At what age should girls and boys be allowed to date?
I suppose it depends on what you mean by the word, “date”.
Dating in my generation was the pre-courting selective-rejective process where boys learned how to lie and tell girls what the boys thought the girls wanted to hear so that they could get to their ultimate goal. We all know what that was.
Girls in the other hand perfected their gullibility skills, believing what the boys told them so that they could eliminate any guilt and later tell their friends what went on and draw sympathy for how they were deceived and mistreated. Yeah, yeah. Yadah yadah, yadah.
[newsletter_lock] I think I shall approach the answer to this question backwards. In a previous article I discussed divorce. In that article I quoted s source that stated that about 40%-50% all marriages end in divorce. The number of engagements that terminate before marriage are likely just as high as the divorce rate, although since broken engagements are not “official” and documented, there was no way to come up with an accurate number, only an estimate. I had to search the internet for clues. I found mostly polls with limited participants and isolated articles.
People used to court; what we thought of as more serious monogamous dating- “going steady” – before becoming engaged and it is during that time that the couple both grew in their love for each other and in their awareness of the others annoying habits and lack of refinements.
Dating ranged from first dates often along with the recognition that the opposite partner had nothing in common, nothing interesting, and nothing to offer, and hence the last date as well, to a successful first encounter that led to another date.
In some cases there were repeated dates until an offending partner ended the series.
Our society frowns on marriages that occur when the participants are too young- long, long ago it was much younger, but in my day preferably not before graduating college if you went to college, and certainly not before graduating high school, if you weren’t going on to college. To do otherwise increased the probability of a pregnancy that ended a career in favor of a lower paying job to cover the bills.
In reality most high school relationships, no matter how serious at the time, will end when one or the other heads off to college and eventually meets more eligible material. It’s a heartbreak for young love, but that is the way it works.
Dating to learn social skills, what the other gender thinks, and feels, and regards as important in their life would be highly beneficial if both participants had the requisite maturity to do that.
The girls learn this way ahead of boys who are building up their lying and complementing skills. I was taught early on by another older boy, “let the girls talk and ask them lots of questions. They love to talk about themselves- and when they stop ask them another question.” So, I took it to heart, and as a teenager, that is what I did. I would never let my daughter date a boy like that!
So now we get down to the answer to the question:
Not until your child understands enough to respect themselves and the other person – however old that is. If you are the parent- you know if they are ready.
So what are your thoughts on how old young people should be before going out on a date?