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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 (31-40):
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:22 AM
1 mom liked this
I learned exactly what I didn't want in a guy and I also learned what I DESERVED from a guy.

I met my husband at 18 and I am now 30 and very happy with my luck. Someday we will be old on a porch together because when we married we both knew exactly what it was in life we wanted.
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by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:23 AM

Mine aren't allowed to date until they are 35, lol

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:32 AM
It teaches how to be in a relationship. Just because some relationships are perfect, doesn't mean they can't be used as practice. What kind of people you're interested in.

My first serious relationship was when i was 15. I was with hi for almost three years
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:38 AM
If you only date with the intention of marriage, you're setting yourself up for failure. JMO I never dated as a prerequisite to marriage. Ever. It was a chance to discover what type of relationship & man I wanted to settle down with.

ETA OP, what culture are you affiliated with that it's "taboo" to date?
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by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:41 AM

 Dating teaches many social skills. Not everyone has sex with everyone that they date and very rarely should anyone marry the first and only person that they date. Dating allows you the trial and error process of finding the right person. IMO, many times times (not always) those who marry the only person that they ever dated wake up when the kids are grown and realize there's something else out there and they'd like to find it. Those are generally the marriages that end seemingly out of nowhere and the adults are labeled as having a mid-life crisis when it reality they are finding themselves because they can. Those who have dated a few people before ending up with their spouse knows what's out there and they like what they have found and decide to be with them forever. That's just my opinion. I think that parental example tends to show more to a young person about marriages than starting to date young. My sons (who are 21, 22, 25 and 26) have seen their parents, who dated and had sex with other people before marrying (and they know we had previous relationships) getting ready to celebrate 28 years of marriage this year, after only knowing each other for 20 days. They have watched us have ups and downs, arguments and apologies and they have seen first hand what makes a marriage work. Those examples are what have molded them. Only 1 has a wife and children, the other 3 are not married (or dating at the moment, because they are in college and are working on getting their lives set before they start searching for someone that they want to marry). When they do get married they will follow the examples they have seen from their dad and I and nothing will pry them from their marriages, marriage to them is the ultimate commitment and you don't step in to in lightly.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM
Umm ok I don't agree but I respect how you feel. I feel I learned a lot from the guys I dated and the ones I just slept with as a teen and yes one of them is now my husband. Yes slept with get over it people, teens have sex move on (sayig this to the people how are going to go off on that) I don't think I would have knows what I wanted out of a man if I had not been around the block afew times and kissed afew frogs
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by Emerald Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM

Dh and I met when we were 16 and 14. We've been married for almost 12 years.

by Anonymous 7 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM
I agree. My daughter isn't going to date, she is going to court. In fact right now she wants to go to an all girls college so she's not distracted by guys.
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:59 AM
2 moms liked this

This is what I learned from dating the 4 guys i did in high school. How relationships can start and end, that there are still gentlemen in this world(hold doors open,pull out chairs ect ect) what first love feels like, why cheating is never a good no matter why you think you have a valid reason, what I truly want in a future husband and how to be friends first. I didnt truly meet heartbreak until I was 24 and weeks away from from my wedding. But true happiness, true love and my bff came to me months after that heartbreak. If I didnt have any of the experiences I had with former boyfriends and 1 ex fiance, I wouldnt be the person i am today with my husband of 13 years.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:31 AM
1 mom liked this
Why w/o parents? B/c I know my sons are not the same w/ me as he is w/ his friends. It has nothing to do w/ sexual exploration. But about finding confidence in themselves.
I was not allowed to do a lot of things as a teen, when I was finally allowed freedom, I jumped into many wrong relationships. I was so naive, I had no clue what I wanted. Or what I should expect.
I would prefer my children date while still living at home, where I can help guide and nurture their budding friendships.

Quoting Anonymous:

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?

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