Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Wish I had one:
“To date or not to date?”

Hey Terra,

4 GREAT guys at my school like me, but there's a catch. I'm 11 years old! So why in the world would I be going out with a boy? By the way, I'm not talking about serious going out, I'm talking about like, holding hands, saying you are "going out" and maybe, MAYBE hugging each other. On the other hand, it might be fun. No kissing, no anything serious, just "going out." So let's say I did accept one of their offers? I should also say that my mom is WAY TO strict. I casually asked her once when she thinks I could "go out" in that way of just liking each other. She says I should be 14! To me that is STRICT! Then there's DATING! I've got to be 16 to DATE! Does that not sound crazy to you?

I know that she does not want me having sex too early, or getting myself into something I can't handle, but, Terra, I am an all A student, I'm VERY responsible, and if the guy decided he was going to choose my fate, I'd break up with him. I don't want to be alone, because everyone is asking me to "go out" with them, and by the time I'm ALLOWED, they are going to have gray hairs! So I need advice on whether or not to accept these offers and how to talk to my mom.

The Angelic side of me, tells me that I am too young, WAY WAY WAY too sensitive to deal with that, and it might distract me from academic things that I should be more concerned about. But, the Angelic side says, let them down easy. The Devilish (but very cute) side of me says that maybe I should, I mean, it's not like we are going to be kissing or anything. We MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT hug. At the MOST! But I like him, he likes me! It'll be some fun, and I'm REALLY stressed out his year, maybe having someone smile at me everyday will do me good. And the Devil in me says, if they let me down, get revenge. I'm kinda scared, and I don't want to be graying by the time the Angel in me says I can date someone.

Getting Gray

Dear Getting Gray,

Your Angel sounds very wise.

And your Devil has NO IDEA what she's talking about when it comes to the expectations the guy(s) might have when about hugging, kissing, etc. You say "Yes, I'll go out with you" and that means one thing to you and very possibly it means something very different to the guy. To him it might mean, "She likes me and we can DO STUFF!" You need to get real about guys and the way they think.

Another thing... If your mom says you can't go out until you're 14, that means you'll be sneaking around behind your mom's back if you say yes at age 11. Not a good thing to do. Nope, I wouldn't recommend that at all.

Finally, unless the women in your family get gray hair when they're still VERY young, it's not likely that you will turn gray waiting until you have your mom's permission to date.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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