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Regarding seriousness, tween romances seem to be similar to teen and adult relationships in a number of ways.
For one, tween relationships are usually not kept secret.
It's important that they build confidence about dating in these early years so that they are not swayed by misinformation.
Also be sure they have contingency plans should the date not go as planned.
All in all, your tween is not alone in having a long-lasting, serious romantic relationship.
Whether children dating is healthy or unhealthy, however, is still debated by social scientists.
My experience with my two boys (one grown, one in college) is that at the age of your son "going out" is more of a status thing at school than actually going anywhere.
One suggestion is that you have your husband have a man-to-man talk with him about getting ready to be a good husband by learning how to treat a girl.
He can even tell him he is teaching him what he needs to know for when it's time to date: holding your chair at dinnertime, helping you on with you coat, holding the door open for you and other women, grooming, hygine, safty issues, etc. Also, it's time to communicate with him what your beliefs are about sex.
Given how fast tweens's lives are changing, 11 months is certainly a significant period of time.
That said, though, relationships among tweens are likely to be more superficial than later relationships.