Studies have shown that the longer a boy and girl date one another, the more likely they are to get into trouble. to date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Jan. Relationships have different stages of emotional connectedness (see the figure on “The Funnel Theory”).
The important stages for teenagers to experience in their relationships are friendship and casual dating.
For decades, prophets have preached that youth who are in no position to marry should not pair off exclusively.
For instance, President Hinckley (1910–2008) said, “When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating.
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.