What is the Best Age to Start Dating?

birthdaycupI dare you to ask this at a sweet sixteen party just to see what happens.

I once saw a Youtube video where a couple of guys talked about their experience dating in middle school, and just how pointless it was to do so. They explained that they barely knew what a relationship was, let alone how to have a solid one.

So the question is, when is a good age to start dating?

Whenever you start dating, you have to look at the intention of your relationship. At fourteen or sixteen you may be completely smitten with a member of the opposite sex, but are you heading towards marriage or heartbreak?

Granted, the age you marry is dependent on who you are, where you live, and what your culture is like. Being a California native, I’m used to seeing people get married between 25-35. Marrying later in life is normal there. But here in Tennessee, everyone is married between 18 and 21. The age people start dating is dependent on what age is normal for marriage in your culture.

The bottom line is despite your age you should be intentional about where your relationship is going, and decide to be responsible in that relationship. The pain of a premature relationship saps the joy out of a young heart. Don’t begin dating out of rebellion or discontentment- date with the intention of a fruitful life.

  • Brlz

    I think the age at which one starts/”should” start dating has a good deal to do with the definition of dating, whether culturally or per family/religious decision. I was hanging out with my crushes and male friends regularly at age 14, but one-on-one dates were off-limits until I was at least 16 and because of local circumstances (aka lack of options) I ended up not even doing one-on-one dates until I was 18. And yet even despite those restrictions, I still ended up in a couple of relationships (short-term and fraught with teenage immaturity though they were). Although these decisions were not always wise, they did help me become a more emotionally resilient person. In high school, I used dating as a way to explore the kinds of characteristics I liked in other people and to have fun–this is still somewhat true during my college time now, but I have a lot more spiritual confidence in myself now to seriously reflect on the possibility of marriage in my life and logically assert my long-term desires over my short-term wants in a guy (“does he have brown curly hair and glasses?” would have been a deciding question at age 16, but at 20 I don’t want to gamble on that superficial quality alone). I’m certainly glad my parents kept me from pursuing this line of thought at an earlier age, given my relative lack of interpersonal maturity then, but I’m also glad I didn’t wait to experience any kind of relationship until after high school–learning experiences make you more mature to begin with.