How to Create a Dating Contract for Your Teen

Establish dating rules for your teen with a contract.
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As your teen enters the dating world, it's important to make your expectations clear. Establishing clear rules ahead of time can prevent problems before they start.

A written dating contract is the best way to make your rules clear. Establish guideline s that you expect your teen to follow and write them down. Review the rules with your teen.

Give your teen an opportunity to ask questions, or make suggestions about what he'd like to see in the contract.

But, just because he wants something, doesn't mean you have to give it to him.

Print the contract out and ask him to sign it. Then, he wouldn't be able to claim he didn't know the rules or that he didn't understand what you meant.

A dating contract can also help your teen establish a healthy relationship and it can prevent problems, like unplanned pregnancy or STDs. Give your teen enough freedom to explore his relationship, but don't allow so much freedom that he could get himself into trouble.

Sample Dating Contract

While you will likely want to create your own contract with your teen that outlines your rules and expectations, here's an example of what you might want to include:

I know being allowed to go out on dates is a privilege. I respect that my parents love me and want to keep me safe. My parents respect that I am becoming a young adult and want the privilege of dating openly. With that in mind, we agree:

  1. To keep communicating about our family values on dating, relationships and physical contact, including sexual relations. (Get specific about your family values).
  2. I will introduce my date to my parents before I will be able to go out alone on a date with him/her. 
  3. I will not date anyone __________ years older than me or anyone ___________ years younger than me.

  1. I am allowed to go on ______ dates per week, this includes visiting at each other's homes.

  2. I will be home - in the door and date gone - by my curfew.
  3. I will tell my parents where I am going to be and with whom for the entire time I am gone.
  4. My responsibilities come first. (Define responsibilities below or on the back side of this page.) I will keep up with these responsibilities or possibly lose my dating privileges.

Consequences for Breaking the Contract

If your teen breaks the rules, follow through with a clear consequence. Take away privileges, like the ability to borrow the car or the ability to go out with friends. 

Make the consequences known ahead of time. Discuss them with your teen regularly.

As time goes on and your teen shows you he can follow your rules respectfully, you might consider giving him more privileges, such as a later curfew or more opportunities to go on dates. But make sure that you encourage your teen to take dating and romance slow at first. 

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