I feel very strongly that you should be friends first, maybe in a group setting, before you become romantically involved. My husband and I were both very active in our religion from a very young age, and saving ourselves for our wedding night was extremely important to us. We started dating when I was 14 and he was 22, but even though I was very young, I was very mature for my age because I grew up in a home with a mentally ill Mom and a very overwhelmed Dad, and it was up to me to run the household (cook, clean, take care of my siblings, etc.).
My parents did not know that we had been dating until we had already been doing so for 2 years, and understandably they were very angry. Even though we had very strong religious convictions we were determined to live up to, and we viewed dating as a "tool" to find a marriage mate, not just something you did for fun, and we were obviously very much in love, my parents demanded that I break it off immediately. Thankfully, my husbands best friends Mom, who also was friendly with my Mom pulled her aside and told her that if they pushed this issue, that they were going to force my husband and I to do something really drastic like run off to another state where it was legal to marry at a younger age without parental concent.
My parents put some very tough restrictions on us, for example, we were only allowed to see each other once a week and we had to be chaperoned everywhere we went by one of our parents, but we knew that as soon as I graduated high school (which I did a year early by "doubling up" and taking my 11th & 12th grade classes at the same time), that we would get married.
We dated for a total of 3 years and 3 months. We got engaged the night before I graduated from high school, and we were married 4 months later. I know the statistics on teen marriage, but that was 23 1/2 years ago, and we are still married, very much in love, and still best friends.
I look at my kids now, and I think about my 16 year old, I was planning my wedding at his age, and I look at my 21 year old and think I was already married fo 4 years, and had a 2 year old, and I can't even imagine it because my kids are not even close to being mature enough to keep a relationship going for more than a few weeks, but my situation was somewhat unique, and it was the right choice for me.