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Is it OK to date when you’re twelve?

This might be a bit of an awkward question, but I want to know if it’s OK to date when you’re twelve? Everyone else in my class has dated, apart from me. People think that because I’m a Christian (and I’m proud of it) I’m not bothered about dating. But I’m actually in love with a boy at church. We’ve been friends as long as I remember. I’ve liked him for a long time, and sometimes I only think about him. But none of the kids at church are dating. Please write back! Psalm 27:14.


There’s nothing embarrassing about asking about something you’re wondering about, and it’s very understandable that you have questions about dating. A lot of people are very interested in dating and spend a lot of time and energy thinking and talking about dating. There are many ways to date. Some people have had lots of boyfriends or girlfriends, even from kindergarten, and most of these have been very innocent. Some people are boyfriend or girlfriend in name only, and hardly dare to talk to each other. Others date on the net and never meet each other in reality, and some people are good friends with their partner. The fact that people talk a lot about these things makes it difficult for people who haven’t dated. It can seem like everyone else is dating, but usually it is only those who are obsessed with dating who talk most about it.

When we enter puberty our bodies produce hormones that make us develop into sexually mature adults. At this point sexual feelings awaken and you experience being in love in a stronger way than before. Even though your emotions become more intense, it isn’t a good idea to act on these feelings. Your body and emotions need some time to mature and during this time you need to take time to find yourself and become secure. This is why it isn’t a good idea to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend at such a young age. At this age you need to spend time developing yourself and becoming secure in your own personality. When you spend a lot of time with a boyfriend, then the focus will be on pleasing him, rather than on becoming the person you want to be. In addition, feelings change and the person you like when you are twelve is seldom the same person you will like when you’re an adult.

It’s totally normal to be in love, and to think lots about the boy you’re in love with. You’re lucky that you are friends, because you can spend a lot of time with the boy you like. Good friendships last, but dating usually ends and sometimes it can even damage what was a good friendship. Look after the friendship you have, perhaps over time it will develop into something more than friendship between you. Being friends is the best way to find out if dating is suitable for you both.

Here’s the text of your Bible reference, ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord’ Psalm 27:14. Give your feelings and your life to God, He knows what you need and will help you to wait and to look for the right person for you, someone who suits you and who will promise to share their life with you. There’s actually no purpose in having a boyfriend before that, apart from short-sighted fun, which is often followed by disappointment, rejection and hurt.

So keep on being proud of yourself and your choices! Life is a gift to you, to steward as you want to, and with God’s help. Let other people do as they want, but don’t let them change the direction you’ve chosen. Good luck!

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