Are You Ready to Go Out?
4 questions to answer -- and how to deal with your parents if they think you're not ready to date.
Question Four: Will My Parents Let Me Go Out? continued...
Gowen suggests trying to show your parents how mature and responsible you are. Remind them about the chores you've done around the house and how well you've been keeping up with your schoolwork. Tell your parents all the reasons why you like this person and want to go out with them -- because they're kind, smart, and fun to be around ("because they're hot" isn't a legitimate reason, so don't even try it).
See if you can work out a deal where you ease into dating gradually. "A great way to start the whole dating scene is by hanging out in groups with parental supervision," Choate says. "Then the next step might be some gradual couple time, but still with parental supervision."
Over time, you can ask for more and more one-on-one time with this person, proving with each step that you are mature enough to handle the added freedom.
When You Start Dating
Once you -- and your parents -- feel ready and you've found someone you like and who likes you, you can start going out. But when you begin any new relationship, take it slow.
"Don't be alone with a person you don't know very well until you feel more comfortable with that person," Choate says. "Start gradually. Know exactly where you're going, what's happening every step of the way. You don't have to let the other person be in control of the date."
Abuse is more common in teen relationships than you might think. One out of every four teens has been verbally, physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by the person they're dating, according to the CDC.
ANY TIME someone you're dating demeans you, forces you to do something you don't want to do, or hits you -- get out of that relationship. Right away. Get help from an adult you trust.
Finally, never get so wrapped up in another person that you forget who you are. By dressing sexy to impress your date or acting in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you lose your sense of self.
Remember that the most important person in the relationship isn't the one you're dating -- it's you.