How to Date a Girl a Grade Above You

You may have to take her to a senior prom.
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She's cute, smart, funny and seems so mature. Dating an "older woman" who is a grade above you means showing her that you are mature enough to keep up with her and her friends. Show her that you are not a kid and act assertively, without making assumptions based on her slightly older age.

1 Confidence Please

Act assertively, demonstrating your confidence and maturity level. Instead of bending to all of her needs or following her lead, assertive behavior shows that you can stand up for yourself and speak your mind in a respectful way, according to the article "Assertiveness" on the TeensHealth website. For example, she tells you where you're going on your dates, not giving you a say. Stand up for yourself and tell her that you both need to agree on date-night activities.

2 Trust Issues

Trust is essential in any relationship. But when you add in the fact that she spends her school days surrounded by "older kids," you may begin to worry that she'll see something in them that she doesn't in you. For example, her senior friends seem much more mature than you and your junior pals do. They visit college campuses, hang out with kids who have already graduated and have later curfews. Does this mean that she's going to stray when she's with them? If you trust her, this shouldn't become an issue.

3 Social Circles

While it is possible that the two of you run in the same social circle, it is more likely that you each have like-aged friends. That said, you shouldn't give up your friends to hang out with hers. Each partner should respect the other person's needs when it comes to maintaining friendships. For example, she always expects the two of you to hang with her friends, saying that yours are "kids." Instead of saying "OK. I'll ditch my friends for you," tell her that your friendships are important. Doing so will help you each to maintain separate identities.

4 The Age Gap

Even though one year doesn't seem like a long time, the difference between two grade levels may be miles. Issues such as different curfew times, the ability to drive or planning -- and leaving -- for college come into play when you date a girl who is one grade ahead of you. You'll need to work out these differences if you want to make the relationship a success. For example, if she's 16 -- and has a license -- and you're 15, you need to make sure that she doesn't feel like you are using her as a personal chauffeur. This includes respecting boundaries -- whether that means a curfew or when it is and isn't acceptable to get physical.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.