One out of every four teens has been verbally, physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by the person they're dating, according to the CDC. Finally, never get so wrapped up in another person that you forget who you are.
ANY TIME someone you're dating demeans you, forces you to do something you don't want to do, or hits you -- get out of that relationship. By dressing sexy to impress your date or acting in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you lose your sense of self.
You have met the most amazing person, and you totally NEED to go out with him/her. Do your parents even allow you to go out and "date?
"A great way to start the whole dating scene is by hanging out in groups with parental supervision," Choate says.
"Then the next step might be some gradual couple time, but still with parental supervision." Over time, you can ask for more and more one-on-one time with this person, proving with each step that you are mature enough to handle the added freedom.
Are you also mature enough to handle the rejection that can come in a relationship? On the flip side, if you were the one having to do the breaking up, could you do it in a firm, but kind way?
"Any time you open yourself to somebody, whether it's emotionally or physically, and then they reject you -- it's going to hurt," Gowen says. Don't base your readiness to date on what your friends are doing. "You have to share some common interests," Gowen says.