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Bad To Date Boy I Met Online?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm twelve years old and I met this really nice boy online. Sometimes we video chat. We know almost everything about eachother but he lives pretty far from me. I was just wondering.... would it be wrong to date him?
Signed: Bad To Date Boy I Met Online?

Dear Bad To Date Boy I Met Online?,


TeenHealthFX wants you to consider two things. The first is the safety of online dating. There are people out there who will misrepresent themselves online as a way to prey on others – especially the teen and pre-teen population. They may be interested in taking advantage of someone sexually, using personal information in some kind of harmful way, and more. That said, FX’s first concern is about your emotional and physical safety with dating someone online. Given that you are 12 and this is a potential online dating relationship, FX thinks it is VERY important that you talk to your parents about this person and the idea of having a relationship with him. Your parents should be able to meet this person (even if just through video chat if he lives so far away) and talk with his parents so they can assess how safe the situation is for you, and make sure you have the education you need about staying safe on the web with things like giving out personal information, meeting people in person, etc. If you do not want to tell your parents about this relationship, FX suggests you consider why you don’t want – and strongly suggests you find some trusted adult (such as an extended family member, parent of a friend, or school counselor) who you can get guidance and advice from and this situation and about the issue of talking to your parents.

The second issue is a general one about dating. What would it mean to you to date this person in terms of how much time you would be spending communicating with this person as opposed to being with friends or participating in other activities? Many mental health professionals and experts on child and adolescent development have raised concerns about people starting to date at too young of an age. Details about the specific concerns are outlined in about answer to What Age Should Kids Start Dating? FX thinks it would be helpful for you to read this answer, consider the points made, and talk about general dating guidelines with your parents.  

For more information about safe online dating, read about the Safety Considerations presented in this Online Dating Advice for Teens Article.

Signed: TeenHealthFX