Rules for girls about dating guys

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What to watch for: It’s time to have the “values and expectations” talk if you haven’t already.

This can mean discussing your family’s views on sex before marriage, as well as frank talk about abstinence, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.

Kids hook up with people they’ve just met, casual acquaintances and even friends. Jennifer, when asked if hooking up with a guy meant a girl had a crush on him, says dismissively, “Nope.” And Megan concurs: “It would seem very strange to me that a girl would think there’s something there” after a hookup.

Case in point: There’s a myth in teen circles that you can’t get STDs from oral sex, Gurwitch notes.

She says as cringe-inducing as this conversation will be, it has to get done. “There’s something about not sitting next to each other on a couch that makes this easier for both you and your child.” Just because teens are more casual and sophisticated about dating doesn’t mean they don’t still suffer heartbreak.

Megan*, a senior at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, says only about 20 percent of these relationships result in an official couple.

Jennifer*, a junior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, notes that while it’s not cool to “talk” to more than one person at a time, some people go from one talking “relationship” to another without actually dating anyone, which tends to explain the relatively low numbers of actual couples.

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