Tom Lyon - UK

Well if you can generalise from my example I started dating when I was in the Scouts and that was when I was 13. In the UK, I would think we are quite chilled about the whole dating business. We take it very casually and our parents are normally fi ne with us going out on dates. At school, the teachers don’t mind you hanging out with your boyfriend or girlfriend as long as you are not making out, right in front of them. In public places, seeing couples making out is not a very rare scene but then again you do fi nd a conservative few who do not approve of such behaviour. I wouldn’t say there is an inferiority complex among teenagers when it comes to dating. But I guess if all your friends are going out and you are the only one single, you will have reasons to feel a bit le out.

 

 

Ryan Chau- Hong kong
Teenagers normally start dating when they are at school. Friends encourage the relationship by teasing you about your partner and the like. In Hong Kong we generally text our girlfriends since it is the cheaper option. Also, I think it is popular because it does not involve face to face interactions. We go out on dates to places that are crowded with people- cinemas, shopping malls, parks. Making out in public, however, is still considered a bit inappropriate in our culture. So in that sense, you could say that it is not very liberal.

Parents are generally, not beastly about their children dating but the permission to date does come with the usual warning of - “I don’t want it affecting your studies!” Teachers at school are the same way about it. They wouldn’t really bother whether or not you are dating unless you are getting into fights because of it or if your academic performance starts to go downhill.

 

Julieta Miranda - Argentina

The dating culture in Argentina is quite “liberal” in the sense that it’s totally normal to date someone of a younger age, and nobody considers this to be like against religion or anything, so yes couples can be seen in public without any problem. However, it’s not liberal in the sense that you start a relationship within few weeks of knowing each other. Teenagers normally date people whom they share some part of their routine with, like at school, neighbourhood or at sports club.

We use texts and mobile conversations a lot; also the blackberry chat has become some sort of a fashion, and Facebook is used as well.

Most parents are pretty cool with their sons/daughters dating at a young age, although it obviously depends on the type of family, religious beliefs, etc. Some fathers or brothers may be a bit protective, but nothing extreme, the only thing that this may cause is the girl to hide the relationship from them for a while.

Concerning the inferiority complexes, I don’t think such a thing exists in Argentina .I know many people older than me who never dated anyone, but they don’t feel like they wasted their lives or anything, and they certainly don’t have an inferiority complex.
Schools and teachers also regard dating as something completely normal, although “public demonstrations of love” in school are not allowed.