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These first relationships usually don’t go beyond chatting, posing for pictures later posted on social media and requests to attend coed group outings.Most experts and parents consulted for this article say group “dates” to the mall, movies or even a friend’s house are fine as long as they’re supervised, even if it means just being in the same shopping center.I'll take you to a dive bar with amazing burgers to see how you react.If you're flowing with it and cool, we've got a winner.

Whether it's someone you're meeting online or it's someone your friends know, aim to drop the things you know about them and start fresh.

As prom season approaches, it’s easy to conjure romantic thoughts of dating rituals we experienced long ago.

Perhaps the thought of all those sweet young couples slow dancing under paper streamers coaxes a nostalgic sigh or two. If you’re the parent of a child who has recently started middle school, get ready for a decidedly new dating scene.

Ed Parrish, a banker and father of four from Graham, has noticed that his 13-year-old son has started asking his older sister if her friend’s younger sister can join her on visits to the Parrish home. Sometimes, his son will go to the movies with guy friends and “meet up” with a group of girls from school, Parrish says.

He feels comfortable with these early forays because “we’ve given him the talk about the need to respect young ladies and what we expect of him.”What to watch for: Cellphones and social media can lay traps for preteens and young teens.