However, you might not recognize it as dating per se.
A teen does not learn how to date in the classroom and most likely has only picked up on some of the basics, like respecting someone’s personal space, at home.
“The number-one benefit is safety,” says the father of two grown children.
Going out in mixed groups also gives boys and girls an opportunity to just enjoy one another’s company, without the awkwardness and sexual tension that can intrude upon a one-to-one date. Many of us feel that way when we imagine our son or daughter disappearing into the night arm in arm with a young lady or a young man. Eagar advises not allowing single dating before age sixteen.
For instance, Atkins suggests asking your child why they think someone acted the way they did, and whether they made a good or healthy choice. It's your job, as their parent, to figure out if your child is ready to handle the level of dating they have in mind.
Pay attention to how they respond when you start a conversation about dating.
But does it exist in the real world, between real people?
Like so much about love, the question of love at first sight can't be answered objectively.
"Most of the activity happens in a pack, and communication takes place between friend groups." By 8th grade, dating probably means talking on the phone and hanging out, usually in groups.
By high school, kids are more likely to develop serious romantic attachments.
Not sure if what you're feeling is teen love or just a crush (or an infatuation..an obsession)? Some things might feel a lot like true love, but they're much too superficial to be the real thing.
There are some clues to your feelings that can reveal the right answer. Real love takes time and doesn't happen overnight.