To much dating as a teen
By getting involved in serious relationships, spending virtually all their time with only one person, teens can run the risk of missing out on other types of social interactions (building other types of relationships, practicing intimacy, gaining different perspectives, and simply having fun with other friends! This can prove limiting to them in terms of achieving their full potential of psychosocial growth and development.Conversely, research has also shown that adolescent girls, specifically, who do not date at all may tend toward underdeveloped social skills, excessive dependency on their parents, and feelings of insecurity when it comes to meeting romantic interests or potential partners.In fact, in addition to helping to develop intimacy with others, dating serves many purposes for our teens. Despite our reluctance and fear that our “babies” are venturing into the big scary world of dating, love, and sex, (most certainly to get their hearts shattered into a million pieces), by allowing our teens to date, we are actually helping them to become healthy, mature, informed individuals who are training to be good relational partners.Dating not only helps teens establish emotional and behavioral autonomy from their parents, it also furthers their development of gender identity, helps them learn about themselves and their own role as a romantic partner, and establishes social status and perhaps even popularity in their peer groups.In past generations, dating in high school or college, for at least some, served a very specific function: mate selection.That was certainly the case for many in previous cohorts of college women seeking what was so optimistically termed an “MRS. Don’t shoot the messenger: I’m simply relaying historical factoids.Because marriage today, if it occurs at all, is happening much later in life (the average age is around twenty-seven for women and twenty-nine for men) dating for high school students has now taken on an entirely new meaning.In today’s world, dating in adolescence no longer holds the sole purpose of mate selection; rather, it has become an introduction to the world of intimacy, relationship roles, sexual experimentation, and, yes, romantic love. ” That thought will quickly be followed by a sense of dread that feels like someone unexpectedly delivered a hard, swift kick right to your gut.
The most striking difference is the young age at which children now begin dating: on average, twelve and a half for girls, and thirteen and a half for boys.I clearly recall, when I began to show interest in dating boys, my father saying something about putting me into a convent until I was thirty!But again, because I truly believe that knowledge is power, I would like to offer some historical perspective, so as to alleviate any angst over your little girl or little boy going out with some kid you don’t know or trust.To help you put things in perspective (i.e., is the age at which my teen begins dating normal? This is, whether we like it or not, when things get real.You recall me stating earlier that dating during the teen years serves as a type of practice for future relationships?
In fact, love is such an important construct that researchers have studied it for years, investigating the different types, taxonomies, and styles, as well as how to keep it once you’ve finally found that elusive and magical potion.