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How young is too young to be in a romantic relationship?

Question: "How young is too young to be in a romantic relationship?"

How young is “too young” to start a relationship depends on the individual’s level of maturity, goals, and beliefs. The younger we are, the less mature we are, due to lack of life experience. When we are just beginning to figure out who we are, we may not be firmly grounded enough spiritually to form romantic attachments and may be more prone to making unwise decisions that can leave us with emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual damage.

Being in a relationship puts one in almost constant temptation, especially as emotions begin to develop and the attraction to the other person deepens. Young teens—even older teens—are besieged by hormonal and societal pressures that seem at times almost unbearable. Each day brings new feelings—doubts, fears, and confusion coupled with joys and exhilaration—which can be very confusing. Young people spend much of their time just figuring out who they are and how they relate to the world and the people around them. To add the pressure of a relationship at this stage seems almost too much to ask, especially when the other person is experiencing the same upheaval. Such early relationships make it more difficult to avoid damage to delicate and still-forming self-esteem, not to mention the problem of resisting temptation. If being marriage-minded is still far off, it is probably too early to begin dating or courtship. Much safer for all concerned are group activities where young people can develop social skills and friendships without the pressure and inherent difficulties of romantic attachments.

Sadly, some people—even professing Christians—give in to sexual temptation while still in their teens. The Bible tells us that any kind of sex before marriage is a sin (Matthew 15:19; 1 Corinthians 6:13; Ephesians 5:3). The Bible warns us to run away from sexual sin because sometimes running is necessary to resist (1 Corinthians 6:18). Verses 19-20 go on to say, “Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage is not honoring God with our bodies.

No matter when a person decides to begin to begin a romantic relationship, this should be a time of building on the foundation of faith that he/she has been taught, growing and figuring out what God wants him/her to do. We are never too young to begin this exciting process. “Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Recommended Resources: The Ten Commandments of Dating by Young & Adams.

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Related Topics:

Is born again virginity possible?

What does the Bible say about sex before marriage / premarital sex?

What does the Bible say about dating / courting?

How can I overcome feelings of rejection?

What is an appropriate level of intimacy before marriage?

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How young is too young to be in a romantic relationship?