Dear Dish-It: Am I Too Young To Date?

Dish-It gets this question all the time – am I too young to date? Another common query is: my parents won’t let me date – what should I do? Here’s my advice for all those out there wondering about age, parents and dating.

Too Young To Date?

Lots of kids write in to Dish-It saying they’re really frustrated and upset because their mom, dad or both say they’re too young to date. What most kids don’t realize, though, is that parents set these kinds of rules for them because they love their kids a lot.

Dating, relationships, sex, love … when you really think hard about these things, you start to realize how complex they are. It isn’t easy at all to navigate the dating scene. Sure, there’s the thrill and excitement of having your crush ask you to go see a movie, and there are those butterflies in your tummy the first time he grabs your hand and kisses you, but are you really old and wise and MATURE enough to handle the many other responsibilities and decisions and choices and problems that come with having a boyfriend or girlfriend?


Going on a date often means being alone with another person. Are you old enough to get to places like the movies or the mall without asking for a ride from your parents or another adult who has a car? If not, it’s kind of strange to think you’re old enough to date. Would you really want your mom or dad tagging along when you go see a movie or get something to eat with your crush? Probably not. Best to wait until you’re a bit older and more independent.


Love sounds wonderful but, like everything else in life, it’s got its ups and downs. Falling in love means there’s always the possibility of falling out of love – in other words, getting tired of the other person or wanting to get away from them or having your heart broken by them. It may not seem like a big deal if it’s never happened to you but, trust me, there are a lot of complicated problems and difficult emotions to deal with when love goes wrong or ends. You may still be too young to deal with these things in a mature, logical way, and that may be why your parents won’t let you start dating until you’re a bit older.


This is probably the biggest issue for parents when it comes to trying to decide when to let their kids start dating. Sex is a very important, complex subject – sometimes when you’re anger it’s not even something you know about, understand, or feel comfortable discussing with your mom and dad. Until you know about and understand all the risks and issues involved with making the big decisions about sex, you’re definitely too young to date – even if you don’t think dating has anything to do with sex. It may and it may not, but you need to know ALL the facts about dating, love and sex before you can go into any one of them making the best possible choices and decisions for yourself.

There’s Hope

Now that you know your parents are only saying you’re too young to date because they love and care about you and they want you to have the best and happiest life possible, maybe you’re more willing to wait a few short years to start dating. If you’re still not convinced and think your mom and dad should let you date no matter how young you are, why not try talking to them about it? Maybe if you approach them in a calm, mature, grown-up way (that means no yelling, screaming or crying), they’ll tell you their reasons for not letting you date yet. And if you come to the table with your own, written-out list of reasons why you’re old enough, mature enough, responsible enough and ready to start dating right now, they may see things from your perspective and change their mind.

If you've got a burning question, need some love advice or find yourself thinking about things like sex, depression, self-esteem, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, bullying or peer pressure, don't hesitate to Dish-It here. Send your questions to And if you hang out in the chat rooms with other Kidzworld members who know you by your username, just send in your secret question using a different nickname if you want to stay anonymous – we promise that no one will ever know it's you. Remember: Dish-It gets a load of letters every day so it may take a while to reply to yours. Keep checking back for her reply, or watch for answered Dish-It questions that are similar to your own.

More Great Advice:

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    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    EndlessDream posted in Friends:
    Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
    reply about 2 hours
    XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
    No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
    reply about 2 hours
    EndlessDream posted in Friends:
    Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
    reply about 2 hours
    XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
    This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
    reply about 3 hours
    Okay I have school today and my hair is not sitting how I want it to. But my mum says it is sitting fine WHEN ITS NOT! SHE IS NOT LISTENING what do i do?
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