What You Need To Know About Teen Dating



What You Need to Know About Teen Dating

The Therapists Uncut team spoke to teens and young adults on the topic of teen dating, from what defines teen dating, to teen dating lingo, to the do’s and don’ts for parents when your teen starts dating. No matter how “together” you have it, there are lots of emotions and thoughts that flood  when your teen starts asking about dating and relationships. Listen to this episode for what these teens and young adults think you should  know about teen dating.

Interview with Teenagers

With the consent of their parents/guardians, we asked several teenagers and young adults  questions on teen dating  to help inform you about what you need to know.. Ages of teens interviewed ranged from 16 to 19 years old . We asked them the following questions:

  • What is considered dating these days?
  • What do you wish your parents had done differently when you started dating?
  • What is one embarrassing thing your parent did when you started dating?
  • Tell us some dating lingo that we should be aware of as parents.
  • As a young adult, what do you know now that you didn’t know then about teen dating?
  • What is the most important things for parents to know when their teen starts dating?

In this episode we talk about:

What your Teen Wants You to Know About Teen Dating

With the consent of their parents/guardians, we interviewed a handful of teens and young adults on the topic of teen dating. We would like to share with our listeners not only lessons learned in our personal experiences around teen dating, but the feedback received from the teens and young adults we interviewed on what they think you should know about teen dating.

What is Teen Dating?

“Dating from what I’ve seen or heard is like going to the movie or mall and just hanging out with the other person . . . mainly just spending time with each other.” – Teenage Girl

“Dating means that you and your ‘crush’ like each other and the Google definition of dating is stage of romance between two people who meet socially.” – Teenage Girl

“They’re trying to figure it out, too! Who’s  not googling ‘dating’ when you’re 15? That’s hard!” – Alyssa Najera teens Googling the definition of “dating”

There are tons of resources at teens’ fingertips, how much of this information on dating do you want your kids to get from the internet? Probably not a whole lot, right? When you start noticing your teen take interest in their peers, whether they be the same sex or opposite sex (yes, avoid making the assumption your teen is only interested in the opposite sex), be sure to create a safe space that encourages your teen to come to you for information on dating, not Google.

Teen Dating Don’ts for Parents

“Protect Me from My Siblings!”

According the teens and young adults we interviewed, don’t let their siblings intrude and overstep boundaries. It may be easy to let your young or older child “supervise” or “chaperone” interactions between your teen and their date/crush. But, be mindful of how that impacts your teen. Set appropriate boundaries and expectations for siblings when your teen is spending time with their date/crush that teaches them to respect space and the privacy of your teen’s conversations. This doesn’t mean abandon all supervision, just be mindful of who is doing the supervising.

Teen Dating Do’s for Parents:

Listen and Practice Self-Awareness and Self-Control

What do you do when your teen wants to talk about dating and relationships? Listen and practice self awareness and self control, including checking your body language. If your teen gets any hint of judgement, unnecessary exuberance that makes them uncomfortable, unsolicited advice, or feelings of being dismissed, they may shut  down or avoid this conversation) in the future. Like Nikki says, “Fix the Face!”

“If you want the child to talk to you about boys going forward, we have to fix the face!” Nikki Young on coaching her wife on handling conversations  about dating with their teen.

“Talk to Me about Dating and Relationships”

Your teens are learning. They don’t know how all of this dating stuff goes. They only know what they see from friends, on social media, on  the internet, and, YES, what they learn from  their parents. While they may find these  talks  intrusive initially, most of the teens and young adults we spoke to appreciated the uncomfortable conversations with their parents on dating and relationships. It kept them informed on what to expect, what their parents expected from them regarding decision making and responsibility, and allowed them to reflect on and incorporate their own values into these relationships and decisions.

Teen Dating Lingo

  • “She left me on read.”
  • “He left me on open.”
  • “She ghosted me.”
  • “We’re Talking.”

There seems to be a new language with every new generation,  and this generation’s language is informed by social media, texting acronyms and emojis… emojis for days.  Pay attention to how your teen speaks and don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they communicate with peers.

For more on teen dating, listen to the full episode here or wherever you get your podcasts!

Resources mentioned:

Thank you for allowing us into your lives and helping us make mental health more relatable and a part of your everyday conversation! For more information, access to all episodes, and episode show notes  visit therpaistsuncut.com.

Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at catalystcounselinginc.com

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene’s punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at smalltowncounselingca.com or alyssanajera.com.

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You’ll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at dalymft.com.


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria