Dating and relationships in adolescence
Dating and experience with romance are relatively common – but far from universal – among teens ages 13 to 17.
Some 35% of teens have some type of experience in a romantic relationship, a figure that includes current and former daters, as well as those in serious and less-serious relationships.
Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel.
She spent 15 years working for Central Florida theme parks and frequently travels with her disabled father.
Romantic relationships have much to teach adolescents about communication, emotion, empathy, identity, and (for some couples) sex.
The 35% of teens who say they are either currently involved with a romantic partner or have ever dated, hooked up with or had a romantic relationship with someone will serve as the focus of the remainder of this report.
Some 30% of teen daters say they have ever had sex.
Age is the primary demographic dividing line when it comes to dating and romance.
Eventually, they feel ready to move beyond simple friendships into dating relationships.
Although it's true that some people marry their high school sweethearts, adolescent relationships often operate much differently than those of adults.