The Pre-Teen Dating Scene: A Catalogue Of Dates I Went On With Boys And Their Moms

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teen dating

Because of a hysteria surrounding 13-year-old girls piercing their navels and giving blowjobs or what have you, I found that I was never more distrusted than when I was a preteen. As such, I went on a number of supervised dates with boys and their moms. Dates with moms are not so different than dates without moms except there’s no chance of over the pants action, you probably sit in the back seat on the way, and you don’t have to make a show of pretending to pay. Mom always picks up the tab.

Because I met my boyfriend about a billion years ago and haven’t dated another man since, my pre-teen dating history is much richer and more interesting than anything in my adult life. For the purposes of this post, I’m defining pre-teen as 12-13, since those were the years that I wore bras but did not menstruate.

Josh, Age 12

Even though my classmate Josh and I largely ignored each other at school, we struck up a friendship over AIM the summer after sixth grade. Perhaps graduating from our elementary school and moving onto separate middle schools awakened something in us, or maybe everyone else just had away messages up. In any case, I developed a crush on Josh, even though he was functionally illiterate and mostly sent me links to Geocities sites dedicated to Eminem.

His younger sister and mine were best friends, and one afternoon, my mom came rushing into my bedroom with some very exciting news. His mom, who was about to pick my sister up to go ice skating with his little sister, had called and invited me along, at Josh’s request. I had always hoped to be asked out by somebody’s mom. I had never been the cute girl in the sixth grade, and I felt that this was my chance to impress. I grabbed my most appealing boot cut jeans (dip dyed at the knee, embroidered waistband, extra low rise), and selected a polo shirt, thinking that would strike the perfect balance between smart and sophisticated.

When Josh, his mom, and sister arrived, my sister and I piled into the back seat. Josh and I did not speak. Instead, I talked to the younger sisters the whole way to the ice rink or gazed out the window, dreamily. Everything was coming together. Josh would be my boyfriend and our sisters would be best friends forever, and I was pretty sure my mom was going to buy me an even more sophisticated polo shirt for my birthday (it had rhinestones on it). Things were coming up Julia Sonenshein.

Once we arrived at the ice rink, the girls held hands and skated while I mostly clung to the wall, giggling and making stupid jokes. Josh impressed me with his cool skating skills, which primarily consisted of skating really, really fast and then stopping suddenly while creating sound effects. When he ignored me, I talked to his mom, who supervised from the edge of the rink. I was pretty sure I was in love.

Afterwards, we went back to their house for snacks. Josh and I lay on his giant trampoline and talked, which was our first extended face-to-face conversation. He asked me if I wore thongs, and mentioned that he didn’t want his future wife to work for a living, because, kids. I thought he made a pretty convincing argument. I told him it wasn’t any of his business what type of underpants I had on, but am ashamed to say that it gave me a secret thrill that he wondered. Three weeks later, he called me a fat slut over AIM, and that was the end of our love affair. Some loves are just not meant to be.

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  1. Eve Vawter

    January 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    This is the most touching this ever written: ” With his mom in the kitchen heating up some Bagel Bites, we made out some more and then he whispered in my ear, “I think I might be gay.” His mom came back. It was Bagel Bites time.”

    • G.E. Phillips

      January 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Gay middle school boyfriends come and go, but Bagel Bites are forever.

    • G.E. Phillips

      January 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Gay middle school boyfriends come and go, but Bagel Bites are 4-ever.

    • LiteBrite

      January 31, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Yeah, I’d probably be all like, “Oh you might be gay? Cool story, bro. Ooooo, Bagel Bites!”

  2. Carrie Murphy

    January 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Julllliiiiaaaaaaaaaaa this is too much.

    • Julia Sonenshein

      January 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm


  3. Kay_Sue

    January 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Aaahhhh, young love, bolstered over AOL Instant Messenger. Those were the days. ‘Twas a simpler time.

  4. bl

    January 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    In 8th grade I showed up for my first date and got surprised with not just a mom-along date but the whole family (yay!). That’s what you get for dating a 7th grader, I reasoned. Nothing like this would have happened with a mature, sophisticated 8th grader. In the end, his little brother and mom turned out to be totally cool; he was pretty boring, and I dumped him the day before Valentine’s Day :/ not wanting to deal with all the festivities.

  5. pixie

    January 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    The last day of 5th grade my class had a party and included music and dancing. I “slow-danced” with one dude, I think named Nick, because my friends kept shoving me towards him and then afterwards told us we were dating. I barely talked to this boy and I had no interaction with him outside of school or over the summer (I didn’t even have MSN then). We were in the same grade 6 class and partway through September a friend asks me if I’m still going out with him because Shelby asked her because Jess wanted to know, or something like that, I just kind of shrugged. A few weeks later, another kid in my class comes over to me and says that Nick’s really sorry but he’s not my boyfriend anymore because he likes Kayla better. I just kind of stared at the boy as he walked away because I had no idea I was dating Nick in the first place.

  6. Mystik Spiral

    January 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    You kids are making me feel old… I wasn’t even aware of the newfangled concept of “e-mail” until I was in college…

    Back in MY day, “dating” consisted mainly of “school night at Skate City” where if you were lucky, a boy you thought was cute would ask you to skate during a slow song, under the disco ball. *SIGH*

    • LiteBrite

      January 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      We used to skate too. God, I wanted to slow skate with someone so bad in elementary and middle school. It was like my life’s dream. Never happened though. I think I’ve finally moved on.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Is it sad that my husband and I are planning a trip to the skate rink for a date night? No kids, just…something different to do, lol.

    • LiteBrite

      February 1, 2014 at 8:40 am

      No, I think that’s awesome. My husband doesn’t skate, so there’s no way he’d agree to that. Plus, after a couple of slow songs, I’d probably say “Okay, see ya! Gonna practice my crossovers and t-stops now!”

    • ElleJai

      February 2, 2014 at 1:55 am

      I went on a skate night date with my DH about 6 months ago.. Only problem is I’m not very fit so we left and went bowling after half an hour lol.

      Still awesome.

    • Kay_Sue

      February 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      We went bowling last night and it was actually awesome. We both suck at it, but there was beer. Yay beer!

    • hopefullysoon

      January 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Our dates were school dances at one of the two Catholic schools in town–ours and the other one. Since they were Catholic schools, there were only about 20-30 kids, tops, but we were often, inexplicably, left alone. My first real date was in a tiny, sweaty youth center room. While the music blared, I sat next to the boy I was in LOVE with. I knew it was meant to be when he gave me his short-sleeved plaid button down to wear (I guess love makes you icy cold in a boiling room) and put his arm around me. I felt witty and sparkly and made sure everyone saw just how awesome my life was right at that moment.

      Coincidentally, it was also the night I discovered the magic of naturally flushed cheeks and, consequently, where blush should be applied to mimic that magic.

      I want to be a kid again.

    • Eve Vawter

      February 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Just me N Mystik , getting our skate on to Funky Town

    • Allyson_et_al

      February 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      And me!

    • Allyson_et_al

      February 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      I think we had the same childhood. The first boy to woo me via email was my now husband. We started dating in 1991. And, oh, those skating nights!

  7. Maria Guido

    January 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    “Because I met my boyfriend about a billion years ago and haven’t dated another man since, my pre-teen dating history is much richer and more interesting than anything in my adult life.”

    My god Julia – I don’t think I could love you more if I tried.

  8. Pumplestilskin

    January 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    No lie, every single boy my best friend in school “dated” (in quotes because, until you can go on car dates without your parents along for the ride are you really dating?) or dated from the age of 12 to 19 is gay. Every one. 5 guys. One she was in a very drama filled, on again off again relationship for 2 years. He came out right after graduation. Most were out by the time we reached 20.

  9. DatNanny

    January 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    This is the best thing I’ve ever read. Julia I love you can we go on an awkward preteen date together? I’ll hit you up on AIM. Just let me know when your parents go to bed so we don’t have to worry about them reading over your shoulder or making any phone calls.

    • Julia Sonenshein

      January 31, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Meet you at the mall! brb-mom needs comp.

    • Eve Vawter

      February 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I need to read all this fan fiction

  10. Unforgettable

    January 31, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Oh, this chick I had a crush on in middle school had a freaking gorgeous mom. Now I wish I asked her out on a date, hoping she’d bring her hot mom too!

    • Eve Vawter

      February 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      In waiting by my email box to get your reader feature entitled HOT MOMS ARE HOT

  11. Des

    January 31, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    This is such a cute story. I was taken back in time to my first “date” (my mom drove) to the movies. Awkward. Ohhh did you sum it up! And now that I’m a mother to two teens who will probably be dating soon, I’m ALREADY secondhand embarrassed.

  12. jen

    January 31, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    This is the best thing I’ve ever read!

  13. Véronique Houde

    February 1, 2014 at 8:18 am

    When I was in the 6th grade, Paul asked me out to the movies in his dad’s car. Paul was really cool and cute and had this awesome blonde mushroom cut. I was so excited! When I got into his car, I thought he was even cooler because his dad had a carphone! As we were riding along though, with his dad and dad’s girlfriend in the front seat, I remember Paul telling me about his dad’s condo – which he slipped up and pronounced condoM… I think his dad just about DIED.

    Funny enough, I can’t remember the rest of the “date”. I think the condom story overshadowed the rest of the date…

    • ChickenKira

      February 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Quite similar to the way that the only thing I recall from the science class about what defines something as a living organism is that a girl named Stephanie was asked to read aloud from the textbook and she repeatedly said “orgasm”.

  14. jendra_berri

    February 2, 2014 at 1:26 am

    These stories are so deliciously awkward, I can taste being 13 again. Except I have no stories of any kind till 16 years old.
    I have had a gay boy kiss, though. Remarkably lovely kiss it was too. Probably because he was sufficiently unhorny enough to focus on technique.

  15. tSubh Dearg

    February 2, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I went on two supervised “dates” with the boy I liked when I was about 11. The first was to the cinema to see Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with him, his mum and his little brother and the second was to see West Side Story in the theatre, because ROMANCE! also with his mum. I broke up with him because I couldn’t stand being teased about liking him anymore by my friends.

    Didn’t go out with anyone else until college, probably because I was in an all girls secondary school.

  16. CrushLily

    February 3, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I went to an all-girls boarding school so the only chance we got to interact with boys was at dances with boys from other boarding schools. Sometimes we’d meet up with boys we met at the dance in the city and would then studiously ignore them for the entire time.
    The line about the ‘first time I understood about my boundaries being crossed’ pretty much sums up my first kiss experience. I was 13. So much tongue. It was everywhere! I finally ran away and hid in the bathroom for the rest of the night. I can’t remember what he looked like but I’ll never forget him for it. It was so gross I didn’t let a boy near me for another two years. Although that was more likely because I was a foot taller than the boys and they only liked my cute little friends. All that kissing practice with my stuffed toys was for nothing!

  17. Kat

    February 3, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Oohh, I participated in *under*-the-pants action on one of my boy-and-his-mom dates! I won’t fall for that when my kids date.

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