Dating Tips for Teens

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Before making a decision to date somebody, it is important to make sure you are aware of what you are getting yourself into. Answer the following questions regarding your potential date:
Teen Dating Contract

What is this person's reputation? How does this person treat others? What is this person's opinion regarding drugs and alcohol? How quickly does this person change boyfriends/girlfriends? Are there any red flags regarding this person? Does this person have a criminal record? Is this a person that your parents would approve of? Is this somebody that will build you up or bring you down?

It's time to throw your date (boyfriend/girlfriend) to the curb if he or she...

is aggressive or abusive in any way, shape, or form (even verbally) can't enjoy doing anything while sober tries to pressure you into anything that you are uncomfortable with is overly manipulative or controlling, uses intimidation or threats is overly jealous or tries to isolate you from your friends and family has no respect for the law or for authority

Establish clear expectations with your date before going out.

Double-dating or group-dating is more appropriate when dating somebody for the first time (or even for the first few times).

Date in public places initially.

Set it up so that each of you pays your own way initially. This creates a situation in which nobody "owes" anything to anybody.

Respect the limits and restrictions that your parents have established for you regarding dating. It is their responsibility to keep you safe and to look out for your best interests, whether you agree or not.

Get to know your date. Ask questions. Try to see past just the physical attraction. Does your date appear to be interested in getting to know you or is he/she mostly interested in talking about himself/herself? Does your date appear to use good judgment? Does he or she treat others with respect?

While involved in a dating relationship, be sure to continue associating with your friends. Ignoring your friends while you are dating might mean that they will not be there when the relationship ends. It is often difficult to re-establish your friendships afterwards.

Never, under any circumstances, accept a ride with a date that has been drinking or that has been using drugs. Call home or get a ride from someone else that you feel safe with. Never allow a date to "show off" by speeding or driving recklessly. Let him or her know ahead of time that this is not something that impresses you.

Have fun, but never let your date pressure you into doing something that you are not comfortable with. A good boyfriend / girlfriend will respect your boundaries.