Traditional teenage dating is dead. So say the editors of the “big three” magazines that cater to teenagers–Seventeen, Sassy and ‘Teen. “A date used to be when a boy would specifically ask a girl out make plans pick her up and meet her parents,” says Sarah Patton senior editor of Seventeen magazine. “Kids don’t think of a date now as being quite so literal. It’s pretty free-form like hanging out at the mall. They’re really getting to know each other first before doing anything as conspicuous as going out alone together.”
Malls are still the natural habitat of “dateable” kids. But bowling alleys, professional sporting events and supermarkets have joined the list of hot hangouts for junior highers eager to see and be seen. ‘Teen magazine’s Karle Dickerson says kids get together in groups now alcohol-free pool halls away from the pressures of one-to-one dating. away from the pressures of one-to-one dating.