Have you read our dating articles? Do you know that it's actually OK for Christians to date? Are you thinking now, "If it's OK for everyone else, why not me?" Well, here's the thing: dating is not necessarily OK for all people at all times. It is really an individual thing. Also, and perhaps more importantly at this point in your life, even if you're 100% sure you're ready for a romantic relationship, if your parents are telling you that you're not allowed to date right now, you still need to respect and obey that (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1). The only time you may disobey parental rules is if they are making you do something that causes you to sin (Acts 5:29). Since not dating is not a sin, then that would not be cause to break their rules.
Additionally, you may want to ask yourself, "Am I even ready to date?" Examining your heart first will give you a lot of insights into your motivations and desires about relationships, which can give you specific talking points if you decide to ask your parents for permission to date.
Everybody's parents are going to have different ages and conditions for their sons and daughters for when they might be allowed to date or if they can date at all, as each person is different and has different maturity levels. Yes, it would be so much easier to have a set age when every teenager can be told that they're allowed to have a romantic relationship, but sadly it doesn’t work that way.
That doesn't mean you can't talk to your parents about what you're feeling though. Respectfully ask them when they will allow you to date. Listen to their reasoning thoughtfully and try to understand where they're coming from. Remember, even if you don't agree, you still must respect their decision. You don't have to say you agree with their reasons if you don't, but you DO need to agree to respect and obey their house rules. Before you know it, you will be on your own, and the decision will be between you and God. Then you can make your choice from there.
During this time of your life, you are figuring out who you are, and how you relate to the world. To add a relationship right now could be very difficult and complicate life even more. Some people are ready for marriage younger than others while some wait until much, much later in life. There is no shame in waiting until you are spiritually and emotionally ready to commit to a lifelong partner in marriage. It's a big decision!
Right now, take time to discover the amazing, unique individual God made in you and learn what your place in the world is going to be. Growing up and entering your young and older teen years is an exciting, confusing, and seriously insane time. We get that. Emotions can be all over the place, and it can feel like the whole world is pressing you into their mold instead of letting you be who you want to be. Sometimes that mold screams, "You aren't loveable if you can't get somebody to love you." But let us assure you: that is a lie.
If so, please take this in: You are an incredible human being, my friend. You do not need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be valuable. You don't have to fit in with what the world tells you. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." God will help you overcome that standard that makes us think we have to date to be worthy of love (1 John 5:4).
That said, here's another reminder: You are never too young to build upon the foundation of your faith. Take these years in your life to focus on what you have learned in church or as you have read the Bible, and start digging deeper into your faith, exploring the Word, and making your faith your own. Ask questions, talk to other believers of different ages, learn what you can. That foundation will serve you the rest of your life—no matter what friendships or relationships God brings your way.
"Let no one look down your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe." —1 Timothy 4:12
Even if you feel you're ready for a romantic relationship, if your parents are telling you that you're not allowed to date right now, you must respect and obey that (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1). The only time you may disobey parental rules is if they are making you do something that causes you to sin (Acts 5:29). Since not dating is not a sin, then that would not be cause to break their rules. Instead, work on building the foundation of your faith by exploring the Bible, discussing with other believers, and making your beliefs your own. That foundation will serve you the rest of your life—no matter what friendships or relationships God brings.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.