Teenage dating advice

Yes, the prom as we knew it still exists, but even its drama pales in comparison to today’s boy-girl relationship issues.

“It’s not your parents’ dating anymore,” concedes Robin Gurwitch, a clinical psychologist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Health.

This means a boy and girl who feel an attraction spend time together, whether alone or in groups, then text and/or Snapchat in-between.

A fairly high bar stands between this phase and actual “dating,” wherein one member of the couple — usually the boy — officially asks the other out.

What to watch for: It’s time to have the “values and expectations” talk if you haven’t already.

This can mean discussing your family’s views on sex before marriage, as well as frank talk about abstinence, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.

Most experts and parents consulted for this article say group “dates” to the mall, movies or even a friend’s house are fine as long as they’re supervised, even if it means just being in the same shopping center.

“To a child or teenager who is experiencing this, it is very real and very important,” she says.Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.Jennifer*, a junior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, notes that while it’s not cool to “talk” to more than one person at a time, some people go from one talking “relationship” to another without actually dating anyone, which tends to explain the relatively low numbers of actual couples.On the other hand, she adds, “if you’re really dating, at some point you absolutely do want your parents to meet him.” Your teen doesn’t have to be dating or talking to anyone to have a date to the prom, winter formal or Sadie Hawkins dance.That’s because most kids go in large groups and are couples in name only.

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