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S/O What is the point of teenage dating?

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

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
Replies (101-110):
by Also Not Paul on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I am married to the man I started dating when I was 16 and we've now been together almost 7 years, so while it is rare, it DOES happen. Also, I think allowing teenagers to date is a healthy way to introduce them to forming relationships under your guidence, and when it ends, being there to help them with healthy ways to cope. It's also a good time to continue talking openly about sex and your family's feelings and expectations, with room for them to apply your guidence before they are out there on their own trying to navigate those huge, turmultuous emotions that no one is prepared for until they deal with them.

I see a lot of benefits in teen dating. It allows you as a parent to direct behavior positively, and give the teen a type of social interaction that will be very relevant in their adult lives, and that they haven't yet experienced, while still having someone to fall back on for advice or to come in a set rules if the relationship becomes unhealthy. Not to mention, it's fun, getting all dolled up, going out, holding hands, the whole bit. I enjoyed it. I'm now enjoying my wonderful husband and healthy marriage, and our plans for the future that include our son, and the second child I'm having in July. :)

by Anonymous 22 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

well for me dating when i was a teen showed me who i didn't want to marry.. or have as a hd.. i learned a lot form the ex the i need to know what not to look for..i had only 2 boyfriends before i found hd.. but both of my ex where 2 timing shit heads.. sorry but i knew i didn't want to marry someone that would go out and fuck any fresh meat that came along.. so i looked for someone that had the same feelings as i did about all that.. and i have been marred for 10 great years.. be we have been with each other for 13 years now.. so we dated 3 years first.. to make sure we where right for each other.. but it just worked out.. i do see your point.. i started dating when i was 16.. i do wish i had waited in many many ways.. but im lucky to have a hd like i do and so understanding...

by Anonymous 23 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I never dated in high school, but I felt like I was missing something. I felt pressured to find a boyfriend. I had to sneak around with boys because I wasn't allowed to date. I ended up sleeping with a boy just because my friends pressured me too, saying the boy wouldn't like me if I didn't, that I was the only one that old (17) that hadn't had sex. Relationships never lasted for me. I always chose a boy just to have one, not caring anything about him. Thinking that in the end he wanted to be a good person, my logic was doesn't everyone want to be a good person, a husband and a father. NOPE ..............wondering now if this has anything to do with my long list of bf's and dh's........

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

 I didn't have sex as a teenager and I'm married to my high school sweetheart. I wouldn't change the way I did things. We still made time for friends and like I said we were not having sex as teens.

by Anonymous 24 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I wouldn't go near the guy i dated when i was 17. But i would never have learned that lesson if i didn't date him. So to me dating in HS can lead to marriage my parents dated when my mom was 17 and my dad was 22 they got married after she turned 18 and he was still 22 they have been married for 28 years. So dating as a teen CAN lead to marriage. My grandma met my grandpa when she was 17 and married when she was 18 they were married 55 years before he died. Same with my great grandma idk when she met my great grandpa but they were married when she was 18 and they were married 74 years before he died. 

by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM


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

by Anonymous 25 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Its just for practice. Practice how to talk to the opposite sex, how to interact with them, how to handle emotions, love, and sexual things. Practice for life.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM
1 mom liked this

Think about it a different way.

Every single person you have had in your life has had an impact on it. Maybe your first BF was a douchebag who hurt you; you learned how to quickly spot a douchebag, and you learned what it felt like to be hurt by a someone you wouldn't have ever hurt.

Maybe you dated the most awesome, sweetest guy in the world in high school; you learned that not all guys are douchebags, and there's a great guy out there waiting for the right time to come into your life.

Maybe you met a guy who wasn't anything special to you, but you were his whole world and he taught you that you are of worth, beautiful, and deserving of happiness.

Dating also teaches teens about give and take in a relationship, how it's sometimes hard to choose between what you want and what someone else wants, how you have to stand up for yourself, even against someone you love and how you have to stand up for your partner or put him in his place from time to time.

Soooooo much more, but I'll stop now just to keep it short. So it's a matter of life experience; you don't learn if you don't experience, and every person who touches your life teaches you something important to forming the person you will become.

by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I learned a lot about myself, relationships, etc. from dating in high school. I don't see the need for kids who date before high school, that is silly imho. If you cannot take yourself on a date, you shouldn't go. 

I'm glad not dating before adulthood works for your family, but dating as a teenager worked very well for me.  

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM
I learned a lot about what I wanted in a partner through dating. And it gave me more courage for me to be around and be myself around guys. I don't regret dating at all.
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