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“At this age we’re always fighting with our parents, so we need to feel we’re loved.” She’s quick to add that while she and her boyfriend love each other, they’re not . ” This is the new world of teen dating, and it can be almost unrecognizable to many parents.
Long gone is the tradition where a boy phones a girl on Tuesday to ask her out for Saturday, picks her up at her house, meets the parents, pays for dinner and a show, and sees her home.
“If I get bored [on a date], my friends keep things interesting,” Katie says.
The downside for parents: You may not even be aware that your child has a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You usually don’t go out one-on-one.” And there are some other interesting developments in this brave new world, including the fact that teens feel freer to put off sex, and they see love, marriage and kids as best left for the (fairly) distant future.“We call it group dating, and we believe it can be really healthy and protective,” says Jennifer Connolly, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto who specializes in teen relationships.Connolly, who has two adolescent daughters of her own, says that group dating is growing in popularity everywhere, including China and India.Group dating is also a way for kids to circumvent a parental ban on dating.Becoming a “couple” Don’t panic, but the experts say “going out” often begins in grade five, with one or two couples in a class.