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Would you let your 17 year old date a 21 year old? - Page 2

post #21 of 139
First of all, by age 17, I can't imagine "letting" or "forbidding" my child from dating. I definitely plan to keep an open dialogue about dating and sexuality, and my kids already know that I'd prefer if they didn't date until they were ready to think about marriage- but I wouldn't absolutely forbid something like that. Nor would I say "OK, you can date this guy but not that guy" especially not based on something as arbitrary as age.

I can see setting limits like "no going in a room with the door closed" or "you must be home by X time" or even "You can go out with a group but not alone with just a boy/man" but I just don't see how I could absolutely forbid a teenager from seeing a certain person, nor dictate what kind of relationship they have. I can teach and guide, but what power do I have to actually stop them from being romantically involved?

That aside, whether or not a relationship between a 17yo girl and a 21yo boy could be healthy depends completely on the individuals involved. That's only a 4 year age difference, and people grow and mature at different rates.
post #22 of 139
I agree, depends on the people involved how I would feel...

But am I the only one that thinks that a 17yr old shouldn't be referred to in terms of who her parents will "LET" her date???

I was already making life decisions at that age and with my now DH. I also think that while parents of a 17 yr old can and will have opinions about who their kids date, they ultimately can't be in charge. I would have just snuck around behind my parents back if they had forbid me to date at 17. I think feedback and respect for the choices a 17 yr old makes makes more sense to me.


this is unless i suppose I felt my child was in danger? But again it would be more about talking and exchanging info/opinions etc. again, at 17 a child is less than a year away from being "ALLOWED" to make any decisions they want. I feel that dictating or disallowing a daughter to date someone due to age or whatever would only drive my daughter further away from a respectful grownup relationship with me, ya know? It would tell her that I think she is incapable of making important decisions for herself in the most intimate way and that I don't think she smart enough to judge a partners intentions on her own? If at 17 I am in charge of doing that for her, then who is in charge at 18?

If we were talking 14 or 15, my answer would be slightly different.
post #23 of 139
I would, but I don't think I'd have a choice after DD hearing about how old DH and I were when we met!

I was 17 and he was 22. We met in college...I was already out of my parents domain, so they didn't have any voice in my decision. My mother was nervous about him and made some really stupid assumptions based on his age. But here is the breakdown:
-He had only kissed one girl before me. In fact, he'd never even french kissed, never mind anything else! I was, um, more experienced.
-He'd never had a drink. Ever. Not even on his 21st birthday. He just doesn't see the point in drinking. I'd had my first vodka at 14.
-He was friends with people in every age group, and was not very crowd influenced. Very much "his own man" who wasn't going to be pushed or influenced by a bunch of dumb college guys. I probably would have done anything for people to like me at that time!

If anyone should have been nervous about us dating, it should have been HIS mother! Age is just a number, it is all about the person's maturity and values.
post #24 of 139
I say yes with the general caveat that we're dealing with marginally responsible people. In my case, my older two at least will likely be in college at that age (my son will probably enter college at around 15 at the oldest, my daughter at 16 or 17 at the latest). Seventeen year olds are almsot adults and likely to do what they feel like, regardless of their parents' wishes. I'd rather keep the lines of communication open, so no one is sneaking around.
post #25 of 139
My girls will most likely start college when they're 17. Even if they would graduate HS later, I wouldn't feel that it's my place to dictate their romantic choices at that age.


By the way, girls like sex. It isn't all about whether or not she's able to defend herself against the advances of the older man. I was 17 when I had my first serious boy friend, who was 21, and I was definitely the controlling one in that relationship. I initiated the physical stuff.
post #26 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I say yes with the general caveat that we're dealing with marginally responsible people. In my case, my older two at least will likely be in college at that age (my son will probably enter college at around 15 at the oldest, my daughter at 16 or 17 at the latest). Seventeen year olds are almsot adults and likely to do what they feel like, regardless of their parents' wishes. I'd rather keep the lines of communication open, so no one is sneaking around.
Why would your kids start college so early?
post #27 of 139
Absolutely not.

The age difference / maturity of a 17yr old versus a 21yr old is tremendous. Age doesn't matter so much as we age ourselves but there's a lot for your young daughter to learn over the next 4 years.

The problem is, if you are too overbearing with your disapproval you may only be encouraging her to rebel.
post #28 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
No way would I allow my teenage daughter to date a male of 21 years or older.

If they really like each other, I might allow him to become "friends of the family" and they could spend time together that way.

Because why?
_ 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

All that spells trouble with a capital T.

I agree. I dated guys much older than me when I was in H.S. did all those things.
post #29 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by because why not? View Post

By the way, girls like sex. It isn't all about whether or not she's able to defend herself against the advances of the older man. I was 17 when I had my first serious boy friend, who was 21, and I was definitely the controlling one in that relationship. I initiated the physical stuff.
Thank you! I feel this way too, and also initiated physical stuff with my older boyfriend (who didn't drink btw) when I was 17. People (not talking about people on this board, just the general public) expect young men to be randy as goats, but fail to understand that young girls also have raging hormones making them ridiculously horny.
This is not to say that some teenage girls are not extremely naive and need parental guidance and could get taken advantage of. But I think the percentage of those girls may be smaller than many people think. And even if a girl is naive, straight out forbidding her at 17 to see a boy based on his age alone will lead to nothing but bad feelings and trickery (as many PP have pointed out).
post #30 of 139
When I was 17, my best friend and I spent a lot of time with her brother and his friends, who were all 21. We drank alcohol and smoked pot every weekend. I never "dated" any of them but one guy and I hooked up pretty regularly, and I fooled around with a few others. My friend slept with several of them. They didn't really want to "date" us, but we were fun and cute and young and friendly, so there you go.

I've no regrets, but I would monitor a situation like that for my daughters and wouldn't permit the unsupervised partying and overnights like my parents did.
post #31 of 139
From my experience, it would depend on the situation, but probably.

When I was 17 my boyfriend was 21. He did not pressure me in any way to do anything sexual, drink or do anything else. In fact he was much nicer to me than the guys I was in high school with. He was much more a gentleman and it was more of an equal relationship than what I had with previous boyfriends who were my age.

I also think saying someone isn't a catch if they are interested in a girl that is 17 when they are 21 is really silly.

(And I am another one that instigated all the 'bad' things you are worried about an older guy doing)
post #32 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by because why not? View Post
Why would your kids start college so early?
OT, but they will probably have graduated by then. My son is two years ahead of grade level in school and gaining, and my daughter is currently one year ahead of grade level. Unless something unexpected happens,t hey will be done with HS at a young age. Of course, they might not choose college immediately, but if they do, they will be significantly younger than "average."
post #33 of 139
I guess you can never truly say never. My daughter is only 17 months so it is easy to say I would say no but maybe if the circumstance came about I may feel differently. However, right now from an outside perspective, I just feel as though that is too much of an age difference.
post #34 of 139
I would probably allow it. I say this because at 17 I was dating a 27 year old. My parents didn't say anything about it and I quickly figured out who the mature one in the relationship was. Hint - it wasn't him. But I think that that was something I needed to learn on our own. In my case I needed to learn that what an older boy who dates significantly younger girls wants out of life is much different than what I wanted out of life. My parents couldn't have taught me this only experience could. And my parents calm acceptance of the situation made removing myself from the relationship quite easy.

Of course my parents were very comfortable with my decision making skills and I like to think I was rather mature at that age. I think that every parent knows their own child best. They know what sorts of influences other have over their child and can make the call based on their own situation.
post #35 of 139
Quote:
But am I the only one that thinks that a 17yr old shouldn't be referred to in terms of who her parents will "LET" her date???
no. The idea of "letting" is funny because really at 17 the parents won't have much say in it. They'll find ways to be together, especially if it's forbidden.
post #36 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewlady View Post
But am I the only one that thinks that a 17yr old shouldn't be referred to in terms of who her parents will "LET" her date???
Nope. I agree totally.

Quote:
I was already making life decisions at that age and with my now DH. I also think that while parents of a 17 yr old can and will have opinions about who their kids date, they ultimately can't be in charge. I would have just snuck around behind my parents back if they had forbid me to date at 17. I think feedback and respect for the choices a 17 yr old makes makes more sense to me.
I have never seen it turn out well when parents forbid someone (usually a daughter) to see the person their child wants to see. I had a girlfriend who used to cut class after lunch almost every day, so she could have sex with her boyfriend (two years older) in his van. Her parents didn't "let" her go out with him...so she still saw him, still had sex, and missed out on one class in five for a whole school year.

That said...my feelings about it would totally depend on the individuals involved. I have to say that, on the horniness front, I don't see a 21 year old as any more likely to pressure a girl than a 17 year old, just based on age. If anything, my experience went the other way. Many of the 21 year olds were getting past that feeling that their entire worth as "men" was caught up in how many times they'd scored - more of the 17 year olds were stuck there.
post #37 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyPatterson View Post
Absolutely not.

The age difference / maturity of a 17yr old versus a 21yr old is tremendous. Age doesn't matter so much as we age ourselves but there's a lot for your young daughter to learn over the next 4 years.

The problem is, if you are too overbearing with your disapproval you may only be encouraging her to rebel.
I would argue that the difference in maturity level between a 17 yo boy and a 17 yo girl is tremendous.

And again, the age difference is 4 years. That sounds pretty normal in the realm of dating.
post #38 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermionesmum View Post
Ziggy,
I have to ask! Have you polled a group of fathers on this issue? If so I'd be interested in the responses you got.
I'm a father!!!
post #39 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
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.
14 and 10. 16 and 12. 17 and 21. Huge difference between those and 30 and 34.
post #40 of 139
I wouldn't have a problem with it, assuming the 21yo was a good person.

My own parents are 12 years apart and my mom was a teen when she met my dad. They were married for 30 years when he passed away.

I was sexually active as a teen and never dated anyone who was more than a year or two older than me. Restricting dating to people of the same age doesn't ensure that your kids won't have sex.

I judge people by their character, not by their age.
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