How to date when you’re eight

How to date when you’re eight. A love story.

how to date when you're eight

The kids came off the bus one day last week and I could tell something was different.

Usually they race to the door, wanting to be the first to tell about their day.

But this day, they were slow. They were talking. They weren’t coming in.

So I went out. I was curious.

“Hey guys, what’s going on?” (think: Pablo Fransisco)

“Nothing,” they chorused in unison. Then they burst into giggles and started talking at the same time. I suppose the entire story spilled out but I wouldn’t know because I couldn’t understand them.

“Wait,” said I. “Something about…Tyler is dating the girl you fancy?”

“Yes!” They yelled. “And he’s sad!”


OK whatever. I let it go and set to doing something else.

A little while later the youngest came to me and whispered, “OK the truth is I have a girlfriend. Not Tyler. She sent me a note that said ‘Love You’ and I sent one back saying the same and now we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.”

I said, “But you’re eight.”

He said, “So’s she.”

The rest of the day I hounded the kids with questions of what it means to date when you’re eight years old. When you’re 10. When you’re 13. I never dated when I was those ages. All I can remember about fancy-ing (?) anyone was in the first grade when three girls in the second grade told me I should like Nathan, a boy in the third grade. So I said I would like him and proceeded to.

Here’s the foolproof list of how to conduct a relationship in primary school.

How to date when you’re eight

  1. Tell all your friends who you fancy
  2. Get your friends to find out if s/he fancies you
  3. If yes, send a note saying you love him/her (if no, pick someone else to fancy and start again at #1)
  4. Wait to receive confirmation note of love
  5. Tell all your friends
  6. **now you’re officially a couple**

  7. Eat lunch together
  8. Hang out at recess with each other
  9. Exchange phone numbers and call occasionally
  10. Make cards saying “Love you” instead of doing homework at least once a week
  11. Tell s/he if s/he is mean you will fancy him/her NO MORE!

I’m wondering if this formula still works when you’re 26.

Here's the foolproof list of how to conduct a relationship in primary school. How to date when you're eight