One of the most common questions that parents and their teenage children ask is, “How old should a person be before dating?” The answer is not as simple as some try to make it. In reality, the question of when a young person is ready to date is very subjective, depending on the parents’ attitudes and the developmental level of the child. There is more involved than simply assigning a chronological age. Adolescents mature at different rates, and girls usually mature faster and earlier than boys do. Some children may be ready to date at the age of 13, while others may be 18 before they are ready. A person’s readiness to date is largely a matter of maturity and environment.Part of maturity is knowledge, and there are four principles or prerequisites that every person should meet before they begin dating. Knowing and applying these principles will help ensure dating success regardless of a person’s status: younger, older, never married, or newly single again.