The prospect of your teen starting to date is naturally unnerving. It's easy to fear your child getting hurt, getting in over their head, being manipulated or heartbroken , and especially, growing up and leaving the nest. But as uncomfortable or scary as it may feel to consider your child with a romantic life, remember that this is a normal, healthy, and necessary part of any young adult's emotional development. But what exactly does teen dating even look like these days? The general idea may be the same as it's always been, but the way teens date has changed quite a bit from just a decade or so ago. Clearly, the explosion of social media and ever-present cellphones are two of the biggest influences on the changing world of teen dating—kids don't even need to leave their bedrooms to "hang out.
Setting Ground Rules for Teen Dating
Dating Age Formula: The Dating Equation: ½(your age) + 7
As your children grow up, it's normal for them to think about having a boyfriend or girlfriend. They've probably been hanging out with friends of both sexes and doing things as a group, but they may be thinking about one-on-one dating. It's time to talk about the different types of relationships and love and to prepare to set rules for dating. Talking about relationships in regular, everyday conversations lets you and your child talk about your family values when it comes to friendship, dating, and love. Dating helps young people learn to get along with others, communicate, negotiate, make decisions, and learn to be assertive.
The Dating Equation: ½(your age) + 7
What role should parents play to steer a child away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights. As the horde of rush-hour cars streamed by, Bill reminisced about the teenage daughter he had just picked up from band practice.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter! According to this rule, it would not be creepy for a 30 year old to date a 22 year-old, but an 18 year-old would be off-limits. Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates? From an evolutionary perspective , it makes sense for women to prefer mates with resources and to like partners who are more established, both of which are more likely in older partners. Men, in contrast, are hypothesized to be most attracted to women in their reproductive prime, which tends to be when they are younger.