Girl to Girl Talk: Middle-School Dating…Is It Too Young?
Written by Christi Given | December 1, 2014
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?
“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
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!