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Dear Dish-it: When Can I Start Dating?

Jun 13, 2010

Dear Dish-it,

When you're 9 are you too young to date???


Dear nnoyer,

The answer depends a lot on what you mean by "dating." While crushes start as early as elementary school, in middle school kids start talking about "going out" or "going together" or “dating.” Usually, what they mean is that two people let it be known that they like each other. They might write notes to each other or talk on the phone or text message each other.

It's possible this couple could see each other at an event, such as a dance, a party, or a basketball game. But most kids won't "go out" on a date, just the two of them, and if they do it's likely their parents will want to come along. The bottom line is most parents think kids should wait until they are older to start dating.

If someone asks you to "go out" or “date” them you might feel happy that someone likes you, but also a little strange. You might wonder what it will mean if you say yes. And what if you want to stop "going out" with this person? These couples usually don't last long and that's perfectly OK. The best advice is to go slowly because it's easy for kids to get their feelings hurt.

It's a good idea to talk with your mom or dad, too. They might not want you to "go out" or “date” with anyone yet, even if you're not really going out anywhere. Or, if they're OK with it, they might have certain rules they want you to follow, like about when and if you can get phone calls from this person. Some kids make the mistake of calling the person they like a zillion times a day. Oh no, don't be a constant caller!

Sound Off

When did you go on your first date or start going out with someone? How old do you think kids should be when they go on their first date or start thir first relationship? Got any great advice for nnoyer? Have your say by leaving a comment below this story!

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

tasfia posted in Family Issues:
With both of them :-)   I just sleep in the middle :-p
reply 1 day
Dear Dish-it, i always wanted to be in a band but my parents are saying you should forget about that, you should get a real future. I have fought my case by they just get it.  Please help me Bye
reply 2 days
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
Maybe he likes you, as a friend or as more.
reply 3 days
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
Friends grow apart as we grow up and change at different rates. It's fine to stop being friends, but it doesn't have to be in a mean way. The best thing to do is talk to her (nicely). You don't have to tell her she's being childish or you feel as if you've matured more. That would be terrible. Talk about things you guys like to do in common or make plans to try new things together. Or don't mention it at all, but don't just begin ignoring her. Eventually the friendship will fade the less time you spend together. 
reply 3 days
Amalegend20 posted in Friends:
You should be nice to her. If you have to break the news gently don't make her feel bad just talk to her about and see what she says  
reply 4 days

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