How should teenagers handle relationships with the opposite sex?
I think that it is good to postpone dating and pairing off as long as possible. Meaning, postpone it until it's ready to mean what it was designed to mean.
Pairing off is a powerful thing. If the relationship here means groups of 4, 8, or 20 people doing stuff together without the dynamic of "she and I are a thing," you know, that's great. But this question is talking about pairing off.
Pairing off is hormonally charged, psychologically charged, physically charged, spiritually charged, and it is meant to be! It's meant to lead somewhere! And it's beautiful where it is meant to lead.
Therefore my counsel is that as the electric charge begins to happen between two seventeen-year-olds, they better think really clearly about how to manage that. And if they don't intend to get married in the next year or so, they better not pair off but keep it in groups and step back from it.
To Talitha, my daughter, I say, "Through high school, keep it at groups. And then when the guy shows up, tell him to call me"—that's one way to manage it—"and we'll talk about what it should look like."
Long engagements are hard and dangerous. And so I think we should probably marry earlier, if we prepare our children well, or postpone dating till later. Because these long pairs aren't healthy for any of us.