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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?


Dating

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

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.


Sex

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 deardish@kidzworld.com. 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:

  • What’s The Point Of Dating?
  • My Cheating Ex Is Dating My BFF
  • Desperate For A Boyfriend
  • The Dos & Don’ts Of Dating
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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Wonderfulcalico
    My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
    reply 2 days
    Error101
    Error101 posted in Family Issues:
    Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
    reply 4 days
    Kkrmr324
    Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
    A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
    reply 6 days
    Kkrmr324
    Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
    A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
    reply 6 days
    Tennis123
    why are you allowing that to control your happiness? why can't you have true happiness instead of chasing some dream for momentary satisfaction? You're 12. This is when your core beliefs, values, and outlooks on life start. Don't mess it up choosing to be sad over something like that.
    reply 7 days