16 Year Old Son - Dating and Girlfriends ?!!

Updated on June 23, 2011
H.R. asks from Fairbanks, AK
19 answers

My 16 year old son has never had a girlfriend or dated anyone.....that is until today. He met a girl who is one year older than him at a Christian summer camp a few weeks ago. They have been 'friends' for the past 17 days, texting, calling and spending time together. They both like each other a lot, but this is all so new to my son (this girl supposedly has had 4-5 previous boyfriends). My son was not allowed to 'date' until he was at least 16, but I was hoping all this dating stuff would happen later, this is all so sudden.

He wants to know what 'going out' entails at this point, as this is all new territory. To be honest, I don't even know in this day how things are. He is a good Christian boy, and his new girlfriend is a new to Christianity. He wants to be a good boyfriend, but doesn't quite know what that entails or requires ? He does not have his own car or a job at this point, just a permit. He is much more mature than most 16 year olds, yet this is a new experience for him and I don't know how to help him with this (there is no dad in the picture or other male role model). He has never kissed a girl (but this girl texted him and asked him if he ever had or not) talk about awkward!! So if you have any tips on this subject it would be greatly appreciated ! Not sure what 17 year old girls expect in all of this. Where does just being best buddies turn into girlfriend/boyfriend (is it all just the physical stuff that changes things)? As an adult, it seems like kids are too young at this age to date/have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Well need help asap !

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answers from San Francisco on

He's not too young. Hopefully she expects a kind, thoughtful, intelligent male. If they have interests in common, then he should invite her to do the things they both like together. He should pay, if possible, open her doors, pull out her chair, and treat her well. They should have fun together.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Group dates are great. Movie dates with another couple. The idea of dating is getting to know one another. Have him bring his date home for a fun time with two or three couples watching movies and popcorn if money is an issue. It is important that they not be alone.


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answers from New York on

I met my husband in church when I was 18 and he was 16. I had previous boyfriends and he never had a g/f before. His parents were nervous when he told them we were dating. He was VERY mature for his age though and we started off simple. His parents invited me out to dinner with them numerous times and I did a lot of stuff with him and his family. Then we started going on group dates with other teens at the church and then we went on private dates to the movie, out to dinner to the carnival, for a walk in the park. It was very nice. We continued to date and got married 5 years later. We've been married for 4 yrs now and very happy. I would invite this new girl over and try to be her friend. I would also keep an open relationship with your son and hopefully he'll keep you in the loop with whats going on. Try going somewhere all together. Invite her to your house for dinner with you. Be welcoming and warm.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My daughter is 16, we are not any denomination of Christian and she has been dating since the end of 8th grade.
16 year olds go on real dates, to the carnival, movies, Starbucks - sometimes alone as a pair and sometimes in groups.
As for what kids do at this age, really he ought to be talking with friends. He will be an adult and leaving for college in two years and it's certainly not too young to start dating! I absolutely would want my child to have some experience there before leaving for college. How much "later" did you expect this to happen? At 16 and 17, parents should really not be that involved in their kids' dating lives, talking about whether they've kissed or not, seeing texts from the girlfriend that are not of an alarming nature, etc. I know you're concerned, but he is too old for you to really be that involved in his dating life, just like at 13, kids are too old for parents to arrange "playdates" for them. Time to cut the cord a little and give him some privacy. It's good for him to be able to come to you with big things, but dating at 16 when they are counting "days" (that's more of a 7th/8th grade thing) is not a big thing.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

My older son is 17 and we still discourage dating at this age . . . I'm especially cautious with girls who are extremely "forward" (gosh that sounds old-fashioned!). We support group outings and friendships with girls - just not heavy duty one-on-one relationships yet. We talk about this issue frequently too.

Do you have any books about teen dating, or a pastor/priest, with whom you could speak for guidance?

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Ask a man at church to take him under his wing.

Invite the girl over for dinner and get to know her a little bit. Help them learn how to hang out without having to make out. Best thing a teenager can learn about relationships!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Dating is a period where you meet as many people as possible to narrow down what you like/don't like in the search for an eventual mate.
At first you should see lots of people - no exclusive relationships.
Eventually you figure out who's insane and who is compatible with your own views.
In a few more years you slowly become more exclusive, and by the time you've agreed both of you are not seeing other people, you are almost finished in your search and are planning your future life together, figuring out when to become engaged/married and stating a family.
16 is a start, but it's just a start in a process that can take 10 or more years.
As long as your son (and his prospective dates) understands this, he/they should be fine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

Aww puppy love :) Just enjoy it and be supportive and be there for him if he wants to talk :)

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answers from St. Louis on

good golly, Miss Molly! I think you're thinking it too much!

The honest, honest truth here is: no matter what you want, no matter what you say, no matter how you counsel your child......he is 16 & he will make his own choices! I do not want to sound harsh. I simply am taken aback at the fact that you are asking where/how it changes from best buddies into bf/gf!! Put 2 16yos together & they'll know what to do....& hopefully, what not to do.

That said, be very thankful that your son is 16 & this is just beginning! Our older son was almost 16 when he began dating....& was the last one in his group. & yes, he was made fun of for this delay. By contrast, our younger son is almost 15.....& we're working hard at keeping the barn door closed! His entire class has been "dating" for years now......& I hate it.

To further our cause, we have used the same phrase with both sons: it's not a date if Mommy/Daddy has to drive you. Until you are independent in your actions, it's not a date. .....our victory dance came when we heard our older son use this on his friends! Now we're just going to have to see how it goes with our younger son!

& as a head's up: I was almost 16 when I met my husband. Married at 19 & will be celebrating our 30th anniv this year. Love happens, hopefully sex at a much later date. At age 16, I would assume your son thoroughly knows his way around "the talk". Most kids learn it in 4th grade......

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

16 is a good age to have a special friend. He is old enough to know what you expect of him. He knows how to say no and stand up for himself. He also knows if he has questions he can ask you. Better now than away at college.

"Going out" sometimes means going to your home and watching videos or playing video games, board games. Maybe eating dinner with the family. Your son going to her home to visit.

Maybe going out to a movie, to have pizza. Going to a school dance, carnival, festivals. Concerts. Going to Church sponsored events. Meeting up at Church and sitting together,.

And yes, lots of texting and talking on the phone..

When you were a teen didn't you spend hours on the phone with your friends? boys and girls?

Explain that if they are going to a movie or to a meal to discuss openly with her transportation, whether he is going to pay or they are going to go "Dutch (they each pay their own way.) Make sure you are clear on a curfew for EACH event.

I liked to tell our daughter. "I know you will make good choices. I trust you."

"Call any time you feel uncomfortable or do not feel like going along with other peoples poor choices and I promise not to ask any questions..."

"You can speak about anything with me."

Hang in there mom, he is growing up. It is going to be ok. Just keep an open conversation with him about his future plans. And his beliefs.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I met my husband when we were both 16 and juniors in high school. When we met my heart skipped a beat and I wanted nothing more than to be near him. To talk to him. To know him. When something exciting happened to me, the first person I wanted to tell, was him. We joined the geology club together and went on field trips hiking up mountains and spelunking in caves. He was in theater so I joined up too. When our senior year rolled around we tried to match our schedules as close as we could. Four of our six classes we shared. (He was better in math and I had an extra art class...)

We would go to the movies after school some nights. We'd gather at a friends house right after school to hang out, watching movies and laughing about the day or what was planned for the next. I'd spend time at his house with his family and my mother would come pick me up after we'd finished our homework and on other nights we'd be working on a joint science project together at my place while my father watched TV in the living room and my mother fixed dinner. We were joined at the hip.

We both ended up getting after school jobs late in our senior year at the same pizza joint. He baked the pies and I ran the counter filling orders and answering the phone ins. We worked well together then, and we continue to do so.

We're both thirty-two years old now, gently tickling our thirty-third year. Now, the number of years that we had never known each other is exactly the same as the number of years we have. On our next birthday we can officially say we've been together longer than we have not.

In my experience, sixteen is not too young to meet the love of your life regardless of your past, race, sex, color, religion or political affiliations.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you don't live close to this girl, you can kind of count on things petering out after a while. If she lives close, he might invite her to church or to the movies. Invite her to spend time with your family so you can get to know her.
I've found that they come and go pretty quickly at this age. I don't make a huge deal about the girlfriends or the boyfriends... I remind the kids that they need to focus on school and college. I also remind them that sex is not something they should be having at this age. I get the "Oh, mom!", but I keep saying it.
Since your son doesn't have a license, you've got a lot of control. :-) You can decide if and when they go to the movies, etc.
My 16 yr old daughter's best friend in the whole world is a boy. They considered dating, but were afraid that they'd lose the special connection they have. I suspect that in 5 or 10 years, they'll find each other again and things will be different. :-) I think they both have their heads on straight and know that they need to go to college, live a little, and then see where it all leads.
My son has had a few girlfriends, but tires of their neediness after a while. He isn't a phone talker and our internet bandwidth is extremely limited because of where we live, so chat and FB are out of the question for any long periods of time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

I really think that you need to let your son experience this himself and figure it out. I think instead of asking what everyone else does or what is normal why doesn't he figure out what is right for him and this girl? I think it would be best to teach him that lesson. If he wants to girl to like him to just be himself!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I met my hubby when I was 16. He was 20 and we were prohibited to date, which he respected, even when I had a child by another man right after I turned 18. We got back together in June, 2001, when my DD was 5 months old and that's history! We were so in love that he waited for me! I was his first and only sex partner and he had no good male influence in his life. Just a good mom that kept his head on his shoulders. He was 22 before we ever "did anything" and it was all him. He wanted to wait until he "knew" we'd be together forever. Funny thing is... I'm the Christian, not him. Lol.
I love my husband so much but I'm glad that my dad made me wait to date an older guy. With your son, I'd let him go, but it needs to be semi-monitored.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My husband of 11 years and I started dating when we were 16. We started being good friends when we were 15 and it turned into more. We mostly just hung out either at his house or my house. Went out to eat, shopped, went to museums, the zoo that kind of thing. Held hands, kissed. We got married when we were 20 while we both attending college and had kids after we finished college. I had had about 3 boyfriends before I started dating my husband and I was his first girlfriend.

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answers from Houston on

Even good Christian boys have hormons! I should know, I have one!! I was a little put off by the "he's a good Christian boy and she is new to Christianity". So? Doesn't make her any less of a person than your son. Here is the deal, they like each other. Be sure to have a frank conversation with him about sex. A discussion about sex is not permission it is a discussion. My daughter started dating at 16 and had a serious boyfriend then. We were very careful about "alone" time. However, where there is a well there is a way.

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answers from Seattle on

Focus on the Family has some great resources for young men from young men, talking about sexual pressure, healthy relationships, etc. www.family.org

Another great resource that he should read with his dad is "Every Young Man's Battle." It talks about what he'll have to watch for in himself to help him save himself for marriage.

And two books I thoroughly enjoyed were "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and "Boy Meets Girl" by Joshua Harris. These books talk about having a purpose for your romance because romance is meant to lead to marriage. Tommy Nelson's study on Song of Solomon, www.SongofSolomon.com, is a dvd resource along the same lines and is funny and age appropriate.

Just have him keep in mind that he belongs first to God and his responsibility to God is bigger than to anyone else, tell him what to look out for in the way of temptation, and keep the lines of communication open so you can help him make good decisions.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Goodness you by the time I was 16 I had more than just a few boyfriends! LOL Usually early it was just talking and hand holding (like when I was 12-14). As I got older we might have kissed a little. None of the serious stuff till I was with my first love when I was a little older. I agree with Sue, I think you might be WAY over thinking this. At this age if he wants to be more than friends I think the protocol is still to ask! It's completely normal for a boy his age to have a girlfriend by this age. Most have had several, even if they are only tee hee I like you, oh now two weeks later we broke up. Now if he starts talking love, that's when to get down and serious.

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answers from Eugene on

Really Mom. He's nearly grown up. How do you know she's not a great person. Here's the key. Buy him 100 condoms. Tell him if he can't keep from having sex he must use them to protect himself from disease.
This isn't permission. It is protection from AIDS which is ever so much more serious than a pregnancy.

2 moms found this helpful
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