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Love

“How Do I Approach My Parents to Ask if I Can Date?”

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.

This week, I want to talk to those who are considering dating or who want to ask their parents if they are allowed to date. A PI Girl asked, “How do I approach asking my parents if I can date?” (Click here to read more.)

Here are some personal tips and pieces of advice for those of you wanting to evaluate whether you should date or how to ask for your parents’ permission.

First and foremost, you will want to ask yourself: Am I at an appropriate age to date? Honestly, I don’t think you should date until you’re at least 18 because so much changes in life, and this is just a wise choice if you want to really focus on school, the Lord and simply enjoying your life in high school. Some people do meet their high school sweethearts at age 15 or 16, and I’m all for young lovebirds meeting their sweethearts, but you should really consider if you’d want to take your friendship to another level beyond that in a courtship. You want to use wisdom at a young age because most boys ARE NOT mature enough, even if you are. If you aren’t planning on marrying the person, you could date or be courted for fun…but the truth is, if you don’t marry them, it could very well end in heartbreak.

Above all else, guard your heart,
 for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

In life we have many choices, and I don’t look down on anyone who wants to date, but you also need to ask yourself: Is this person mature enough to date? If you like the person as a friend, then keep them as a good friend. You never know…years down the line, you could end up remaining lifelong friends, or even end up dating when you are both mature enough to handle a strong commitment to each other.

Next, before you even consider dating this person or asking your parents if you’re allowed to date, you should ask your godly friends if they approve of and like this person. If your friends think this person is not good for you, then most likely your parents won’t, either. Also, is he a strong believer? Will he draw you CLOSER to Jesus or further from Christ? This is vital in deciding whom to date because you don’t want to be pulled in a different direction from God’s BEST for you! Read more on being unequally yoked.

I would add that before you ask your parents if you should start dating, ask yourself: Where is my relationship with the Lord? If you have a solid relationship with Christ, then you will want to continually focus on Him without distractions. Of course, we all need balance in our lives and need to maintain relationships and friendships, but again, if you feel you’re mature enough and strong enough in your boundaries, your purity walk and your faith, and you feel you can handle a relationship, then I would prayerfully consider it. Read 1 Corinthians 7 for more about the Bible and what it says about marriage, singleness, purity and ministry.

If you’re uncertain about whether you’re mature enough, then ask yourself: Do I crave attention and affirmation from guys? or Am I trying to fill a void in my life? If you answered YES to either of these, then I don’t think you’re ready for dating yet. You should feel completely whole and confident in your identity in Christ before plunging into the dating world. I know it’s hard, but trust me, girls—you can avoid a lot of confusion and even more emptiness if you don’t date prematurely. That’s sort of why I said age 18—because I think when you become an adult, you grow and learn what you can handle and what you can’t handle. Life is a journey and we are all in different seasons, so take all of this to the Lord’s throne of grace.

For more dating advice, read the book (for mature Christians and young women) Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World by Marian Jordan Ellis. It has great godly wisdom and is relevant. There are many references to the media, film, TV and other sources in the world that send the WRONG messages about dating, courting and marriage. Check it out here.

My final piece of advice? Seek God’s Word and respectful counsel.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

To recap my advice, here are the seven tips on what to ask or consider before dating or asking your parents to date:

  1. Ask yourself: Am I at an appropriate age to date?
  2. Ask yourself: Is this person mature enough to date?
  3. Ask yourself: Is the person I’m interested in mature enough to date? Is he a Christian?
  4. Ask your godly friends if they approve of and like this person.
  5. Ask yourself: Where is my relationship with the Lord?
  6. Ask the Lord for wisdom and counsel, and read his Word (the Holy Bible).
  7. Ask your youth pastors or counselors for guidance.

PI Girls, do you have any tips or questions regarding this subject? I know it’s a popular one! I am praying for you that you will heed wise advice and make good choices!

Image: ThinkStock

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11 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by TorBabes on July 9, 2014 at 12:07

    This article had some great points, but you never really addressed how to approach your parents. All I saw was dating advice. Could you please post another article about talking to your parents about dating? I clicked on this link to get information but the info didn’t match the title. I don’t mean to be a bother, but I’m just trying to figure stuff out.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by larplyfe727 on May 31, 2014 at 15:41

    I have really liked this guy for over a while now, and things are getting pretty serious. I really really care for him, and I pray that we have a future together. My family is not Christian, but I am, and his family is very strong in their faith (which I love). He is not allowed to date, and its hard because we both have very strong feelings for each other, but I know its for the good. I am constantly invited into his family gatherings, and they make me feel so welcomed, and I love his parents. But lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t think its fair for me to keep my family away from him because we don’t share the same faith and I don’t want our parents to not get along. But I don’t know what to do, I love my family, and even though they haven’t all accepted Jesus, they are still my family, and I don’t want his family to try and convert them or something, because religion is very personal to my parents. Any advice? Thanks! 🙂

  3. ktuck22

    Posted by ktuck22 on May 23, 2014 at 21:23

    I just straight up asked my mom one day. “Mom, when am I allowed to have a boyfriend?” and she answered with 16. It seems awkward, but it was simple!

  4. Trinity

    Posted by Trinity on May 21, 2014 at 08:58

    My parents never really had a rule about when I could date, they just waited until there was a guy I was interested in, and then we talked about whether he’d be a good guy to go out with. But I had three boyfriends in high school and my advice is: DON’T. Boys are rubbish then, and teenagers are rubbish and you’ll be setting yourself up for drama that you’re not ready for yet. Because there are two ways every relationship is going to end: either you’ll be together for the rest of your lives, or you won’t. And falling in love with someone and them not being the person you’re going to be with is not something you’re ready for at that point.

  5. Maryon

    Posted by Maryon on May 21, 2014 at 05:57

    I fully agree with this post. My mother told me that I’ll be allowed to date when I’ll be 18. I’ll be 18 in nov. I’m not in a hurry to date at all though I’m mature enough. its like I’m the only grown up among the teens I know especially boys. so I’m kinda of everybodies big sis, I dont mind I love loving and caring for others but I don’t to be the only one strong in a relationship. I’m human. Though, I’m in love of a virtual guy who I think loves me back but he is not balanced, there are always downs after the ups so I try to keep some distance after 2yrs of a kinda of flirt though at first it was a strong friendship but our emotions made us wobble. so now ,Im waitin on God.s plan for me… I dont regret what we had, though it went too fast, i couldn.t stop the feelings.

    • Percy Jackson

      Posted by Percy Jackson on June 14, 2014 at 21:21

      Hey Maryon i am with you. My mother said we aren’t allowed to date till we are 18 and i’ll be 18 in september. I’m impatient. But if it’s not God’s time, it’s not His time. So what i did was i wrote a list of qualities i am looking for in my future husband and then i put it away and told God ill leave it in his hands. I am in a hurry to be in a relationship, but right now it’s my relationship with God that comes first,

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by Caleyellen on May 20, 2014 at 22:50

    Honestly I am 15 and Have a boyfriend. It has been the best decision of my life (And my Parents for allowing me) He has brought me so much closer to the lord (Before I didn’t really attend church or a youth group but now that I’m with him I attend both) And our relationship has helped me through a lot of emotion hardships I’ve had.

    • ktuck22

      Posted by ktuck22 on May 28, 2014 at 19:26

      That’s awesome! Young relationships can either be hurtful or helpful, and it seems well worth it in your case! Blessed <3

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Redeemedgirl20 on May 20, 2014 at 20:17

    I’m 20 and I have never dated as of yet. I thought all of these guidelines were great, and I actually have thought about all of these. I do have one thing to comment on though. The part where you said we need to ask “Do I crave attention and affirmation from guys? or Am I trying to fill a void in my life?” is one of the best questions a girl can ask herself. Honestly, when it comes to being ready though, I have to wonder how many girls, if they accurately and honestly assessed themselves, would really feel like they are ready to date. It reminds me of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis where Aslan asks Caspian “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?” And Caspian replies “I – I don’t think I do, Sir. I’m only a kid.” Then Aslan said to him, “Good. If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not.” I think we can know our identity is in Christ and know we are satisfying ourselves in Him, yet still not feel ready or confident to date. Yet I think knowing we will never be perfect and having humility in that is also key to being ready to date. Just something to think about. 🙂

  8. dawnmarie21

    Posted by dawnmarie21 on May 20, 2014 at 15:19

    My parents let me start dating at 13, which i wasn’t ready yet. make sure you are ready, and make sure he is a good guy who respects your boundaries

  9. Champ2343

    Posted by Champ2343 on May 19, 2014 at 10:28

    I have some advice! First, make sure that both parents are on the same page when you decide to date or court. You don’t want to have to be sneaking behind your mom or dad’s back if you’re dating someone. This is actually my situation. My mom says it’s okay, but my dad isn’t. I’ve decided to make sure that I have both my parents’ permission. 😉