You might say, “I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes to love, but I’ve promised myself that the next time I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship.When you’re older and ready to start dating, I hope that you will do the same. ” Adults generally take a cynical view of teenage romance, as if it were a chemical imbalance in need of correction. “You know what they’re like when their hormones start raging.” A boy and a girl float down the street holding hands, dizzy in love, and all parents see is testosterone and estrogen out on a date.Don’t confuse group dating with double-dating or triple-dating.While there may be the occasional romantic twosome among the members, the majority are unattached.” They are also genuinely curious about their parents’ courtship and marriage (“Mom, did you fall in love with Dad at first sight?”) and, if applicable, divorce (“Dad, how can two people love each other for years and years, then stop being in love? Having an imperfect romantic résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation.The first time they experience romantic rejection, the sadness can seem bottomless.
Besides age, there are relatively few demographic differences when it comes to teens’ experiences with dating and romantic relationships.
“Parents should never minimize or ridicule a first love,” says Tucson pediatrician Dr. “It is a very important relationship to teenagers, and it’s important for another reason, in that it is their first intimate relationship with someone outside their family.” When “going out” evolves into “going steady,” it is natural to worry that things are getting too serious too soon.
If you see schoolwork start to suffer and friendships fall by the wayside, it is reasonable to restrict the number of times Romeo and Juliet can rendezvous during the school week.
If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.
“The number-one benefit is safety,” says the father of two grown children.