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Finding Balance In Your Dating Life


As soon as you begin to go out, you will face the question of how often and how late you should date. Such questions as the following are asked by high school and college boys and girls in both large and small communities everywhere.

How many nights a week should a teen-ager go out on dates? Should a teen-ager date on school nights?

What should a girl do if a boy wants to go out every night? How can a girl and her family agree on an hour for her to get in at night? How late is too late for a date? What about all-night proms?

The answers to these questions depend upon the circumstances, and the people involved. Here is what teen-agers and adults usually have to say about them.

Parents and teachers point out that when young people date on school nights, they find it hard to get up in the morning and get off to school. Also they do not get enough sleep to maintain good health, and they neglect their homework. Adults generally feel that young people should restrict their dating to week ends when they can catch up on sleep Saturday and Sunday mornings.

When young people themselves discuss the question of how often they may date, they tend to agree that dating is best on week ends. Responsible fellows and girls feel that their homework comes first, and that everything works out better if they limit their evening dating to Fridays and Saturdays. They point out one important exception though. If there is a special event on during the week that both the boy and the girl would attend anyway, they might just as well enjoy it together.

A special school night, a regular band practice, or a play rehearsal, which John and Joan must both attend, becomes something of a date when it’s done together. Even so, there’s a general feeling that such weekday affairs should not be late, and that some provision should be made by young people to get their homework done before they start out.

Sometimes you see a couple that are constantly together. They seem to date every night in the week and spend as much of their time together as they can. Such practices are a concern to many parents and teachers, who point out the dangers of so much close association and the likelihood that one or both members of the couple are neglecting studies or other interests.

A girl dating a boy who wants to go out more frequently than she feels is wise is in a difficult spot. She’s afraid to turn him down lest he find some other girl to date. And if she’s fond of the boy, she doesn’t want to lose him. She may find it especially hard to curtail his dating demands because she, too, enjoys their being together.

One solution for a girl is to invite her boy friend to spend all or part of an occasional evening at home with her. She may suggest that he bring his books over so that they can do homework together. They may try to finish their assignments in time to watch some favorite television show, dance to records, or have light refreshments.

The success of such an alternative depends a great deal upon how responsible and sensible the two persons are when they are together. Some couples can get as much or more studying done together as they can do alone. Others clown around and gab so much that neither of them gets anything done.

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