Long hang out before dating

This is the all-important question, because if your parents say "no," you're not going to get very far.It could be because they're very conservative, or because they remember how they acted during their own teen years."There's a big difference between a seventh-grader and a ninth-grader when it comes to experimentation," Gowen says.

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Tell your parents all the reasons why you like this person and want to go out with them -- because they're kind, smart, and fun to be around ("because they're hot" isn't a legitimate reason, so don't even try it).

See if you can work out a deal where you ease into dating gradually.

Once you -- and your parents -- feel ready and you've found someone you like and who likes you, you can start going out.

But when you begin any new relationship, take it slow.

" Are you ready to handle the pressures of hanging out -- and possibly hooking up -- with someone?

You have met the most amazing person, and you totally NEED to go out with him/her. Do your parents even allow you to go out and "date?

Whatever the reason, your parents might not want you to go out with anyone until you reach a certain age.

Depending on how easygoing or strict your parents are, that age could be as young as 13 or 14, or as old as 18.

Girls who've set their sights on older guys, beware.

Dating a guy who's in high school when you're still in middle school, or who's a senior when you're still a freshman might seem cool, but it could get you into a lot of trouble.

In fact, Gowen did a study of girls who had older boyfriends, and she found that freshmen girls who dated junior or senior boys were more likely to go further, and to be forced into doing things they didn't want to do.

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