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Would you let your 17 year old date a 21 year old? - Page 6

post #101 of 139

I'm probably repeating much that has already been said...

 

At 17 a girl should be able to make her own decisions.  When my dd is that age she'll probably be getting ready to go off to college in less than a year.  I don't think it's a matter of letting her or not letting her.  I would advise her (as I currently do--dd is 14) that if she likes/loves the boy (or girl as the case may be) with both her heart and her head, if he treats her respectfully, if they share similar philosphies about life, if they have fun together but also enjoy spending time apart, then it will probably be a healthy relationship...I would make comments/give advice to help her feel empowered to figure out whether or not he was the right guy for her.  It's not my job to figure that out...it's my job to teach her how to figure it out.   

 

dd has a burgeoning relationship that does not meet these criteria and I haven't said too much about it --except to remind her that she will know in her heart and her head if he is the "right" boy for her at this time in her life.  She's starting to realize on her own that the kid is a jerk.  If I had started out by saying "I won't allow you to date him --he's a loud, disrespectful a$$" it would not have furthered my cause.  As it is he's just gone away to camp and she says it's so nice to get a break from him.  They're going to different high schools so I see the relationship quickly fizzling out without my help. 

 

 

post #102 of 139

Holy old thread, batman!  I wonder how this turned out...

 

I was 17 and dating a 21 year old.  I got pregnant shortly after I turned 18.  Not the greatest idea.

post #103 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post

Holy old thread, batman!  I wonder how this turned out...

 

I was 17 and dating a 21 year old.  I got pregnant shortly after I turned 18.  Not the greatest idea.


Is there anything your parents could have said or done that would have been helpful to you? 

 

I'd really like to steer my kids toward making choices that will make them happy, rather than ones that will make life more difficult for them.

 

post #104 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
Actually, I find it fascinating that the assumption on this thread, as I read it, is that the 17yo is a female and the 21yo is a male. Not the reverse, and not same sex.
I'm surprised that so many people assume that the 17 is some how incapable of making mature choices.


Doesn't surprise me on a thread where the 21 yr old is being described as a kid. Americans seem to like to infantize even their adult children.
 

 

post #105 of 139

As long as we're talking about two decent people, I like to think I'd be okay with whatever is legal, meaning that the 21 year old and 17 year old would be in the clear.

 

When I was 14, my best friend was a 17 year old guy. It wasn't creepy, and if I hadn't moved we would have started dating when I was 15 and he was 18 (15 was my "allowed" dating age). I worked 25 hours a week through high school, graduated and started college at age 17. I ended up not dating until college, but I can promise you, I had way more in common with 21 year olds than 17 year olds. 

 

I'm young, only 22, so maybe I'll get old fashioned as I get older...I sincerely hope not. As it is, college is really just an extension of high school, I don't see a whole lot of difference between the two groups. Pretty much everyone I knew at 17 drank to some extent and had sex. I forgot to quote, but I also don't like the assumption that young adult males are horny toads and females are innocent flowers waiting to be corrupted. 

 

I do realize that this thread is old, haha...hope it all turned out ok!

post #106 of 139

Well, I didn't read all the post, but DH was 20 and I was 17 when we started dating.... We are now married (got married when I was 21) and we now have 2 daughters.  It was not always easy, but he is the love of my life.

 

I don't think I would let my barely 17 year old date anyone older than 20.  I was 17 and a half and he was just 20.  I don't think I would be comfortable with it, but I did it and it all turned out ok.

post #107 of 139

As someone who did it, first with my paren'ts permssion and then later, without it, I would say no way now how ever. I think honestly you have to ask why a 21 year old wants to date a 17 year old. Usually it is about control, manipulation, and pressure.

 

Seriously, it was a bad bad time in my life and my parents still don't know the half of it and I am almost 40!

post #108 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

As someone who did it, first with my paren'ts permssion and then later, without it, I would say no way now how ever. I think honestly you have to ask why a 21 year old wants to date a 17 year old. Usually it is about control, manipulation, and pressure.

 

That really depends on the 21 year old and 17 year old in question. I've met 17 year olds who are more mature than a lot of 21 year olds. I've met 21 year olds who are less mature than almost any 17 year old I've ever met. It really depends on the individuals. And, fwiw, the only person I was ever involved with as a teen who ended up being manipulative wasmy ex-husband, who was a year and a half younger than me! (I met him when I was 16. The guys I'd dated before we met ranged from my own age to one 25 year old. The latter was, btw, one of the most immature individuals I've ever met. Looking back, he was dating teenagers, because they were at about the same level of maturity that he was at, not because he was a control freak.)

 

 



 

post #109 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

As someone who did it, first with my paren'ts permssion and then later, without it, I would say no way now how ever. I think honestly you have to ask why a 21 year old wants to date a 17 year old. Usually it is about control, manipulation, and pressure.

 

Seriously, it was a bad bad time in my life and my parents still don't know the half of it and I am almost 40!


Why do you have to ask why? Do we have such contempt for teenagers that we can't imagine someone wanting to date them because they like the individual a lot and find them attractive?

 

post #110 of 139

When the teenager is barely 15 and there is an almost-21 year old man interested in dating her, I certainly do wonder why. This was something we've had to deal with. No 20 year old guy we know would want to date a 15 year old, and we did ask around.

post #111 of 139

I wouldn't allow it but that doesn't mean my child wouldn't date someone older and hide it behind my back. But nope, they won't do it in front of my face.

post #112 of 139

My dd is 15 and her bf is 16 so they don't have that big of an age gap.  However I would be more considered about the kid more than the age.  If I liked the boy and he was 4 yrs older I think I would be ok with that. 

post #113 of 139

Hmm, depends...and I was pretty close to that age gap with my husband (obviously then boyfriend). I was 17, a senior, and he was 20, in college (3rd year of 5 years), and had a job.  If he wasn't in school and working, I'm sure my parents would have had a different opinion about it. And there was no staying over at each other's college/dorm until I was 'on my own' in college the next year. I hadn't had many boyfriends before that, so our relationship was pretty slow/PG while I was still in high school, and well, he was at college like an hour away most of the time, so we did a lot of talking/chatting and weekends.

 

So, just thinking from my parent's perspective and now being a (young) parent, but thinking of what I would do...if the guy is in college, working etc, AND my daughter was a senior in HS responsible, practical, respects curfew and rules, etc (ie NO rebellion issues that would scare the hell out of me) then maybe I will be supportive/approve. If she was a JR, then maybe not...

post #114 of 139

Yes. I did. And they are still together at this point. ;)  The drinking thing is a so whatter for us, as we tend to see the drinking law as pretty silly.

post #115 of 139

Does it make any difference if the 21 year old is the girl and the 17 year  old is the boy?

post #116 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I would. But then I was living with a 20 yo when I was 17.

As for the dating someone your age or younger is so immature bit, are you sure these girls don't mean that the guy is so immature? Cause to be honest, 17 yo guys can be pretty immature at times.

Quote:
_ dating someone that much younger than you may mean he's NOT a catch

_he may put pressure on her to be sexually active before she's ready

_he may be drinking socially, teens can't do that
Well aside from the first one... that can be said about any guy, be he 21, 51 or 17.

As for the first one. Um, it's four years. Not that big of an age difference really. If he were 34 and she were 30 would you be saying "Dating someone that much younger then you may mean he is NOT a catch"? Same age difference.


The only problem I see with your comparison here MD is that 17-21 is a much larger gap maturity wise than 30-34 is.  17yo teens (girl or boy) are, generally speaking (this obviously doesn't apply to ALL 17yo's), still living at home and dependent on their parents for things like a roof over their head, a car, gas money, food, clothing etc.  21yo's are generally speaking still many of those, but in college (again, this obviously doesn't apply to ALL 21yo's).

 

Thats all fine, but there is generally pressure on teens to grow up faster, become more independent, "Act grown up" (whatever that means), etc.  A 17yo with a 21yo girl/boyfriend, is more likely to use that to feel more grown up, or to gain more independence.  A 17yo is less likely to have their own car than a 21yo for example, and more likely to have a curfew - this creates a power imbalance between the 17yo and the 21yo girl/boyfriend, which is unhealthy at best, and dangerous at worst. 

 

The same cannot be said for most 30yo women with 34yo boyfriends - most 30yo's are financially independent (not all of course), own their own car, have their own lives - so the power imbalance isn't as likely to be there.  The maturity gap between a 30yo and 34yo is much less present, if its present at all.  I really hate the argument that the same age gap later in life doesn't matter, so it doesn't matter when people are young either.  That could be used to argue that a 12yo should be able to date a 24yo - because you know, a 40yo dating a 52yo isn't so bad.

 

I don't have a problem with age gaps in dating, but no teen of mine will ever date anyone that much older than they are until they are no longer living under my roof (or they turn 18 and there isn't anything I can do about it anymore anyway).

 

post #117 of 139

Our rule is nobody more than 2.5 yrs older until they are 18.

post #118 of 139

I have a friend who with her parents permission was legally allowed to join them military.  I would pick an older boyfriend rather than allow her to join the military.  That's just me.  However I have dating rules already planned out in my head. 

post #119 of 139

Having not ready anything but the first post yet, I guess I'd like to chime in with personal experiance (Mine, not my daughters)

 

At 17 I graduated early from charter school, had a full time job half way across town, (with no car, I was responsible for getting myself there and back 6days a week) and started college part time at the local community college. I met a guy there, and we started hanging out together AS FRIENDS NOTHING MORE. I did not ask his age, I figured him to be around my age maybe a year or two older. He was sweet and funny and the nicest person I had ever met. He never pressured me to be anything more than friends tho. A year later I finally got up the courage to ask him out ( what can I say, even tho we'd known each other for a while I was a shy person by nature) and we started going out. My mother liked him and was surprized that she liked him, and at one point offhandedly asked him about his age. I came to find out that he was almost 11 yrs my senior! (he had spent 7yrs active duty in the navy right out of high school which was why he was just starting college) but at that point it didn't really seem weird to anyone...he was still him, we just knew he was older. We celebrated our third wedding aniversary last month.... I'm not saying that an age gap is nessessarily a good thing, or that it's okay for every situation. I'm saying that you should take the individual people into consideration not just their ages. How mature is your 17yr? What kind of experiance does she have? Is she going to be comfortable standing up for herself if he wants more than she's ready for? What is the 21yro BF's personality? Is he responsible? Is it a healthy balanced relationship? I think age can make a difference but it's not the most important thing. It all depends on the people and the situation at the time.

post #120 of 139

You are CRAZY...a 17 year old girl is probably a senior or junior (11th or 12th grade). A 21 year old either did not stay in college or is a senior or junior in college. College and high school are world's apart and if a junior or senior in college is still interested in a junior or senior in high school...something doesn't add up. Now a 18 yr old freshman with a senior in college?...at least they have college in common....But more importantly...the junior or senior girl in high school is now latched onto a college kid or working kid....girls this age need guys their age at the same school..I know what you're thinking...that can't happen for everyone...but that should be the goal.

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