A teen does not learn how to date in the classroom and most likely has only picked up on some of the basics, like respecting someone’s personal space, at home.
But without experience in a romantic relationship, teens don't know what to expect.
According to a new survey, the ideal age difference between a couple is when the man is 4 years and (this is the sort of weird part) four months older than the woman.
Which means that my ideal mate was born sometime in February of 1982.
Nature of Dating Relationships: There are different ways to approach dating.
Two stand out as the most common approaches in our society.
With this knowledge of the dating scene, why would anyone allow their tween to start dating?
"Teenagers often wonder two things: how to date and what a healthy relationship is," says Jennifer Connolly, Ph D, Director of the La Marsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University.
But at the same time, parents need to discuss not going too far too fast.
A college sophomore for when I want to feel like I can still hang with college bros*, a sophisticated bachelor approaching midlife for when I want to feel adult.** Another interesting tidbit to come out of the survey is that across the board, women felt like it was the men who had to be the older partner, though this could be sadly tied to the fact that an astonishing 55% of women say they need a partner to help them pay their rent or mortgage, which, supposedly, a man who is 4 years more advanced in his career would be able to do.
But if money and dating go hand-in-hand, then would (eventual) rising rates in women’s wages lead to less of an age disparity in romantic pairings?
"Parents should take an active role in teaching and helping their kids understand what normal dating behaviours are." By understanding what "healthy" dating is at this age, parents can set limits and protect their child.
At the end of the day, "it's better than saying they shouldn't date at all." "What is healthy is being in a group of boys and girls and transitioning from same-sex-only groups into groups in contact with the other sex," says Connolly.