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Girl to Girl Talk: Middle-School Dating…Is It Too Young?

Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.

A PI Girl asked about what to do when friends in her class want to date in seventh grade. She mentions that she sees no point in her friends dating because it only lasts about one to two months, if that, plus middle-schoolers typically do not marry the people they date. What can she do to help her friends so they don’t get their hearts hurt?

dating-in-middle-school

“All right, when I go to school every day, all I see is people who are ‘dating.’ I think it’s stupid. So, when my friends slip into it, what do I tell them? I don’t just want to watch them get their heart broken in one month, but I also don’t want them to revolve their life around their bf or gf.” Click here to read the full post.

First off, I completely agree with this PI Girl. I believe that you should wait to date until you are mature enough to be independent and make wiser choices. It’s evident that dating is popular in school and is most likely to happen regardless of whether I say, “Wait until you are mature enough.”

What you can do is tell your friends what you wrote on the PI Girl Talk forum, and mention your concerns privately to your friend. Tell her that you are a little worried that she might get hurt and that friendship is far better than dating and ruining a relationship, especially at such a young age. Dating can also be a distraction from school, homework, athletics and, most importantly, the Lord. It’s fine to have guy friends, but 11, 12, 13 and even 14 is still so young, and dating can wound young people if they are not careful.

Next, be honest with your friends and tell them that it kind of hurts your feelings when they revolve their life around a guy. Mention it not only hurts you, but it also will eventually hurt them if it doesn’t work out. In middle school you are still growing, developing, learning and maturing. You can’t even drive yet and don’t have adult-like responsibilities, so dating is taken lightly and that’s why it’s usually only a couple months long—they are usually crushes and/or short-term flings. Remind them to enjoy being young—you are still kids and are not even teenagers yet. Relax, enjoy being young, because you will blink and be graduating high school and will be an adult before you know it. Explain to them how fast time goes by and to enjoy their life, friendships, sports, church and whatnot.

According to The Huffington Post, a study was done that followed middle-school daters into high school and found that they were more likely to party and/or drop out of high school and not further their education:

“The students who began dating early, in middle school, that is, were significantly more likely to eventually drop out of school, have worse study skills and to use marijuana and alcohol in high school than their later dating peers.” —The Huffington Post

Also, dating can totally deter someone from focusing on their life and some young people can’t handle it as much emotionally:

“Another possibility is that these early daters get distracted at an early age, develop a habit of always being in a relationship and lose focus on how to handle all aspects of life in a healthy manner…” —The Huffington Post

Read more here.

Last but not least, pray for your friends. It may seem frustrating if you do all that I mentioned by personally talking to them, praying for them and also encouraging them to enjoy being a preteen, but be faithful in prayer and God will hear you. You may not see instant results, but God knows your heart and says the prayers of a righteous person will avail much. This means a godly person’s prayers work and are effective!

 

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Three Tips for Dealing with Friends Who Date in Middle School

1. Mention your concerns. Talk to your friend privately and tell her why you think it isn’t smart to date so young and that you don’t want her to get hurt.

2. Be honest. Tell your friend that your feelings are hurt sometimes when she dates. Some girls can get boy crazy and forget their friendships.

3. Pray. Talk to God about the situation. God knows everything and cares about all the things that concern you. Of course things don’t change instantly, but the Bible tells us that the prayers of a godly person are powerful and will affect things. Put your hope in the Word of God, not on your emotions. Amen?

PI Girls, I hope that helped and I am praying for you! God bless you! Message me with questions or for any advice at facebook.com/ChristiGiven.

Comment below if you have more tips and/or advice for this young girl who asked about her friends and dating!

[Source: huffingtonpost.com/barbara-greenberg/why-you-may-not-want-to-l_b_2931111.html]

Image: Thinkstock

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9 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Simplyagirloffaith on December 30, 2015 at 04:17

    As Christians we should actually be courting which is kinda like dating, we should be looking for a future spouse and 14 and under is way too young

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Pippylongstockings on March 8, 2015 at 13:59

    I definitely think middle school is too young to date. When you date someone, you’re looking at them as a future spouse. I found a text post that said “If I date you, my goal is to marry you, build with you, grow with you. I’m not dating you to pass time, I see potential in you.”

    In middle school…we’re all immature, because we’re so young. There’s so much life we haven’t lived yet. Middle school is when the majority of us go through puberty. Life is confusing enough as a pre-teen/teenager without throwing a boy into the mix. I say at least wait until sophomore/junior year of high school to date. Take time to grow the relationship between you and Christ. Be in the word, pray, then, when the time is right, date.

    Middle school is a horribly awkward time anyways. Having your parents drop you off on a date/go on the date with you but sit somewhere else is even more awkward

  3. mkay77

    Posted by mkay77 on December 13, 2014 at 09:27

    I’m 16. When I was in middle school, my parents had a fairly stringent no-dating rule. Back then, I thought she was notoriously strict, and I had a boyfriend anyways because she couldn’t exactly force us to break up.

    Looking back, I completely understand my mother’s concerns. Despite the fact I was a straight-A honors student, she knew violence between couples does not discriminate. It doesn’t select only the “popular” girls–I could very well end up with a manipulative boyfriend just like a girl in the “in” crowd or someone in the “sporty” crowd can.

    Much to my surprise, my mother has a different view. She thinks that yeah she was trying to protect me, but she seems to regret being so strict with the no-dating rule. She could tell me every day that I don’t need a boyfriend, but they were merely just words on repeat until I learned from experience. It stinks that’s the way I had to learn it, but at the end of the day, I didn’t hold a resentment against my mother and actually understood the deeper meaning. Despite the fact I’m a fairly obedient child who hardly gets in trouble, I bottle things up a lot and often times I need to truly learn things by experience. As my friend’s father says, there are two types of people: ones who know to steer clear of the electric fence and ones who need to pee on it to learn. I’m the latter 😀

    So to sum it up, if I were in middle school (which you cannot pay me to do) and in that situation, I would tell my friend that I’m concerned and I’m only concerned because I care for their well-being. Too often, when these kinds of confessions occur, there is a feeling of betrayal or snitching. Snitching is to get even with someone–this is trying to protect someone. Try your very best to be supportive, but supportive does not mean agree with every little thing they do. If you suspect something is going haywire (as in emotional, physical, sexual abuse), tell a trusted adult as soon as you can. And prayer definitely is a plus. 🙂

  4. Baine

    Posted by Baine on December 4, 2014 at 23:55

    As my mother said, if you can’t drive and have not started your period yet, you are too young to date.

  5. valoree2000

    Posted by valoree2000 on December 3, 2014 at 16:54

    My friend likes a guy and he is in like 10th grade and she’s only in 8th grade and she keeps on pushing him to sit by her at church and he wants to take everything slow and be more friends then a couple. I keep telling her to slow thing down because God has the right guy for her and it might be him but it might not and personally I think they’re to young even though he will be 16 soon. Plus they don’t talk to each other in person they only text and I told her if she can’t talk to him person then he’s probably not the guy for you. I personally think that everyone should wait til’ they’re older to start dating! I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t date until I’m 16 or 17 and I intend to keep it!

    • mkay77

      Posted by mkay77 on December 13, 2014 at 09:18

      Regardless of age, if he wants to take it slow, she has to respect that. Way I see it, relationships should only go as fast as the slowest “pace” person wants to go. If one person’s comfortable with setting their boundaries up to kissing but the other one is only willing to hold hands, the first should slow down and wait. Don’t know how to phrase that better…I’m not good with Internet communications 🙁

    • SereneInChrist

      Posted by SereneInChrist on December 10, 2014 at 16:30

      This is going to sound *so* random, but I LOVE the blue umbrella your have tossed behind your shoulder in your profile pic! Makes the pic look really artistic!

  6. ktuck22

    Posted by ktuck22 on December 2, 2014 at 19:46

    Honestly, middle school “dating” is kind-of stupid. I wanted to when I was in middle school. I did, I promise! But then I got to high school and realized that middle school “dating” is just silly. At that young of an age, you don’t really understand what a relationship is all about. You don’t understand that it means commitment, trust, honesty, and a lot of time. You think it’s just walking together, saying you’re “together”, and holding hands. It means understanding the other person, making sacrifices, and challenging each other to be better people. Relationships aren’t taken seriously at that age, sometimes even in high school.

  7. BethDanielle

    Posted by BethDanielle on December 1, 2014 at 15:27

    I’m my personal experience I whole-heartedly agree with this article. I started “dating” in middle school, and it ended very badly. Most likely they will be your first “love” and the first time you always fall the hardest and it hurts so bad when it doesn’t work out because you had such high hopes and expectations. Your first love is always the hardest to get over, therefore you need to be mature enough to handle it when things don’t work, and I definitely was not mature enough to handle it. Even though we were together throughout all of middle school, when he ended it in high school, I was devastated. Even then I wasn’t ready. It’s so important that you prepare yourself emotionally before you start dating.