Teens in middle school are on the cusp of becoming adults while still kind of being kids. This can make the decision of whether to date very challenging.
Dating in Middle School
Middle school students are less likely to date than their high school counterparts. According to research, frequent dating amongst middle school-aged students is around eight percent, making serious relationships a fairly uncommon trend.
The Benefits of Dating in Middle School
Dating can be an incredible experience filled with ups, downs, and amazing learning opportunities. It can be beneficial to begin dating in middle school if you are ready to take on a more mature relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Understanding Who You’re Compatible With
Dating offers you the chance to figure out who you match well with. If you start dating in middle school, it will give you a bit more time to begin exploring what types of people interest you romantically as well as who doesn’t work well with your personality.
Getting to Know Yourself Better
Dating while you’re in middle school gives you a chance to really figure out who you are as a person. Dating offers lots of experience when it comes to making decisions, resolving issues, and communication. You may go through exciting experiences that give you an opportunity to learn something new about yourself.
Experiencing Healthy Relationships
Dating around in middle school can give you the chance to experience healthy, casual relationships. This can give you confidence in your partner picking judgment as you experience different relationships.
The more experience you have dating, the more quickly you’ll be able to rule out unhealthy or disrespectful partners, which is a valuable skill to have.
The Downside to Dating in Middle School
Although there can be many benefits to dating in middle school, there can also be some negatives. Going through something as complex as dating can lead to challenging situations.
May Experience Overly Mature Situations
Dating can lead to complicated feelings that may feel too overwhelming to manage at this stage in your life. You may go through heartbreak and feel pressured to engage in behaviors that you normally wouldn’t. This may put you into situations that feel too mature for where you are at in terms of emotional maturity, and that’s totally okay.
Parents May Disapprove
Your parent or guardian may want you to wait a bit longer before beginning to date. If this is the case, it would be really challenging to move forward with dating during this time. If you aren’t sure why they aren’t comfortable, you can always ask about their motivation for wanting you to wait.
May Encounter Unhealthy Individuals
If you do begin dating around, you may go out with some individuals who are disrespectful, rude, and possibly even abusive. This can lead to feelings such as sadness, isolation, loneliness, and self-blaming. It’s so important to understand typical signs of unhealthy individuals so you can pursue relationships with kind, caring, and healthy partners.
You May Get Distracted
Dating can be fun, but it can also feel like a lot to juggle on top of your school work and extracurriculars. Teens who date in middle school may have a hard time studying, keeping up with homework, and doing well in school. They may be daydreaming about their boyfriend or girlfriend or prioritizing their relationship over school.
Rejection is both a positive and negative piece of dating in middle school. Dating is bound to lead to rejection at some point. Even though almost everyone experiences rejection in the dating world, it can catch you off guard and may feel too painful to go through.
On the other hand, moving through a difficult moment can help you build resiliency. As an adult, rejection will definitely come your way, and it’s important to learn early on how to handle intense emotions in healthy ways.
Deciding What to Do
Dating in middle school is a personal choice. Take into consideration your maturity level, your expectations, as well as what your parents or caregiver thinks is best for you. Keep in mind you will have plenty of opportunities for dating in high school, and once you are an adult, so there’s no need to rush unless you feel truly ready to be in a relationship.