“That’s just in the movies,” says Brett, 14, of Aurora, Ont.
Here’s our look at teen dating in the 21st century.
The gang’s all here Going out with your significant other with all your mutual friends in tow is such a common phenomenon across the country that academics have started researching it.
“We call it group dating, and we believe it can be really healthy and protective,” says Jennifer Connolly, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto who specializes in teen relationships.
Here is how 14-year-old Catherine started going out with the guy who is now her boyfriend.
At recess one day, her best friend yelled over to the unsuspecting boy, “Catherine wants to snog!
” Everyone within earshot knew from Harry Potter that “snog” is Brit slang for “kiss.” While Catherine and her friends dissolved into hysterics, the boy didn’t react at all — until two weeks later, when he approached Catherine to ask her out.
And here’s how that went: Boy: “Do you wanna go out?
” Catherine: “OK.” The two Toronto-area teens have been going out since last April, although rarely on their own.
In their group of eight friends, the four boys and four girls are paired off into couples, but prefer to spend their time all together, sitting around and talking at one another’s houses, grabbing something to eat, going to a movie. “We just feel better when we’re together,” Catherine explains.
“At this age we’re always fighting with our parents, so we need to feel we’re loved.” She’s quick to add that while she and her boyfriend love each other, they’re not . ” This is the new world of teen dating, and it can be almost unrecognizable to many parents.
Long gone is the tradition where a boy phones a girl on Tuesday to ask her out for Saturday, picks her up at her house, meets the parents, pays for dinner and a show, and sees her home.