Dating advice for middle schoolers is hard to come by. Most people our age are still figuring out who they are and what they want in a relationship. So how do you know if you’re ready to date in middle school? Here are the do’s and don’ts of middle school dating.
Do stick to friends
Your friends are there to support you in life, and you owe it to them to have their backs as well. If you choose to date someone, be sure you are comfortable with your friends knowing your relationship. You don’t want to embarrass your friends if they find out about it through a mutual friend.
Stick with the friends you know
Your friends, you know, your friends! Who else would you hang out with but your friends? If you’re looking to make friends with someone new, stick with the friends you already know and trust. A great way to do this is by keeping in contact with your high school friends. You can continue to hang out with them at school and then at sports activities or other extracurricular activities. And when you have a chance to hang out with your friends at school, make sure you invite your new friend.
Trust your instincts
Trusting your gut is especially important when it comes to middle school dating. If you feel like something is off, it’s probably best to avoid them. There are plenty of other fish in the sea and you deserve to meet someone who makes you feel happy, not anxious or stressed. When you’re ready, you’ll meet someone who shares similar interests and will make you feel comfortable. You’ll be able to talk to them and learn more about them without wondering if they’ll judge you for who you are.
Avoid the drama
Drama is one of the biggest reasons that teens have difficulty getting along with others. Whether it is mean-spirited teasing or conflict over who is right and who is wrong, drama can have a big impact on your life, especially if you are a teen who is already struggling with anxiety or depression. If you find yourself drawn to the drama that can happen when kids begin to date, it is important to step away from those who are causing you stress or bringing you down. Sometimes a good friend will notice how much you seem to be struggling, and reach out to you to make sure you are okay. If you notice that you seem to be getting caught up in an argument or that you are becoming highly emotional, talk to your parents and school counselor to find out if there is something else going on that may be contributing to your feelings.
Don’t be impulsive
If you are looking for a relationship, then you need to be more thoughtful about who you choose to date. It is important to think about why you are attracted to someone you are interested in and to take your time to get to know them better. Be patient and don’t rush things.
Do make rules about who you hang out with
One of the hardest parts of middle school dating is figuring out what groups you belong to and how to stay away from people who aren’t safe. It’s tempting to hang out with everyone you know, but you don’t want to risk putting yourself in situations you don’t understand. Try to hang out with kids who are interested in your hobbies and activities.
Always hang out with your friends
This sounds like a given, but you need to be careful. Let your friends hang out with other groups of kids and you should hang out with other groups of kids. If you want to protect your child from pressure to date, allow your teenager to be around other kids their age. Your teenager will still talk to their friends and will still learn about the opposite sex. It’s much easier for a teen to learn about relationships when he or she is around peers.
Make sure you don’t hang out with people who do drugs
If you want to have a relationship with someone, you don’t want to be with someone who is using marijuana or other drugs. It could lead you down the wrong path and be a major cause of conflict in the future. Plus, some drugs can lead to other issues, like depression or anxiety, which are not what you want to deal with in a relationship.
Know who your friends are
If you’re going to date your friends, make sure you both know where the line is drawn. It’s not cool to hang out with your friend just because they’re your boyfriend or girlfriend’s friend—it can feel a little incestuous. If you know that your relationship may develop into something more, then by all means hang out with them! But if you’re just friends, don’t let them feel obligated to hang out with you just because they’re dating you.
Do be careful about meeting new people
For many kids, developing a relationship with someone new can feel exciting and romantic, especially if that person is a friend of a friend. But as kids get older, they may start to feel anxious about romantic relationships, especially with someone they don’t already know well. So be cautious about how you meet new people, especially those you may not know well. And if you find yourself developing romantic feelings for a friend or classmate, talk to your parents and your school counselor. There are lots of great, qualified people in the world who can help you talk about your feelings and make wise choices about how to handle those feelings.
Do your research
Just as you would when you are meeting someone in college, make sure you do some research about the people you are interested in. Make sure you are comfortable with the things they post online and with any other information you can find about them.
Do your best to make the first impression a good one
One of the first things that people will notice about you is your personality. For this reason, it is extremely important that you make a good first impression. Be friendly and polite to everyone you meet.
Don’t reveal sensitive information
Even if the two of you seem to feel comfortable with each other, it is always best to avoid giving out any personal information about yourself or your family. This includes what school you are at, where you live, your siblings, and other potentially sensitive information. If you do want to share personal information, be sure to ask the other person first and get their permission.
Do be careful about meeting new friends online
No matter your age, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening around you. If you are a girl between the ages of 11-14, do not post your full legal name, school name, or location. If you are a boy between the ages of 11-14, do not post your full legal name, school name, or location. Not only is this extremely inappropriate for your age, but it can also put you in a dangerous situation. You do not want to end up being lured to a location you do not know.
Think about your comfort level
Are you more comfortable being around teenagers or adults? It’s not uncommon to feel nervous when meeting someone new, especially in a group setting, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you find yourself feeling anxious, you might want to consider hanging out with teens closer to your own age group who you feel more comfortable with.
Check out their profiles
Before meeting anyone, it’s a good idea to have a quick look at their profiles to see what you’re interested in. It’s especially important to take a look at their profile photos. If they’re uploaded from social media sites like Instagram or Facebook, take a moment to look at the account to make sure you recognize them in person. You can also look at their photos to see what type of person they really are. Are they showing their true personality in their photos? Are they carefully choosing images that match what they want people to think of them?
Pay attention to red flags
If you find yourself meeting new friends online and you notice that some of them seem different from your friends in your school, it’s probably a good idea to slow down and think about where these interactions are coming from. Are they coming from your school or are they from outside of school? Do you feel as if these people are trying to draw you in or take you in an unwanted direction? Are your parents aware of these online interactions and how they affect you? Are you ready to be around these new people?
Do your research
The most important thing you can do to help prevent yourself from getting into any type of online relationship drama is to do the same type of research you would do to avoid a stranger at school hooking you up with a drug dealer. Before you decide to chat with a potential new friend, learn as much as you can about them by looking at their profile and reading any reviews or comments they’ve left about their friends. If they have no other reviews or comments, you should still be wary. People tend to leave reviews if they like someone, so if you see a bunch of one-star reviews for a person you’re interested in, it’s probably a good idea to stay away.
Do be careful about meeting people in real life
Nowadays it’s very easy to meet someone online, and that can lead to romantic relationships developing before you’re even aware of what you’re getting into. Online connections are often made through social media, and you can quickly form a relationship with a person you’ve never met in person before. If you want to have a relationship that you can trust, you should stick with people you know in real life. In addition, once you’ve started developing feelings for someone, it’s harder to pull away, so it’s best to avoid developing feelings for someone online in the first place.
Don’t reveal too much personal info
If you are meeting a new friend online and want to continue the friendship in person, be careful about what personal information you share. You don’t know who they are outside of their school or social media profiles. You don’t want to give out information that allows them to do something they shouldn’t or even bully you or your friends if you answer a question they don’t like. Keep the information you share about yourself to the basics.
Be mindful of who you meet
It’s not just meeting in school — you can meet friends on the weekend or at family events. While it can be great to have a friend outside of school, it’s important to be careful about who you spend time with, especially if you’re not with your parents or guardians. Even if you do know the people you’re meeting in person, it’s still important to ask questions about their parents and guardians and to make sure they are with you. It may seem like it’s fine to hang out with someone you’ve met online, but you don’t know for sure if their parents are aware of their online activities. You can protect yourself by asking questions about where they’re from and who they hang out with in person before you spend time with them.
Dating can be fun, but you don’t want to take any risks. If you like someone, talk to your parents about boundaries and safe ways to meet. Be alert about what people post on social media and online — it can be easy to misinterpret what someone is trying to say. If you are ever worried about your safety, talk to your parents or a trusted teacher. Always know where you are and who you are with.
Keep your phone nearby
As you may have noticed, the rise in smartphone use has not only increased the amount of time we spend online but also the amount of time we spend looking at social media. While social media is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family, it can also lead to situations you may not have even considered before. For example, it is not uncommon for kids to meet their new crushes online during school or after school activities. When you are meeting someone new in person, it is important to always keep your phone nearby. While a conversation may seem harmless, you do not want to be caught off-guard and find out that the person you are speaking to is actually someone your parents would not want you to date.
In conclusion, remember the do’s and don’ts of middle school dating advice and you should be on your way to a healthy and happy relationship. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to speak with a trusted adult for guidance.