But you can​—you must—​rise above that kind of thinking! So before you’re ready to focus on one particular person, you need to take time to study a very important “subject”—how to build friendships.

In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights.

As the horde of rush-hour cars streamed by, Bill reminisced about the teenage daughter he had just picked up from band practice.

“The group idea is a really good idea,” she says, “because you get to associate with people who have different personalities.” In contrast, if you focus on one person too soon, you set yourself up for heartache. Use this period of your life to learn how to cultivate and maintain friendships.

Later, if you choose to date, you’ll have a better idea of who you are and what you need in a lifelong partner.

“They come to view relationships as transitory—which in a sense prepares them for divorce rather than for marriage.” Clearly, when you date someone, you’re affecting that person’s feelings. Think: Would you like someone to play with your feelings as if they were some child’s toy—to be picked up for a moment and then quickly abandoned? The Bible says that love “does not behave indecently.”—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.

A youth named Chelsea says: “Part of me wants to say that dating should be just for fun, but it’s no fun when one person is taking it seriously and the other isn’t.” Tip: To prepare for dating and marriage, read 2 Peter 1:5-7 and pick one quality you need to work on.

After all, a good marriage is the union of two good friends. On the contrary, it will give you freedom to ‘rejoice in your youth.’ (Ecclesiastes 11:9) You will also have time to prepare yourself by developing your personality and, most important, your spirituality.—Lamentations .

In the meantime, you enjoy the company of the opposite sex. Spend time together in properly supervised mixed groups.

Can you give me some Christian relationship advice?

Is it right for a Christian to date or marry a non-Christian? Premarital sex - why are Christians so strongly against it? Why is sexual temptation a bigger problem for men than for women?

Perhaps they simply enjoy being with a special friend of the opposite sex, without any intention of marriage.