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Datingtopics

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

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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.By the time they're in high school, guys may have gone a lot further than you're ready to go.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?"Don't be alone with a person you don't know very well until you feel more comfortable with that person," Choate says. Know exactly where you're going, what's happening every step of the way.

You don't have to let the other person be in control of the date." Abuse is more common in teen relationships than you might think.

"A great way to start the whole dating scene is by hanging out in groups with parental supervision," Choate says.

"Then the next step might be some gradual couple time, but still with parental supervision." Over time, you can ask for more and more one-on-one time with this person, proving with each step that you are mature enough to handle the added freedom.

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.

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