DEAR ABBY: I'm 15 and my parents won't let me date. I try to talk to them about it often, but they are convinced I'm going to get hurt or lose my virginity. I think I'm old enough to have a small relationship. I don't believe in premarital sex, and neither does the guy I like. I know I'm mature enough to date. I don't want to date just because everyone else does. I want to date this guy because we are best friends and we want to see each other, hang out like teens and have a normal relationship.
What can I do to ease my parents into the idea of letting me date him? We have been together for almost two years -- not dating -- just seeing each other at school. We talk by texting. I want to be with him outside of school. Any ideas? -- READY TO DATE
DEAR READY: Like any other "skill," being able to date successfully takes practice. I'd compare it to riding a bicycle. You don't just get on and pedal off -- it happens in stages.
It is obvious that your parents don't want "their little girl" to get hurt, and trust me, on some level you will always be their little girl. But for you to become socially capable/adept, you should be able to start dating in groups. That's how you will learn to handle yourself and the young men with whom you will interact. These lessons are important to learn at your age so you won't be at a disadvantage when you are older. Perhaps this would be a persuasive argument when talking to your parents.