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The 9 Stages I Went Through When My Teen Was Asked on Her First Date

My sweet little girl had just started high school when she was asked on a date. I’m not sure why a boy thought it was appropriate to ask her to “chill” with him. It seemed like just last week she’d had Bratz dolls spread across the living room and was begging her dad to catch her when she jumped into the pool again and again.

Okay, maybe it was a little longer than last week, but I still wasn’t ready! She wasn’t even quite 15. Is 15 an appropriate age for dating?

Here are the stages I went through as I contemplated my daughter’s first date:

  1. Shock. Wait. WHAT????
  2. Anger. How dare he think he’s good enough to talk to my precious angel baby!
  3. Sadness. Why is she growing up so fast? It’s not fair. *Sniffle, snot, sob.*
  4. Denial. I am so not ready for this. No. Just no. Nope. Uh-uh.
  5. Research. Also known as Facebook stalking. I dug through the boy’s whole social media presence.
  6. Seeking reassurance. I messaged my closest friends an “OMG!” emergency cry for help. Venting is good for the soul. And I’m fortunate to have sane friends to help me put things into perspective.
  7. Calming down. She was asked on a first date. She’s not running off to get married. We can handle this.
  8. BUT MY BABY!!!!
  9. Rinse and repeat at least five times.

And all of this was before she’d even discussed The Ask with me. You see, I was snooping on—I mean, monitoring—her Facebook account when I intercepted the message. She was at school. I knew about this long before she did.

I was able to hold it together—at least on the outside—by the time she got home from school. But I was about to burst at the seams waiting for her to mention it. I knew she’d seen it. She’s a teenager. She checks her messages often.

She was home less than 20 minutes when I blurted it out.

“So, I was checking out your Facebook messages, as I do, ‘cause safety and all, and I noticed a boy asked you on a date. Congratulations! That’s a pretty big deal!”

She said she didn’t know if she wanted to go. She liked talking to him but wasn’t really looking for more yet.

Then she asked if she’d be allowed to go on a date. Hmmm … good question.

I told her I’d want to meet him first and talk to his parents. Then I’d be comfortable with them hanging out with other friends at the mall or high school football game.

She was okay with the answer.

She told him she was busy that weekend, but maybe another time. Crisis averted.


Spoiler alert: The stages of my teen daughter being asked on her second date were pretty similar to the first.

Especially the “MY BABY!!!!” part.

She really is growing up way too fast. Even after I threatened to ground her forever if she doesn’t knock off the growing up.

Because … my baby.

Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., is a mom, writer, educator, and family advocate. She lives in Florida, where she parents two teenage girls, two dogs, and a cat. She loves pizza, smoothies, Lizzo, yoga, and Netflix binges.

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