“At this age we’re always fighting with our parents, so we need to feel we’re loved.” She’s quick to add that while she and her boyfriend love each other, they’re not . ” This is the new world of teen dating, and it can be almost unrecognizable to many parents.
Long gone is the tradition where a boy phones a girl on Tuesday to ask her out for Saturday, picks her up at her house, meets the parents, pays for dinner and a show, and sees her home.
The peer group provides checks and balances, along with feedback about what’s OK and what’s not, so kids are less likely to get out of their depth — especially in terms of conflict, expectations for behaviour and sex.
With traditional one-to-one relationships, Connolly says, things tend to escalate much more quickly, simply because the couple is spending a lot of time alone.
“If I get bored [on a date], my friends keep things interesting,” Katie says.