Four years is no big deal at all, but I don't plan on judging my teenagers' love lives based on numbers, anyway.
Would you let your 17 year old date a 21 year old? - Page 5
I know that this isn't going to go over well with the parents of 17 year olds that are perfect in every way And, I also know, that in ANY situation not EVERYONE fits into the same category.
I have noticed that 17 (and 18 and 19 and 21 and 25) seem to be getting younger and younger as far as responsibility and maturity.
Yes, for many, when you/we were 17 we held jobs, lived on our own, etc. HOWEVER, in MANY, MANY cases, this is no longer the general societal trend. I have people with whom I was friends with in high school and college (honestly, more males than females, but both) who are now in their thirties and still living at home with their parents. Some of them not taking care of any bills, and some not working a steady job.
That is what makes me uncomfortable (possibly) with the situation. I do agree that it ultimately depends on the people. As a culture, we seem to be giving our young adults more and more freedoms and priviledges and less and less responsibilities. I have met VERY few 17 year olds (or, honestly, 21 year olds) lately that I would even slightly consider an adult (I work at a University).
Just a generation or two ago most people left home after high school, got jobs, got married, bought a house and had one or two children by their early 20s. This is not even remotely possible now. I couldn't even get rent an apartment on my own at age 19, even though I supported myself, had no debt and good credit.
But it's just a trend.. there are plenty of smart, savvy, very adult 17-year-olds out there. Usually they are people who due to circumstances in their lives have had to take responsibility, or else they have been given a great deal of freedom to act 'as adults' at a young age (some secular homeschoolers I know come to mind - they have traveled and experienced so much already). It really depends on how you live your life. As a young teen I wasn't any more mature than anyone else my age. But certain things happened in my life and by the time I was 19 and living on my own, working for a living, caring for my pets, with no family within 300 miles, you can bet I was a grown-up (and I promptly began dating a 35-year-old, lol).
My husband was old enough to (and did) join the military at 17. I had spent two summers in Spain, sans parents, before I turned 18. I think it'd be pretty strange of us to turn around and say, "Nope. Can't date that guy, he's four years older, and you're only 17!!!."
I don't see that much of a difference between 17 and 21. 13 and 17 - yeah, I do. 17 and 31 - yeah (although my parents were 18 and 32 when they met, so....). But, 17 and 21? Nah. The way cutoffs for age and redshirting is going in school, it's quite plausible that those two were in the same high school two years earlier and just a couple grades apart.
I have absolutely no way of knowing you personally, and in no way would attempt to imply that I do.
In my post I said that there were exceptions, and that this is something that I see many times in my day to day life and that it seems to be a trend among many young people (I did not say all). I do personally also know some young people that don't fit what I described, but they happen to be in the minority. This is why to your original question, I said that it would depend on the individuals.
If you would like to accuse me of stereotyping, you are more than welcome to your opinion, of course! But please remember that I was speaking to your question, not to you as a personal individual because, again, I don't know you!
My brother was that 21-year-old dating the 17-year-old. I didn't like it because the girl was manipulative and whiny, but my brother's an awesome guy. It would be a case-by-case basis.
It would also depend on the maturity of my dd. My 15.5 y.o. is barely ready to be dating at all. So no, I would not let her go out with a 19 y.o. I am barely letting her 'go out' with a boy just a few months older than her. And they aren't doing much more than talking on the phone and seeing each other at school. In other words it's JUST right for this mom. LOL.
At 17 and 8 mos I got married to dh who was 21, almost 22. I always dated someone 2-4 years older. I never did fit in with the kids my age, but I grew up in very odd circumstances and am not the norm. I knew what I wanted.
If the young man is in NO possition of authority of her then we would allow it if he plays by OUR rules.
We know we don't have that much control over a 17 year old. The last thing I want to do is make them feel they need to sneak around.
I was 17 when I graduated high school and moved out of my home. Yes, I had lessons to learn but living life is how you learn them. I just wish I had parents that would have been their for me when I fell on my face.
I did more stupid stuff with teen guys that I did with older men. I found that older men were more affriad to do anything sexual because they were afraid of jail. Not saying there arn't perverts and freaks out there but most men weren't that way. I actually felt a lot less pressure about sex.
My sister is only 4 years younger than me, but it was the opposite with her crowd. They paired off in high school at around 15 with classmates, and most ended up marrying their high school boyfriend.
To be honest, I don't know how a parent would forbid a 17 year old from seeing someone. I know if I had been forbidden from see my DH, I would have moved heaven and earth to be with him.
I think that we should raise our children the best we can, give them the tools to make informed decisions for themselves, and be willing to let them make some mistakes. Who knows, the 21 year old may be THE ONE!!!!
I only joined this to reply to this thread. I am a 17 year old girl and I am dating a 21 year old guy, He does not pressure me into sex, and I didnt lose my virginity to him. He is the best boyfriend I have had so far, he is very mature but allows me to act childish and be hyper and laugh. He is also very good at looking after me, he is helping me live a healthier life style, incouraging me to reach my goals, making me study and try as hard as I can. He is the perfect boyfriend for me and really makes me work as hard as I can.
The only reason I wanted to say this is because alot of you have said that it is a bad thing, but in my case it is not, he is a wonderful guy and has made my life alot better than it was before, I am happier, healthier (I have lost weight which for me is very good as I am over weight), I have more fun, I am working harder, I do more work around the house and I read alot more than I did before.
Yes I know this isn't the case for all these relationships, but please do not judge so easily, age can be a blessing as well.
Well, a 21 year old who was emancipated and has had custody of his siblings is in no way, shape, or form a kid. Does this girl still live with her parents? What do they think about their daughter dating someone who has had the responsibility of caring for his siblings, and has been on his own for more than 4 years?
17 year old in high school and 21 year old in college, no problem. I do think it changes things when you add the fact that you are VERY much and adult in every way possible. The real question isnt should she be allowed to date you, but is it responsible for you to pull someone who is just starting her adult life into your already very adult world?
My daughter is 16 and "engaged" to a 21 year old man. When she was 15 she invited him over while no one else was home. I was livid (as was her father)and she was grounded for 3 months, no phone or computer whatsoever, no going anywhere without us or staying home alone, any friends who came over had to leave their phone in sight and not take it upstairs to the bedroom where my daughter might use it. I completely lost trust in her and she's still not even showing signs of responsibility. I have no idea what a grown man wants to be married to a 15/16 year old for, it totally feels disgusting to me. They've only even met each other 2 or 3 times IRL, and the rest of their time has been spent on the phone and internet chatting. Supposedly when she's 17 she's leaving home to live with him. That's passed on to me by a friend of hers so I didn't hear it directly from her. She doesn't understand what's wrong with a freaking grown man wanting to be with a 15 year old. I was lucky our neighbor called me and asked if she was supposed to have him over when we weren't home. I still wonder if I should have called the police while I was on my way back home. There were so many lies going around my house about this before it blew up. A man should have known being in the house with a 15 year old and no adults was a big no-no but when my husband talked to a policeman, he said there's nothing we can do without proof of sex? Any guys ages 20/21 I've asked have said they definately would not date a girl that young. This guy is "different" and "loves her", just like every other guy in the world lol
Well... Here is what I have to go by: DP and I met when I was 17, we have 11 years difference. Couldn't have been happier for the past 10 years.
* he is, handsome, supportive, funny, patient, doesn't mind cooking dinners, is romantic, I would consider that a catch
* he never pressured me sexually, if it wasn't for his standards, I wouldn't have waited until I was 18.
* he did drink socially, but I never did outside my family (we both have European roots, and neither family would frown upon a teenager having a glass of wine or beer); neither one of us ever been drunk, or driven a car after drinking. He never bought me a drink until I was 21.
He is the most wonderful dad to his now 15 y.o. daughter who lives with us. And yes, my parents were very cautious about him in the beginning, but they love him now. In fact, my mom calls him "her favorite son in law", and we are not even married (yet)
It's very much a US thing to judge a couple by the age (I think). One of my sisters is happily married to someone 9 years older than she is. They have three kids, and as far as I can see, her and her husband fit each other to a T (and not the "trouble" kind).
So... I can't say I wouldn't be worried, but to tell you the truth, I think I'd be worried no matte who dsd chose to date.
Funny! My husband is 11 years older than I am, too, and I think we're an excellent match for each other. I wish I could remember where, but I read some study that concluded 11 years' age difference is the best bet, in terms of a marriage lasting, as long as the man is the older spouse. I love that statistic!
That said, I think there's usually a big difference between couples with a significant age difference who are in their 30's or older; and couples where one is a teen and the other, an adult - or even where one person is in their early twenties and the other person, in their thirties. I think most people, by their 30's, are as mature as they're going to be, and have as solid a sense as they're ever going to have, of who they are, what they want, etc. So, it's not a stretch for 30-somethings and 40-somethings to feel like equals. And there's a good chance neither of them will change dramatically, over time. Whereas, a 17-year-old doesn't have nearly the maturity she will, 10 years from now. And it's quite normal for her to want, expect and tolerate things from her life and relationships that are fundamentally different from what she may want, expect and tolerate, by the time she's 27.
It's wonderful and romantic when a teenage girl meets a guy in his twenties and it actually turns out to be a relationship that will stand the test of time. But I think that scenario is less common than a scenario where the guy in his twenties is attracted to the teen girl because he's too immature to deal with girls his own age; and dating a younger girl lets him feel like he has the upper-hand in the relationship. When my little sister was 17 and dating a guy in his twenties (behind our parents' backs...), it bothered me, wondering if she was spending that time learning to accept not being treated as an equal by her significant other; when her time might be better-spent honing the skills of maintaining a functional, balanced relationship with someone who did think of her as an equal? Of course, my sister "knew what she was doing" and I was just too old and conservative to understand. Until she got to know the guy better and decided I was right.
But IMO, your job isn't to remember how you felt at 17 - or hear what the rest of us felt, or did, at 17 - and make sure your daughter gets the same opportunities. You're supposed to guide and protect her (for a little bit longer, anyway). And I think the chance that a relationship with a 21-year-old guy is something you should protect her from is greater than the chance that this guy is her True North, who will marry, have kids and grow old with her. And if he really is? He'll still be around (or he'll come back) when she's too old for you to tell her whom she can date!
Well, isn't that ALL part of how things are supposed to work?
Parents give the guidance they think is best, based on having more life experience. Kids ultimately figure out their own path, knowing what their parents think, and weighing that, as they make their own decisions. "My parents think I shouldn't be with this guy. Why do they think that? Are they right? If not, why? Am I just with this guy to defy my parents; or is there really something substantive between us? How can I tell?"
It's OK for parents to set guidelines their kids disagree with, as long as it's done thoughtfully and with good intentions, not just to be controlling. Even if the kids wind up bypassing or rejecting those guidelines - or if the parents wind up being wrong - the parents' love and willingness to give the best guidance they can prompts the kids to examine what they do.
If marrying your husband when you were 17 was the right decision, it would have withstood scrutiny from your parents, if they had resisted it.