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But, she adds reassuringly, many of these youthful relationships, sustained largely by rumour and reputation, will have dissolved within days or weeks.Regardless, there are still many, many kids who haven’t the slightest interest in going out.“At this age we’re always fighting with our parents, so we need to feel we’re loved.” She’s quick to add that while she and her boyfriend love each other, they’re not . ” This is the new world of teen dating, and it can be almost unrecognizable to many parents.Long gone is the tradition where a boy phones a girl on Tuesday to ask her out for Saturday, picks her up at her house, meets the parents, pays for dinner and a show, and sees her home.

Connolly, who has two adolescent daughters of her own, says that group dating is growing in popularity everywhere, including China and India.

“If I get bored [on a date], my friends keep things interesting,” Katie says.

The downside for parents: You may not even be aware that your child has a boyfriend or girlfriend.

“That’s just in the movies,” says Brett, 14, of Aurora, Ont.

“What happens in real life is you’ll be hanging out with your immediate circle of friends, including your girlfriend, and you go, ‘What’s everybody doing Friday night?

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