Do You Need to Date? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 11, 2010
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Statistics show that a whopping 96% of people do not go on to marry their high school sweetheart. I bet that puts a whole new perspective on your relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend, if you’re in one right now! So if only 4% of all people actually marry the person they’re dating in high school, what’s the point? Do you really need to date?

Reality check! Take a good look at yourself and be totally honest: what is the reason you’re dating?

1 – Are you dating to get to know people better, and get to know what things you like and don’t like in a person? That’s fair enough, but what can be gained from dating that can’t be gained from a really close friendship? To top that off, friendship generally lasts a lot longer than relationships. If you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, don’t things become awkward between the both of you now? The friendship is dissolved. If you never date that person in the first place, then there’s no risk of ruining the friendship.

2 – Are you dating because everyone else is doing it? Yes, I am going to sound like a mom right now when I say: “would you jump off a cliff just because everyone else is doing it?” Here are a couple of reasons why this intention for dating isn’t a good one:
First of all, picture how your girlfriend or boyfriend would feel. What if they were dating you not just because “everyone else was doing it,” but because they actually liked you? Imagine how crushed they would feel when you’re just dating them to fit in with the crowd!
Second of all, disastrous results could occur. If you aren’t ready to date and are just doing it because it’s “the thing to do,” then a serious relationship will be practically impossible.

3 – Are you dating because you genuinely like the person you’re with? That’s great, I hope everything works out between you two, but chances are, it won’t. (This is an unfortunate truth, I know.)
Someday, you two are going to lose interest, have a fight, or something along those lines, and then break up. Enjoy the relationship while it lasts, but be prepared for a major heartbreak.

4 – Are you dating for a dad or a mom? This is often the reason for teens (particularly girls) who don’t have a father or mother in their lives, either due to divorce or death. Please remember this: the guy or girl you’re dating does not want to be your mom or dad, they want to be your girlfriend or boyfriend. The two different intentions could lead to some horrible situations, arguments, and heartbreaks.

So now what? Maybe after reading this, you’ve realized dating in high school isn’t the best idea. Or maybe after reading this, your opinions about dating haven’t changed. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and it isn’t a capital crime to date in junior high or the “younger” high school grades. But if this article prevents at least one heartbroken girl or scarred boy – well, then it’s worth it.

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This article has 15 comments. Post your own now!

itsrainingcats This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 17, 2016 at 11:53 am
My friend had a boyfriend in eighth grade, and they actually went out on dates. At the time I was kind of jealous, but now I'm glad that I didn't "have a boyfriend" at the time because its absolutely ridiculous to be dating at that age. Now I'm in high school and that same friend has had multiple boyfriends and I still haven't had a single one and I'm proud of that.
SmileOn said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm
Great article! I never understood dating at such a young age because, yes, you're probably not going to be dating them forever. Great argument; it shows dating isn't required or really useful when your this young.
busychick said...
Sept. 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm
I enjoyed reading this I often question the point of dating as a teen. But I find that dating as a teen povides us with knowlege and a better idea of what to expect when we're looking for keeps. 
keke_curry said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 8:21 am
I like this because I like how they say they hope the relationship works out if your dating for the right reason & it also shows teens what they,re in for when they descide to date 
wordbeater said...
Apr. 6, 2012 at 7:49 am
I liked this, but my only thing is that if this is a persuasive essay I would like it to be more statistically/factually inclined. I agree and disagree with your article. Dating for dating's sake is never ok, and if you don't date in high school you won't get heartbroken, but you also won't have any chance at a romantic relationship that might work out.
TheWordSmith replied...
Apr. 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm
Thanks for the critique! :)
Illiterate said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm
I agree because maturity is so spontaneous in teen years--we're just trying to figure it out.  We have no set grounds/morales to live on.  
Although I agree with most of this article, your bias is excruciatingly annoying. 
Illiterate replied...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I know this is a persuasive, but I didn't realize it at the time :P  ignore the last comment.
TheWordSmith replied...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Haha no problem! :)

Also, for clarity - I actually don't have a bias against "not dating." I am fine with people dating, it's just not for me at this point in my life. The intent of this article is simply to explain my reasoning behind my decision not to date right now, and hopefully "prevent at least one heartbroken girl or scarred boy." (see the last sentence)

Thanks for the feedback!

DifferentTeen said...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 9:28 am
I agree completely! I've never had a boyfriend in my 14 years of life, and I don't really think I'm ready for one anyway. I don't think I'm mature enough or mentally/phsyically ready either. Right now I'm focusing on my school work and what I can do to have a good future. Not whos the coolest guy in school to date. My friend is like that and it hurts me when she likes a different guy every day, knowing shes just scarring her life. I also hate when girls date a guy then break up and go out again ... (more »)
TheWordSmith replied...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Thank you! :) Women power is definitely a good thing! haha! ;)
ChocoMint said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm
Agreed 110%!!!  I did have a really good guy friend, and once we found out we liked eachother, it got awkward after the other stopped.  We weren't even dating and we created a gap that we can never fill again.  That is the heartbreak for me.  I love your article and I have added it to my favs.  =+)  It's wonderful to know that someone else shares my morals!  I started to write an essay like this once, just for fun, but I got scared off when I thought about what... (more »)
TheWordSmith replied...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm

That exact same thing happened to me once; it was really heartbreaking!

You should post your finished article on TeenInk; I would love to read it!

Thank you so much for the encouragement! (:

ChocoMint replied...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm
I definitely will!  <><
fatman97 said...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 7:29 am
I agree with u if you  date a person that you don't like there going to be mad.It happen to me before and i didn't like it. It made me upset about it.
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