dating in high school

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2003
dating in high school
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 5:04pm
i'm a recent high school graduate planning on attending college in the fall. currently, i'm involved with a great girl who will be a sophomore in high school come fall; i'm 17 and she is 15. unfortunately, i'm having a lot of trouble with this girl's mom just because of my "senior" status. what frustrates me is the fact that i am the epitamy of polite and try very hard to make sure she knows that my mother raised me well (i even called the girl's mom once to wish her a happy bday) but she still doesn't look favorably to my being her daughter's friend, let alone being her boyfriend (she doesn't know yet), since i was a senior in high school when her daughter was a freshman. i am hoping some mother who has a freshman in high school will respond to this because i want to know what it is that makes mothers so cautious? is it because of all those horror stories of how a senior did some bad things to some unsuspecting underclassmen or something? it isn't like i was looking to take advantage of this freshman or anything; i simply like a girl who happens to be younger than me. i understand that there is some natural doubt/caution taken by parents but i still think this is a bit extensive. i guess what makes this harder on me is the fact that i'm the type who needs my friends' (girls in particular) parents to approve and even like me. i suspect it's because i need to know the trust is there for my own peace of mind and normally, i have no trouble attaining such approval because i am a good guy. i'm hoping to understand what is going on in the mother's mind so i know how to deal with this. i know my relationship with the girl probably won't be lasting very long but i think this is an interesting life lesson. thanks in advance!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 7:38pm
As a mom of three teens who have all been or currently are going through the dating experience, here's some thoughts.

Our initial rule, which both girls (19.5 and 17.9 now) abided by, was that NO "one-on-one" dating (especially car dates, LOL), would be considered until they were 16 years or older. Now, I'm not going to say that there may not be exceptions to this, but as a general rule, 14 and 15 year old freshmen and sophomores in high school just are not emotionally ready and/or mature enough to handle serious dating, no matter how likable and responsible their intended boyfriends might be. As a parent, I have a responsibility to protect my children from harm if I can, and that means "easing" them into the world of dating, letting them testing the waters and guiding them in how to handle various situations WITH SUPERVISION. At 14 and 15, IMO, that means, letting them hang out in LARGE groups of boys and girls AS FRIENDS, doing things like going bowling, minigolfing, to the movies, to the beach, or to hang friends' houses (when the parents are around to supervise!) And either they should be taking public transportation or riding bikes or whatever, or PARENTS should be transporting their kids about. (For special events, like homecoming dances and whatnot, my girls came and approached me if there was one special guy they wanted to invite or who wanted to invite them, and we would negotiate the arrangements about dating "one-on-one" just for that event and that event only....and MOM drove them and the guy to and from the dance or dinner or whatever, you'd better believe, LOL.)

That said, my oldest dd met her first, current, and steady bf ahortly after her 16th birthday. She was a junior, he a senior. I figured, OK, she's 16, and he's going off to college in a few months while she has to complete her senior year, if the relationship can stand THAT test of time and separation and they're still together after that, fine. Now she's home on summer break after completing her freshman year and he's going into junior year (separate schools, her college is 1200 miles away from our home and his school) and they're STILL dating. He's spent time with the family and stuff and is (like you describe yourself) a "nice guy." 'Nuff said.

However, my younger dd met HER bf shortly after SHE turned 17. He turned 21 just before Christmas. I had plenty of doubts about the age difference, and put plenty of restrictions on their dating. He had to spend A LOT of time over here watching videos and playing cards and board games with Mom and dd, and had to take little brother along on the first few dates as well before I began to relax and trust this guy who was 4 years older wasn't going to take advantage of "my little girl", LOL. She graduated high school last week and is starting college this fall, and they are still dating as well. But if she were 14 and a freshman and she had suggested this to me, I would've said, "NO WAY" loud and clear. The experiential age difference between 14 and 17 or 18 is WAY different than the chronological one, and differs from the age gap between 17 and 21, and THAT'S way different than the one between 21 and 25. Trust me.

My ds IS 14 and just finished freshman year high school, and HE'S been dating a 17 year old who is entering her senior year in the fall for the past 3-4 months. I'm flipping out about THAT age difference too, and he has to abide by the same restrictions 17 dd did with HER older bf, but here's the thing. From what I've seen of Z's gf when she spends time here, SHE calls the shots in the relationship, because she's older. Somehow you trust an older girl to put the brakes on things when needed more than you would an older guy. Sexist? Maybe. But given the fact that ds grew up with two older sisters, he IS a bit more in tune with girls who are older than him chronologically. This is probably the best type of relationship for him to get his feet wet in, so to speak; I'm absolutely certain that once this chickie heads off to college and meets all those guys there, they WON'T be dating after that. (And by then, he'll be 16, and able to date on his own without Mom's restrictions, LOL.)

This probably didn't help you much, but at least you got an idea of where some of us moms out there are coming from at any rate. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 8:13pm
Well I think drei covered a lot of the reasons why a lot of moms are concerned about their dds dating. Most parents seem to have a 'no one on one dating till you're 16' rule. I actually recently posted a question on *why* this rule exists on a different board, lol. My guess is that the mom is concerned about a lot of things. One, she knows you're going off to college and doesn't want her dd's heart to be broken. It's way easier to get over a breakup when you're in a new environment, meeting new people than to be left behind in the same environment. Second, you being 2+ yrs older means you will have fewer restrictions than her dd will have at 15. Third, the kinds of activities you and your friends are likely interested in doing aren't likely what her dd and her dd's friends are allowed to do due to curfews or inability to get from A to B without driver's licenses and 'car dates' seem to be a huge "NO" thing too at age 15. Guys your age are usually more experienced than the average 15 yo girl and so a mom worries about that too. So that's some of the things most likely going thru the mom's mind. It has less to do with *you*, I'm willing to guess, than it does circumstances.

That said, you could always just, in a very friendly manner, seek to find out yourself by talking to the mom directly. You could always just say that you would like to know what you could do to ease her mind about her dd being friends with you. She likely thinks if you two are allowed to spend more time together that you will become bf/gf. And all the above-named worries will be attached to that idea. If she finds out you two have lied about going out, it might make things worse. I'd just maybe try to tell her that you care about her dd, don't want to hurt her, and understand that she has concerns and that you would like to better understand how you could ease her mind. Nothing will REALLY ease her mind because so much of what we moms worry about comes to pass anyway but it doesn't stop us from trying :-) and if my dd's bf actually came and very nicely, thoughtfully asked me this, it would go a long ways in opening the door around here.

Good luck :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 9:22pm
I don't have any girls - my boys are 13 and 16 (8th grade and h.s. junior). We don't allow any one-on-one dating early in high school - probably in the next year or so we'd start letting our older ds date if he has time.

There is a world of difference in emotional maturity between a h.s. sophomore and a college person and I can see where the mom is coming from. My advice is to continue to be friendly with the family - perhaps talk with the mom and see if you can come over while she is there OCCASIONALLY over the summer. In the fall you'll be off to school and next summer if you guys are still in touch maybe she'll be more willing to let you see each other. College is a world of difference from high school and there is a good chance your interests will be much different in a year. I would NOT advise going behind the mom's back - that will do nothing but cause her to think she was right all along and that she never should have trusted you.

Good luck, enjoy your summer and getting ready for college.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 8:58am
I have a daughter I'd like you to meet. ;-)

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 1:37pm
Well, I used to have a daughter who was a freshman in HS, at the same time that her older brother was a senior in HS. Since she was attending a 7-8-9 Jr Hi we pretty much sidestepped the issue of senior boys trying to date her BUT I heard plenty of what my son's friends thought about her (she was considered "hot") and ds almost got into a couple of fights over things that the guys said they would like to do to/with her!

I think that most parents' fears are based on generalizations, which is okay--and since we can't meet every single boy out there so we develop some guidelines to try to keep our dd's out of situations that could become out of control.

3 years is a pretty big difference at her/your ages. Mentally, psychologically, emotionally, we will assume that you have developed much more than a 15yo. You have presumably been exposed to more mature situations and experiences, and some of them may be part of your lifestyle. You could easily have different, more mature expectations of what you want in a relationship. Your friends are probably mostly your age or even older and you all probably have fewer parental restrictions than a 15yo. Meanwhile, the girl is younger in all ways, and she may be kind of "starstruck" that a grad likes her. A parent might fear that their dd could be influenced/convinced to do things to seem like she is more mature or experienced, to fit in with the older group or to keep the interest of the "older man".

Having a college-aged son, I know that these are generalizations--his HS friends ran the gamut from sweet and naive, to one guy who dumped any girl who wouldn't "put out" within a month of dating. I also realize that there are 15yo girls who could teach tricks to 20yo's.

That's the rationale. In your case, IMO the best approach would be if the mother will get to know you. If you are satisfied with seeing her dd in the family setting, just hanging out in the public rooms, watching TV etc. AND you aren't trying to get the girl off alone then the mother may decide that you aren't going to lead her dd astray in any way. By the time that you convince her, it will probably be time to leave for college but maybe you will have proven your point!

Good luck!