If the child shows that they are responsible and can make good choices, I believe that you should allow them to go on simple dates such as a movie, or a trip to the mall for a couple hours, once they turn 14. I have allowed my girls to go on these simple dates, however, I talk to the other parents before the date, and I drive and pick up. If the boy is uncomfortable with that - well then that is the type of boy you don't want they to date anyway.
This is a wide territory to be explored. I think you are old enough when you get to be around 15 to 16 years old to go on simple dates and have some fun. Nothing serious because you are still too young. Then around 17 or 18 you will mature more but should still take it slow and simple. Enjoy life, it is good! Do not hurry, there will be plenty of time for all those adult things that people do.
There is no set age as to when one should start dating. For each individual the age is different. It should be whenever people feel ready to handle a serious relationship. For some people it will be in high school, for others after high school, and still others before high school.
I think that whenever is cofortable age where you can have a serious commitment (like dating, or getting a pet) would be the appropriate time. Personaly, I would go with a starting age of 13-15 years old. At least allow yourself to date at the beginning of highschool. I think 16 is a little late
It depends on what you consider dating. Do you mean for serious relationships that lead to marriage? Want to be more social? Want something to do on the weekends? High school is a fine age to date and hang with friends. Keep things light, have fun. Later on (18yrs+), after you know what you want in the significant other and have learned how you are as a significant other, explore a little more. It's no good to get into a serious relationship before reaching maturity, and high school is defiantly a growing experience.