8 Guidelines to Teen (and Adult) Dating

Two Teens, Library of Congress 1952Although most of our readers are adults, these tips are for both adults and teens. They are truly universal to anyone who dates. Thus, please read and forward the article or print it out to give a teen in your life.

Here’s my special message for teens: By the time you are of age to date, you are no longer “just” a girl or boy. You are becoming a lady or a gentleman, with expected behavior no different than an adult who dates. My 8 guidelines will help you as you embark on this fun activity. Dating will forever be the foundation of your maturity, sense of responsibility, and respect for yourself and others.


  1. Know more than a date’s name before going out on a date, such as where he lives, his interests, and the name of the school he attends.
  2. Know exactly where you are going, what you’ll be doing, and what’s expected of you before you accept the invitation.
  3. Expect your date to come to the front door to pick you up. Plan to have him meet your parents. If you explain this to date and he is unwilling to do so, forget the date.
  4. Be firm in explaining what time your parents expect you home. Make sure you mention the time it aloud to your parents before you leave with your date.
  5. Always have an exit plan in case you are uncomfortable. Carry a cell phone with your parent’s and other contact numbers pre-programmed to dial fast. If you want to go home, your date should accept this guideline and comply. If not, call for a pick up immediately. Trust your instincts.
  6. Be sure to dress for the occasion. What you wear to a baseball game is different than what you would wear to a nice restaurant.  So always dress appropriately and in a style that will bring the best look of maturity and respect.  Also, when outdoors (especially in certain places as in San Francisco) always bring a jacket, sweater, or shawl along to be comfortable and warm.
  7. Never allow your date to be disrespectful, rude, or impolite to you or others. If he’s this way on a first date, it’s a definite sign he will not be any better in the future.
  8. Never feel pressured into any physical contact that makes you uncomfortable. Explain that “no means no,” and that you must say “yes” before anything is granted.


  1. Know something more than a date’s name before asking her out on a date, such as where she lives, the parent’s names to pronounce them properly when you meet them, her interests, or the school name she attends.
  2. Be specific when inviting someone out on a date. Tell her what time you will be picking her up at her house, where you’ll be taking her, what’s going to be taking place, and by what time you’ll have her home.
  3. Always pick your date up at the front door, not just by honking the horn of your car. Be willing to meet your date’s parents and other family members before leaving.
  4. Show a sense of responsibility by telling the parents what will be taking place that evening and by what time you will have her home. Stick to it!
  5. For first dates, it’s best to plan a group activity, or at minimum a double date to ease into the relationship.
  6. Never allow your date to treat you disrespectfully, rudely, or impolitely. If she does it on the first date, it’s a definite sign her behavior won’t be any better in the future.
  7. Forget pushing for a first kiss or anything anything else on the first date. Focus on having a great time together and getting to know each other. Leave that kiss in anticipation for a future date.
  8. Have a cell phone with you, in case of any emergency, so you can call for help.

BONUS:  A gentleman always opens doors for ladies and a lady always accepts this nice gesture with appreciation, without comment or criticism, by simply saying “Thank You!”

Question to adults and teens:  What other tips do you have to add to this important discussion?

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