My Teen Won’t Date: When Should I Worry?

Since my first daughter was born, I’ve received hundreds of compliments on the beauty of my children and about how my husband will eventually need to carry a shotgun to fight off the boys. When my oldest daughter reached 13, I was prepared to field questions about dating and shoulder a crying head when relationships just didn’t work out right. But, time passed and no relationships. Eventually, my middle daughter moved into her teenage years, so I prepared again for double the teen love emotions, but again, nothing. With two gorgeous daughters in their teens and no relationships past or current, I’m beginning to wonder if I should start to worry about my teens.

Opening up the relationship boundaries with complete support. I’ve always been the type of parent to refer to relationships as open ground. When talking with my teens I don’t ask about a boyfriend, I ask about a partner in general. My daughters have full support from both parents to explore their sexuality as they see fit and they understand they have that ability. Restricting teens to just having relationships with members of the opposite sex can be one reason they don’t explore love in the first place. An LGBT teen may not find the support they need at home or with friends/peers and thus avoid relationships all together.

Recognizing the difficulty of having two races at home. My children have a mom and dad that are two different races. It wasn’t until they both reached their teens that I recognized how this could be a hurdle in terms of choosing a partner. Luckily, teens of multi-racial backgrounds are more apt to known someone of the same race now than ever before. My daughters have the ability to choose from multi-racial or single race partners, but that doesn’t make the choice any easier.

Being patient as a parent and letting things happen naturally. With basketball and high school/college, my teens are always on the go. I’ve learned to recognize the fact that dating may just not be in the cards right now and that’s okay. I want to encourage my teens to experience love and heartache throughout life, but I also understand that teens are busier now than they were 20 years ago when I met the love of my life.

Not all teens need love to complete who they are. Parenting is a job of contradictions. We teach our daughters and sons about the importance of being a leader and not a follower, yet we worry when they don’t date by a certain age. Not all teens need love or desire to start a relationship at 13, 14, 15 or even well into college. Strong, self-reliant teens may just stick with personal evolution a bit longer than we did as kids.

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