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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 (41-50):
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:45 AM

I think dating as a teenager helps you learn and grow. You learn about yourself, you learn about what you want, whats important to you in a relationship, whats not so important. Its all about expirience. You get that expirience of all the useless dating out when your young so that when its time to start dating seriously, you dont have to flounder around to figure out all these things. Same goes for sex IMO, which is why I am against waiting until marriage. I think that by the time you get married you should have a full idea of what you like and dont like and want and dont want and what it takes to make a happy life so that you end up in a good, stable happy marriage. I see to many people who waited or didnt date or whatever and they get married and then wind up divorced or unhappy anyway. I think if they had been able to "explore" they would have wound up happier.

by *Claire-Bear* on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:04 AM

I started dating my husband when we were both 16. We never broke up, and got married when we were 20. We are now 37 and have been together for 21 years. ( married for 17) My brother and his wife started dating when she was 15 and he was 17. They have been married for 25 years and together for 30. My BIL and SIL started dating at 16 and got married at 18..they have been married for 16 years... it does work for some people.. 

For me, I only went out with a couple of people prior to my husband.. it was more along the lines of just getting together with friends than actual "dating"... I also did not sleep with any of them. I have only ever been with my husband. 


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by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM
1 mom liked this
Absolutely disagree!
They learn the ins and outs of relationships and caring for someone on a deeper level.
I met my husband at 15
And before him I was in a 2 year committed relationship.

Not every teen skips from partner to partner.
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by Anonymous 8 on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM

They've got to learn how to handle a relationship sometime.

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:09 AM

A single mom shouldn't date if she has no intentions of going farther with it (and I know that belief is going to draw a lot of heat but that is my opinion, you don't have to agree with it but I'm not changing). That is just bringing a stream of men into her children's lives that can cause more damage to them than the one bad relationship she had that led to her being a single parent. My mother was a single parent for a large portion of my child hood. I commend her for putting my needs above her own and not dating.

Quoting smtxcowgirl:

"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.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:11 AM
It may not be an adult relationship, but you learn how to relate to the opposite sex in a more intimate way(I don't mean sex). Like how to share things with another person, care about someone other than yourself. I think with boys especially, you learn how to treat a lady with respect. If they are out and moved out, you can't really help and guide them anymore and dating is hard!
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:11 AM

Quoting Leissaintexas:

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.

I <3 this response. Thank you! I am so happy we are not alone.

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:13 AM

Quoting bekalynne440:

I'm with you on that one. My sisters and I were raised that way, and none of us regret it. DH and I want to raise our kids that way as well.


by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:13 AM

Quoting Anonymous:

I agree with you OP.


by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Quoting Fallaya:

I agree with you. My dd won't be dating until she's a senior in high school. And even then, it'll depend on her level of maturity and academic performance. I didn't date until I was in my 20s.


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