I guess it depends on the definition of dating.
My 13yr old has had a boyfriend for 10mos now
They've gone on "dates" such as going to the movies (yes obviously parents have to drive them as we don't have a theatre here), he's taken her out for dinner (by themselves, as in he gets dropped off here or both get dropped off downtown, they go to a restaurant, go for a walk, then walk or get a ride home at a set time), and they hang out when they can (some supervised, some not).
Kendra and I have a very open relationship, thankfully. I trust her completely, and know 100% that she is nowhere near wanting to do more than hold hands. I also know that my daughter comes to me with questions, she is a very responsible young lady and she respects herself and others.I don't think you can put an age on it
. It's not the age, but the maturity level
IMO. It's the same thing as the laws on leaving children home alone, while it varies from country to country, here the laws state a 12yr old can be left in charge of other children, and alone but it is up to the parents discretion of the maturity level of the child. I think the same for "dating" or boyfriends/girlfriends. I've seen some 12 yr olds that I wouldn't trust to be home for 5mins..... and other 12yrs olds like my daughter who know first aid, cpr, responsibilities, clear definition of wrong/right, clear understanding of consequences, etc.
In order to date, and I'll use dating = time with a "partner" unsupervised by parents..... I think the adolescent needs to be responsible, educated (on sex, stds, pregnancy, etc.) and communicative. Whether that is at 13 or 21, it varies from person to person.
My 2 daughters are 2 completely different people. In truth, my younger daughter is nowhere near as mature as Kendra was at her age. Kendra unfortunately had to grow up young, just as I did. But thankfully Kendra and I have a much more open relationship than my mom and I did
Of course we have our fights, and of course she has made mistakes (lying, not doing household chores, etc) but nothing I would consider a major mistake, of course we've fought.... what child/parent doesn't.
The bottom line is, I trust my daughter and know she is educated and responsible enough to make decisions for herself