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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 (21-30):
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Practice? Idk I didn't date a lot in hs. I also married a guy I started dating at 17.
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by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:21 AM

You bring up some really interesting points, OP.  my DD (16yo) and I were just speaking about this the other day.  DD has been in International Schools almost all her life.  She attended 8th and 9th grade in the States.  When she started 8th grade, all the kids were amazed that she had never had a "boyfriend".  The girls she friended constantly were saying to her that she had to "get a boyfriend" or people would think she was weird.  These girls were not sexually active but there was a certain stigma to being single.  My DD did have a boyfriend in 9th grade but more a relationship as you describe - parents were always present.  This was not because of our culture but rather my DD felt more comfortable with chaperones.

Now DD is attending another International School and the dating culture within the school is VERY different.  She mentioned that there are two "couples" in her 11th grade class (out of 60 students).  The girls and boys are very comfortable with one another and are often over at each others houses for study groups and hang out time.  Taking the pressure off of the need for a boyfriend has been really refreshing to my daughter.

My DD will probably have boyfriends before she is ready to get married as she would like to graduate University and start a career.  But I like the fact that she is free to date when she is ready, on her terms, not because of peer pressure to do so.

by Emerald Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM
1 mom liked this

I met my DH in high school. I was 16 and he was 17. We married at 18/19 and just celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary. Got anymore questions?

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:25 AM
I actually learned a lot about my self and what I do and don't want out of relationships from my teenage dating. I had two serious relationships as a teenager one lasted 2 years the other 3.
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by Tosya on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:26 AM

I dunno i didnt start dating tell i was 20 because i felt dating in highschool was a waste of my time when my focus was on getting out of highschool and into college

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM

i started dating at 16. it helped me figure out what i did not want in a man. i met my husband at 19 (also a Marine) and he hit every box i needed checked off on my list that i made using my past experiences.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM

You and I apparently don't live in the real world. LOL I agree with you. There is no point in it. You throw kids with unstable hormones into situations they have no idea how to handle. That's a good route to early grandparenting!

I know what I'm talking about. I have a 24 (married), 20, and 18 yo sons and a 10 yo daughter. I've been through this rodeo a few times already. LOL I, too, have been married for a long time--30 years.

by River Song on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:40 AM
"Then why date at all if you have no intention of getting married? For the sex?"

Not at all. Many teens in the USA and other countries date to be with the one they like. For me, dating as a teen involved movies or going out to eat at Dairy Queen lol.

It's about companionship, learning what you want in a partner. I didn't have marriage on my mind when I was a teen. Dating was for fun and to be with the guy I liked who liked me back. There wasn't anything sexual about dating. It was innocent fun.

Teenagers need to have that social aspect of dating so they can learn how to act on dates, how to deal with their emotions, how to deal with heartbreak.

If you're going to ask why a teen has to date, then I have to ask you, why does a single mom have to date if she doesn't have any intention of marrying the man she's on a date with?

Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting Not_A_Native:

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.

I already talked about most of your beginning in another response. No meed to do that again. (sex outside of marriage is a big NO NO here so I'm not going to touch that one either)

Then why date at all if you have no intention of getting married? For the sex? Not in my family. You can have that. We want no part of that lifestyle. I can go on but shut my mouth now before it gets me in bigger trouble.

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by Emerald Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:17 AM
I agree completely. In our house, we do courting, not dating. Our kids are encouragd to have lots of friends of the opposite sex, but its understood that it would be under strict supervision and they will not get into a serious "relationship" without our guidance. When the time comes for them to seek out a marriage partner, dh and I are here to support and advise them. In todays society, It seems like we are asking our kids to take on adult responsibilities before their brains and emotions are mature enough to handle them.
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:22 AM
When dating as a teen I learned at least one great thing, how to spot abuse, sad I know. But as an adult no one would have known what was going on, my mom caught on quick but it took me over a year to fully believe her that I deserved more. And i started dating my dh of almost 10 years at age 17.
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