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5. there's probably a reason no woman his age wants to date him. don't stick around long enough to find out why.6. defending your relationship will frequently ruin your friendships. you'll end up alienating the friends who are dropping truth-bombs such as the one above. next thing you know, he's your closest friend as well as your boyfriend — which creates a co-dependent dynamic that's bad for any relationship.8. whether or not you tell your parents about him or not, it's a lose-lose. if not, the sneaking around, lies and secrets will strain your relationship. and if you tell them, you'll deal with all-out fights.9. this is probably a pattern for him. no matter how special he insists you are, the chances are that he's been dating younger girls for years.10. yes, he might have sex with you and then bail. i know hearing that is like sticking a fork in your chest and ripping your heart out. it's true, though. 11. sleeping with him might be a bigger emotional deal for you than you think. maybe you're sure that you won't be dramatic about it, like "other girls." but that shit tends to sneak up on you. and it doesn't mean you're weak or naïve— it just means that you value yourself. which is mature, by the way.12. if he's married, he's not going to leave his wife for you. which is one of those things where, yeah, it could happen, it has happened, but asteroids also hit the earth occasionally and we all still leave our houses without wearing full-body protective plexiglass domes. enough said.13. he might be running from a bad relationship with a woman his age. if he had a nasty breakup with (or for older men, a nasty divorce from) someone in his demographic, there's a good shot that's why he's with you — someone who, ostensibly, can't hurt him. but he can hurt you. it's like a chain of pain up in here.14. it's great how you guys are on the same emotional level, right! (wrong.) he's in a different generation than you; he shouldn't be a decade behind emotionally. that's like valuing a 30-year-old because he has the math aptitude of a middle schooler.15. he gets along so well with your friends! awesome! (nope.) see above.16. it's probably not going to last. let me rephrase that: it probably shouldn't last, because as you get older, you'll change (which is normal and great so don't fight it! it's the emotional version of going from breast buds to boobs!) and want different things.17. if he ends it because you're too young, let him. that means he's actually a decent guy. and maybe somewhere down the road, things will be different for both of you. but the only way for that to happen is to let it end when it's supposed to. follow anna on twitter. images via fox.1. however cool it makes you is exactly how lame it makes him. you might feel like joan jett when he picks you up in his seville outside the high school in front of all your friends, but he is being mercilessly mocked by all of the women in his life for dating a 14-year-old.2. it's not super-sweet and romantic of him when he buys you beer and/or gets you a fake. if you're an inexperienced drinker who feels it after 2 bottles of mike's hard, that benefits him, not you.3. among the biggest reasons that he likes you is because you're young. yes, he might be into you because you like the same bands and you act "mature for your age." (has he ever told you that you have "an old soul?" puke.) but mostly, it's the fact that he's your first. not necessarily just sexually, but myriad other ways, too: the first guy you watch the godfather with, the guy who buys you a copy of pink floyd's "dark side of the moon," the first one in the passenger's seat as soon as you get your learner's permit... being the older, wiser man is a power trip for him. and that's all about him, not about you.4. and if he's your boss, the said power trip he is getting off on should be overt. unless it's just a fun, sexy, baggage-free throw-you-over-your-desk situation where nobody gets hurt at the end.7 kinds of porn you don't watch, but might love.

how to tell your parents your dating an older guy

how to tell your dad youre dating an older guy USA: Information and support for young people going through tough times provides young people with fact sheets, stories and peer support forums, discussing topics like low self esteem, bullying, thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

I'm dating a man 19 years older like' the idea of you dating a much older guy. 40 year old man? What

How to Convince Parents to Allow You to Date an Older Guy. How to Convince Parents to Allow You to Date an Older Guy. As a daughter still living at home, it may be a difficult task to convince your parents that you want to date an older guy. Parents should be protective of you and won't always see eye to eye with you. When convincing your parents...

A lot of older people select much younger partners because they themselves are insecure—they feel intimidated by women their own age, who aren’t as easily impressed as someone with a lot less experience might be. it’s not like i was a dumb naive babyhead regarding books/music/etc. when i was 15—i would say i was so taken with alan because i was the opposite! i was really excited that, whoa, here was a dude who could talk to me about art and poetry and other stuff that i loved, in a way that the grunty guys in my classes didn’t seem capable of. i thought it was, like, the absolute greatest thing in the world when alan knew who samuel beckett was. (i now know that being able to name a playwright isn’t really enough to base a relationship on, but i digress.) i was so thrilled to be able to talk to my boyfriend about literature ’n’ stuff that i didn’t really notice that he wasn’t talking to me so much as he was talking down to me. this strikes me now as enormously pathetic–some dude almost in his 30s needing to prove how smart and learned he was to someone who wasn’t old enough to drive.Before i get into the real nitty gritty, though, a few caveats. first, being attracted to older guys is completely and totally normal. it doesn’t mean you have “daddy issues” or whatever; that phrase doesn’t actually mean anything, because it can be applied (or, preferably, not) to every person on the planet. being attracted to someone older just means you are a human person who sometimes thinks other human people are sexy! i mean, i know: some cute college guy who spells his texts properly and actually seems to wash his face (be still my beating heart) can be pretty tough crush competition for the bros in your 10th grade math class. and if there’s one thing of which i’m certain about you rookies, it’s this: to borrow a compliment frequently expressed to you by your grandpa/kindly next-door neighbor/best friend’s mom, you are very mature for your age. which means it can sometimes be tough to find things in common with other people who, well, aren’t that way, including potential homecoming dates. so it’s totally fine to moon over people who are older than you! acting on those feelings, however, is more complicador.Ok, here’s where i bring up the big topic that drives the whole controversy surrounding this discussion, one which i would have rolled my eyes at when i was dating my 28-year-old, but which i now know is a valid line of thinking: if a person who is of legal drinking age or above makes a habit of courting people who are in high school, there’s a good chance they might be a pedophile (or, if you want to be super technical, an ephobophile). also, adults know that seducing teenagers, even willing, smart, self-aware teenagers, carries with it a power imbalance that is ripe for exploitation, and very often qualifies as abuse. they know how easy it is to screw with your brain, and that can have long-term effects, 99% of them negative. no one who cares about your wellbeing will seek to do this to you, no matter how attracted they might be to your personhood. if they chase you despite this knowledge, they’re putting their sexual interest above the basic and awful knowledge that they are probably hurting what is, let’s face it, a kid. that, my loves, is fucked.I learned this the tough way with my 28-year-old, whom, for convenience’s sake, i’m going to give a name from here on out: alan. i can’t tell you his real name because our relationship was a secret and also illegal, and even though the statute of limitations on that crime has expired, he would be still be rightly embarrassed to have anyone in his life know that he was creepin’ with a high school sophomore when he was five years out of college. because of the taboo nature of our situation, i had to keep alan hidden from even my bestest of buds. this was really difficult and very isolating. when he and i got into fights, there was no one in whom i could confide, since no one knew he existed. when i wanted to hang out with him, i had to do a lot of sneaking around and lying to the people i loved. that blew. and when the novelty of having an illicit love affair wore off, i had no one to talk to about how confused and upset i was about certain aspects of the relationship.

Telling mom and dad that you're dating someone can be hard, especially if it's your first boyfriend. Here's how to do it without any drama!

how do you tell parents you are dating a man 25 years older than You don't tell your parents. A woman

And believe me this is tempting. high school guys love the first day of school because a new crop of freshmen are roaming the halls. when i started high school, it wasn’t long before many of my girlfriends had snagged themselves a junior or senior boyfriend which definitely made them cooler (and me, too, by association). but dating an older guy also brought up much more grown up issues. like how older boys often expect more out of a relationship than we had been used to. they can drive, so they want to take you out on real dates, they don’t have as much parental supervision because they’re older, and they may want to take things further sexually than you’re ready for. i don’t mean to say that a relationship with an older guy or can’t work. but there are some things you need to be realistic about if it’s going to.Another thing to keep in mind when you decide to date an older guy is how your parent(s) will feel. odds are they won’t be super excited to learn that their 14- year-old daughter wants to date a 17-year-old boy (or their 17-year-old daughter going out with a 22-year-old guy, for that matter). but if you keep them in the loop about your relationship—and don’t lie to them or sneak around behind their backs—they’ll feel better about the situation, which can translate into more freedom for you.

How to tell your mom you like a guy. Telling your mother that you like somebody is never easy, especially if your mom hasn't believed that you are old enough to like guys yet. By deciding on what you are going to say beforehand and taking each step slowly with your mom, it could be an easy discussion. As long as you respect her rules and your...

Older women dating younger men is not uncommon. A study by AARP found that 34 percent of single women surveyed who were over 40 were seeing younger men. Lynn Snowden Picket, who is thirteen years ...

dirty old man, grim task, true happiness: Hi, Thank you for writing. First of all I must say that no matter what advice I or anyone else gives you in the end you must make the decision for yourself, it s the only path to true happiness. Let YOUR heart decide. My purpose is merely to give you some...

Can it be true love when your parents are against it? How to cope when your parents don't like the person you love.

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What's the right age to start dating? Parents have different rules, but here's how to convince your parents that you are old enough to date.

being a father I think ud understand better. Im 15. My boyfriend mark is amazing. Cares about me and not sex. Hes 19 thow. Says if I want he will wait until our wedding night ... if we get married that is. I love him. BUT theres a catch. I havent told my p

Maybe, but it’ll take some work on your part. if your parents have concerns about your boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s best to hear them out rather than dismissing them as lame or overprotective. maybe the problem is truly just a misunderstanding. they thought he or she was rude and unfriendly, but you know that they’re just painfully shy and were super nervous about meeting your parents. tell your parents why you like this person so much, what their best qualities are. it also wouldn’t hurt to throw in some of the thoughtful things they do for you.If you’ve tried all of these tactics and your parents still don’t approve of your boyfriend or girlfriend, you may need to take an honest look at why that is. sometimes when we’re in a relationship, we’ve got the love blinders on, which can make it hard to see things for what they are. your parents may think he or she treats you badly or is too controlling. is this true? it may be hard to believe but your parents really do have your best interests at heart. ask yourself these questions:You may think your parents are lame or don’t understand you, but surprisingly, the majority of teens say that their parents’ opinion of their boyfriend or girlfriend means a lot to them. in fact, some would go so far as to say they wouldn’t date someone their parents didn’t like. but what if you’ve met an amazing guy or girl who you’re totally into and then the “meet the parents moment” is a total bust? is it possible to change their minds?

Parents just need to back the fuck up. Good parenting means giving your kids the tools to make good decisions, NOT making decisions for them.

For all intents and purposes, when it came to me, my parents were extremely lax. This is probably because unlike my brother and sister, I always remembered...

If you're dating an older man or interested in doing so, you should know the following before taking things to the next level.

WebMD discusses four questions teens should consider before they start a new romantic relationship.

Watch more How to Improve Family Relationships videos: Dating...

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If their denial takes the form of "i don't want to talk about it," you should take a gentle and cautious initiative if they haven't changed in about a week. gently raise the subject when they appear relaxed: "dad, i've been wanting to talk to you about this for years; please don't push me out of your life. i can no longer bear the burden of lying to you. i love you and want you to continue to love me in return." personalize your message as a way of penetrating their defense.A gay-oriented agency may be able to help them, but they'll resist going to the "enemy camp" for help. provide the phone number of the local parents and friends of lesbians and gays or give them the name of some other parents who've agreed in advance to talk to them. don't expect them to respond immediately to these suggestions; their shame and guilt may hold them back. providing this information is like planting a seed that may take time to bear fruit.Your parents may need some help in separating what's "normal" from the "norm." it's probable that they'll think homosexuality is not normal. you can help them by explaining that although homosexuality is not the norm, it is what is natural to you. point out that all of creation has exceptions to the norm; while most people are right-handed, some are left-handed; although most people have two eyes of the same color, some have a different color in each eye.Our son ted had cautiously suggested earlier that we meet his lover dan. initially, we had no interest in that suggestion because when we stopped blaming ourselves for what had happened, we began blaming dan. i was angry that this catastrophe had befallen our home; was sure it was going to ruin our lives. i had always felt we were good parents, hardly deserving of this. my anger toward ted was seldom expressed to him, but it was there for me to deal with.

Are you dating an older fellow or thinking about dipping your toes into that more mature water? Well, my dears, you've come to the right place. I'm dating...

How to handle daughter dating older guy (Long) In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Dating as a senior can create issues with your adult children. Get senior dating tips for how to date and keep peace with your adult children on eHarmony.

Ask them to talk, sit them down and just tell them. Unless your very young it won't be very unexpected, it's normal for people to date.

I am in middle school and I'm dating this guy I feel in love with. I'm afraid to tell my mom because I think she will yell at me and ask all these ...

Daughter moved to a new city after college to pursue her career. Daughter and I have had a couple of very calm and honest discussions about the relationship, and why I'm uncomfortable with it: their evasiveness about his age; the upper hand he has by virtue of his life experiences; a relationship I see as much more beneficial to him than to her; her being in her mid-50s when he's 80. The upper hand is a matter of emotional makeup, not age, as is the potential for taking advantage ("gold-diggers," anyone?). By judging him before you've seen them together, in varied situations, you're not showing your daughter any respect for her ability to make adult choices. If you could time-travel, I'd advise you to voice concern about their tiptoeing around the truth: "Since you want me to treat the age gap as perfectly normal, it would help if you could do the same thing yourselves." [...] I'd suggest sounding alarms only when you witness something significant -- signs of poor character, poor behavior, unhappiness. Since time-travel's out, try grovel-travel. Tell your daughter you were wrong to prejudge, thank her for continuing to share with you (it's remarkable, really), and plan a visit soon.

Of course the caveat is that you have to be comfortable dating the person. if you can’t get over the age difference than it’s not the best fit. i think you also have to be in the same place. if we go back to #4 and i’m dating a 49 year old who doesn’t want any children, well that 49 year old is too old for me because i still want a kid. if you are comfortable, happy, and it works- age is nothing but a number.4. the formula. for younger you divide your age by 2 and add 7 years. i’m 28 so the youngest i could date by this standard is 21 (28/2=14+7=21). the oldest you can date is double your age less 7 meaning the oldest i could date is 49 (28*2=56-7=49). i don’t know if i’m comfortable with 49 as that is only a few years younger than my parents (sorry for spoiling your age on the world wide web!).

I dated my boyfriend (now my husband) for six months before i introduced him to my children. i had to be sure he would be in my life in for a long time. i decided to slowly introduce him as a friend. i had a pool party with about four adult guests, him being one of them. i just introduced him as a friend. we did about five more group outings before he came to do things with just me and my two children. we slowly began doing fun kids things with just the four of us. we waited another four months before we showed any affection (hand holding, kissing) in front of them. after that, we slowly started holding hands and told the kids he was my boyfriend. three years and six months later -- we are one super happy family and all because we took it slowly. i love my children too much to rush into anything with anyone.Before you even think about introducing your children to your new boyfriend, you need to have been dating for at least six months. no, i’m not crazy. didn’t your last relationship end in divorce? you don’t want that to happen again and you certainly don’t want your children to go through that again. it takes at least six months to begin to really know a person. you don’t want to introduce someone and one month later have to explain to your children why they don’t see "mike" anymore.4. one mom, one dad : reassure your children that they only have one mom and one dad. no one will replace either of you. i told my children this a few months after i introduced my then boyfriend to them. my son actually liked my boyfriend so much he wanted to call him dad. i had to take him aside and say, “i am so glad you like him! but you only have one mom and one dad.” he was only five years old, so i kept it age appropriate.2. group setting: have the first five meetings in a group setting. for instance, a backyard bbq with friends and your new man. you should introduce him as a friend and give your children the chance to get to know your guy in a fun, relaxed, no pressure atmosphere. a group setting allows children to feel non-threatened. it's best not to show affection during these first five meetings. he’s just a friend right now.

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When in doubt, have a talk with your boyfriend about where the relationship is going and how quickly things are progressing. there’s no point in stressing over that awkward first meeting if the two of you don’t see eye-to-eye about your future together. if the two of you are ready to take the next step, then welcome the occasion warmly, because meeting each other’s parents is a huge milestone for your relationship. it may seem intimidating at first, but you’ll be so relieved when first impressions are out of the way. plus, being on good terms with each other’s families can make your relationship even stronger. by the time the actual meeting rolls around, you’ll be wondering why you were even worried in the first place!Before taking the next step of bringing your boyfriend home, you should think about how timely it would be within the context of your relationship. marni battista, the founder of dating with dignity, says couples usually enter the “safe zone of introduction” somewhere between the three-month and six-month mark. however, you’ll have to use your own judgment to determine when the two of you are comfortable and ready. battista warns that bringing a boyfriend home too early in the relationship can scare him off, so be reasonable with your timing. as excited as you may be to show off the man in your life, battista says, “take care not to invite him on that family cruise on your one-week anniversary.”.One challenge of having a serious relationship in college is that you visit home less frequently—usually only during major holidays if you attend a school far away. this means that if you do decide to bring your boyfriend home, the first meeting will be during a significant event (possibly with a larger gathering of family members). because of the added pressure, battista says, “you're probably going to want to be pretty comfortable with him.” if you aren’t quite at that stage in your relationship but still want your boyfriend to meet your parents, battista suggests bringing him home during a lower-pressure time, such as spring break or a long weekend.While you may feel completely responsible for making the call on when your guy should meet your parents, remember that your parents and your guy are probably contemplating it, too. if you’re unsure whether it’s too soon for an introduction, gauge the situation by using their reactions. battista agrees that if either your boyfriend or your parents has expressed interest in meeting the other, then it’s probably time to arrange a meeting. it’s natural to be curious about important people in a loved one’s life, so mutual interest (or even interest from one party) is a great reason to pop the parent question.

Do you tell the younger man your age or do you assume he knows you are much older?

Without a doubt, there are sharks — some in very good disguise — who are serious threats to your daughters. we, as the church, need to be vigilant — and train our girls to be vigilant — to identify and guard them from such men. at the same time, there are a lot of good men who simply need to learn and grow. it might be dangerous for your daughter to try and take this on within the context of a romantic relationship, even if she’s spiritually mature. but it would not be dangerous for you to spend at least a little time investing in him, naming areas of need in his life and development, and then providing some appropriate support to him in his growth (even if his immaturities mean he can’t date your daughter right now).As a trend, dads seem to be less and less involved in their daughter’s dating. it actually makes for a dangerous situation because god means for spiritual headship and leadership to be a more seamless handoff, not this disjointed affair that leaves the young woman spiritually and emotionally uncovered from age fifteen until her wedding day. we’ve relegated dads to a last-minute interview before engagement when god meant for them to be active, available agents of wisdom and safekeeping. and i don’t mean policemen. foolish dads relish the gun-bearing, tough-guy role. the wise dads relish the opportunity to develop a real, intentional, grace-and-truth relationship with the man who might be tasked with caring for their daughter for the rest of her life.Girls, if you’re terrified to have your jesus-loving father more involved in your boyfriend’s life, that is a red flag for your relationship. depending on the reason you’re afraid, you might even need to break up with him. god has given you a father for your good. god wants to love you and keep you and protect you and provide for you through this man. and if your father loves your heavenly father, god will use him to guard and grow your heart for jesus. as awkward as it might feel at times, make this a qualification for a man wanting to pursue you, that he get to know an older godly man that you know loves you, preferably your father.Let your first couple conversations be mainly about him, and not her. demonstrate that you really want to get to know him, not just scare him away. learn his story. ask about his hobbies. study his relationships with his friends and family. don’t be too proud to take some notes while you do. it probably should be said here that you might consider giving the daughter you raised the benefit of the doubt that maybe she picked well, at least before coming to any quick conclusions. at the same time, remember that even with the “good guy” a resume can’t replace some regular contact. she’s worth it — her faith, safety, and well-being — to spend some time seeing him for yourself.

You’ve been close with your best friend since you were kids, and you’ve witnessed her love life every step of the way. After a difficult end to a

Being a man child isn’t all about how you treat your woman; you have to learn to take care of yourself too. so when you get knocked over in basketball and your collarbone is protruding from your neck, i’m going to go ahead and say it’s time you see the doctor. i think, at this juncture, it’s safe to say your health insurance excuse extraneous here, seeing as you look like you’re two minutes away from death. so please do your significant other a favor and take care of yourself. we’re not here to solely take care of you.A man child can never find enough ways to make you feel like shit because, as a man child, that’s sort of his god-given duty. so he’ll put you down in front of his friends, indifferent to your feelings. doing this is sort of a double whammy for him: he’s showing his friends that he’s not too serious about you and is therefore still a homie, and it also makes him feel better about your accomplishments, if only for a brief moment.Again, a man child is not secure with himself and so your ballooning self-confidence is just a massive threat to him. men with backbones revel in a girlfriend who is over-confident, because what real dude wants to deal with a girl who keeps putting herself down? whereas a man child will try to flip your confidence into a deplorable trait, like self-obsession, because, as he sees it, if he can’t be confident than neither can you.I’m not one to judge game addictions; tetris stole my entire senior year right before my very eyes. but there’s something particularly off when your boy is playing a fantasy, first-person shooter game on his iphone any chance he gets. i’m talking you look away for one second to fold your laundry and he’s at it again. the type of attachment that actually gets in the way of his work and productivity.

In western cultures it is a trend that is being more readily embraced than in other cultures, such as for example, the asian culture. with many old world values, most asian parents frown down on their son dating an older woman. if the age difference is minimal then that is one thing but a big age gap that is into the double digits is even more cause for concern. parents worry that their son is dating a woman who will not be able to bear him children or a woman who has a lot of baggage from her past, or that she is too experienced or sophisticated for him, among other worries. this problem is even more worrisome for a parent if the son is in his twenties and just embarking on his adult life and the woman is well into her thirties or forties. some parents assume that it is just a phase or a learning curve that their son is going through while others may worry that it could develop into a more serious relationship.It is important for the younger man to communicate to the older woman he is dating about the reservations his parents have about their relationship before the woman meets the man’s parents for the first time. knowing what to expect is half the battle and everyone likes to be prepared. upon meeting the parents treat them with respect and politeness and be honest with them when they ask questions. some parents will automatically be more reserved than others. be aware as well that sometimes both parents will not agree on this issue. the father may be okay with the situation while the mother is not or vice versa.Although it is becoming more socially acceptable for older women to date younger men, not everyone is always willing to accept it. this is especially the case if it is your son who is dating an older woman. an age difference of three or four years is one thing but some parents cringe at the thought of their son dating a woman 10 to 15 years his senior. it is understandable why the parents would be concerned despite the fact that it is their son’s own life and he must make his own decisions.Keep in mind that you may not become very close to his parents or on the other hand you might find that you do and that you enjoy their company quite a bit. his parents might relax considerably once they meet you and see what kind of a person you are. once they see that you genuinely care for their son this should take some of the emphasis off of the age difference. be aware that if you keep calling attention to the age disparity then other people will at well.

A 17 year old girl asks: My Mom is dating again, and I'm worried that she's trying to replace my Dad. What can I do? Fellow teens answer.

“Would you rather I dated a woman that old? Because I might do that too. Or do you have problem with lesbians as well?”

** HOW TO MAKE YOUR PARENTS LET YOU DATE need tell your parents because if they find listening to

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New love interest in your life? Learn when to introduce your kids ... as well as how to prepare your whole family for those initial introductions.

Wondering when to bring a date home to meet your kids? These guidelines will help you talk with with your kiddos honestly about your decision to date.

Chances are you won't hear the phone ring-and you won't get to chat (even briefly!) with your kids' friends when they call. tami beck, a mother of two in shawnee, kansas, remembers when a boy came to pick up her 15-year-old daughter and called from the driveway. "he pulls in and gets on his cell phone and says, ‘i'm here,'" beck recalls. "i said to my daughter, ‘tell him he needs to come in. your parents want to meet him.'" and to make sure their kids end up where they say they're going to be, some parents insist their kids call home by landline to confirm their whereabouts using caller id. kids also use their cell phones to spread the news about parties. beck demands that her daughter turn off her cell at 10:30 on weeknights and at midnight on weekends (before this, calls were coming in as late as 5:00 a.m.!). if you're concerned about calls your kid is making, another strategy is to use shared minutes on family plans; that way, you can scrutinize the phone bills. (also, be sure you know the numbers of your child's friends.).The groups themselves aren't necessarily a problem-they give teens the opportunity to develop friendships with lots of people, and they take away the strangeness that kids might feel when they're alone on a date. but peer pressure can be much stronger in a group. if a lot of kids are doing something questionable, the few who feel it's wrong may have trouble speaking up. that's where you come in: be sure to talk to your child often about what your expectations are, whether they concern sex or drinking or relationships. and ask your teen to think about what she would do if she weren't in a group, says sabrina weill, author of the real truth about teens and sex. "say to her, ‘if nobody was drinking a beer, would you? if nobody your age was having sex, would you?'".Remember sitting by the phone, waiting for a boy to call and ask for a date? then waiting for him to come to the house to pick you up? well, get over it-dating is different now. "even the concept of dating is outdated," says beth-marie jelsma, a psychotherapist in rochester, new york. kids still start pairing off around the same age (between 12 and 14, with more serious relationships usually reserved for the later teen years), and parents still worry about them experimenting with sex. but these days, there's even more reason for concern. "kids almost seem to be running the bases backward," says marisa nightingale, of the national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy, referring to the new sexuality. how do you help your child navigate this complicated world? the first step is to understand it.Teen pregnancy numbers are down, and so is the number of kids who are having intercourse. but that doesn't mean kids aren't sexually active: studies have found that some 50 percent of teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex. "i have an 11-year-old middle schooler who came home saying that a boy wanted her to have oral sex with him in the parking lot," says tonja krautter, a psychologist in los gatos, california, who works with adolescents. "a lot of kids have this idea that it's no big deal." kids who think this may be missing crucial messages about sexually transmitted diseases and self-esteem.