What is the best age to begin dating?

Question:

I just turned 14 last Tuesday and I want to have a boyfriend. All my friends are already dating and have been since last year! I want to date too and I’m so lonely without a boyfriend! But my parents think I’m too young. What do you think is a good age to start dating Ms. HeartBeat?

Answer:

I believe that at your age the “group date” thing in a public place is a much better choice than “a boyfriend.” It allows you the socialization with males that you are seeking, without the pressure for sexual experimentation that you, at the tender age of 14, are not ready to handle. You get out of the house, around your friends, having fun but you are around plenty of other people so there can’t be many opportunities for monkey business.

At your age you see dating as all exciting and fun. Which it might be, but it’s also a big responsibility and a risk. Before you hit the streets you need to know how to handle yourself in various emergency situations. You need to know how to withstand peer pressure. You need to be able to think fast on your feet and know when something doesn’t “feel” right. You need to realistically assess the friends you are hanging out with as far as their criminal activities, use of drugs, risky behavior, etc. goes.

Let me propose a few situations you might face:

Let’s say you were out with a new guy from school and you two are on the bus going to the movies one afternoon. He runs into 3 of his friends after the movie is over – older guys with a car. These guys offer to drive you two home.

What would you do?

You are out with a guy for the first time or maybe the second. He runs into another couple. They invite you over to the house of one of them and after a nice game of pool, they disappear off into a bedroom. Your guy starts getting ideas and gets more physical with you than you are comfortable with. Thinking he is being a comedian, he has hidden your purse somewhere in the house so you can’t get to your cell phone or money or keys.

What would you do?

Let’s say you are out with a guy you thought was very nice. You’ve been out with him several times and feel you know him pretty well. All of a sudden he pulls out a bottle of gin and starts sucking it down! Straight from the bottle!! He gets tore up and is too drunk to drive safely. Other people are doing who knows what and getting pretty out of control. You are at a party with him where you know no one and aren’t even sure where you are.. a party your parents specifically told you that you were not allowed to go to.

What would you do?

Let’s say you are out with a guy who gets a little too forceful with touching of your body. You like him but you aren’t ready for all this! You tell him NO! repeatedly but he just won’t listen. You nervously begin to wrestle his hands from your breasts. He tries to convince you to smoke a little weed “to relax” and tells you to “stop being so uptight.” He might top his begging off with “but since Iove you, you should be doing things to make me happy and prove that you love me too!” He has been drinking and now getting high on the drugs and is acting really forceful and scary.

How do you handle yourself?

I pose these very serious questions because many young women have been in EXACTLY THESE SITUATIONS. Don’t think that it can’t happen to you.

Dating is serious business. Spending a lot of 1 on 1 time with a male usually leads to feelings of attachment and the expectation of increased physical involvement. Sure doing “physical stuff” can be fun and it feels good and it’s even better when you are in love and he loves you back. But in the hands of irresponsible young folks that don’t really understand the ramifications and consequences of their behavior, it can be dangerous. Sex is for mature adults, not children. Sex can transmit many different diseases in addition to creating a new life. In my mind those that are unable to bear the responsibility of a child – mentally, emotionally and financially have no business having sex.

Young girls that don’t yet know how to handle themselves around guys, that don’t understand that having sex does not mean he loves you, that don’t know how to put men in check that get out of pocket, nor how to get themselves out of potentially dangerous situations have no business trying to date.

Page 1 of 3 | Next page