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What is the right age for first boyfriend-girlfriend?

(18 Posts)
MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 09-Nov-13 08:28:13

Back in the dark ages when I was at school most girls got boyfriends around the age of 15. Very few earlier than that. And many not until older.
The boys were older than the girls.
But times have changed so I am wondering what is "usual/typical" these days?
Am I right to think 12 and 13 are far too young?
My children aren't there yet but are getting older fast!

ChasingSquirrels Sat 09-Nov-13 08:32:57

I was born in 72, I would have said 12/13 when I was that age.

lljkk Sat 09-Nov-13 08:47:19

I was born in '67.
Many of my peers had steady boyfriends by age 9. The popular girls, anyway. It was only the socially rejected like me who had no chance.
I think it depends how seriously you take "boyfriend-girlfriend" status.
MOST of such relationships mean an absolute minimum of physical contact or sexual innuendo before age 13-14.
I've told DD not until she's 13, mind! She's glad to use me as a shield, not interested in boys, anyway.

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 09-Nov-13 08:59:55

9! What did that amount to?
I mean where they will have some privacy & exclusivity to the relationship - not necessarily in the bedroom/ anything physical!

Such as spending time together just the two of them (perhaps cinema)
And lots of 1 to 1 texts/ phone calls/ skype.

havingastress Sat 09-Nov-13 09:01:26


lljkk Sat 09-Nov-13 09:20:14

I dunno, I wasn't one of those with a boyfriend. I think it was a status thing "I have boys interested in me." Actual physical contact was probably the very rare kiss or holding hands.

MairzyDoats Sat 09-Nov-13 09:24:12

I had a boyfriend at 12. In 1988! Kissing and holding hands but not much else. First 'proper' relationship at 15 though. A lot of it is just curiosity I think, DS is 10 and has various girlfriends but they never see each other out of school (or talk to each other in school from what I can gather!)

secretscwirrels Sat 09-Nov-13 09:32:36

DS1 was 13 when he very coyly asked my permission to have a girlfriend. There followed a lovely two year romance which ended amicably with them both being best friends years later.
Now 17 he hasn't met anyone else yet sad.
DS2 is 15 and yet to ask a girl out but has a couple of good friends who are girls.
Girls as friends is the best starting point I think.

cory Sat 09-Nov-13 17:54:31

Depends on how you define the term boyfriend/girlfriend.

In the early '70s when I was young, a boyfriend at 10/11 meant somebody you blushed and giggled at in class, somebody who had said yes when your friends had asked "will you be x's boyfriend". By age 12/13 it meant somebody you held hands with and kissed. By age 14 it meant somebody you also saw outside of school. By age 15/16 it might (or might not) mean somebody you went to bed with- some did, some waited until they were a lot older.

I think this is a healthy attitude to courtship, to be able to start gently with lots of highly ritualised courtship runs before you get to the real thing.

flow4 Sat 09-Nov-13 22:44:14

My DS2 is 13 and has had a girlfriend for about 6 months. It feels far too young to me, but he tells me most of his friends have had girlfriends/boyfriends for years!

I am very conscious of the fact that she is slightly older (2 months) but much more physically mature and sexually conscious than DS2. Mostly they're 'just friends', but she seems to want something more than that: for instance, she's jealous of his other female friends, and she kisses him on the cheek when it simply doesn't occur to him to kiss her...

It's a funny in-between age, and I imagine different kids are at very different stages...

iamaduck Sun 10-Nov-13 00:49:29

I recently found out that my dd has had 3 boyfriends, she is 14. she had her first boyfriend when she was 11 and they 'dated' for about 2 months

BillyBanter Sun 10-Nov-13 00:52:41

I think it was fairly usual for a % of 12/13 year olds to have boyfriends or girlfriends when I was that age yonks and yonks ago.

BOF Sun 10-Nov-13 02:05:47

I was just about 13, but I was the first person in my group of friends. I'd say that most didn't go out with anyone until 15 or 16.

chocoluvva Sun 10-Nov-13 10:48:52

At my DC's schools - first GF/BFs begin from about 11/12 - this involves holding hands in the playground. (DD thought this was hilarious and a right waste of playtime) Nothing more usually. Doesn't usually last longer than a few weeks.)

From 13 there might or might not be minor snogging. Not usually proper dates or visiting each other's homes though. Gifts are expected to be exchanged at Christmas/birthdays/valentines day. Lots of texting/snapchatting/facebook contact. DD had four BF's when she was 13-14. One for six months, the others for two- six weeks.

From 14 more likely to visit each other's homes, go out just the two of them but might still involve minimal dating and maximum texting. Probably snogging but not necessarily a major feature.

About 15 what we think of romatic relationships - dating, snogging/more physical intimacy, likely to last for a minimum of several months.

I agree with Cory that this gives children a gentle introduction to romantic relationships.

(Los of media reports of 'sexting' though).

cory Sun 10-Nov-13 11:33:54

Anyone remember Anne of Green Gables? This kind of early courtship and coupling of people's names happens in Avonlea when you are 11, by the sounds of it. And this also appears to be the age when Gilbert Blythe starts his long and patient wooing of Anne.

chocoluvva Sun 10-Nov-13 12:11:33

Anne of Green Gables. Sigh.

octopusinastringbag Sun 10-Nov-13 16:02:06

My teen was 14 when they had their first relationship, though I use that term loosely as they only saw each other at school and it didn't last more than a month.

Rosencrantz Mon 11-Nov-13 15:33:02

When they want one. Age doesn't come in to it. Good luck keeping the a part if you think they're too young!

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