About half of all 11- to 14-year-olds say they’ve been in a romantic relationship—but the term relationship can be a bit misleading. According to The Wall Street Journal, kids who date at that age often do far more texting than touching. Anthony, 14, admits he gives his girlfriend a hug when he sees her in the hall, but most of their contact is through the 300 texts they send each other. Clair, also 14, received a box of candy hearts from her month-long boyfriend, but it’s rare they even speak to each other face-to-face. Asked by her mother if they ever held hands, Claire said, “Oh, Mom, no. It’s junior high!” Experts say many youngsters feel they should date, in part to increase their social status; but they don’t necessarily have the wherewithal or experience to know what a dating relationship should or could look like. Many children begin dating because they’re not aware they could simply say no. (Wall Street Journal)

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About The Author

Paul Asay has written for Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. He writes about culture for Plugged In and has published several books, including his newest, Burning Bush 2.0 (Abingdon), available now. He lives in Colorado Springs. Check out his entertainment blog at Patheos.com/Blogs/WatchingGod or follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.