Dating - Essex Junction,VT

Updated on April 25, 2013
S.D. asks from Essex Junction, VT
17 answers

How old was your daughter when you let her start dating or "going out" with a boy? My daughter is 14 and has informed us that she is going out with a boy in her class. She wanted to go out to the movies with him last weekend but I told her I didn't feel like watching a movie that day. She looked at me quizzically and I said "well, you don't expect me to drop my 14 yr old daughter off at the movies with a boy and not chaperone it, do you?" Lol. She was pretty surprised but said we could also invite her girl friend and her sister and there was another boy interested. We ended up getting out of it because it just wasn't planned well and we had other things going on anyway. Now she wants him to come over this weekend so we can meet him. My husband suggested that he should join us for an upcoming event at our church called Serve Our Neighbor day, where we go out to houses of elderly or disabled people and rake their leaves or weed their garden, etc. We told her it would give us a sense of his character, but not surprisingly she didn't like that idea! In the end we told her to invite him over this weekend for an hour so we can meet him and his parents, but I'm just dreading this whole thing. She just seems so young to me (I was more like 16 when I really started dating). I knew this time would come, but I've always dreaded it and have thoughts of locking her in a basement til she's 25, but obviously that wouldn't be the right thing! I just need some support and am curious about how other moms have handled their oldest daughter starting into the dating world. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much, ladies! It's nice to know I'm not just being old-fashioned or that if I am, I'm not the only one! I told her to invite him over for a short amount of time this weekend so we can meet him and I plan to invite his parents in so we can get to know them too. I also told her that we (my husband, daughter and I) need to sit down and talk before then and just discuss each of our concerns and expectations and lay down some ground rules. I'm going to encourage them to get together at our house and go out in big groups of friends and keep the one-on-one dates to a bare minimum for a while, til we see how things go. She's a good kid and has a good head on her shoulders, and we have really good communication between us, so I'm encouraged by that, but it's just so scary for me! This is the one part of parenting that I've absolutely dreaded and wished I could avoid. There may be a bit of the my-baby's-growing-up in there too....

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answers from Anchorage on

14 is young, but not necessarily too young. I would let them do a movie (would prefer double date) but would pick them up right after.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

I was 16 when I was allowed to start dating, and that's how old my daughters will be before they are allowed to date.

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answers from Austin on

My mother was a very clever woman. She much rather have us at her house playing board games or watching TV with her, to get to know the young men I liked.

And yes, many times, she would say I could invite a young man to a church event or even a family event.. It is a good way to not only get to know these young men, the best part as these young men respected and admired my mother so they respected me also. They did not want to disappoint my mom.

None of them had a problem with it, especially since my mom is so easy to talk with and still gave us space to talk about our friends and school.

I mean it is not like she is going to be making out with him,. she is still young they just want to enjoy talking with each other.

When we went to the movies, most of the boys moms drove us and dropped us off then picked us up and took me to my home. '

My mom would also be happy to pick up and drop off.

Again, I was taught how to behave and I was always given enough money to pay for myself and knew I could call and have my mom pick me up if for any reason I was not comfortable.

Do you allow your daughter to go with a girlfriend to the movies?
Is your daughter mature enough to know how to behave when out in public without you? If so, I think I would give her a chance to prove herself.

Especially once you meet this young man.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my daughter was 13-15 her "dates" were all group activities. A parent would drop them off at the movies (a normal time) and pick up and bring them home. There were boys and girls on these outings.

She started one on one dating around 16. She had a steady boyfriend for a little over a year and she broke up with him this past Sept at 17. She turned 18 in Dec.

She did not date much at all her Senior year because she is focused on college, enjoying her Senior year as Varsity cheer Captain, etc. However, she now has a new bf for the last month and they are going to prom and enjoying this time. They both know she graduates in June and will be moving on to college in the Fall (as of right now University of AZ) He is a Junior right now, on the football team and already has a 4 yr scholarship to a fantastic school for Fall of 2014 to play football.

Even with her new bf, they are almost always in groups. They lunch in a group daily, hang out at our house or his in groups and occasionally will go on a "date" one on one. She likes having seeral friends vs being alone with 1 person all the time. Her first bf was very controlling and obsessive of her.

I don't know if the relationship will last due to them being apart beginning in the fall but then you never know!

Just keep your lines of commnication open and your expectations known.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

14 is fine, IMO. My SD and oldest son are both 15 and in 9th grade. They've both "gone out" with people over the past year or so. In middle school it was truly just about saying that you were "going out" with someone and they rarely actually spent any time together other than maybe sitting at the same lunch table or hanging out at someone's house for an hour after school with parents home and these "relationships" lasted days or weeks.

In high school, these relationships have lasted a bit longer. My son dated a girl all of last summer but thankfully she's very busy so they only got together once or twice a week either at her house or ours and they would watch a movie or play video games or maybe go for a walk. He's getting to know a girl now who lives in another town so this one is a bit of a logistical pain but so far she has come over here on a Saturday (they watched a movie, walked to the coffee shop and then went to a movie with my SD and another friend) and he went to her house for a few hours last week. My SD has been going out with a boy from school for about 4 months and they sometimes walk here after school on days that I'm home, or go out places with friends, or my husband will take them both to do something fun (they went to an indoor obstacle course over the winter and to an archery place), or they'll go to our house or his to watch a movie.

Basically right now with no jobs, no cars and no money there's not much that these kids can do to get into trouble. We know their friends, the kids they date, and everyone's parents. We know where they go, who is there, and how they're getting home. We have their FB and computer passwords and monitor their texts (which they know - it's not a secret and works really well with keeping things clean). My worry is actually when they're able to date and go places in cars and will have money on a regular basis - to me, the real trouble begins at 16-17 when there is much more access to alcohol, drugs, parties and sex. At 14/15? They cuddle and make out and jump apart from each other when they're sitting on the couch and you walk into the room to see who wants a snack. Harmless.

ETA to all of those who say that their children won't be "allowed" to date until 16...good luck with that! I truly hope it works for you but I can tell you that my kids have many friends who are "allowed" to date who just lie to their parents about it. Because dating isn't on the parents' radar, they are a bit smug in the thought that their daugthers are out with friends or are at a school event with no idea that she's really hiding out somewhere with a boy making out and doing more than that. When you "forbid" normal behavior, you'd better make sure that your channels of communication are wide open and that your bullsh*t detector is on high.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My daughter had her first boyfriend at 14. Most of their dates consisted of hanging out at his house or ours watching tv or playing video games. I had no objections to dropping them at a movie and picking them up.

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answers from Salinas on

I say bond with that boy! Invite him over, cook some good food, be fun and engaging parents and be happy she wants you to meet a boy she likes.

The better your relationship with the kids your daughter wants to spend time with the safer you'll feel. If your house is the fun house you will have far fewer worries and I bet you'll have a little fun yourselves. She's going to be an adult in less than 4 years, let her explore this new stage of her life in a safe environment right under your nose.

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answers from St. Louis on

I had decided 16 was a good age. As it was neither of my older kids dated until they were out of high school.

That was their choice, it wasn't as if they were never asked out.

They went to dances with friends but everyone was friends. Both saw no point, after all they were friends with enough of the opposite gender, get some maturity under their belts and then start dating.

For my younger two I am again thinking 16, maybe they won't date till college either...

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answers from Amarillo on

I agree with you that 14 is too young….but….nowadays it seems like 14 year olds are “dating.” My daughter is 14 (will be 15 soon) and has a bf and believe me I worry. So I figured I would rather her be open with me about it and let him hang out with her at our house (supervised of couse) than have her
Hide it from me elsewhere. Of course it is up to you and whatever you don’t feel comfortable with tell her no. Teens are a handful these days. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Laurie, I was making out at 15 and doing much more!

I'm going with 16 for my daughter when she reaches that age. Before that she can hang out with friends in groups but no dating. Theres J. no reason. Kids get to vested in eachother and base life decisions and goals off of their boyfriend/girlfriend instead of what they actualyl want to do. my hope is my daughter will find herself before she finds someone else....or at least realize how important it is to follow her dreams and wants first

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answers from Chicago on

My mom's rule was 16, after first having gone on a contemplative silent religious retreat. We all abided by it. No teen pregnancies in our family. I didn't actually go on my first date til my junior year of high school, and by my sophomore year of college I had found the man I married. Or, he found me.

Group outings, we were allowed at 14, but they had to be in public places, like the mall or a sporting event.

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answers from Houston on

Our daughter was about 14 when she and a young man from church started "talking". Whatever!! We knew the young man very well because my husband worked with his mother. They went to movies but I was a few rows behind!!! The first time he tried to put his arm around her it was all I could do not to throw popcorn at them!!! =) Made my husband chaperone the next time!!! One on one dating was 16. She could have the boys come over to our house but nothing one on one. She turned 16 and the next night had her "first date".

We had the same rule with our son. He wasn't too interested because he said girlfriends were expensive and he didn't want to spend his money on one!!

I see nothing wrong with 16.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hello Suzanne,
There is no perfect age for dating, based on other parents' experiences. However children must be taught early enough that dating comes with a lot of issues and they need to be a little mature to handle them with less scars. I have 3 girls, the rule is being with a group of friends, both girls and boys all the way through high school; they go out as a group to daytime movies, clubs where they learn about leadership, faith, respect and other skills that are essential. I very much encouraged them in building strong relationships wiht other girls, sisterhood we call it, instead of focussing on being with boy, because when girls are closed, there is no competition about impressing a specific boy and there is no pressure because the girls are each other strength. It works well so far, my prayer for them is that one -on -one boyfriend -girlfriend relationship comes when they know their body better, when they are more focused on themselves and hopefully, they will trust us, parents, enough to guide them in the process; there is nothing bad about having a boy/girlfriend, but when this happens before the child is mature to understand what comes with this package, it can be emotionally devastating when things do not go as planned. There is a tendency to say that relationship come with heartache, it doesn't always have to be that way, heartaches also have different levels. I started dating only when in college, but before dating especially in high school, I have so many friends that I just felt comfortable in the situation; later in life, I married one of the boy of my college club who was just part of that crowd; 17 years later, we are still very friend, very close now as husband and wife.



answers from Cleveland on

I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16. I still had boyfriends but they always came to my house. I went to a few guys houses when I was a freshman
But i always had guy friends and was always at their houses. The way I look at it if they are not wanting the guy around then that's not a good thing but at 14 I wouldnt want a guy I was interested in going to a church event the first few times he met my family



answers from Burlington on

I don't have daughters. I view teenagers and younger breaking up into couples as bizarre. It is not as if they are going to marry that person. They should do things in groups to obtain a broader understanding of what they like and who they are, what others are like, and how they treat each other. Then when they are ready to marry, they have a wide number of friends from whom to choose. That is what my cousin did and I think it is brilliant. I think when couples form, they stunt themselves in forming social contacts with others. The viewpoint that is similar, as far as I know, to the one I have and which my cousin followed, is that which is written about in the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," as far as I can tell since I didn't read the book. I heard the interview of the author on tv after the book was published. Since haven't read the book, I can not say I agree with all points. It is the viewpoint of a Christian who involves God in his philosophy. But I think the general theme of the book makes sense. That dating in couples for young people doesn't make a lot of sense.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

14 sounds about right to me, I started dating and had a "steady" boyfriend (all of 3 months) when I started HS. I couldnt imagine my parents telling me I couldnt date until I was 16 (please note I am 28 now and was not a teenage mom). But that being said my parents rule was that they had to meet the boy before we could go out on a "proper" date (to the movies at that age). And I have to say I followed that rule until I was in college and its the rule I plan to use with my own daughters.

OP as PP said be the fun and understanding parents (with rules of course) so they want to hang out at your house, then your daughter will be more open with you and you can keep a better eye on them!


answers from Norfolk on

14 is too young.
I wasn't allowed till I was 16 and even though I could at that point, I didn't go on one on one dates till I was 18 - we had lot's of fun going out with groups of friends and I really liked a lot of their parents.

I began telling my son my philosophy of dating when he was 8 (a 12 yr old girl at his school asked him for his phone number (he's always looked several years older than he is) and he was like 'Yuck! I'm 8. No way!').
He's 14 now, he sees what his friends go through especially at break-up time and he's SO GLAD I won't let him date till he's 16.
When he gets there, if he still doesn't want to I'm perfectly fine with that.

Oh, when I had a guy friend over, my Mom would make a point of having them dig out a garden bed with a shovel, pick ax, and wheel barrel.
She wasn't afraid of putting them to work!

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