Even if it seems like everyone around you has paired off, you want to go out with someone for the right reason -- because you really like that person. You also want to be with someone who will treat you right, she says. One clue is the way they treat their friends, teachers, and parents.
"The motivation to be drawn to this person is based on who they are as an individual ... If you're not totally sure about this person, ask yourself if it's worth getting into the relationship.
"Just because a girl looks like she's 16 when she's only 11, it doesn't mean that psychologically or emotionally she's ready to date older boys...
they are so much more skilled at this dating game than she would be, and they can manipulate her and hurt her," says Laura Choate, Ed D, a licensed professional counselor, associate professor of counselor education at Louisiana State University, and author of the book, Girls' and Women's Wellness: Contemporary Counseling Issues and Interventions.
Topics To Go are packaged in a light weight container and easy to throw in your bag or back pack for great conversations on the go.
In a car, or at a restaurant, or on a plane Topics To Go question cards will spark great conversation and make the most of the time you spend with family and friends.
"Have you had a talk with yourself to say, 'Am I comfortable with kissing somebody, holding their hand, undressing to a certain level, caressing? These are decisions you need to make ahead of time -- not when you're in the middle of a make-out session and your date is pressuring you to go further.
Kris Gowen, Ph D, Ed M, a researcher in sexual and mental health at the Portland State University School of Social Work.
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.
She's also written a book about sexuality for teens, called Sexual Decisions: The Ultimate Teen Guide.
Gowen says being ready to go out has more to do with your maturity than your age. For one thing, could you tell the person you're dating how far you're willing to take the relationship, and what your sexual boundaries are?