In what situation is it socially acceptable for a 20 year old to date a teenager?

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I met my girlfriend in high school when she just started, and I was about done. I was 19 going on 20 and she was 16 going on 17. (yes, I failed a year, almost two. I hated homework.)

She liked me, I liked her, and her mother was actually actively pushing to get us together. And that's important. Not only is the legal age of consent important, but so is parental consent, and I think I had the best endorsement possible.

X/2 + 7 is the golden rule for social acceptability.

Zykon TheLich:
Depends on the social group really. But I'd go with 17 not even raising an eyebrow round these parts. 16 might be a bit iffy socially, but still legal barring some very, very unlikely circumstances.

Ravenbom:
There's a formula for social acceptability.

Half your age plus 7.
Starting at 18 (when you can legally be tried as an adult), the lowest you should go is 16, and even then, you should at least both be in High School.

If you've been dating continuously, then it shouldn't be a problem if you just turned 20. But you shouldn't be creeping around High School and High School girls as a 20 year old, generally.
ONE - it turns off any girls your own age and is generally pussy kyptonite.
TWO - legally creepy and statutory.

TL;DR - formula says 1/2 of twenty is 10, then add 7 = 17
17 is your cut-off.

I should note that my first GF turned 19 when I was 17 and still in high school. I only met her as she started college and I started senior year of HS.

To elaborate, I'm talking about continuing a relationship from HS.

If they're both above the legal age of consent, and the relationship is working for them, then who gives a shit? Why do people insist on sticking their noses into other people's business all the time? I've known couples with a fifteen year age difference who were fantastic together, and the vast majority of couples I know generally have a two-to-five year age gap.

First of all if by date you mean sex, look up your local law regulations on legal age and consent.

Second thing would be to - at that age - rather to aim higher than low. Relationship with an actual grown women (my experience, no idea how that translates to men) can teach you something. On the other hand dating a teen is an excercise in futility and frustration (She has absolutely no idea what is she doing and what she wants from life. Neither you really. Add to that possibility to end up with children you're not prepared for and you have calamity. Granted that also could be a catalyst to grow the f-k up but there are less rough ways to get there.).

Either way just get past 24-25 mark and then it doesn't really matter. 2 years or 40 years difference, nobody sane cares. No difference, as long as both parties are actual grown ups.

The formula for what's acceptable is Older Party's age/2 + 7. At 20 your minimum is 17.

P-89 Scorpion:

Kyrian007:
Really its never a good idea. I had a 20 year old friend who was dating an 18-year old. They are married now with a perfectly normal family and nobody even cares about their 2 year old age difference now that they're in their mid to late 30's. But that's... not usual. Frankly when somebody is 18... or 20 they aren't really mature enough to maintain a stable relationship. That's why it isn't a good idea, relationships at that age aren't generally important enough to matter in the long term anyway. Best not to mess around with potentially troublesome pairings whether its age difference or whatever it is that's complicating issues. There's absolutely no harm in waiting a few years.

Yep a 2 year age gap in a married couple is unusual usually it's bigger. I think the smallest age gap in my living family is 7 years and the longest is 18 (If I included those who have past it gets bigger).

What I meant was unusual was that they worked... that they are still together after having first met while she was in high school. Nobody who's a teen or in their early 20's really knows what they want about most things in life, relationships, career, whatever. Most relationships starting that early, when people still aren't old enough to really develop a stable connection, are doomed to failure. I went to a small high school, we graduated just less than 100 people. Because its that small and I know them all I can use just them as a sample group... 0% are married to or are dating someone they dated in high school. Out of the 100, 4 couples did get married... all ended in divorce.

That's why a 20 to 25 year old shouldn't bother with a potentially creepy relationship with a high schooler... averages tell us it isn't an important relationship anyway. That's time better spent learning. Either paying more attention to education, or even learning HOW to be a good boy/girlfriend, or just better person.

I knew a 20 year old who dated a 16 year old, and we all side eyed him very much for the week it carried on for (16 is the legal age in UK). Personally at 20 I wouldn't have dated anyone less than 18 (the conversation would be rubbish), though I'd have shrugged at the news of someone else dating a 17 year old. A lot of teenage girls aren't that hung up about dating someone significantly older, even if everyone else finds it super weird.

>Going on the Escapist for relationship advice
>The year 2k9

myjimmiesarerustled.jpg

Also: welcome to the Escapist! Enjoy your stay! Don't go in the basement... and please keep posting ;-; (we badly need new blood).

erttheking:
Age of consent in MA is 16, but personally I'd be a bit more comfortable with the 20 year old in question waiting until 18. Just remember there's a difference between "legal" and "right."

How does that make any sense? What about her being 18 and him then being 22 would make the situation better?

I don't know, if they're still in school it's kind of weird. Uni/post high school ... meh. Who gives a shit? My mum is almost 6 years older than my dad. I was a high school teacher for a bit, and I honestly don't see why anybody at any post-high school age bracket would be interested in kids that by and large have lead a sheltered existence.

Seems weird to me. At least wait until they're full-time working, or studying, or both.

You know ... when people actually begin to get interesting.

Souplex:
The formula for what's acceptable is Older Party's age/2 + 7. At 20 your minimum is 17.

So it's thoroughly unacceptable to date anybody if you and they are under the age of 14? :/

IIRC, if you are a vampire, you are obliged to date girls much younger than you.

Thaluikhain:
IIRC, if you are a vampire, you are obliged to date girls much younger than you.

What about other vampires? Then it's not technically necrophilia.

Arnoxthe1:
Maybe the reason the age of consent is so high in the US is because our teenagers still have the maturity of an infant. Back around the 1940s and earlier, teenagers used to be a lot more mature than they are now.

It's actually 16 in most states according to wikipedia but movies and TV shows usually pretend it is 18 everywhere to avoid controversy in states where it is 18.

It's acceptable I'd say in most situations. Too bad I'm not the only one judging. The formula spread around even here is bullshit - don't fall for its simplicity.

I've thought about this. Assuming physical maturity, the main concerns for me are social status and most importantly emotional maturity. If there is too wide a gap in emotional maturity, then - being optimistic here - I'd expect the more mature party to call it off. And if that doesn't happen we go to the alarm zone. This gap can be too wide between two 14-year-olds, or it might be manageable between a 14 and a 30-year-old.

An anecdote with my sister and her (now ex-)bf points the lameness of this age/2 + 7 dumbass formula. She was 17 and he was 22 when they started dating; unacceptable says the formula. Go forward six months and they are 18 and 23. Wow, look at that! It's all good now!! They were one year apart in the same school at the time (same degree, slightly different plans).

As a general rule I'd say no younger than 18 and even that is kind of questionable unless you first hooked up when you were both younger.

For example when one of you was 16 and the other 18 and you know each other from say high school.

BloodStalk:
To elaborate, I'm talking about continuing a relationship from HS.

Ooookay... not sure why that elaboration makes much difference to what I said. I mean I guess if you were 20 and "dating" a 16 year old and you started in high school then technically you could have been say, 18 and 14, which is not legal (in most places) and a bit more eyebrow raising, but nothing I'm really going to give a shit about, I've seen bigger age gaps at lower ages.

Zykon TheLich:

BloodStalk:
To elaborate, I'm talking about continuing a relationship from HS.

Ooookay... not sure why that elaboration makes much difference to what I said. I mean I guess if you were 20 and "dating" a 16 year old and you started in high school then technically you could have been say, 18 and 14, which is not legal (in most places) and a bit more eyebrow raising, but nothing I'm really going to give a shit about, I've seen bigger age gaps at lower ages.

Cette:
As a general rule I'd say no younger than 18 and even that is kind of questionable unless you first hooked up when you were both younger.

For example when one of you was 16 and the other 18 and you know each other from say high school.

This is what I was talking about.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
I don't know, if they're still in school it's kind of weird. Uni/post high school ... meh. Who gives a shit? My mum is almost 6 years older than my dad. I was a high school teacher for a bit, and I honestly don't see why anybody at any post-high school age bracket would be interested in kids that by and large have lead a sheltered existence.

Seems weird to me. At least wait until they're full-time working, or studying, or both.

You know ... when people actually begin to get interesting.

What if they both met in school?

If they are over the age of consent it's nobodies business except theirs and yours. That said the bigger the age gap the less you're likely to have in common

If they're already in a pre-existing relationship? I don't expect a couple to break up because the 17 year old is a few months away from turning 18. That's fucking dumb. I don't think 20 year olds should be going around hitting on 17 year olds, though.

Considering I've dated a 19 year old at the age of 31, I'd say if it's legal, do whatever the hell you want, man. The law governs who you can and cannot date- not your stuck up prudish friends. Nobody should live their life according to the whims of such awful people.

BloodStalk:

What if they both met in school?

Then only one of them is liable to be interesting.

Squilookle:
Considering I've dated a 19 year old at the age of 31

Interesting. Tell us more.

funny how many are squeamish about 18. where as here you could have left school by 2 years, be in full time employment, have a mortgage, legally drink and lots of other fun things considered adult.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Seems weird to me. At least wait until they're full-time working, or studying, or both.

You know ... when people actually begin to get interesting.

This, pretty much. When I was in high school, I had friends who were seventeen and dating dudes in second year university. Like, what the fuck do you have to even talk about? You live in such different worlds. Likewise, when I was in grad school, my at the time twenty-four year old friend ended up dating (very briefly) a seventeen-year-old girl, whom he met when she was hosting at a restaurant. We were like, dude, why? He kept carrying on about how she was mature for her age because she was living on her own while finishing high school, but we all knew that was kind of crap.

Realistically, even if you met in high school, once you're off to uni your whole world opens up. How you could maintain a relationship with a high schooler during all that tumultuous transition is beyond me.

McElroy:

Squilookle:
Considering I've dated a 19 year old at the age of 31

Interesting. Tell us more.

Well, I started seeing this 19 year old I met in a bar when I was 30. Then I had a birthday and we were still seeing each other after that.

Not much else to it really.

Squilookle:

McElroy:

Squilookle:
Considering I've dated a 19 year old at the age of 31

Interesting. Tell us more.

Well, I started seeing this 19 year old I met in a bar when I was 30. Then I had a birthday and we were still seeing each other after that.

Not much else to it really.

Chewster:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Seems weird to me. At least wait until they're full-time working, or studying, or both.

You know ... when people actually begin to get interesting.

This, pretty much. When I was in high school, I had friends who were seventeen and dating dudes in second year university. Like, what the fuck do you have to even talk about? You live in such different worlds. Likewise, when I was in grad school, my at the time twenty-four year old friend ended up dating (very briefly) a seventeen-year-old girl, whom he met when she was hosting at a restaurant. We were like, dude, why? He kept carrying on about how she was mature for her age because she was living on her own while finishing high school, but we all knew that was kind of crap.

Realistically, even if you met in high school, once you're off to uni your whole world opens up. How you could maintain a relationship with a high schooler during all that tumultuous transition is beyond me.

Wait, are you saying a college freshmen with HS senior wouldn't work then?

BloodStalk:
Wait, are you saying a college freshmen with HS senior wouldn't work then?

I'm not saying it couldn't, anything is possible. I'm just saying, I couldn't really envision 20-year-old me in first year university having a hellova lot to talk about with a 12-grader.

But you do you.

Chewster:

This, pretty much. When I was in high school, I had friends who were seventeen and dating dudes in second year university. Like, what the fuck do you have to even talk about? You live in such different worlds. Likewise, when I was in grad school, my at the time twenty-four year old friend ended up dating (very briefly) a seventeen-year-old girl, whom he met when she was hosting at a restaurant. We were like, dude, why? He kept carrying on about how she was mature for her age because she was living on her own while finishing high school, but we all knew that was kind of crap.

Realistically, even if you met in high ischool, once you're off to uni your whole world opens up. How you could maintain a relationship with a high schooler during all that tumultuous transition is beyond me.

Yeah... I imagine it's like having a pet.

I'm 33 now and I don't look at new post-grads any differently now than I did as when getting my bach and highschoolers just graduating.

I like people with quirks, and frankly the neuroses of life take time to mature. I live like a child. In a studio apartment surrounded by hobby stuff like short bolts of fabric, my sewing machine, boardgames, etc. That being said I'm sure someone also hurtling towards their middle age might find that adult childishness born from a lost youth having to grow up a bit before their time refreshing or endearing.

Occasionally I'll go orienteering and free climbing because I get the itch to escape the city and the voices get a bit too loud. I'll go into the occasional melancholic state when I have the quarter-annual familial discord over the phone under the guise of pretending like we could bury that 17 year old hatchet.

These personality quirks and things to empathize and truly connect through take time to age correctly, like a fine wine. At least in my experience the most meaningful relationships are all about having things to mutually sacrifice and connect through to demonstrate a show of fidelity and affection.

All people get broken by life, just as I get older I appreciate the ride of that descent into madness and an initial glimpse of where it might go when I meet another person... because what else can you do but find it fun? Kids look weird to me precisely because they seemingly have no chinks or cracks in that armour yet. No scars, no dents, no missing visors and plates. Just bland, obscuring, quizzical shells of nondescriptness. Like comparing one amorphous blob with another.

And as I get older, that definition of 'kid' seems to increase in age.

And yeah, I get that I'm sure there's older people than me that might say the same thing... but that only goes to highlight my point. Give me 10 more years and I'm sure I'll start to empathize.

It's also my theory about young love. You know. How the relationships you have when you're 13-16 seem like trivial pap compared to those fights and that making up and mutual compromises or dropping out completely with other romantic interests in your 20s and 30s. The shit that you legitimately want to kill your liver over them.

Fun fact... people can die of heartbreak if they're old enough. It's not too uncommon to find 70 and 80 year old dying within years of eachother if they've been together for many decades regardless of having a positive post-bereavement environment to aid their 'recovery'. Bereavement alone takes years off your life.

Hard to imagine any relationship I have ever had resembling such intimacy and co-identification with... and part and parcel of that is learning how to suffer eachother's ugliness to find a persistent, relatable human beauty that you can get lost in and have it physically and psychologically alter you and your entire perception of reality and pain.

So maybe I'm the odd one ehere as I get older I perceive gaps of age in greater severity. None of this really applicable if you hooked up in high school and somehow spend the rest of you days together. But for me personally that four years difference between a 21 year old and 17-18 year old would feel like the current difference I have between myself and anyone younger than 25.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Chewster:

This, pretty much. When I was in high school, I had friends who were seventeen and dating dudes in second year university. Like, what the fuck do you have to even talk about? You live in such different worlds. Likewise, when I was in grad school, my at the time twenty-four year old friend ended up dating (very briefly) a seventeen-year-old girl, whom he met when she was hosting at a restaurant. We were like, dude, why? He kept carrying on about how she was mature for her age because she was living on her own while finishing high school, but we all knew that was kind of crap.

Realistically, even if you met in high ischool, once you're off to uni your whole world opens up. How you could maintain a relationship with a high schooler during all that tumultuous transition is beyond me.

Yeah... I imagine it's like having a pet.

I'm 33 now and I don't look at new post-grads any differently now than I did as when getting my bach and highschoolers just graduating.

I like people with quirks, and frankly the neuroses of life take time to mature. I live like a child. In a studio apartment surrounded by hobby stuff like short bolts of fabric, my sewing machine, boardgames, etc. That being said I'm sure someone also hurtling towards their middle age might find that adult childishness born from a lost youth having to grow up a bit before their time refreshing or endearing.

Occasionally I'll go orienteering and free climbing because I get the itch to escape the city and the voices get a bit too loud. I'll go into the occasional melancholic state when I have the quarter-annual familial discord over the phone under the guise of pretending like we could bury that 17 year old hatchet.

These personality quirks and things to empathize and truly connect through take time to age correctly, like a fine wine. At least in my experience the most meaningful relationships are all about having things to mutually sacrifice and connect through to demonstrate a show of fidelity and affection.

All people get broken by life, just as I get older I appreciate the ride of that descent into madness and an initial glimpse of where it might go when I meet another person... because what else can you do but find it fun? Kids look weird to me precisely because they seemingly have no chinks or cracks in that armour yet. No scars, no dents, no missing visors and plates. Just bland, obscuring, quizzical shells of nondescriptness. Like comparing one amorphous blob with another.

And as I get older, that definition of 'kid' seems to increase in age.

And yeah, I get that I'm sure there's older people than me that might say the same thing... but that only goes to highlight my point. Give me 10 more years and I'm sure I'll start to empathize.

It's also my theory about young love. You know. How the relationships you have when you're 13-16 seem like trivial pap compared to those fights and that making up and mutual compromises or dropping out completely with other romantic interests in your 20s and 30s. The shit that you legitimately want to kill your liver over them.

Fun fact... people can die of heartbreak if they're old enough. It's not too uncommon to find 70 and 80 year old dying within years of eachother if they've been together for many decades regardless of having a positive post-bereavement environment to aid their 'recovery'. Bereavement alone takes years off your life.

Hard to imagine any relationship I have ever had resembling such intimacy and co-identification with... and part and parcel of that is learning how to suffer eachother's ugliness to find a persistent, relatable human beauty that you can get lost in and have it physically and psychologically alter you and your entire perception of reality and pain.

So maybe I'm the odd one ehere as I get older I perceive gaps of age in greater severity. None of this really applicable if you hooked up in high school and somehow spend the rest of you days together. But for me personally that four years difference between a 21 year old and 17-18 year old would feel like the current difference I have between myself and anyone younger than 25.

Weird, my experience is that with every year I get older the line between Kid and Adult just kinda moves. When I was around that age, 18 was a Adult. Now that I'm 30 I find myself hard pressed to consider anyone below roughly 25 to be an adult.

So, a High School Kid and a College Kid are both equally clueless Kids to me. I see no issue with them being clueless together.

Fischgopf:

Weird, my experience is that with every year I get older the line between Kid and Adult just kinda moves. When I was around that age, 18 was a Adult. Now that I'm 30 I find myself hard pressed to consider anyone below roughly 25 to be an adult.

So, a High School Kid and a College Kid are both equally clueless Kids to me. I see no issue with them being clueless together.

That's kind ofthe point I was getting at. I don't really care if other peopledo it ... I have enough problems of my own to start worrying about trivial crap like that (so longas notactive paedophilia or in a situation that is professionally compromising and even then not really unless it involves my affairs) ...

But from my personal perspective I wouldn't get so entangled.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Souplex:
The formula for what's acceptable is Older Party's age/2 + 7. At 20 your minimum is 17.

So it's thoroughly unacceptable to date anybody if you and they are under the age of 14? :/

When you're under 14 there's no range. It's people of your age only.

Legally it depends upon the laws in the state you live in. As long as both people are above the age of consent it's fine.

Some states have "Romeo and Juliet Laws" which are basically allowing for a person under the age of consent to be in a relationship provided two things:
The other person has to be 18 or below.
Both parties age has to be within 4 years.

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