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Is a 12-year-old mature enough for dating?

A:

Quick Answer

There is no definite age at which people become mature enough to date, and the lack of a precise definition of what a date is makes it difficult to provide an age range. To gauge readiness for dating, WebMD suggests that a person ask herself whether she is confident and comfortable enough to tell a date how far she is willing to go sexually and whether she is capable of handling the rejection inherent in dating.

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Full Answer

Before choosing to date, decide if you can deliver rejection in a kind, respectful way, whether the potential date is a safe person to spend time with, whether you are attracted to the potential date, and whether you have permission to date. Most people in the United States determine that the ideal time to start going on one-on-one dates is between the ages of 15 and 16, though some teenagers go on group dates prior to that stage, and some people wait until age 17 or 18 for a first date.

Prior to going on a date, decide what physical contact you are comfortable with, if any, and whether you have the strength to enforce those boundaries even if a date pressures you to go further. If you are too embarrassed or afraid to use the words "stop" or "no," you likely are not mature enough to start dating yet.

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