Get the ground rules you need for teenage dating. You need this dating advice on teenage relationships as a parent. It is helpful for the over 20 crowd too.
As a psychotherapist, I often talk to college women about problems they are having with college life. Often those problems involve their dating relationships. Some of them had excellent guidance from their parents when they were young teenagers about dating and relationships with men.
Others did not get adequate guidance and it has caused them pain and heartache.
This is advice your teenage daughter needs before her first date. It will serve her well when she starts dating and through her entire dating journey.
How to Talk to Your Teenage Daughter About Dating
If you have regular meaningful conversations with your teen this will be an easier conversation to have than if you rarely talk about things that are important in her life.
It can be uncomfortable to talk to your teenager about dating and sex. Because it is uncomfortable for both you and your teenage daughter. If you avoid the conversation you will leave your daughter to flounder on her own. I put together some talking points to make it easier for you to get the conversation started.
Ground Rules for Teenage Dating
1. Be You
Be yourself. He asked you out because he was interested in you. Don’t think you have to change who you are to please someone else. Women who do this wake up one day years later and realize they don’t know for sure who they are and their partner is shocked that she isn’t who he thought she was.
2. No Means No
Some boys may pressure you to do things that you might be uncomfortable with. If you are not comfortable say no. Do not allow yourself to be pressured. If a boy is a quality person and truly cares about you he will give you the respect you deserve.
3. You Decide the Neighborhood You Want to Live In
People make a lot of different decisions when it comes to being physically intimate. It varies widely at what point in the relationship people are physically intimate. Just like there are different rules in different neighborhoods there are different mores in different groups of people when it comes to being physically intimate. In some relationships, people don’t kiss until they are engaged. Other couples kiss but don’t have sex until they are married. At the other end of the spectrum, some people have sex for money without really knowing the person’s real name or have sex for with no commitment or agreement to be exclusive. There are many neighborhoods in between.
Don’t base your self worth on a boy wanting to be physically intimate with you. Many boys think of physical intimacy differently than most females do. Wanting to be physically intimate means just that for a boy, not that he loves you or is in an exclusive relationship with you (unless you have made this agreement verbally and clearly). This will change if you spend time developing a friendship first. If you have sex early in a relationship consider it is a physical act nothing more.
4. You Are In Charge of When You Become a Mother
The best way to make sure that you don’t become a mother before you are ready is to remain celibate until marriage. This is an excellent plan A. Sometimes plan A doesn’t work so it is a good idea to have a backup plan. All birth control can fail.
Side note to parents: I know you may think that to have this talk before the first date is premature, however, it is better to have this conversation 10 years too soon rather than 5 minutes too late.
Condoms are the only form of birth control that can minimize sexually transmitted disease. If your daughter is going to have sex before she and the boy are ready to be parents with each other it is important that she insists the boy wear a condom and that she uses another form of birth control. Yes, two forms of birth control.
5. Have Fun Dating
Good relationships are based on friendship. It doesn’t have to be complicated to spend time with people you like. There are a lot of fun things for teenagers to do on a date.
Side note to parents: It is a good idea to start with group dating situations. Board games or movies can be activities for teens to do as a group or as a couple at your house or the boy’s house.
6. Boys & Men Think Different Than Girls & Women
If something he does is confusing or hurtful talk about it. Ask him what he is thinking and feeling and tell him how you feel. Don’t assume, because as often as not you will be wrong in your assumptions, which will lead to hurt feelings for nothing. Just ask, listen and share how you feel.
If you want him to go to an event tell him and tell him how important it is. Is this a really important thing or a not very important thing. Don’t expect him to know or guess. People are generally very poor at mind reading.
Males speak with their actions. If you are a priority he will make time in his life for you. If he cares about you he will sometimes do things that you want to do, not just expect you to do what he likes to do. This is a great book if you want more information on how men and women communicate differently.
Teenage Dating Tips
7. Messaging is Not Dating
Dating is spending time with another person in person. Sending texts or messages back and forth is not dating.
8. Don’t Sleep with Someone You Don’t Want to Fall in Love with
There seems to be a thing now that young women think they can have a hook-up and not get emotionally involved. This is not true for most women and actually makes women more vulnerable to depression. Women are biologically programmed to connect. If he says it is not a relationship he means. Don’t make the mistake to think that getting physically intimate will change his mind.
9. Sharing Nude or Partially Nude Pictures is Against the Law
Some teenagers text or message provocative or even partially nude or nude pictures. If the subject is not a legal adult this is distributing child pornography. Distributing child pornography is a serious crime. The consequences of this crime can be severe and affect your daughter and or the boy for a lifetime. Check the penalty where you live. I have known young people who have had their options limited by making this mistake.
10. Keep Your Girlfriends
Spending time with boys and having a boyfriend can be really fun. Some girls are tempted to ignore their girlfriends and spend all their time with their boyfriend. Until marriage boys will come and go. Your girlfriends will be with you for the long hall. Even after marriage, women need women friends.
Teenage Dating Etiquette
11. Be Kind
Be yourself and have firm boundaries, but everyone has feelings, so be kind. If you are saying no to a boy or breaking up do it nicely. Break up in person, not a text.
12. Expect Him to Come to the Door and Meet the Parents
Gentlemen do not pull up to the house and honk the horn. As your parent will want to meet him and get to know him a little if you care enough about him to date him. When he takes you home he should also see you to the door.
13. Moms are Always Here for You
If something happens and you need to talk about it I am here. If you need a shoulder to cry on, but you don’t want to talk I am here.
These are just some of the guidelines for teenage dating. I am sure there are more you will think of. These will give you talking points.
Hi, I’m Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and the author of Thriving a Single Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.