In cultures where dating or courtship is acceptable, dating can help youth develop friendships and eventually find an eternal companion. Youth in the Church are taught to wait until at least age 16 to begin dating and to date only those who have high moral standards. A young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to help each other maintain their standards and to protect each other's honor and virtue.
For the Strength of Youth, a Church publication for young men and young women, contains the following counsel regarding dating: “Do not date until you are at least 16 years old. Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner.” Not all teenagers need to date or even want to. Many young people do not date during their teen years because they are not yet interested, do not have opportunities, or simply want to delay forming serious relationships. However, good friendships can and should be developed at every age. “When you begin dating, go in groups or on double dates. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. Make sure your parents meet those you date. You may want to invite your dates to activities with your family. Plan dating activities that are positive and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. Do things that will help you and your companions maintain your self-respect and remain close to the Spirit of the Lord” (“Dating,” 24–25).