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Is Preteen Dating Appropriate

At what age is it OK for children to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? I know group dating is recommended for Christian young people, but what about preteens who say they are "dating," but don't actually go anywhere without parents? Should parents allow these innocent crushes?

Moderator - Dating is to lead to marriage, therefore it is inappropriate.

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 ---melissa on 6/26/07
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I don't think that teens should be allowed to date. However, they should be guided and told how to date so that they will know when they reach adulthood.

I was raised in this manner and now, I am thirty years old and I am still prohibited to date or marry by my parents. This does not need to happen to another child.
---Janovia on 3/12/13

Amen John!

however Arianaflower only causing strife and the only post by this "poster"

society especially in america has decayed to be morally hollow ...liberal agenda screams its non-stop do as you please essentially teaching people to have NO character and accept NO responsibility for their actions ...which creates lazy inept parenting ...parents who lack any moral fiber to provide discipline and boundaries and more importantly intellectual discovery for their children

innocent crushes will happen HOWEVER adults who EXPLOIT these "crushes" allowing their children to experiment with adult relationships is truly sad that society has reached a new low
---Rhonda on 7/22/11

If the kids don't go anywhere without parents, I suppose they can call it "dating" if they want...makes them feel more grown up to say that.
But the important thing is really how much supervision they get from parents.
---Donna66 on 7/22/11

They should be allowed, dont TRAP your pre-teen.
---Ariana_Flower on 7/15/11

It's scarry to hear the level of morality some people have in this evil world.

Some people really are full of evil!

Hmm? STS, Abortion at say 9yrs.

Just don't be a parent and "Trap" them though!

---John on 7/22/11

\\I think its very appropraite, a nice innocent relationship wont hurt anybody, its just puppy love.\\

From such puppies can come other puppies.

There's nothing wrong with such a couple meeting at a party or other properly chaperoned event, but they should not date as older teens do.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 7/21/11

I think its very appropraite, a nice innocent relationship wont hurt anybody, its just puppy love. Pre-teens also need their breathing space and freedom, they are growing up. its very common for a pre-teen to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, let them be alone. the best thing to do is let them learn from their mistakes and have that experience. They dont like it when parents are always on their back and breathing over their necks, Give em' a little freedom and trust and a chance to grow up . Having a boyfriend and an innocent puppy love relationship at minimum 11 years old is totally fine and normal for a middle schooler. and its not like they will get MARRIED or anything. They should be allowed, dont TRAP your pre-teen.
---Ariana_Flower on 7/15/11

Question is, should there be dating at all? i married my wife, without knowing here, i met her on mission where she translated me Four weeks, i prayed and God confirmed. i wrote a letter, she agreed and one year later i travelled to her house arived and married the next day. we never dated, but i can assure you that we have the greatest marriage for eleven years now. Dating is basically overrated and is based upon carnal lusts.
---andy3996 on 1/25/11

I say 16 yrs old with a chaperone. Or group dating.I encourage educating our youths..first. This would be more beneficial. After a certain point we as parents will have to let up and trust our teens. Educating them allows us to do that. At some point teens should be held accountable for what they do.We as parents must do our jobs and then move back and see if all of our sturggles have paid off.
---Robyn on 1/22/11

Children should not be allowed to date until roughly 16 when they can 'reason' through "do I really like ___or am I just hot for___". Teaching responsibility, respect for yourself and your friend's reputation... not pushing another into doing something they may not be ready for- because a young teen really isn't equiped to know how to keep a thumb their hormones in the heat of a moment. Since when don't even the most intelligent- good natured kids take a mile when given an inch? When they have the guts to say a firm 'no' in the heat of any situation... when they can tolerate saying/ hearing the words 'I don't want to date you anymore'... Then they are mature enough to give it a go.
---mrs._n. on 1/20/11

kids have crushes on each other is because of P-U-B-E-R-T-Y.

too funny if the rest of us not studying to be doctors were not clued in on this centuries old known fact LOL

pre-teen by the way is prior to age 13

crushes will happen yet parents who ALLOW their children to act on those crushes by pushing them into dating are irresponsible

society lets their children run around like animals obeying their lusts and fitting in with the majority

True Christians have their own children focused on becoming educated enriching their lives and teach self respect

we don't shove adult-hood down a 12 year olds throat because Hollywood says its okay and the masses follow along like robot drones
---Rhonda on 10/8/10

I absoulutely agree.
---Danielle on 10/7/10

Okay, for those of you that "But it's true love" and "it's normal and okay" not in God's eyes it isn't. In his eyes it's an act of the devil. The devil works in mysterious ways.... I may not be right, and you have your thoughts and I have mine. But it's still true.
---ENiyah on 12/9/09

It seems to me as every other answer keeps saying, that TV, ad's and the internet is making kids have crushes on each other. But no one has every realized that maybe the reason why kids have crushes on each other is because of P-U-B-E-R-T-Y. So I'd like to focus on Facts, and as me becoming a doctor I study the human body. And Puberty starts around 7-16 for girls, and around 10-16 for boys, and that doesn't just include your voice get deeper no, its more than that it comes a time with every boy or girl has it's first crush and if properly supervised love at an early age is something that is a good thing. Christian Parents and pre-teens should look up this movie called "Little Manhattan"
---Marie on 12/5/09

Crushes are normal! I am sure everyone here at one time or another had one! If parents are there with children of the same ages socializing, it helps to build selfesteem.
---BB on 10/2/09

yes they should if u dont allow it u amybe separating them from hier soul mate !!!!
---Daje on 9/28/09

I like the Mod's answer, sooooo with that, possibly around 25 or older!!! Don't we wish!
---kathr4453 on 6/23/09

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stolen water is sweet

train up a child in the way he/she should go....

what examples/training are we giving our children? to indulge in every fantasy of theirs or to exercise self control because there is a time for everything?

why then should we wonder when there is so much imorality?... we lead them to it by saying flirting at a tender age does no harm...

and pretending to be envangelising in the cannot cover up for the is red and green is green
---patie3447 on 6/23/09

Let me explain crushes. Crushes are simply when you like another person, but he/she may not know it, and you are always blushing when you see him/her. Crushes are simply natural in pre-teens, it's called puberty. Crushes can not be stopped, it's just something pre-teens go through. Now if and when should parents allow dating or group dating is something the parent can decide. Group dating is something I recommend.
---Marie on 6/23/09


Culture these days is a whrilpool, sucking us down into the infinete voids of un-chritian practises. Everywhere you go you see swearing, anger, un-modesty, and disrespect. Even amoung 5-year-olds. Human kind in general needs to shape up. This is just a one example in the ever-widening hole in our christian beliefs. Is this "relationship" going anywhere? What does the bible say about it? Read Exodus. In the bible it says when you become an adult, which is around 20 mentally and 17-18 phisically, Then you may seek dod'e. Which is the hebrew word for everlasting love. Not whatever strikes your fancy.
---Jasper on 6/12/09

Cathrine, you probably worked the age out through your own experiences and it can work for you but not everyone.

However Pre teen absolutely NO WAY.......

A 12yr old and 14year old are 13/15 year old parents is that an indication that it's out of the question!
---Carla3939 on 2/21/09

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Age thirty is a great age for all to start dateing. Believers and unbelievers.
---catherine on 2/12/09

some of us are talking about two things, however thnere is nothing against having friends from thre other gender(i had mostly girls as friends since i hated the manly sports so no boy would talk much or play much with me, yet i did not see these girls as dates. question is, what is a date, and where does a date leads to. taking a friend to a cinema is not nessecary a date. and should be stimulated in groupstructure( as a teenager club from the church), where healthy spiritual stable parrents or mentors guide these kids in a responsible way to discover communication. preteen dating is actually letting your kids run before they know how to crawl.
---Andy on 2/12/09

I used to have many girls friends of mine as a kid but would not call it dating. When I meet any of them today, I look at them more as sisters than as friends.

I would encourage parents to allow their children to bring their friends home once in a while. It's good for parents to know whom their children associate with and it gives the friends more sense of responsibility in the way they act with your kids.
---Paul2 on 1/4/09

Obewan- I think that story was beautiful and I totally understand. That happened to me in those years as well. But we're talking about preteens. not teens or adults. Innocent relationships are supposed to be beautiful at times. but when it comes to the preteen years, it can be a little to young to get into dating.
---Angel11 on 1/2/09

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I think that innocent relationships are possible and should be encouraged. What better way to learn respect for women than growing up with them?

I had a special friend in the girl next door. We used to go swimming together or go roller skating. We even played house together in 2nd or 3rd grade. We used to bake cookies with her Easy Bake Oven. We played with her Spirograph. She became a Christian in 3rd grade at my Church's VBS.

She was my first love, and she grew into a beautiful woman. My only regret is we moved away during my High School years and went our seperate ways. Have you seen the show "The Wonder Years"? I lived it.
---obewan on 1/2/09

Rhonda- To be honest your reply to this blog was very wise, and 100% true.
---Angel11 on 1/2/09

as a parent you ask this question ...did your parents allow this this what you did?

or is it that society is increasingly becoming like days of Noah ...immorality lacking discretion increasing

pre-teens and early teens will have "crushes" this is normal ...parents encourage crush allowing "supervised dating" ...NOT possible for any parent to be with their child 24/7

children do not have enough activities to keep them busy if preoccupied with dating ...pre-teens are children even if society labels them "tweens" ...focus is school and activities to broaden their creativity NOT adult like activites of dating relationships shoved down their throats by our oversexed media driven culture
---Rhonda on 1/2/09

Although sometimes preteens just can't help having crushes and that I understand
---Angel11 on 1/2/09

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Lynne-I agree with you that it is not appropriate for young people at the preteen age to get into dating. Plus if parents just drop them off at the mall or any place anything can happen to them for there are many unGodly people that can harm and you never know if the boyfriend/girlfriend is unGodly as well. They may seem friendly to the preteen at first, but deep down inside of them they might be doing the devil's will.
---Angel11 on 1/1/09

No, they are not old enough at this age to understand what there bodies are going through.It's hard enough as a parent to deal with the mood swings at times, then to add dating to it. No way. Having friends at school is one thing but, with our daughter we do not allow phones calls from boys. This encourages the boyfriend/girlfriend 'thing'. We have had to go as far as not allowing her to hang out with her girlfriends who parent's allow too much leeway on this issue. Kid's see dating as holding hands, kissing, etc. They are too young at this age.
---Lynne on 1/1/09

Should preteens be able to date? God has placed the parents over the home for the protection of the family, The father (husband) as the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church, (Ephesians 5:23a) together the father and mother make the choice for the child. If parents choose to allow preteen dating there should be close parental supervision.Preteen crushes are a natural part life."Proper" parental supervision would be the key to successful preteen dating.
---Stanps23 on 12/31/08

Should preteens be allowed to date, or experience innocent crushes? (Ephesians 6:1-3) Children obey your parents as in the Lord: for this is right. The bible, (God's word) is very clear about the instructions to the child concerning following the parents choices for the child in all areas of their life. That is the God given responsibility to the parents, make the right choices for their children.
---Stanps23 on 12/31/08

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There are too many children having having today. And while there are some adolescents who are known to mature a few years earlier than most, I would not permit any adolescent to exclusively date another child. And I would not allow any "hand-holding" before the age of 14.
---Eloy on 12/31/08

Of course you let them have their innocent crushes. They are just kids. Let them enjoy the most inportant time of their life!
---katie on 12/29/08

The bible never gave any advice about dating, since this is a WESTERN TRADITION, and not a biblical habit. I myself asked my wife her hand in marriage, and only after we started our "love-relation". we saw one and other 3 times before our marriage day, and discovered who we where inside the marrital bonds. there is no stronger marriage then mine in my family (nevertheless my brother and all my sisters are married in the western way, dating, engagement, marriage.if dating is not biblical then know that preteen dating is a horror to the Lord. allow your children to be still child.
---Andy on 11/5/08

I think that whom ever replied before me is completely wrong. Love is like a bus. People come on and people go off. In life, love comes and goes. I believe that dating is linked to marrige but its not like you're are going to marry every single crush you have. It really depends on how much you like this person. Im eleven and i have gone out with five people. I think the ideal age it fourteen or fifteen because you are old enough to actually go see movies with this person without your parents. God put Eve on the earth for a reason.
---Paige on 11/4/08

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i think there is nothing wrong with it. if it was then crist would have said something and the world would not be here like it is. how else are we going to repopulate. i have been with someone for two years. since i was 15 and now i am 17. there is nothing wrong with that. it all depends on how they were raised.
---lizzy on 10/20/08

I understand, as an adult fifty-nine years old, that God wants me to marry someone who is ALL-loving . . . NOT just all crazy about me. "'For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?'" Jesus says in Matthew 5:46. And she and I would have each other discovering God more, while we are relating with our brothers and sisters with whom we also are growing in love.

So, why would WE...adults...want to get isolated just with each other, on "dates"?
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/24/08

I let my daughter age 14 go to a movie with me and her little sister and some of there friends at a elemetry school. I thought everything would be ok. Well we had a bad storm that night and I let the older ones go out to the car first and then I gathered up the little kids and took them out to the car. Several weeks later I found out that my daughter and this boy did not use there better judgment and they where all over eachother in the 5 min that i went to get the little ones. So i have mixed emotions.
---Katrinna on 7/27/07

I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this! What bad could happen? Nothing!
---Nicole on 7/15/07

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Teenage crushes are a normal part of growing up. Talk with your teen about their crushes. By denying them the ability to explore their feelings/emotions, could result in trouble later on. The more forbidden something is, the more interesting it is and the more of chance your teen will do it anyway without your knowing. Engage in conversations with your teen about peer pressure, relationships.
---Katie on 7/14/07

yes parents should allow these innocent crushes
---Ana on 7/11/07

---Christine on 7/10/07

My father insisted that I could not wear pants on a date when I was young. So, I always wore a dress. I think back at those days and laugh. Of course, I'm so old that we couldn't even wear pants to school when I was in high school.
---Susie on 7/2/07

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I had always planned to not let my daughters date until the age of 16 - that is unchaperoned. What I am talking about is not really dating as some of you seem to have assumed. I am talking about them going on outings with family members, such as if our family goes on a picnic-should she be allowed to invite her "boyfriend"?
---Melissa on 7/2/07

And nobody ever answered me about kids inviting their "crushes" to church! If my kids have friends whose families don't attend church, that is the first thing I want to do - take them to church with us. My daughters' "romances" might lead a child to Christ - we could be their only link to church. What could possibly be wrong with that? By the way, when any children (boy or girl) are visiting my home, God is always mentioned.
---Melissa on 7/2/07

As a parent, none of my children dated anyone until they were sixteen. Then it was with a chaperone until they turned eighteen. Why: girls do not mature until then and boys will not mature until they reach forty, if then. You avoid the appearance of evil. If you love your children, you teach them from an early age what is acceptable in God's eyes and they will not stray from that knowledge when they are older. you lead by example in all things so you are not seen as a hypocrite or lier by them.
---ashley on 7/2/07

Television (particularly those shows comimg here from the US) seems to have younger and younger kids developing crushes on each other. Sexual innuendo is on so many childrens' programmes now that it is no wonder they feel they have to have boy & girl friends at a young age.
---alan_of_UK on 7/1/07

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Another term that kids use for "going" with someone or "going steady" is "going out", except usually no one is "going" anywhere. Just means they like each other and their peer group or classmates all know it.
---TT on 6/30/07

I had my first boyfriend in the 7th grade, at age 13,& yes that was too young.I recommend if you set guidelines for children then they shouldn't start dating until age 17,legal age ot make their own choices or become a senior.therefore focusing on school can be first priority over a boy.That is the rule in our home, both our daughter & our sons have to wait until 17.
---candice on 6/30/07

As the Moderator says, the word "dating" means that the couple are ready for marriage if it comes. Using the word dating too early cheapens it and makes it dangerous. The words, making Friends, is much more suitable for young people to use, in group events.
---harold on 6/30/07

Melissa...Kids today say they are "going" with someone if they just like that person. When I was growing up if we were "going" with someone it meant dating. But, the younger kids just use that term for their latest puppy love.
---Susie on 6/29/07

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I "went steady" in the 6th grade. If I recall there was this "Mormon boy" who eventually asked most of the 6th grade girls to "go steady". This boy had a St. Christopher medal that he'd give to his weekly girlfriend. I "broke up" after 2 days cause he didn't produce the St. Christopher medal :). We didn't call on the phone or hardly even speak during our 2 day relationship---how funny this all seems now.....ah, childhood!
---TT on 6/29/07

I think parents should not get caught up in word games about the relationships between little boys and girls. Dating is for older people and should not be called "dating" as an "innocent crush". Talk to your children about their feelings as they mature regarding the opposite sex. Parents are getting caught up in the childrens peer preasure just as much as the children. Childhood feelings are normal but dating is not appropriate and can lead to teen or even preteen pregnancy.
---jody on 6/29/07

With kids growing up so fast these days, it's kind of hard to know what to allow, isn't it? I mean, kids are doing things in the sixth grade I didn't even know existed back then! You can't really control a crush. They have one or they don't, but you can lead them in the right way to go about it, as a parent. Reinforce the friend thing, and don't encourage time alone, just the two of them.
---Katie on 6/29/07

Pre-teen dating is wrong.
16+ is time for dating to get to know one another WITH a responsible parent present on the date.
Through good Christian parenting and of course, the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, Christian dating can lead into a loving and lasting marriage imo.
---Brenda on 6/29/07

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Jack, since when is kissing, a social skill.
---Matthew on 6/29/07

The moderator is right. Furthermore, dating is not in the Bible. Men received their wives by the leading of the Spirit and not the will of man. The bride of Christ is brought to him by the Spirit. Not the will of man, lust, or even dating services. Christians will be in for a rude awakening at the judgment seat of Christ because it was not "what God hath joined together."
---Frank on 6/29/07

The moderator is wrong.

Dating is about getting to know other people and practicing social skills.
---Jack on 6/29/07

I know many couples who have been friends since grade school and ended up getting married. They have had long marriages which have been very successful. It's a lot easier to be married to a friend than a stranger.
---Susie on 6/28/07

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I agree with the moderator. To date if not plan to marry>>> 40 years old.
---catherine on 6/28/07

gee in this day of age i would say they see each other in school etc..... i would say if they go to a dance or school function at the age of 13 -16 that is fine..... but not by themselves... to date i would say 16
---irene7395 on 6/28/07

*I wish more parents would reply to this blog. This is an issue all parents will eventually face - children wanting to date. I would really like some Christian guidance here.*

The moderator gave you the correct answer.
---Matthew on 6/28/07

Thank you, Susie, for your intelligent and sensitive reply! For the others, if you remember being young, I think you would remember that if you were not allowed to do something as a kid, that was probably the first thing you wanted to try when you got away from home. Also, what is wrong with letting your son or daughter bring a date to church? That may be the kid's only exposure to the Word. Wasn't that how people used to "court?"
---melissa on 6/28/07

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melissa, the mod told you and that sums it up.
"Moderator - Dating is to lead to marriage, therefore it is inappropriate."

You're wanting a workaround the truth, as your daughter is wanting to work it, work you.
---McGinnis on 6/28/07

I wish more parents would reply to this blog. This is an issue all parents will eventually face - children wanting to date. I would really like some Christian guidance here.
---melissa on 6/27/07

Preteens today say that they are "going with" someone. This means that they like each other. You cannot keep kids from having innocent crushes. I see nothing wrong with preteens having their friends come along on family outings. It's a good time for them to learn to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex.
---Susie on 6/27/07

Because correspondence through the internet is not a reliable indicator that you've met the real deal. Neither are chance meetings, hit and miss. Everyone who's ever been on random dates knows that you're putting your best foot forward. Church functions are a good place to meet/observe someone. You'll at least know if you have equally yoked beliefs. God can bring someone to your church, even if it is 75% women and 25% men in attendance.
---McGinnis on 6/27/07

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