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What age can I date?

How old do you have to be to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?


No one has set an age limit for when you can have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and there are lots of different kinds of dating. Some people have a ‘girlfriend’ (or boyfriend) at kindergarten; some have dated lots of different people, and many people wait until they have found the one they want to marry.

It can be a good idea to spend your teenage years developing good friendships with boys and girls, and on maturing into an independent and secure person. If you spend a lot of time dating, your focus will be on being good enough for your partner instead of being secure in your own self and in your identity.

Having a boyfriend or a girlfriend is actually a modern, Western idea. In most cultures it hasn’t been normal to be in a romantic relationship until you are married. Dating is actually meant to be the first step towards marriage, and not just for fun. When you have found someone you want to share your life with, you date them in order to get to know them better and find out if you really are a good match.


Best wishes