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Letters From Listeners

Dating Rules

Here are only a few of the responses we received from listeners who answered the question, "What dating rules did your parents make you follow when you were a teenager?"

Dr. Laura,

When I started dating,  my big brother and hero made me promise never to wear a skirt or dress on a date. This was awkward at times, but it saved me from being raped by delaying the attacker just enough to get away.

It also kept me from following my hormones. Taking off pants is a decision. Lifting a skirt can be done quick and easy.

Just like my big Brother said.

As a woman in my 30's, entering the dating scene after a divorce, I still keep my promise.



My parents required us to be 16 before we could date. We have also made that our rule for our three girls, now 22, 18 and 17 years old.  They have tended to go on group dates or outings. We have a very open dialog with them about sex, drugs and where those things lead. The younger two still have been on almost no dates where it is just 1 boy and 1 girl. They much prefer the safety of group outings. Hence, they have only kissed one or two and not lost the precious gift they are saving for their husbands.



My parent's rule on dating was simple: I couldn't get in a car with a teenager driver. I could meet a boy somewhere (school dance, etc.), but my folks would drive me to and from the "date."



When my kids started high school, and they wanted to "date", I told them they had to go in a group of 5 or more... while this was not a popular decision, it did keep them safe. They weren't alone with a boy on the first date, nor were they double dating with friends that might be at a more serious point in their relationship (or possibly just more likely to be making out), which can create even more pressure to get physical. The best part about this plan, however, is they get to see how their new "interest" treats others. Are they considerate; do they need to be the center of attention; are they rude to the other girls present? The number 5 tended to be adhered to, and an odd number definitely curtailed any making out. If there were more than 5, the "date" ended up being more of a group activity, so again, less pressure.

My kids are now 21 and 23, and both recognize this was a helpful rule, even if they didn't like it back then.



Tags: Dating, Family/Relationships - Teens, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Sex, Teens
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