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S/O What is the point of teenage dating?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
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Another post in here got me thinking. What is the point of teenage dating?

Frankly, to me, teenage "dating" is more an introduction to sex and intimacy and emotions that hormone driven teenagers are not equipped to handle. Teenagers have no real purpose for dating, they aren't learning anything valuable in the process, they certainly aren't learning about "how to have a relationship" as a teenager (again with the hormones come the drama and garbage). Very few people end up marrying any of the people they dated during their teenage years.

In our family, someone starts dating for one reason, to get to know someone for the purpose of marriage and family. That is just our culture. So until you are ready (emotionally, physically, financially, etc) for marriage, there is no point in dating. Our children (17 and 16) are getting ready to start college and have never been on a date, they've never even asked to go on a date. They've had friends over for dinner or a movie night or game night but there's never been any dating.

Our children have no interest in dating. It's frequently a topic of conversation (usually because of posts like the one that got me thinking or things we see in the neighborhood or hear about) and our kids think dating as a teenager is really stupid because he (our oldest) thinks it leads to the serial marriages that are so common in this society (like, date, fall in love, fall out of love, start the process with someone new over and over again, leading to the same reaction in marriage - like, date, love, marriage, fall out of love, divorce, start over with someone new). He has friends who date and he has said that he thinks what they have been through, dating as teenagers, is more destructive to future relationships than his never having been on a date! So I do not understand. I did not date until I was 19. My DH did not date as a teenager but did when he left home and joined the Marines. He had 2 girlfriends before me but neither of us had sex until after we were married. We are still married 20 years later.

Teenagers are far from ready for marriage so why throw them into that mix? What is the purpose? What do you think it teaches?

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM
I dated a guy my junior and senior year. We just clicked. Never had sex though. At 18 I moved on. I haven't seen him since. He was just fun to hang and make out with in HS. ;)
ksueditz
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM
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How to relate to the opposite sex w/o the restrictions of parents watching their every move. To discover what kind of person they would be interested in, as a partner.
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mommaoftwo
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM
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I started dating around 13, well.... I had boyfriends. I didn't start actually dating like going out places, until Freshman year, I had just turned 15 and I asked DH to be my boyfriend.

We have been together for 12 yrs, married for 8 and have soon to be five, lovely children

emeraldangel2.0
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:40 PM
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um you're so far off base. it taught me how to build a relationship, and it also taught me how heartbreak felt. i didn't have sex with the first guy i dated. and I dated the guy i lost my virginity to for a year before taking that step.

things may be different in your house but that doesn't give you the right to say that about all teens

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM
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Quoting ksueditz:

How to relate to the opposite sex w/o the restrictions of parents watching their every move. To discover what kind of person they would be interested in, as a partner.

But people change so much in just a few short years. I was a completely different person at 19 than I was at 16. Using that as a standard (how I was at 16) would have led me to the wrong person.

How does dating at 15 or 16 help you chose who you want as a life partner? At 15 or 16 most children do not know what they want for themselves let alone in someone else. So 2 teenagers cannot interact and learn about being with the opposite sex with parents around? Why not? (I'm not saying mom and dad should be in the same room all the time but I am certainly against two 16 year olds going out on a date, alone) Don't they get that interaction in school? Why should they have to be away from parents to figure out how to interact with the other sex (unless they are wanting to be away from parents for other reasons, i.e., sexual exploration)?

I'm sorry, I do not see any logic to your response. What is wrong with waiting until you are an adult and more ready (mature) to take on the emotional burdens brought about from dating? Why does this country insist on aging our children so quickly? On putting adult responsibilities on children who are not emotionally ready to carry that burden?

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:42 PM
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while your son seems really smart and mature for his age.  I think you need to 'practice' being in relationships with people...it doesn't have to be something super serious. but learning how to relate to people and figuring out what you want/don't want in a partner takes a little practice...

disneymom2two
by Gold Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM

"our kids think dating as a teenager is really stupid because he (our oldest) thinks it leads to the serial marriages that are so common in this society (like, date, fall in love, fall out of love, start the process with someone new over and over again, leading to the same reaction in marriage - like, date, love, marriage, fall out of love, divorce, start over with someone new). "

I dated as a teenager, didn't have sex until I was in college, and have been married for almost 17 years.  

Not_A_Native
by Platinum Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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So they can learn how to relate to the opposite sex.  And no, it doesnt have to be about sex - but it might be (and for me, that's ok as long as they're on birth control and are safe).  They have no idea - until they date - what type of person they WANT to spend time with.

They need to learn how to say, hey, this relationship isn't working, and I'm breaking up with you.  And they need to be on the opposite side as well - the one who is broken up with, so they know that things like this can happen and they will survive.

You may have a culture where dating is a prelude to marriage - but we don't even EXPECT marriage.  If one of my kids wants to date, and be an independent woman - fine.  There isn't a "need" to get married, or even have a steady relationship.

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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Quoting emeraldangel2.0:

um you're so far off base. it taught me how to build a relationship, and it also taught me how heartbreak felt. i didn't have sex with the first guy i dated. and I dated the guy i lost my virginity to for a year before taking that step.

things may be different in your house but that doesn't give you the right to say that about all teens

Doesn't give me the right to say what? What did I say that offended you so greatly?

Why should you have to experience heartbreak? Had you waited you may have found the right person and never had to experience heartbreak. I have never felt heartbreak from a relationship, only love. That's true love. Why should you have to go through something that young?

What did you learn about building a relationship, just from your exploration as a teenager, that is still valid today as an adult (I am assuming, of course, that you aren't one of the 16 year old moms in this site)?

Must be a cultural difference because I do not see anything I learned about boys as a teenager that are still valid today (except that they still lack common sense as grown men). And as time has gone on, society changing so much, I believe that what we learn as teenagers (as relates to dating) is even less valid than it was for my age group.

Kris_PBG
by Gold Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:48 PM
I absolutely learned a lot about myself, dating, etc... from dating in HS. If you haven't done it, I don't know how you can be so sure that is not happening.
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