Teenage dating is a big deal, and it’s not going anywhere.
It’s no secret that dating is hard for teens. Between the pressures of schoolwork, extracurriculars, and social life, it can feel like you don’t have enough time to find a boyfriend or girlfriend—and that’s before you even start thinking about how much effort it takes to keep one!
It’s important to know what you’re getting into when you start dating someone—and that means knowing what the latest statistics on teenage dating are!
You know what’s hard? Finding the latest and greatest statistics on teenage dating. It’s a jungle out there, friends. And it’s even more difficult to find all of the right ones in one place.
But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our list of teenage dating statistics. These numbers tell us everything from how many teens have had sex to what their biggest dating fears are.
We know that this stuff isn’t easy to find, so we’ve collected the most important information in one place so you can get back to focusing on what really matters: your love life!
General Teen Dating Statistics
1. 35% of American teens had some experience with dating
The Pew Research Center found around 35% of teens had some experience with romantic relationships and dating between the ages of 13 and 17 in 2015. Only around 18% claimed to be in a relationship at the time of the report.
The study also found that 14% of teens considered the relationship they were in to be “serious”, while 5% felt their dating activities were not serious. 64% of the respondents said they had never been in any romantic relationship of any kind.
2. Only 38% of teens currently identify themselves as “frequent daters”
(Journal of School Health)
A report examining tenth graders from nine middle schools across Northeast Georgia aimed to discover how common dating is among teenagers in 2019. The report looked at both girls and boys in almost equal proportions, across a range of diverse cultures.
When asked about their dating activities, 16% said they were not dating, or dating very little. Around 24% said their dating activities increased when moving from middle school to high school, while 22% said their dating activities decreased during high school.
A total of 38% of respondents identified themselves as “frequent daters”.
3. Teen dating hit its lowest level in decades during 2016
Looking at 40 years of data between 1976 and 2016, a pair of researchers found the percentage of 12trh graders who had never been on a date had never been lower.
The report also found the number of students in grades 9 through 12 who had never had sex was also at a particularly low point.
According to the study, 12th graders in the report in 2010 were dating as frequently as 10th graders did in the 1990s. The share of 12th graders who had ever been on a date in 2016 was approximately 63%, compared to 84% in 1994.
Dangers in Teen Dating Statistics
4. 48% of teens who date experience stalking or harassment
(Youth and Society SAGE Journals)
Analyzing a selection of 320 12 to 18 year old’s in the United States during 2020, a report discovered an uncomfortable truth about teen dating.
According to the study, which asked dating teens whether a partner had ever followed them, spied on them, or gone through their online information, 48% of respondents experienced some type of stalking or harassment.
43% of the people responding to the survey also admitted they had engaged in one of the activities mentioned above themselves when dating someone else.
The report also found the risk of harassment and stalking increased among younger girls, and those living in a neighborhood with higher crime rates.
5. 28.1% of teens in a romantic relationship had been a victim of digital dating abuse in 2020
(Journal of Interpersonal Violence)
As online methods for finding love grow more popular, so too do the risks associated with online interactions.
According to a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28.1% of teens who had been in a romantic relationship between 2019 and 2020 had been the victim of a form of “digital dating abuse”.
The report identified such abuse as an S.O. (significant other) looking through their phone or device without permission, a partner stopping their S.O. from using a device, or sending threats via text. Sharing information online without permission was another form of abuse.
Notably, 35.9% of respondents said they had also been a victim of some form of offline dating abuse, including verbal aggression, and physical assault.
The researchers found a significant connection between online and offline abuse. 81% of the students who had felt online abuse had also experienced abuse offline.
6. Male teens are more likely to experience digital dating abuse than females
(Journal of Interpersonal Violence)
A report published by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found males were more likely to experience various forms of digital dating abuse than females, at 32.3% compared to 23.6%.
Notably, a number of other risk factors were also associated with an increased chance of abuse.
Students in the report who had experienced symptoms of depression were four times more likely to have suffered from digital dating abuse.
Respondents who had already had sexual intercourse were 2.5 times more likely to experience the same issues.
People who had sent a “sexual text message” to another person were nearly five times more likely to be the target of digital abuse.
7. Higher dating success among males could be associated with higher psychopathic traits
(Journal of Evolutionary Psychology)
A study into Hamilton teens looked at the connections between sexual activity, dating, and psychopathic tendencies or delinquencies in males.
According to the report, not only were males with greater success in the dating landscape more likely to show delinquent behavior, but the connection worked the other way too.
Impulsivity and reckless behavior in grade 10 among male teens were more likely to lead to higher numbers of relationships and more dating in grade 12.
Notably, these results appeared to be specific to males, and not females.
8. About 1 in 12 teens experienced physical dating violence
According to CDC’s Youth Behavior Survey, around 1 in 12 participants had experienced some form of physical dating violence, like shoving or hitting. The same number (1 in 12) had also experienced sexual dating violence.
The report further acknowledged some teens were at greater risk of dating violence than others. Teens who identified as LGBTQ, or those who were unsure about their gender identity experienced greater rates of sexual and physical dating violence.
9. 1 in 3 teens in Canada experience dating violence
(Journal of Adolescent Health)
Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, a report looking at the prevalence of dating violence among youths and teens in 2021 found some uncomfortable results. The study looked at 3,711 participants with a mean age of 15.35, specifically in grades 9 and 10.
According to the report, 1 in 3 of these youths experienced some manner of dating violence. However, the report also revealed that parents and caregivers were unlikely to discuss issues like dating violence with their children.
10. 12% of Canadian youths were physically hurt by someone they were dating
Conducting a study into the rising issue of dating violence in Canada, the Jada Health team looked at 3,000 Canadian youths.
The researchers learned that 12% of the respondents had been physically injured by someone they were dating. A further 18% of the respondents said a partner they were dating and used social media to monitor, embarrass or hate them.
28% of the respondents also said that a dating partner had attempted to control them or hurt them emotionally in the past.
11. 20% of female teens reported unwanted sexual activity in their recent relationships
(Journal of Youth and Adolescence)
A journal published by the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found sexual dating violence can be particularly common among Canadian youths.
The report found that 20% of female participants and 7% of male participants had experienced unwanted sexual activity in their recent or most current relationship.
The same report revealed around 2 out of three of all stalking victims are women in Canada, and about half of these are between the age of 15 and 34.
12. 31% of teens have experienced financial abuse when dating
(Junior Achievement USA)
Around 31% of teens aged between 13 and 18 in the United States have reported issues with financial abuse from their partners during relationships.
According to a study from the Junior Achievement and Allstate Foundation, both boys and girls said partners had previously stopped them from going to work or school and had controlled what they could or couldn’t purchase.
More than a third of the teens in the report said they felt pressured to say yes when asked for money by a partner. Boys were considered to be more pressured than girls (41% compared to 34%). There was also more of a sense of pressure among black (45%), Hispanic (44%), and Asian (40%) teens.
13. 1 in 4 girls aged between 15 and 19 have experienced sexual or physical violence when dating
Reports from WHO indicate around 1 in 4 girls globally have experienced some form of sexual or physical violence between the ages of 15 and 19 if they had already had an intimate partner. Nearly 1 in 3 of these women had experienced both forms of violence.
The study also found that around 6% of women over the age of 15 had also been subjected to sexual violence by a partner they weren’t dating at least once in their lifetime.
Behavior in Teen Dating Statistics
14. 66% of teen daters say they haven’t had sex
In a survey about teen dating, the Pew Research Center found that 30% of daters said they had experienced sexual intercourse with their partner, while 66% said they had never had sex. 2% did not provide any information about whether they were sexually active or not.
The report found age was the primary demographic which determined whether a teen was more likely to be in a relationship, or sexually active.
Teens between the ages of 15 and 17 were almost twice as likely as those aged between 13 and 14 to say they had been in a romantic relationship (44% vs 20%).
36% of teens between 15-17 years old also said they were sexually active.
Pew Research found social media interactions were one of the most common ways for teenagers to express interest in someone.
50% of the teens in a survey said they had let someone know about their interest by connecting with them on Facebook or social media. 47% of respondents said they expressed their attraction by interacting with someone’s social posts.
Other ways teens are more likely to let someone know they’re interested included sharing something interesting online (46%), and sending flirty messages (31%).
16. Teenagers who don’t date are less likely to be depressed
(Journal of School Health)
Examining the emotional impact of dating on teenagers and students, a report published in the Journal of School Health looked at the mental health of students. The study asked students about their dating habits, social lives, and emotional health every spring from 6th to 12th grade.
According to the report, non-dating students had better, or similar interpersonal skills than classmates who were engaged in relationships. Teachers in the report also rated the non-dating students higher than their counterparts in terms of leadership and social skills.
Non-dating students also showed fewer symptoms of depression. Fewer abstinent students reported feelings of sadness, depression, or hopelessness.
A survey into the effects of social media on teenagers with dating experience found that social profiles could have both a positive and negative impact on relationships.
59% of teenagers said using social media made them feel more connected to their partner, and 15% said they felt a “lot” more connected to their partner when they were aligned on social media.
47% of the respondents said social media gives them a place where they can share how they feel about their partner. However, 27% felt that social media made them feel unsure or jealous in their relationship.
18. 85% of teens expect to hear from their partner a minimum of once per day
A series of surveys conducted by Pew Research found that 85% of teens in relationships expected to hear from their partner a minimum of once a day.
Around 11% said they expected to hear from partners hourly, while 35% said they wanted to hear from their partner every few hours.
When it came to discussing how teen daters stay connected, 72% chose text messaging as their preferred communication medium. 39% said they liked talking on the phone, while 29% preferred instant messaging applications.
19. Texting is the primary way for teens to spend time together when dating
According to various surveys conducted by Pew Research, 92% of teens currently involved in romantic relationships are heavily invested in texting. A smaller 87% of respondents said they’re comfortable regularly speaking on the phone with their partner.
What’s more, 86% of teenagers said they enjoy spending time together in person, while 70% interact mainly through social media.
Video chat is also becoming a more common way to connect, with around 55% of participants saying they stay tuned to their partner this way.
20. Teens say the best break up with someone is in-person
Breaking up is never easy, particularly among younger daters. However, teenagers do have specific preferences when it comes to how they bring an end to a relationship. The Pew Research study into teenager relationships highlighted texting as the worst way to break up with someone.
Around 62% of people said they have experienced breaking up with another person face-to-face, compared to 47% who say they’ve had someone end a relationship with them in person. A significant 31% of respondents had received a break-up text.
21. 31% of teens with dating experience say they’ve had a partner check up on them multiple times per day
Checking up on your partner multiple times each day is common among teenagers.
According to Pew Research, 31% of teens say their other half connects with them and “check’s in” more than once a day. Around 21% of teenage girls also noted that their partners had gone through their phone or messages without permission in the past.
Notably, texting and social media isn’t always a positive mode of communication. Around 15% of respondents had felt pressured into sexual acts due to messages sent this way. Another 16% said they had been asked to remove other people from their contact lists by previous partners.
Teenagers have it rough. They’re trying to figure out who they are, what they like, and how to make friends. At the same time, they’re going through all kinds of hormonal changes that make them feel awkward and self-conscious.
It’s no wonder that teen dating can be so emotional and full of uncertainties. It can be tough figuring out what to do, where to go, and who to talk to in order to start your relationship on the right foot.
Thankfully, these teenage dating statistics that will help you get ahead of the curve. Now it’s up to you — use these tips and resources to find your perfect match and start building the foundation for a lasting relationship!
It’s important to remember that there is no one right way to do things. Just as importantly, you should also know that no one statistic can represent every teenager out there. There are too many unique and fascinating teenagers living their lives in all sorts of different ways for any one number to be able to accurately reflect their experience.
So take what you’ve learned and use it to grow in the areas that matter most to you – such as building positive relationships with the people around you and staying true to who you are.
Over time, these skills will help you find the love of your life, whether or not statistics suggest that it’s a good idea at this stage in your life.