D8-ing (dating) in Middle School Today
Overall, it remains unchanged. The age group, 12-14 yrs., face similar issues and pressures about being with the opposite sex. They feel awkward and embarrassed to some extent. They are still new to this. Kissing, holding hands, hugging and most physical contact is just as awkward as it was 50 yrs. ago The big differences are communication and boldness as a recent poll of that age group indicates that 1 in 4 tweens claim having oral sex or intercourse or know others that have. God, I hope that poll is totally wrong!
Many tweens communicate solely by texting. In the old days, it was spending hours on the phone until your parent interrupted the call and told you to get off (this is before cell phones). Though many tweens have the cell phone, they prefer texting. They date in packs of many couples to stave off awkward moments and embarrassments. Like tweens from any age, they keep this dating info away from nosy parents and deny that anything is going on. Tweens seldom stay with the same mate for much longer than a month, they just lose interest. Couples usually send 300-400 text messages daily to each other, they may give a quick "hug". One 16 yr. old reflected that she dated a guy for a week in Jr. High. Many tweens find themselves in accidental dating because they are too nice and simply cannot say "no", so they play along. But dating is a social status thing, just like owning an iPhone. If you date, other kids say, 'wow, really" and you get respect. As in days of olde, it is usually the guy who asks the girl out after days of building up nerve to make the approach in the hallway between classes. Some will take the chicken way out and text.
Experts best advice is not to try to stop dating for this age group because they will just do it anyway. Dating for tweens is fairly innocent. Some things never will change. Good!