s prom season approaches, it’s easy to conjure romantic thoughts of dating rituals we experienced long ago.
Yes, the prom as we knew it still exists, but even its drama pales in comparison to today’s boy-girl relationship issues.
“It’s not your parents’ dating anymore,” concedes Robin Gurwitch, a clinical psychologist at the Duke Center for Child and Family Health.
It’s not unusual for sixth-graders to say, “I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.” Often these relationships develop through texting.
These first relationships usually don’t go beyond chatting, posing for pictures later posted on social media and requests to attend coed group outings.
Case in point: There’s a myth in teen circles that you can’t get STDs from oral sex, Gurwitch notes.
She says as cringe-inducing as this conversation will be, it has to get done. “There’s something about not sitting next to each other on a couch that makes this easier for both you and your child.” Just because teens are more casual and sophisticated about dating doesn’t mean they don’t still suffer heartbreak.This means a boy and girl who feel an attraction spend time together, whether alone or in groups, then text and/or Snapchat in-between.A fairly high bar stands between this phase and actual “dating,” wherein one member of the couple — usually the boy — officially asks the other out.Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.Jennifer*, a junior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, notes that while it’s not cool to “talk” to more than one person at a time, some people go from one talking “relationship” to another without actually dating anyone, which tends to explain the relatively low numbers of actual couples.For high schoolers, it can mean that, too, but usually refers to making out at parties or get-togethers.