I agree, you should go out in small groups so you can further get comfortable with socializing in mixed company. Boys start to be hormonal (horny) sooner than girls and he may want more than you are willing to give(which should be nothing). The only way to get boys to respect you is to respect yourself.
I would go with my friends on a double date, or go to the movies with my friends and meet my gf, Maybe even with my bro, he might be cool with it, he's gone through puberty before.
I think at 12 years old you shouldn't be dating its far to young..yes by all means go out socialising with girls..have some fun..just be yourself..you have plenty of years ahead for romance...