Dating site teens and adults
Other online dating sites, like Skout, have dedicated teens-only sections where teens can interact with others in their peer group—although there is no official age verification.So much of our teens’ social life happens online that, while older generations may balk at the idea of online dating, teens don’t bat an eyelash when trying out a dating app to meet people.At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.As with most parenting issues concerning teens, one of the best things we can do is to talk to our teens about the possible dangers of dating online, experts say.
Another troubling aspect: Sometimes, these teen relationships take place entirely online—the couple might go out for months and then break up without ever actually meeting in person. How are we parents to know who our kids are connecting with online?When they’re online, teens have the freedom to be whoever they want, which may be a good thing for a shy kid who just doesn’t feel comfortable talking directly to people. One mom I know was distressed to discover that her daughter had created multiple personalities on Tumblr, including one that seemed to invite followers of her blog to send inappropriate photos to her.Some of the girls quoted in the high school newspaper story said they got fed up with using Tinder when boys immediately requested that they send nude photos.“Safety has to be first and foremost,” she wrote in a 2013 post.“Parents need to help their teens understand that all is not necessarily as it seems; they need to be extremely careful with what they share online.” Cover image courtesy of Flickr.
Our teens are experts at navigating and forging digital friendships, after all, and online dating is an easy segue for our digital natives.