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Before deciding how you're going to proceed, it's crucial to realize that contemporary dating is radically different from what it was when the majority of today's parents were kids.Sexual promiscuity is rampant, even among Christian teens, and many young people receive little or no moral guidance from their parents.As tweens become teens and Facebook links replace friendship bracelets, dating ensues, leaving many parents wondering, what’s the best age for teens to begin coupling up?

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Boys and girls who start dating between the ages of 11-and-a-half and 13 may experience more academic and behavioral problems than their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence.

Their lack of maturity leaves them ill-prepared to handle some of the common emotions and issues that couples face, and without many peers going through similar experiences, they’re left to figure things out for themselves.

It can also teach them how to relate to the opposite sex in a healthy way and to recognize the character qualities that are truly important in a marriage relationship.

If your child is under seventeen years of age, we'd recommend that you sit down with together and map out some specific guidelines for relationships with the opposite sex.

These days girls and boys are more likely to ask each other out via text or direct messages on social media.

But while the culture of teen dating has evolved, has the age at which it starts changed, and when exactly is the best time? The Great Debate" data-reactid="23"STORY: When Is Your Kid Old Enough to Babysit? Their lack of maturity leaves them ill-prepared to handle some of the common emotions and issues that couples face, and without many peers going through similar experiences, they’re left to figure things out for themselves.What the research says" data-reactid="21"On average, kids begin group dating at 12-and-a-half for girls and 13-and-a-half for boys, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Researchers also cited an increase in the risk of unsafe sex, alcohol use, and more, according to the Wall Street Journal.The majority of teens studied didn’t begin dating until about age 13, and the so-called late bloomers were around 15.What the experts say" data-reactid="33"Most recommend 15 and 16 as the ideal ages to begin dating.For Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, the magic number is 16.They should also bear in mind that while eighteen-year-olds may be considered "adults," the fact remains that many of them haven't developed the maturity to monitor and control their own actions in a dating situation.