A 16-Year-Old Explains, “Why I’m Not Dating in High School”

A 16-year-old explains 5 reasons why she's not dating in high school
Dating in high school: will all kids automatically do it?

Will ALL kids automatically have sex, get their hearts broken, or do things they regret afterwards?

No, I don’t think so at all. And it makes me sad when I hear parents say,

“well, I know they’re going to mess up, because all kids do.”

I’m in the middle of a week where we’re talking about how to encourage your kids to do the right thing and make good decisions. It all started when I saw some commenters on some old posts saying things like, “The quickest way to make your child do something is to tell them not to,” and then explain why they don’t expect their teens to do the right thing.

That made me sad, as it sounds so horribly defeatist.

But rather than arguing my self, I thought I’d let my daughters do it for me! On Thursday my 19-year-old will tell us why teenagers don’t need to rebel. Today I’m going to let my 16-year-old explain why she’s not dating in high school. These are her words, not mine, and her arguments, not mine. I show you just to encourage you that it IS possible to raise a teen who won’t want to date in high school, and to tell those of you, especially those with younger kids, to encourage a super close relationship with your kids, teach them to love God, and then EXPECT them to do the right thing.

Here’s Katie:

 

The Talk(s)Wondering how you can encourage your child to choose not to date in high school? Barrett Johnson, who guest posted yesterday, has a great new book out about having the Talk(s) with your kids! It’s the best book I’ve read about how to talk to your kids about sex, dating, and relationships, and it’s my store here! Or you can order it in paperback here.

 

I know Katie would appreciate her video being shared as much as possible! So please hit the Facebook Share buttons and Pinterest buttons below!

Comments

  1. I graduated from high school 12 years ago but wish I would have had this. I wasted a lot of time dating and if I could go back I would focus on my friends and school work. The drama and temptations are not worth it!
    – another Katie

  2. “All the freaking drama”? I think she just described my entire high school dating experience in four words! LOL.

    Very smart answers about waiting to date. Regardless of whether someone chooses to date in high school, college, or beyond, I also think it’s important to ask WHY you want to date, not simply WHY NOT. Too often, we just assume that’s what kids or singles or whatever do, and we don’t ask if this really is the right time and the right people to be dating.

    And I’ll second that temptations reason too. There was so much pressure on one hand (from family/church) to remain pure and so much pressure to be dating/smooching/etc. on the other hand, and without enough maturity and confidence in myself, I felt like a tug-of-war rope. I wish I could say I’d always stayed on the right side, but… Had I waited, the result would have been different. And vastly better.

    Thanks, Katie! Hang in there.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Do You Make Your Husband Feel Guilty about Sex?My Profile

  3. You go, girl! I promise, you will not regret your decision for a minute.

  4. Great video, Katie! For some people, _choosing_ not to date and not having had an _opportunity_ to date (e.g. never being in a coed school) have the same advantages in the end in terms of focusing on studies, etc. But (FWIW) while I can only speak for myself, I do think ongoing interaction with the opposite sex in those formative years is crucial; whether dating or not. Without it, there’s a lot of anxiety and lack of self-confidence that’s difficult to dispel as you get older.

    • I think too one of the biggest issues of our time are young people trying to cope with normal sexual tension issues in a culture that’s so permeated with sex it’s very difficult to know how to relate to one another in non-sexual terms.

  5. Wow you have raised quite and intelligent 16-year-old! She is so confident in herself that she doesn’t need the validation of her peers through a high school relationship!

    I pray that when my children are old enough they choose to make the right decisions about dating in high school.

    Keep up the good work!
    Taylor recently posted…A Purposeful FastMy Profile

    • King Jesus , you are victorious!!! Nice work Katie, you are one in a million….probably quite literally!
      I have two little girls and this gave me tremendous hope. We have found people’s opinions so defeatist in this area also. But there it is. Living proof that it’s possible! THANK YOU!

  6. Such great reasons, Katie!! Thank you for posting and being honest.
    wanda recently posted…I Am Me Because of HimMy Profile

  7. Oh my gosh – Katie, you are AWESOME :D You have GREAT reasons for not dating, and sparing yourself the drama and potential heartbreak are huge.Someone I read (don’t remember where) compared it to going to the car lot and kicking tires when you have no money. And you’re 12.

    You’re wise to wait until you’re older, and you’ll be glad you took the time to grow into a wise and confident young lady,

    Julie
    Julie recently posted…Grasshopper DaysMy Profile

  8. I cannot wait for my 13 yr old to get home from school to share this!! Has been a hot topic at my house the last 4 weeks. Awesome perspective and always good to hear it from a young person. Our children are worth the “wait”!!!!

  9. I love this Katie! I didn’t date in high school (actually until I was into my twenties). Just wish I was as eloquent and smart as you are in explaining yourself! Thanks for your honesty and courage!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Unclothed & Unashamed: Pursuing God’s Best for Your Life & MarriageMy Profile

  10. I LOVE THIS GIRL!!! Way to go Katie. Smart! Very smart!

  11. Boy, I wish I had this kind of clear thinking when I was in high school. Having not dated since I was in high school (10th grade), the only relationship memories I have are clouded by just what you mentioned. I’m proud of you for making a firm commitment now and walking in these convictions. You will not regret it!

  12. De'Etta @Choosing Joy says:

    EXCELLENT! We have five children who are out of the home and did not choose to date in high school. We have four at home….so far the two in high school are following the trend set by their older siblings. Loved how Katie articulated her position.

  13. Great video, and lovely girl, inside and out!

    I know I made a lot of mistakes when I dated in high school (ones God has redeemed and used for my good) but I really wish I would have been more intentional in my spiritual life rather than playing into all the drama! High school was a very immature time for me, and the decisions I made have become regrets now.

    Just to show me how misguided I was… my husband actually asked me to prom in high school, and I turned him down! The right guy was there all along, but I thought I knew best! Thank goodness God works everything out!
    LittleWife recently posted…Not for a MomentMy Profile

    • Stephanie P says:

      OMG little wife! My husband did the same and I refused him too! He will never let me live it down now…It’s a good laugh, but I think back and really wish I would’ve gone with him. :)

  14. I agree with you. That is what we tried teaching our children even though they didn’t listen. I think all youth groups need to teach this.

  15. LOVE your daughter’s spunk and attitude!! Way to go, Katie! I can tell you have a bright future ahead of you! (Not to mention, some awesome, fun, LOW-DRAMA teen years to enjoy!!)

  16. Your personality is amazing and contagious. Thanks for sharing your message. I shared your video with my 11 yr old daughter. It was cool for her to see some one like you, ….intelligent, have standards, self esteem , comical …share your views. Keep letting the Lord use you to share his message and his desire for all young men and women :)

  17. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    Thanks Katie for sharing your thoughts. She’s so funny!! I agree with her! I didn’t date in high school either. Mainly because boys weren’t interested in me and that was most likely a good thing. My oldest niece is 15 and in 9th grade in public school. No boyfriend. Doesn’t want one. Is active in her church’s youth group. She is saving up for her high school’s French Club trip to France in 2016. I agree with Roxane that youth groups should teach why they shouldn’t date as well. SO much less stress on the kids when their lives are already stressful as it is.

    P.S.–yes Canada may have beaten the USA in Hockey & taken Gold in both Mens and Womens Hockey but we got more overall medals than you :D .but could you please come take Justin Bieber back! Pretty please! lol

    Now I have to go find Katie’s YouTube Channel so I can show it to my niece as I’m sure she’d like it!

  18. You go , Katie! I dated only one person starting at age 16, and he is my husband of 18.5 yrs & father of our 4 daughters. Although our story is a very good one, I STILL agree with you. Remaining pure was hard but we did it… and it was one of the best decisions of our lives and for our marriage. You are a wise young lady. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Good stuff! My Katee chose not to date until her senior year in high school. She and the young man entered the relationship with the intention to marry, They married when they were in college and were 18 and 19. (*scandalous!*) They have no dating regrets and entered their marriage with their purity intact.

    By the way…my daughter chose not to date until she found someone suitable for marriage…that was HER conviction, not a rule that was forced on her.

  20. purplecandy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this ! Hopefully, in 10-15 yrs time my own children will be able to explain their choices in the same confident, respectful way. Great job, Katie, and great, great job, Sheila !

  21. Thank you, Katie, for posting this. My husband and I have made this decision for our girls (ages 12 & 14). I’m going to share your video so that they know we’re not the only ones thinking this way.

  22. Rob Gilbaugh says:

    my wife and I met when we were 14 that was 46 years ago. 15 years ago I became paralyzed 96 percent of the men become paralyzed lose their wives my wife is still with me we did not have sex until the night we were married I understand and appreciate what you said but it’s not something that works for everybody I wouldn’t want to want to have waited and possibly missed my wife if I didn’t data after high school I have the best wife in the world and we started dating at 14 and did the right thing all throughout my apps

  23. Well, all I can say is YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Both of my kids waited to date until they were in college. It was no problem. We, as parents, discouraged it, and it turned out not to be a big deal anyhow–since we live in Europe. Both graduated from college and did other things before meeting their spouses, but they are married, and they were ready for it. I agree with you, too much drama, too silly, and it’s hard to go through the broken heart thing. I totally agree with you! Kudos for the fun video, too. Loved your room lights! :o)

  24. You go girl! I know your parents are proud of you. You are missing out on so much by not dating in HS! Heartache, drama, tears, temptations, yeah. Good things to miss!

  25. Hi Katie

    Great role model!! Too soon for my girls to watch, but it sounded like you have other videos too. Would they be appropriate for 7 and 9 year old girls? They might remember you, because they met you once before.

  26. I totally respect your decision and am very happy that it is working for you. My husband and I started dating when I was 15 and he was 16. We have been together ever since. We chose to wait to have sex until we were married. We have been together for almost 33 years and very happily married for almost 29 years now. Would I say that this is common? No. I think your situation works as long as it is the teens desire. We have 5 children who are grown now (21-27 years old). They were all very involved in youth group and my husband and I were blessed to be youth leaders there as well. They did date in high school. None of them married a high school sweetheart, but that is ok. They are choosing to wait for marriage to have sex. I have seen more than once parents who say that they are not allowing their children to date in high school and then hearing from my children about their kids sneaking behind their parents back to date. We never wanted to put our children in this position, so we allowed dating. That way we knew where they were and what they were doing. If it had been any of their choices to wait to date we would have supported that too. I guess the only point I am trying to make is that this idea works well as long as it is the desire of the teen as well. God bless you on your journey ahead. It sounds like you are on a solid path.

  27. This was like watching my own daughter speak. Blessed to know she’s not alone. My daughter would add a #6….
    “A relationship is not about getting something from another person, but about giving. There are very few people in high school who understand this (boys OR girls), therefore, she will not date until she can find someone who is worthy of this investment, and it’s most likely not in high school.” Thank you, Katie!

    • I wish I would have understood about relationships being about giving in high school and I wish I had had the confidence and self-respect to “just say no” to dating until someone truly worthy was available (and I was more sure of who I was). I hope to pass the wisdom you both shared to my daughters when the time comes. Well stated Michelle and Katie!

  28. I really love this video, and will be showing this to my 13 year old daughter soon! I think all the reasons mentioned are so true. Great video! We need more of these for teens….to feel like they have options.
    This being said, I did date in high school. I actually married my high school sweetheart 17 years ago. We did date for many years although we did slow things down during university. We have been blessed and are happily married with four wonderful children.

  29. Thanks for sharing this. I decided to not date in high school as well. I wanted to be pure till marriage. Ironically, I was set up on a blind date (so blind I didn’t know I was going on a date) when I was a senior. Amazingly, I married that guy. So I’ve never had my heart broken, only kissed one man, only gave my heart to one man, and have a very solid marriage as a result. Good luck to your sweet girl.

  30. Sheila, what an amazing daughter you have. I think I’m going to start reading more of your parenting posts, and not just the sex ones. LOL!
    A quick note of caution to parents though: if your child does make this brave decision, please support them. My first boyfriend was my husband, who I met in my mid-twenties. Let me tell you, that though this was a purposeful decision it was also VERY lonely. Especially when friends and family don’t understand (my aunt actually asked me if I was a lesbian, because I’d never brought a boy home). What Sheila’s daughter does well is to decide not to date, as opposed to my having “just” decided to stay a virgin until I married. It was confusing and lonely, and really hit my self-esteem hard. So, parents, please please please make sure to talk to you single teens and make sure they are really OK with it all.

  31. Kathy Lewis says:

    Smart girl!!

  32. You go Katie! You are so comfortable and firm with your decision, don’t let anyone change that. I can say from personal experience that you can get through high school without dating. I’m 21 and have just recently gotten married to an amazing God fearing man who I met at university. I’m so glad I didn’t date in high school for all there reasons you said… I was able to develop some good, close friends (girls and guys) who I’m still close to now. God bless you in your decision!

  33. I SO loved this video! It is my prayer that my daughter and son, who are now 5 and 2, will grow up to make such great, grounded decisions such as this. This video gives me hope for the future! Thank you so much for posting!

  34. Julia Mary says:

    Looks like this video was posted around the same time from Blimey Cow! Two voices for sensible singleness! Bravo!

  35. Love her reasons and her confidence in her position on dating. I also made the choice not to date when I was younger – I felt that until I was old enough to consider marriage in a couple of years that it was a waste of time. I didn’t date until I was 21 – my now husband was my first boyfriend and I feel so blessed to have only shared that closeness with him.

  36. Homeschool mamma says:

    I love this and will be sharing with my 15 year old son. Fortunately he has no interest in girls at this point. (Homeschooling REALLY reduces that pressure at least in my homeschool circle!) I did want to say that when I clicked on your youtube video separately from this blog to send him the link, I was horrified at the “other” videos posted on the side. I guess if you put in certain words, things just show up on the side and those videos, I do NOT want him to see. Great job on this one, though! I will just share this through the whole blog and not as a separate link. I think this is awesome and just how I feel. I wish I had done the same when I was young. I wasted all my high school years on one boy that then dumped me once we went to college. That was 30 years ago but it still something I wish I did not have to go through at the time. I was not emotionally ready to handle it. Which is reason #6 of why kids should not date in high school!

  37. Very wise & mature! Thank you for standing up for your beliefs & being a great example to other young girls.

  38. Way to go girlfriend!!! I want to encourage you that even though it’s hard, waiting and trusting in God pays off! I went for 13 years of my post high school life without even kissing a guy or getting in a relationship because I was waiting on God, and I will tell you, even though the wait was long, it paid off! My story: http://youtu.be/JLfXznesGZE

    Our proposal: http://youtu.be/8KWwAEfj1PM

  39. Coming from a parents view, you made some very valid points!! Props to your parents for raising you well. #4 is my favorite! Love the humor you added to this video too…..Your parents I’m sure are very proud of you!!! I forwarded this video to my daughter who is a sophomore in high school. She too thought you are very wise. Can’t wait to see more of your videos!! :)

  40. I loved this video. I work with teens, and I just love this. Her reasoning is clear and logical, and she says it so well. Great post!

  41. Great stuff! Thanks for posting! :)

  42. Great! Glad there are girls like you out there! I didn’t get married till I was 26 I had aLOT of living to do before I decided that maybe it was time I could be tempted to settle down. He was ten years older than me and not even from the same state I lived in. I am 36 now and feel great that I got to go to college without all the drama in highschool. I think I dated two people while I was in high school but they were so serious that it scared me. The other boy was in another city that I didn’t live in and he went to the same church and it was nice to have a great friend but there was no real attraction otherwise. I have always been independent and didn’t need another person to breath not to mention I like my privacy and my space. Don’t get me wrong I loved high school , I was a big participator mostly cause I didn’t want to be home… I am happy I didn’t date a whole lot in high school. Now I feel good knowing there are other girls out there that don’t feel the need for a man in their lives and can wait for the person that completes them or decide not to have a significant other at all.

  43. My boyfriend, and now fiancé, started dating in high school. He was 14 and I was 16. I wasn’t looking to complete myself or to find happiness in him. That being said we did date for a long time. We’ll be getting married on our 5 year anniversary this September! We spent a gazillion hours together. But thank goodness he and I had wise parents. There were very clear boundaries set. And we didn’t have to choose between a missions trip or spending time together because we went together. We encouraged each other to make good choices. We both knew that if we were going to be in a relationship it was because it was going somewhere, it wasn’t a dead end. Dating wasn’t some game of manipulation and testing a persons ability to put up with immature antics. And our parents didn’t take the easy way out by just saying “no dating.” Because honestly if they did I would question that they were doing/saying that cause they didn’t want to put in the effort that comes with counseling and chaperoning a blossoming, young relationship. When a parent allows their teen to start dating it’s almost as if they’ve committed to the relationship too. The parent has to make sure the temptations are eliminated by constantly supervising or allowing the gf or bf to spend a lot of time at their house instead “going out.” And with that the person that enters their child’s life gets a glimpse into the families personal events. Whether it’s a tragedy or a happy time, the significant other gets to see how that family handles and does things. For me it was my fiances family. They let me spend almost every day of the week with them. Taking me out to dinner whenever they went. They invested in me and got know me. As I learned more and more about my fiancé I learned about the ppl that raised him also, his parents. As we grew up together we all fell in love. His parents embraced me and all my quirky ways and I embraced them. I gained more than just a life partner, I gained that and a set of parents who truly love and care about me. Now that my fiancé and I are older we “go out” and date as well as stay home and spend time with our parents. I fear that if we would’ve started dating later in life the bond I have with his parents may have been lacking. And another thing, when I first met his parents and they welcomed me with open arms and invested in me, I knew it would break their hearts if we crossed the boundaries they set.

    All that to say high school relationships can last, because everybody is different. Love is so…. Weird! It hits you at unexpected times. Before my fiancé I nerve dated anybody else. Cus the boys I had crushes on just didn’t seem like “husband material” so ya they were crushes but nothing else. I was content to play sports and get good grades in high school and hang out with my girlfriends. When he came along, I thought “why not give it a shot” 4 and a half years later, I’m so glad I did. I’m so glad I saw his potential at such a young age because I have no doubt that he’s going to be an amazing husband and in a few years (or in my case a lot of years lol) he’ll be a great daddy too.

    • Love this story….very similar to my own aside from the bond with his family. :) My in-laws hated me until our first child was born.

  44. I’m exceedingly thankful that my parents set high standards for me in the areas of dating and purity. Although we did butt heads at times, in retrospect I see the wisdom in waiting. When everyone else had boyfriends to focus on, I had a relationship with Christ to lean on. Now my husband and I have a young man of our own getting ready to go into high school. Nearly all of his peers are already dating, even those in our youth group, but so far he has been content to wait as we have requested. I love the youth perspective in this video – who better to hear it from than a peer?! It’s so good for teens who are choosing to wait to know that they are not alone. :)
    Jen recently posted…9 Ways to Save on Kid’s Clothing: Part 1My Profile

  45. I can appreciate where your daughter is coming from and I think she has a great heart; however I just wanted to share my personal experience. I started dating a guy in tenth grade, we dated all throughout high school and college, and we are now coming up on our two year wedding anniversary! Throughout high school, various leaders in our youth group discouraged us from dating because they claimed that nothing good ever comes from daring that young. I am so thankful that we never listened to them, because we would have missed out on this great thing! we stuck together for six years before getting married. We learned a lot about ourselves, relationships, and God during those years, and I would never trade it. Please don’t discourage your high schoolers from dating. Just make sure their hearts and motives are pure, and pray for them and their boyfriend/girlfriend. You never know God’s plans!!

  46. I am so grateful for you putting yourself out there in a vulnerable position.
    I am now an adult, but can speak from the other side of the coin. The side that only brings heartache, regrets, and all that freaking drama!
    We are doing our best to raise our children with a new legacy, one found in Christ, and I’m grateful that some of these issues can be reinforced by relevant and “cool” young people like you, Katie. You have earned a new follower. God bless you!

  47. My daughter is also 16 and has the same perception on dating. This could have been my daughter posting this. I tell her she is not alone in her thoughts and God will give her strength to stay true to them and not feel like she is missing out. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Interesting! I was saying the same things until I was an exchange student in grade 11. I met my soulmate, we were quite mature, prayed for 2 months about if we should officially start dating, we did. Prayed for wisdom and willpower, and God provided, got married young with both our families supporting us. Been married 14.5 years now! Still soul mates.
    It is great to have convictions, it is awesome to have plans, it is best to listen to what God has to say, and sometimes we might have to alter our plans.

  49. Wondermum4 says:

    I guess I wasn’t a very good mom as I’ve had 4 kids, two boys and two girls. My oldest and youngest are girls. My youngest totally subscribes to Katy’s opinion, which she came to all on her own – basically, what’s the point? There’s too much to miss out on! My older daughter asks me why I didn’t tell her not to date in High School! If I had have, I’m not sure she’d have listened to me anyway, and my younger daughter came to this realization on her own – but she has so much wisdom, and it does leave you free to find out who you are in the Lord and to leave yourself open to what he wants you to do with your life. She has a friend who is very gifted musically and could have gone to the Royal School of Music in London, but she has a ‘new boyfriend’ and has chosen to study locally to be near him – really? Thanks Katie!

  50. You have your head screwed on right. Teenagers need to focus on their studies and future….not about some moron that wont be around for very long. They miss out on travelling the world one day and expanding their minds by hanging about for some twit! (I never did that….my focus was my studies and sport).
    Well done and a BIG heads up from me…..very mature of you and brilliant insight to create this video.

  51. So wise and great advice for girls AND guys! Way to go, love the video.

  52. I am so glad to see this from another mom of teen girls. While, my girls aren’t homeschooled, they are daily schooled at home in the things you mentioned (I show you just to encourage you that it IS possible to raise a teen who won’t want to date, and to tell those of you, especially those with younger kids, to encourage a super close relationship with your kids, teach them to love God, and then EXPECT them to do the right thing). My oldest daughter is a senior in HS & freshman in college. Sure she has had crushes on guys, but she has never dated and really hasn’t wanted to date anyone. She comes home frequently bemoaning the drama with her friends and their boyfriends/guys, etc. She has plenty of friends who are male… one of them is taking her to prom, but she has chosen to forgo dating at this point. I believe my 16yo is following in her footsteps as well.

    Your daughter is well spoken and the whole time my girls watched her video, they were saying–YES! Yes!! Exactly. My oldest even said, “My life.” They both want to be Katie’s friend. They have found a like-minded sister in Christ. YAY! blessings on you all.

  53. I totally agree, if I would have thought this way. I would not have the regrets and all the drama that happened in life. I am forty two and really have a lot of respect for the young girls who chose to wait and nit get all caught up with being like everyone else. You go Katie :)

  54. Excellent decision! You are saving yourself a lot of confusion, heartbreak and drama for sure! I will have my 11 year old daughter watching this tomorrow as she is very level headed and a good Christian girl too and I’m sure this will inspire her. What a great example you are setting for young ladies. Wish I had been that smart!

  55. You’re not the only one sweet girl! I was a part of “all the freakin drama” in high school, and college. My husband decided not to date in high school, and didn’t date around in college. When we started dating, we went into it with the idea of seeing if God wanted us to marry, not to date a while and then date someone else. Our sweet 17 year old daughter has decided not to date for dating sakes either. So thankful she will miss all the drama that goes along with it. God bless you.

  56. Great job! Another great resource for chastity is: chastityproject.com/‎ with Jason and Chrystaline Evert.

  57. You go! I totally agree with you, and I was the exact same way when I was in high school. I would always get the “huh?” reactions too, but I feel like I avoided SO much drama and distractions throughout, and I had a ton more time to focus on my relationship with God and on becoming who He wanted me to be. You are TOTALLY not alone! :p (although I felt that way too sometimes in high school; I was so fortunate that I found a core 2 friends that believed the same thing and stuck it out with me. Sometimes it can be SO frustrating when so many people who start out high school promising to not date until later just go back on that the minute they find someone they really like. But trust me, it’s so worth it to wait)l I’m a University student now, and I still haven’t dated anyone, because I still feel like I’m in a season of life that’s much better spent focusing on growing and taking advantage of the limitless opportunities out there. I don’t feel like I missed anything at all by not dating in high school–instead, I feel like I learned so much by watching others’ relationships (both healthy and unhealthy) but still saved myself all the drama. It isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth it. Stick it out!! And as simple as it sounds, remember that God is always there. You won’t regret it.

  58. WOW. I am a mother of three little girls my oldest is only 9, so I have a while. But this video brought tears to me. I can only hope that with my teachings and trust in my girls they may too have such a head on their solders. I did, though, have my oldest sitting right next to me as I watched. I hope to see more wonderful encouraging videos of wise young women like this to come. This gives me hope that the world my girls are growing up in is better then society has portrayed it.

  59. With two young girls, this is a topic my husband and I have discussed. I don’t think we will encourage our girls to date in any particular stage of their life but to approach it with a Christ-centered perspective and prayer. For the most part, my friends were all part of the dating drama, and maybe I was every so often. However, with everything there is always the exception. My husband and I are that exception. He was the first and only person I’ve ever dated. I wasn’t allowed to date until 16 and we met at my 16 birthday party. We will be celebrating our 8th year anniversary soon. We had the long dating period this young lady describes and a long distant one during college. I understand it can be challenging, but sometimes it’s completely worth it. I only disagree with one thing she says and that is when she mentions that she isn’t suggesting you date to marry. I think that is exactly how dating should go. I’m not saying that you will know you are going to marry your bf or gf, but if you do not feel they are someone you would marry or with marriage in the long term goals, then don’t date them and maybe just don’t date at all until marriage is something you will consider in the future. My husband was convinced at 16 that he was going to marry me. I thought he was absolutely insane, but I was committed to him and our relationship even at 16 myself. He was a blessing from God and I was going to do my best not to mess our relationship up. I think the bottom line remains where you find your relationship with God. If there isn’t a strong relationship with God, then there will be weak ones everywhere else you go and then that’s where you have the dating drama and other aspects of young relationships explained here.

  60. Way to go, Katie! May God bless you in all your relationships. I think you are very courageous for standing up for what you believe in no matter what the world tells you. That faith in God makes you so beautiful!

  61. I actually agree with you, even being someone in a successful high school sweetheart marriage for almost 10 years, now. It was a lot harder than it should have been. Personally, I would not trade any of our hard years growing up together and loving each other more and more for anything. But we are unusual. Very unusual. With high self-awareness and but a bit of low self-esteem, at least initially. In a way, we each picked up where we forced our parents to leave off. We helped raise each other the rest of the way to adulthood and I think it goes back to some of what your sister said. We had good parents but they too also expected us teens to do wrong and rebel. I suppose we proved them right, though. However, when we married, we did much of what your sister said successful parents do. only there was little to no “line” like with parents and children.

    We’ve really been blessed. In a rather unique way. I don’t know of any other marriage or relationship that works quite like ours. I would almost call it peerless. Just thought I’d share. If anyone out there thinks they’re an exception, too, take another look here. Are you truly able and willing to help finish raising your spouse? Do you trust their judgement enough to act on it even if they might be wrong instead of you? Do you know when not to submit to their judgement when you are certain you are right and can you communicate why you think you are right? Can you change your mind if you can’t accurately articulate why you think you might be right, which might suggest your thoughts are actually emotions instead of thoughts?

    If you can’t be both a parent and a spouse, you may need to think just one more time before getting too deep at a young age. The road ahead is tough but also well-worth all the Love you learn and cherish along the way. I would not trade these battle scars for anything. I’ve learned to Love deeper than I was capable of imagining when we were still teens. But that’s just it. We could hardly imagine what we were getting into. What can you imagine?

  62. I graduated from high school quite a while ago, and while i see the really benefits for not dating i really feel like parents often feel it is their duty to make sure their child does screw up, but my question to all of you would be, what makes dating in high school so wrong? I am currently engaged and met my fiance IN HIGH SCHOOL, we DATED in high, we did NOT sleep together, and we are both strong devoted Christians. If i had this mentality i would have limited God’s ability to work that way in my life because i would not have even bothered to give him a second thought as being husband material. I think parents need to raise their children in the way of the Lord, expect them to do the right thing, but stop labeling certain things wrong or irresponsible just because our society deems them as foolish, and trust that God’s plan for them whatever that might be will prevail.

  63. Feeling Blessed says:

    I am 23 and starting dating for the first time this past year. It was well worth waiting on God’s timing to bring an amazing man into my life. My parents never directly gave me an age I could start dating, but I knew my parents enough to know I would disappoint them if I dated too young. I also grew up being taught to seek God’s will for my life. More than disappointing my parents, I did not want to disappoint God. I knew He was calling me to only date to marry (and for me, I knew that meant waiting to date). I am thankful for the time I had before dating to focus on my identify in Christ and understanding my dreams, gifts, and calling so that when the time came, I was exactly where I needed to be to develop a healthy relationship with a potential future mate. I have trusted God with my future and He not disappointed me once. God gives good gifts to His children and His timing is always perfect! Patience is a virtue and a blessing :)

  64. your not alone! btw i agree with 100%

  65. Rebecca says:

    I like how she has some very valid points, they are concrete reasons, and not just “because God told me to,” or “because I’m waiting for my husband.” I also did not date in high school, not by choice, but because it just didn’t happen. I would agree that the relationships I did observe around me were full of drama drama drama!

  66. Samantha says:

    I really enjoy seeing someone nearly my age with this attitude! I had many boys ask me to date them growing up and I always said no. I got some harsh treatment for it and many people called me cruel for not giving anyone a chance. I never saw it that way. I was enjoying my life having fun with friends at school, and I couldn’t see any benefits to dating someone so young. My focus was always on becoming the best person I could be in my schoolwork and other endeavors. I took many opportunities that I would never had been able to if I was focused on a boyfriend. Then I met someone while competing in the many competitions that I was part of. I had never enjoyed someone’s company so much in my life. It was so strange to me and to him too. We started dating when I was sixteen after a year of knowing and supporting each other in our endeavors. We saved ourselves for the marriage that came four years later. It didn’t matter that we dated for so long because we had no doubt in the world that God meant for us to be together. It was more of a devoted friendship than a teenage love that blossomed into a beautiful, supportive, and respectful relationship. It just goes to show that you never know when God will give that perfect person to you. Yes. I agreed that dating so young wasn’t exactly the best idea, but God had other plans for me. It’s a good view to have but you have to always keep in mind that sometimes God can have a different plan for you and love can come when you least expect it.

  67. While I agree that teenagers do date for the wrong reason, I also believe that discouraging all teenagers from dating is not a good idea. One of the problems with our culture is that we have portrayed sex as evil. Having a sex drive is not wrong; acting on it in the wrong way is. Telling your teenagers that desiring others is wrong or that you’d be prouder of them if they didn’t date is just going to make them feel guilty if they do want to date. Teaching them to remain pure to God and their wife or husband is. It depends on the kid whether they can or not. My boyfriend and I have been best friends since we were 8 years old and my folks are high school sweethearts. Dating in high school is not wrong or against God’s will. Don’t make your 13 year olds think that or you may regret it.

  68. Super thrilled that a teenager sees what I have been telling my own teen for several months now. I am desperately trying to keep him from allowing his current relationship ruin his high school career and possibly his college future.

    I will show this to his girlfriend who is “so incredibly in love” with him in hopes that she will take it back a notch or 10.

    Thanks so much!!!

  69. While I think your daughter is smart and confident for making such a choice-coming from someone who met her spouse in high school I can’t help but wonder-what if she closes a door that could have been THE DOOR! There is no reason a teen cannot date and have a relationship that is not so physical at a young age-we dated for 7 years before marrying and all those years of gradual and growing intimacy have ultimately led to our successful marriage, growing family, and true love/partnership. We were very well-behaved in the physical sense in high school and practiced great restraint in college, but part of what makes a loving relationship is the physical aspect and becoming comfortable with sexuality-I feel our relationship made the transition less intimidating-I was confident and always felt loved and admired in a time when many girls feel insecure and awkward.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] understand it’s better to wait to date, and yesterday my 16-year-old shared her thoughts on why she’s not dating in high school. Tomorrow my 19-year-old will chime in on why not all teens […]

  2. […] I’m a big believer in this philosophy, and I’ve written about these two different approaches to parenting before. This week, I thought I’d let other people speak about how to raise kids to make good decisions. We started on Monday about how to raise kids who won’t date too young, and then on Tuesday my 16-year-old chimed in telling us why she’s not dating in high school. […]

  3. […] how to raise great kids, and my own daughters have chimed in with my 16-year-old explaining why she’s not dating in high school and my 19-year-old explaining why she didn’t rebel as a teen. I thought this was a good way to […]

  4. […] was checking through my Facebook feed and this post from the To Love, Honor and Vacuum Blog, came through. Having 2 teen girls, the title, “Why […]

  5. […] reading your post, and Katie, watching your video, was super encouraging! You guys are not alone on this, and it made me so excited to see that there […]

  6. […] on older posts. Whenever I talk about setting limits for teenagers, especially when it comes to dating in high school, someone invariably comments with something like […]

  7. […] has had a serious relationship over their teen years. My youngest is still determined to not to date in high school (you can watch a video of her explaining why here); my oldest has had a few guys she might have […]

  8. […] Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario. Here’s this week’s about teenage dating! […]

  9. […] was always a nice boy, and now he’s a nice man, but oh, how I wish I hadn’t dated when I was a teenager. Looking back, I still almost cringe, thinking of all the ways I made a fool out of myself because […]

  10. […] until they’re 18. (Here’s a video of my 16-year-old talking about why she’s not dating in high school). It’s not because they’re geeks or they’re ugly; quite the contrary. […]

  11. […] while I agree there’s little benefit to high school relationships (an opinion I am so glad my teenage daughters shared), Boy Meets Girl, Harris’ follow-up book about courtship, still left me a […]

  12. […] was checking through my Facebook feed and this post from the To Love, Honor and Vacuum Blog, came through. Having 2 teen girls, the title, “Why […]

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