The two people aren’t “a couple” or “an item,” and they don’t refer to each other as a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” They don’t pair off. This is the kind of dating the Church encourages you to do after you turn 16.

You should put aside a need to find a “one and only.” If you’re dating casually, you don’t expect a relationship to become a romance.

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After high school (and a mission, for a young man), if young adults become emotionally intimate and naturally desire physical intimacy, they are in a position to do something about it: they could get married.

But if teens become emotionally intimate and naturally desire physical intimacy, they can’t do anything about it.

The question is not simply where you put your hands, but it’s where you put your heart.

Often two teens (especially LDS youth who know the Lord’s commandments) will be tempted to become physical only if they’ve already established the kind of relationship that would permit it—one that has already reached a level of emotional connectedness and commitment.

Friendship is when two people discover they have similar interests, similar views—things in common.

They talk with one another, validate one another’s views, and choose to spend time together.

Steady dating is courtship, and surely the beginning of courtship ought to be delayed until you have emerged from your teens” (“You’re in the Driver’s Seat,” June 2004, 8). They think these friendship-type relationships are only for younger kids, and they plunge into romantic relationships more appropriate for young adults (people in their 20s), who are in a position to think about marriage.

These romantic relationships have two components: physical and emotional.

Generally speaking, boys crave the physical part more than girls do, and girls crave the emotional part more than boys do.

Because boys have less of a desire for emotional closeness, they are usually in control of how deep this aspect of the relationship will become.

It allows you to get to know a number of people and to interact with everybody else in the group, fostering a feeling of friendship.