy or girl, this is a tough phase for you. So, follow me for answers…
How to start dating for LGBTQ Teens and Tweens
If you’re an LGBTQ teen or tween, it’s hard to be open about your choices so soon. Even if your parents accept you, they may not know how to guide you through. So, let’s find a way together here…
1. Understand how to date healthily
To you, is dating all about fun? Do you want to experiment with your sexuality? Do you want a long-term relationship? Be specific on your needs so you don’t lead anyone on.
How will you behave in the relationship? Respect, trust, open communication, freedom other than exclusivity, and no sexual coercion on your partner… all of these are important in healthy dating relationships.
If either of you tries to control the other emotionally, physically, and/or sexually, disrespect, or abuse the other… that’s a definition of an unhealthy relationship.
Focus on building healthy relationships and treating your partner well. If your partner introduces unhealthy dynamics in the relationship, end it.
2. Are you ready to come out of the closet?
For teens and tweens, coming out of the closet is a hard topic. You can’t date a person of your desired gender or sexuality if you don’t.
Even if you find out a way, your partner must know, else it’s not a relationship at all. Dating in secret is a possibility (more on that later).
Be open to your partner if you want to make it work.
3. Discuss it with your caregiver
Discuss dating with your guardian and ask them for tips and rules for teenage dating and about when they first had sex.
If your parents stop you from dating because of age, either try convincing them or accept that there’s a good reason behind it.
If you’re already out of the closet, a lot of time parents can’t help you instantly. So, bear with it because nobody is omniscient. This conversation might happen through days as your parents find more info for you.
If nobody supports you, search online for LGBTQ dating tips for teens.
4. Don’t please your crush too much
If you already have a special person and hold mutual feelings, that’s great.
For those who didn’t find anyone yet, make sure to find someone you know in your neighborhood, school, or any club/course. You’ll have lesser chances of heartbreaks and betrayal if you know one another.
It’s too early for online dating if you’re under 16, so don’t ponder on dating sites. Also, don’t try too hard to please your crush, don’t let them walk all over you, or don’t give up your morals for them.
Be confident about what you want and who you are.
5. Discuss expectations and boundaries with your crush
If this person doesn’t know about your feelings, confess your feelings and ask if they’re interested. Easy to say but so hard to execute… but that’s how it always works.
If they decline, politely end the convo, shed your tears at home, and never blame yourself for it. Everyone goes through rejections, so don’t dwell on it.
If they accept, take them on a date and discuss your boundaries. How do you want to be treated? What are you uncomfortable with? What are your needs? How much time do you need?
Discuss digital boundaries that you won’t share passwords. State your physical and sexual boundaries too… like if hand-holding, cuddling, hugs, and kisses are allowed… whether you want sex anytime soon or later.
6. Know one another with dates
Take time to know one another during dates. Plan your dates alternatively so nobody feels left out. When you communicate during dates, pay attention to them.
Initially, awkward silences are normal so don’t feel conscious about it. Don’t cover them up with silly questions and filter your words well. Take time to share your life deets, so never rush.
7. Never abandon your friends or life
Your friends are a source of support in your life. Don’t forget them while you’re busy dating. Though easier said than done, many people naturally forget about their friends.
It’s not intentional, but it happens. Unless your friends are busy dating or have other genuine plans… not the “plans” to not make you feel guilty… give them time. If not, they’ll also return the favor.
God forbid it never happens, but during your relationship lows or breakups, you won’t have anyone to rely on.
Don’t forget about your life either. You have many commitments like your studies, extracurricular activities, etc. Don’t forget those because those will help you grow.
8. Be intimate without sex
Sex is way more interesting to tweens and teens because of their raging hormones. However, is your body really ready for sex? Don’t have sex out of peer pressure or think everyone had it and you must too.
For now, begin with physical intimacy like cuddling and relaxing in their arms, massaging one another’s back, and letting go of the tension.
Join a dance class to decrease the distance… It’ll also be a great way to exercise together.
Or, join an online cooking class and try out some delicious recipes. Sex isn’t the only way to build intimacy so invite creativity in your relationship.
9. Think hard before having sex
Sex is an important decision, so it’s best if you hold back until you’re 18. It’s about legality and your body’s maturity. However, if you’re interested in sex… it’s hard to find the right time.
Talk with your friends about their sexual life to know more. If you don’t want to have sex or feel self-conscious, you don’t need to.
If you want to have sex, make sure it’s legal before 18 in your nation and find age-appropriate sex-ed content to educate yourself about it.
Emphasize protecting yourself from STIs as you can get them even without penetrative sex.
Use protections like condoms, dental dams, and contraceptives if one person has a penis and the other vagina.
10. Work with communication and consent
During sex, don’t forget to communicate how you want to be pleased. Tell them your likes and dislikes in bed.
If the sexual activity hurts or feels uncomfortable, express it verbally. Don’t expect your partner to understand it. Encourage your partner to communicate honestly in bed.
Communication will help you feel more connected while pleasing one another. Take consent to have sexual activities and to continue them.
Make sure your partner also asks for consent from you. It’s all about respecting one another’s choices and boundaries.
If your parents can’t accept your dating itself or the idea of dating your gender, consider the following idea…
How to date secretly in your teenage years?
If your parents don’t want you to date, there may be proper reasons behind it. It doesn’t mean you must date secretly or go against their wishes.
However, if they’re being unreasonably overbearing, then go through these…
1. Understand the risks of hiding it
If your parents ever found out that you’re dating, they may never trust you again. The consequences? You might not get freedom even after reaching adulthood.
They might never let you date or make your own decisions when you grow up. That’s a lot to risk at such a tender age.
Keeping secrets will stress you both and make you feel guilty. It may also impact your physical and emotional wellness. Though not an issue initially, in the long run, it becomes too much.
2. Be aware of unwanted pregnancy
Since your parents won’t allow you, they won’t tell you about the necessary facts. If your school didn’t provide you with sex-ed, read some content online.
To summarize, during adolescence your raging hormones intensify your feelings for one another. It’s possible to feel like having sex and within a spur of a moment… you or your partner misses their period.
Unwanted pregnancy will impact your future. You may argue some teen parents are very happy. Well, it all depends on how they handle it and most don’t do it well.
Though condoms may reduce your chances of pregnancy, it depends if you both can use them properly.
3. It’s possible that they’re not worth the shot
If you keep it a secret from your parents, you’ll also shy away from expressing any abuse or crimes in the relationship. Initially, nothing looks fishy… the bad people take time to show their true colors.
You might be unable to express yourself or reach out for help in abuse, rape, or partaking in something wrong. Such incidents might traumatize you forever.
Many victims of teen dating violence contemplate suicide which isn’t right. It’s not your fault, but you feel guilty for letting it happen.
4. Understand your partner’s feelings
Is your partner okay with keeping the relationship secret? They might feel that they’re an embarrassment. If your partner is also a teen (they must), it’ll gravely impact their psychological health.
They might harbor negative feelings towards you and the relationship. It may lead to an unexpected breakup in the end.
5. Put yourself in your parents’ shoes
Ask your parents what’s wrong with dating. Don’t throw a tantrum, they’ll focus on your behavior rather than answering you.
No hard feelings for your parents, but most try to prove their child’s opinions wrong. So, act maturely, be respectful, and understand their fears.
This will help you understand the situation better and deal with it easily.
6. Try to solve your parents’ concerns
After knowing the concerns, ask them how to ease their discomfort. Showing maturity is one way to prove you’re ready to date. Know if you can ease their hearts with some rules.
They may ask you to follow certain rules to prove you’re capable of taking care of yourself. Diligently follow them and never say that they don’t understand you. They have your best in mind.
Offer to follow certain rules like introducing your partner to your parents, sharing their and their parents’ contacts with their consent, hourly checking in, going to public places only, or even going on dates with an adult.
7. Seek other adults
If compromising doesn’t help or your parents flat out reject you even when you’re prepared to follow all rules… involve another adult.
It might be an aunt, uncle, older siblings, cousins, school counselor, or a teacher to help convince your parents. Your parents may feel disappointed and angry for involving third parties.
Don’t try to return to their rude behavior. Respectfully tell them that you only wanted to convince them, but they didn’t listen to anything about it.
8. Communicate with your partner if you’ll keep secrets
If your parents don’t agree at all, discuss dating secretly with your partner. Hiding the reasons from them will hurt them immensely. If your partner is up for dating after knowing your reasons, begin your journey.
Communicate about your activity on social media. Keep your social media accounts private, don’t post anything about one another or the relationship, and don’t tag one another either.
Keep public display of affections (PDA) off-limits. Otherwise, people will tell your parents if they notice.
Introduce one another as a friend to literally everyone. Right from your parents to your best friends. You both must follow this rule to keep your secrets safe.
Your parents might find them fishy but you gotta keep convincing them. Ask your partner if they’re fine with these.
9. Secure your social media and devices
Change all of your passwords like your email, social media, smartphone, or any other device you have. Don’t use your name, birthdate, phone number, or favorite character as your password.
Your parents will easily guess them so make a hard to crack the password. Choose your favorite song and use the last characters of the song sentence like so = “etsfegeeo”.
Add in a relevant digit and special character in the lot.
If your parents are suspicious of your new passwords, make an excuse about how someone got cheated because they didn’t have/change their device password.
10. Confide in someone
You and your partner are both stressed from the secret-keeping. It hurts you psychologically so you need to let it out. Other than one another, you need someone else to confide in.
Don’t choose a fellow classmate or someone of your age. They might rat you out and get you in trouble… even unintentionally. They might even try taking revenge on you for bad fights.
Rather, confide in an elder like an aunt, uncle, or school counselor.
Before you begin dating, go through some last-minute advice here…
Teen dating advice
Whether you began dating or plan to soon, take note of some important teenage dating advice for guys and girls.
Due to your age, you’re prone to making mistakes. So, prepare yourself with better ethics and manners and have a stable dating life with these…
1. Don’t push away your friends
When teens start dating, they push away their friends for the thrill. However, when all teen dates don’t result in long-term relationships. You ought to have difficulties down the lane.
Who will you seek then? Your parents are there, but it’s unlikely they’ll stay 24 hours. Your friends will support you later, so be kind to them.
2. Prioritize your instincts
Your friends and even siblings may mock you for not dating. However, don’t force yourself into it. Listen to your heart and don’t dance at others’ fingertips.
Whether you want to behave a certain way in relationships, date in a particular manner, or have a different definition of dating… pay attention to your needs and you’ll date successfully.
3. Identify your knacks
Join activities and school clubs, nourish your talents, focus on your own growth, and then start dating.
You’ll find more dates this way. You’ll also learn to understand and appreciate people better in your life. You’ll know what kind of person you want in your life.
4. Take your time before sex
Sex in teen dating really isn’t common. Rather, the rate of teens having sex is steadily falling. There’s no rush to have sex so fast.
Take time to understand other aspects of a relationship first. Enjoy the fun of innocence and other activities suitable for your age.
5. Prioritize communication over assumptions
You may hear from your BFF that your partner was in the lovers’ spot with someone else. Cool, but before you call out your partner, demand a clarification. Don’t announce your judgment on them.
6. Be clear about exclusivity
Do you want to date exclusively, i.e., see/date/flirt with nobody else but one another? Or will you keep it casual? Choose what works for you and come to a mutual agreement with your partner.
7. Don’t dwell on rejections
During your teens, rejections and breakups are much more common. If you feel sad about it, reach out to someone for support like an elder or school counselor. Do everything to help yourself to move on.
Rather, accept that the failures help you understand what kind of people and behaviors are red flags.
8. Befriend people before proposing
Never ask a stranger out because you’re putting yourself and your mental health at risk that way. Moreover, there’s a higher chance of rejection in this case.
Take time to know if you’re compatible and if they’re interested, and then make a move.
9. Discuss it with your parents or school counselor
Your parents are experienced so they can guide you about dating with their own insights and experiences. Know the appropriate age to date as per your counselor or guardian, and learn the meaning of consent.
Know your boundaries, where you should avoid going on dates, whether you should visit one another at home, about online and digital safety, etc.
10. Don’t date to be happy
Don’t depend on another person to be happy. That’s dependency or obsession, not love so snap out of it. Be happy and content with yourself as a single person.
Dating is a responsibility and it’s unfair to expect someone else to bring you happiness. What if they depend back on you to be happy?
11. Understand the meaning of love
Love is all about the heart… that’s not true at all. In fact, your brain has a lot to do with it. Be practical and stop overlooking any potential red flags.
If your partner is mean to others, they aren’t an ice-cold beauty, they’re just mean. If they don’t do well in school, how will they ever take responsibility for themselves?
12. Date a person, not a project
Don’t choose someone whom you wanna fix or make a better person… because they never change, hun. Rather, you waste a whole lot of time on a failed project.
That doesn’t mean you must look for perfect people because you’ll never find them. If you want a princess or a knight, lower your standards and accept them with superficial flaws.
13. Date someone who sticks to their values
Find someone who doesn’t hate the idea of marriage. I don’t expect them to marry you at 18. However, if someone says they’re dating for fun only, exclusivity and loyalty are out of the question.
Also, if they say they’ll not let your son or daughter date when you have in the future… that means they aren’t true to their values and have double standards. Leave ASAP.
14. Make notes your partner’s temper closely
What do they do when they’re angry at someone? Do they treat others poorly? If yes, then they might treat you the same if you guys have relationship conflicts. Don’t date a person who’s bad at dealing with them.
15. Don’t rush to judge the relationship
In the beginning, you don’t notice your relationship issues and differences. With time, they become visible. But before you judge your relationship take time whether it’s really that bad or good.
Moreover, your relationship is good if you can handle bad times together… Anyone can enjoy the good times.
16. Learn to say “no”
You may feel guilty about hurting your partner when you want to decline their requests. Teens usually unwillingly agree to many things.
That’s not a healthy habit, learn to say no in front of a mirror because your opinion counts.
17. Keep the casual sex low
If you guys are into casual sex, don’t indulge in it too frequently. You might unintentionally develop feelings for your casual partner because of the oxytocin boost.
Things will get worse in that situation, so handle your body and emotions carefully.
18. Don’t fix a broken relationship
If the relationship doesn’t seem to go too well and your date wants to break up too, don’t try to mend it. Let it go because that person isn’t for you if they don’t try as hard as you.
19. Be aware of social media cons
Don’t add unknown people to your social media accounts. Keep your privacy settings to friends or close friends.
Don’t attract unnecessary attention with comments on public posts. You never know who might stalk you.
Don’t share anything private like your door lock pin, card details, your picture (in messages), or nudes to anyone online.
20. Don’t ghost anyone
If you wanna break up, don’t disappear from their life. If breaking up in person seems tough, do it over texts or calls.
Don’t let them feel used and don’t judge anyone on their appearances online. Your small rudeness can hurt another unimaginably, so be kind while breaking up.
But that’s not all, there are more strict rules from family. So, brace yourself for these…
Teen Dating Rules
Teen dating will be hard because you don’t have enough experience in the world. Your parents might seem partial and stubborn.
They don’t expect you to behave maturely, so show them that you’re growing with these…
1. Embrace situational rules
Your older sibling who’s also a teen may get more freedom. Don’t fuss about it because your parents put more restrictions on you for your safety.
If you’re not even 16, don’t feel your parents are unfair as they chaperone you to dates. Be grateful they care about your safety.
2. Communicate with your parents daily
Your parents will ask about your relationship, what you did on the date, where you went, and who else was there. Answer them honestly and share what’s on your mind.
You’re new to this so you definitely have questions. For instance, “Is it okay if we hold hands?”, “How much touching is alright?”, etc.
3. Consider exploring your life
Teen dating is a great way to know your likes and dislikes in another human and about life interests. This is the time to go on a variety of adventures and try out new interests.
Tell your parents you plan to make the best of your teen life. Get their opinion on it and continue the fun.
Bind yourself to a rule that you won’t date a person twice. This way you’ll know more people and learn what you actually want in a partner.
4. Introduce them to your parents
Your parents are dead sick wondering what kind of people you date. Why not invite your date over to your place when your family is around? This will give them peace of mind and they’ll nag you less.
They’ll also think you’re growing up and allow you more freedom with time. If something goes wrong, your parents will know just how to console you.
Don’t underestimate your parents’ intuitions, reconsider if they say someone isn’t good news.
5. Deal with the minor mistakes yourself
Dating and relationships are tough. You’ll make mistakes from time to time. Don’t call our parents every time you make a mess.
Ask for advice and tell them you wanna deal with it yourself.
6. Don’t accept overprotective gestures
Don’t let your parents run into all issues and take over the fixing. Honestly, they won’t be around forever so ask them to support you.
Get help to grow up into an independent person. Ask them to trust you a bit more if you didn’t already wreck chaos.
7. Don’t expect too much freedom
Your parents won’t ignore you dating at a tender age. So, there will be some restrictions and ground rules.
Don’t defy them because they’re all for your well-being. If you think your parents are putting unnecessary rules on you, seek help from a school counselor.
8. Don’t accept negative talk
If your parents are too pessimistic, all the time… ask them to stop. They’re instilling unnecessary fear about you dating another person that might scare you from socializing too.
Focus on valuing yourself and others, rather than assuming a certain gender or person is an opportunist.
9. Don’t ignore your family
Your date won’t probably stay for the long haul. So, don’t prioritize them over family. If your family outing clashes with your dates, choose your family. After that, if you have time, meet your date.
Have dinner with your family, bond with them, and maintain a healthy relationship. If not, they might get the wrong vibes.
10. Don’t ignore your parents’ warnings
If you engage in dangerous activities or have a toxic or abusive relationship… your parents may warn you about them or force you away from your partner.
Don’t hold a grudge against them and know the reasons behind their actions. You can’t accept it initially, but with time you’ll know if they were right to do that.
Want to find dates online? Let’s choose from these…
Teen Dating Apps
Wondering how to get a date as a teenager? Perhaps, all of your known friends are taken? Or, do you want to find someone with specific interests? Or, are you more interested in online dating for teens?
Before you create a profile, check out some other apps like Tinder here…
1. Happn (18+, iOS and Android)
In real life, whenever you cross paths with another user (1-850ft), the app shows their profile on your timeline. However, any creepy user can find you on the app. So, make sure you secure your privacy settings.
2. Coffee Meets Bagel (18+, iOS and Android)
The app suggests you limited matches every afternoon so no more endless swipes. It also suggests icebreakers. You may come across creeps in the suggestions, so make sure to use their report feature.
3. Taffy (17+, iOS)
The app blurs your profile picture and it only clears when someone talks to you frequently… so, no more judgment based on looks. However, it’s a new app so you may not find too many great matches.
4. Skout (17+, iOS and Android)
You may check through prospective matches’ profiles to start a chat. But if you wanna have fun, shake your phone and find a random pair. However, random strangers might not be good news. Some paid features come with premium accounts only at $9.99/month.
5. Bumble Date (18+, iOS and Android)
You swipe right to find matches. If it’s a heterosexual pair, the app has a rule that women must make the first move, else the match expires after 24 hours. However, if the girl feels too shy, this might not work.
6. Yubo (12+, iOS and Android)
Former name: Yellow. It is a mix of Snapchat and Tinder. You right-swipe to get matches and chat with videos. It makes sure to get rid of fake profiles but creeps are always there. Many people use it as a hookup site and their android app lacks many features.
7. Nearify (no age limit, iOS, and Android)
It suggests local events and you can invite friends with it. You can also check who is interested in the events. But you won’t get matches and people may not update their whereabouts on Facebook.
8. The Game (13-18, iOS and Android)
The app prohibits obscene content and doesn’t allow many features to profile without pictures. But people can still use fake pictures and adults get to lie about their age.
9. MyLOL (13-19, iOS and Android)
They ban fake profiles even if it’s a fake age. You can filter people with age and gender. You can report creeps to local police with the app and it deletes their profile. Profiles without pictures obstruct you from guessing their age.
10. MeetMe (18+, iOS and Android)
It provides you with a secure platform with thorough content and policies on its app and website. But the app was sued for not verifying user birth details and all user details were open to everyone.
11. Spotafriend – Meet Teens (13-19, iOS and Android)
The app specifically shows matches only of your registered age on the platform. However, their “More than Friends” section isn’t teen-appropriate.
12. Kik (13+, iOS and Android)
You can find different groups of your liking with hashtags, join your preferred community, and meet new people with commons. A creep may be interested in the same thing as you, but you can block them on the app.
13. Tinder (18+, iOS and Android)
They show you people in the local radius if you buy their “turbo” services. But it’s mainly for flings and not for serious commitments.
14. Zoosk (18+, iOS and Android)
The system allows users of any gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, and religion. The system uses behavioral matchmaking technology to find someone similar. But you may not always want someone with similar habits.
15. Match (18+, iOS and Android)
To create a profile on this app, you need a lot of time because of the wide variety and security. It’s based more on serious relationships and popular for marriages too. It has something for everyone of any age bracket.
16. Teen Dating Site (16+, Android)
This free app allows the quickest ever sign-in as you can log in with Facebook and Google+. You get GPS matching on the mobile app which isn’t available on the website. But stay alert to stalkers and never share private info.
17. Our Teen Network (forum for teens)
It’s a free forum for teens to mingle. They allow you to choose a date of your age range but the security isn’t as tight. You can connect with other apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Insta and search for people on those sites.
18. OK Zoomer (18+, iOS and Android)
A free dating website that allows video dating. It has hookup and dating services. The app is very famous but still in its beta version.
19. Teenber (13-19, iOS and Android)
This app is completely like Tinder but it’s for teens. Instant messaging is quite fun on this app. It was initially free but later had paid services. There aren’t many matches on the app.
20. Teen Chat (13-19, Android)
The dating site is free, rewards genuine accounts, and punishes harassers and creeps. The site prioritizes safety and has specific ways to weed out fake profiles from chat rooms. However, they don’t have any control over inappropriate content.
Wondering what to do during the dates? Well, get some help from here…
Teen Dating Activities and Ideas
Honestly speaking, don’t focus on teen dating activities only. Rather, be more perceptive about what your date likes.
Communicate your likes to one another to figure it out. However, if you’re completely clueless, give these a shot…
1. Visit the Zoo
Pay a visit to this nostalgic place and you’ll find many stories to share with one another.
Roam around aimlessly, share your favorite and disliked animals, and enjoy a meal when you’re hungry. Don’t forget to feed some animals and share the love.
2. Hit up the arcade
Gaming isn’t only for teenage boys. So, if you both are into a friendly competition, compete in as many games as you can.
Don’t force yourself or your partner if pocket money is an issue. Have fun with a sporty spirit.
3. Have ice creams
If you both like sweet and cold desserts, nothing beats ice cream. It’s affordable so you can have many, delicious, you can take your time having them sitting in the parlor. It’s way more satisfying and fun than dinners.
4. Compete in bike riding
If you watched Stranger Things, you know how fun bike riding is. You can even have your sweet time revamping your bikes.
Bike riding is refreshing, boosts oxytocin, and is a great exercise. Make sure you don’t ride on main roads.
5. Visit an amusement park
This is a classic date despite your age. If you don’t mind thrilling rides, this is a great place to have fun, make memories, laugh, have meaningful conversations in between, and confess when you reach the top of the Ferris wheel.
6. Volunteer for a noble cause
If you and your partner love to share the love with the needy, this is the right age to begin.
On your next date, support your beliefs, and show your partner the kind of person you are.
7. Join a cooking or baking class
Join an online cooking or baking class from the comfort of your home. Enjoy making amazing delicacies and savories together.
Make sure there’s an adult around while you work with the oven. Surprise one another’s family with delish food.
8. Have the cheapest food crawl
If nobody has a sensitive stomach and you both love food, search for the most frugal eateries around.
Have a cheap food crawl until your heart fills with joy. Choose what each of you likes yourself and know one another through the date.
9. Walk in the park
If you like simple dates, take a stroll in the park, holding one another’s hands. It’s romantic, fun, and a nice way to bond.
Since there’s nothing else to do than enjoy the breeze, you can give your date undivided attention.
10. Sweat in Yoga pants
Don’t use it for first dates… nobody will feel comfortable. Once you know one another a bit more, this is a nice way to add in more laughs. Watch one another miserably fail in holding poses and pump your muscles.
11. Go to Botanical Gardens
If either of you loves greenery with colors and nobody is allergic to pollen, this is a great idea. Take your time talking about the beauty of greenery.
Wander through the lush green shrubs and babble about your favorite plants.
12. Hit up the Aquarium
If you’re dating secretly, the aquarium’s dim lighting is perfect for holding hands without others noticing.
The ambiance is so soothing and the colorful fish makes it look majestic. While watching the beautiful marine life, know one another’s life stories.
13. Shop in the Farmers Market
It’s high time you help out your family with some chores. Ask your parents for a veggie list and money and grab fresh produce from the farmers’ market.
This is a perfect way to show your parents that dating improved your life.
14. Have a Study Date
This is a crucial period in your life and your only responsibilities are studying. On your next date, bring out your books and study hard.
Ask one another for tutoring, and learn that relationships are about fighting together. It’s not just flowers and chocolates.
15. Hit up Art Galleries
Many art galleries offer free entry or have pay-as-you-like offers. So, if you want a really cheap yet classy date, this might be the best shot.
Appreciate the wide variety of pieces and share your perceptions to familiarize yourself with one another.
16. Compete online
If meeting in person is a no-go, compete in two-player online games. There are many easy and fun games available that you can play on mobile without downloading apps like Skribble and GarticPhone. Challenge one another in funny ways.
17. Build blanket forts
If it’s raining outside and you can’t go out, no need to cancel dates anymore. Instead, have an alternative plan ready.
Make forts out of blankets and pillows at home. Listen to the raindrops tapping on the window or watch a movie.
18. Play your favorite sport
If you met in the sports club, why not challenge them to a one-on-one match? If you both are into different sports, then teach one another your sports.
This is a continuous date activity, so don’t miss out on practice!
19. Go for group karaoke
If there are other couples among your friends, spend a day in the Karaoke booth. Make sure you both bring in trusted friends, so nothing goes wrong during the date. Sing along and have fun with friends and your date.
20. Bury the time capsules
If you feel this relationship is precious, print out pictures of your dating life, write a letter for the future-you and your partner, throw in more memorable stuff, and bury it around your property. Hopefully, your future self will love it.
Wondering why your parents are against dating so early? Let’s make it clear with these…
Impacts of Dating as a Teen
Dating in your teens and tweens has drastic effects. Scholars found that impacts of dating at a young age are much more complex than it seems.
Some causes are peer pressure and feeling the need to have a sense of similarity. Some common impacts are…
1. You lose your childhood
Everyone doesn’t get a beautiful childhood so elders always ask you to enjoy it while you have the time. However, teen dating relationships make you want to act like adults.
You wear makeup, talk about getting girls, kissing, body count… your priorities change. You lose your childhood amidst this dating rat race.
Though you don’t fully understand the commitments and responsibilities, you take on too much on yourself.
2. You might marry too early
Nowadays, both men and women wait until their late twenties to mid-thirties to get married. They want to explore the world and grow into a responsible and successful person.
Dating at a young age snatches your ability to understand reality. Teenagers may marry too early while they’re both unprepared to take the responsibility of a household. However, this doesn’t happen in healthy teen dating scenarios.
3. You may have unsafe sex
Your romantic feelings will at some point lead you to physical and sexual intimacy. Before 18 you don’t have enough maturity to understand safe sex and the consequences of unsafe sex.
You may end up with unwanted pregnancies, become teen parents, and/or get STIs and STDs. Being a parent isn’t an easy road on your physical, emotional, or mental health
4. Your grades may fall
Dating is a whole new excitement for teens, so it’s easy to lose track of life. If you spend too much time on your date and neglect your studies, it’s easy to affect your academic performance.
You’re either busy texting, calling, being romantic, fixing fights… dating has too many responsibilities. If you don’t prioritize your studies yourself, even strict parents can’t help you.
5. It may strain your family life
When you become a parent, you’ll know how hard it’s to talk to your teen. Due to hormonal fluctuations in adolescence, teens become too sensitive and confused about life.
Parents are always worried sick about your wellbeing. You think they nag you without cause, but they know the possible outcomes of this phase.
If you date against your parents’ wishes or rebel against their rules, it will ruin your relationship with your parents.
6. You might get into substance abuse
During your teenage years, you want to show off your cool mature side. Or, you don’t want to disappoint your partner.
To be more like an adult, you guys get ideas about doing substances from movies and TV shows.
One of you starts doing it to look cool, show off to your friends and dates, influence the others into it, and you all get a bad addiction too early for your body. This also results in hormonal imbalance.
7. You might get deep emotional scars
Teens are prone to feeling insecure about their changing bodies. Teens physically mature at different speeds and due to hormonal imbalance, many get side effects like acne.
You might worry that your crush might think you’re ugly… and leave you for a prettier woman. Sometimes, that really happens and it leaves a deep impact.
Moreover, if you have to initiate a breakup, it’s equally painful for a young soul. This might result in long-term emotional trauma.
8. You’re prone to teen dating violence
During adolescence, your emotions become unstable due to raging hormones. You’re more prone to begin fights, get jealous, feel stressed, lose self-esteem, and handle situations wrongly.
If you see other violent teen friends, you may think that’s the right thing to do. This happens more when you date without parental guidance. You may also be a victim of any form of abuse.
Since you don’t have the maturity to understand the rights and wrongs, you play along to please your partner (as a victim) or yourself (as a perpetrator).
It makes you more prone to self-harm, mental issues, addiction, being bullied, or bullying in adult life.
9. You lose many friends
In relationships, people want to spend all their time with their partners. However, in teens, you must nourish your friendships over dating relationships. Your friends will stay for the long run, your date might not.
You ignore your friends’ invitations and special days because you want to be with him/her.
Along the way, your friends stop contacting you because you always decline them. You lose many friends and become all alone.
10. You may be prone to self-harm
Breakup is a touchy topic for teens… Many get into depression after facing rejection and teen dating violence. You might become suicidal or get addicted to harming yourself.
This is a serious situation, so if you ever have such thoughts… seek your caregiver or school counselor before it’s too late. Keep your distance from people who hurt you to cope with the situation.
11. You might become over-dependent
With dating early, you get used to being with someone all the time. You forget what it’s to be independent and take your own responsibilities.
Once you break up, you yearn to depend on someone else for emotional support or happiness and forget how to be happy with yourself.
You jump into relationships thoughtlessly to fulfill your needs and lower your standards to date literally anyone.
Your partners may feel too pressured in the relationship and leave you repeatedly.
12. You become negatively self-conscious
Many teens second-guess their appeal after breakups. They feel they weren’t pretty/handsome enough for their ex. They compare themselves with their ex’s new partner… and try to change themselves.
You define beautiful with your ex’s new partner and ugly with yourself. Your ex might say that you’re not pretty during breakups or you assume it from TV shows and movies.
You might obsess with unhealthy food diets at this tender age to reach certain fitness goals… which might harm your growth.
13. You might hate relationships in adulthood
Breakups at a young age are too devastating. It might shake you to the core so hard that you hate the thought of relationships. You might become emotionally unavailable because you fear the pain.
You push away meaningful relationships… further, you make yourself lonely during your darkest hours. You rather have one-night stands and have casual sex, than commit to anyone.
14. You might have difficulty making an identity
While dating, your partner gets your entire attention. You know what kind of person they are and ignore your needs. As a teenager, you know yourself, your likes and dislikes, boundaries, and passions.
Dating gets in the way of knowing yourself. When you’re an adult, you might feel that everyone wants to do something in life… whereas you may not identify your goal yet.
If you can’t figure out your aspirations as a teenager, your professional life might become messy.
15. You might not get a great job
If your dating life impacted your grades, this will definitely haunt your professional life. It’ll be hard to bag a job if you perform poorly in the academy.
Your interviewer will judge you based on it and assume you can’t handle emotions well or that you let personal life get in the way of your life.
Moreover, if you date a coworker, you won’t be able to stay professional if you have relationship issues and your employer will suffer.
A word from ThePleasantRelationship
Many teenagers defend their desire to date as “This is my life, let me live it”. Remember, that it’s yours and that’s why the consequences of dating, good or bad, will stay with you forever.
Teen dating isn’t bad so long as you don’t lose sight of your life aim. Your date might be an absolute cutey or drop-dead gorgeous… but are they worth losing your morals over?
Will putting their name on your resume get you better jobs? Be true to yourself and date responsibly!
I know some parents are also here. Learn how to talk to teenage girls about dating. There’s no single answer to “When should teens start dating?” because it depends on your child’s maturity.
Support your child rather than governing them like tyrants.
Are you interested to know more about ‘Millennial Dating’ then click here?
Surabhi wakes up every day with a drive to craft words that can create a soulful impact. Creatively adventurous, she is always seeking to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. With a hidden soft corner for languages (especially Urdu), she writes poetry occasionally, binges on romantic shows, and LOVES to talk. A hustler, admirer, chaser, Surabhi is just another-someone who refused to give up on her dreams. She says, she is just somebody who’s trying to make herself a writer and for now, she’s just writing...