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“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.Connolly, who has two adolescent daughters of her own, says that group dating is growing in popularity everywhere, including China and India.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.“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.
Becoming a “couple” Don’t panic, but the experts say “going out” often begins in grade five, with one or two couples in a class.
This causes parents to worry, and rightly so, as many kids are uncomfortable with or unable to handle the intimacy that comes with slow dancing or mixed-gender pyjama parties.
But in terms of friendships between boys and girls, Connolly says that simply having friends of both sexes can be healthy and positive.
The peer group provides checks and balances, along with feedback about what’s OK and what’s not, so kids are less likely to get out of their depth — especially in terms of conflict, expectations for behaviour and sex.
With traditional one-to-one relationships, Connolly says, things tend to escalate much more quickly, simply because the couple is spending a lot of time alone.