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Thread: Age differences in relationships

  1. #1

    Default Age differences in relationships

    Sup ladies. And... guys, too.

    I have this friend of mine. He's about the same age as me... 19 years old - and we've known each other for a few years so I know him pretty well.

    Now, he likes this girl in school that is significantly younger than him. Like... 5 years younger than him. So this girl is 14, and he's 19. They're not going out, and he thinks they probably won't. Personally I've been advising against the decision of asking him out (she has admitted she likes him). But he does really like this girl, and this girl does like him back. But he doesn't want to go out because of the crap that could result from it - even though he has said he wouldn't have sex with her for obvious reasons.

    But this made me really curious. I understand that it is completely, 100% legal for them to go out if they wanted to so long as they don't have sex - which he assured he wouldn't. And he's a pretty legit person so I believe him.

    I'm just curious to know everyone's opinion on here in, not on the story above - but on the subject in general. I don't want my friend to get in trouble or make a stupid decision.

    What is your opinion on large age differences, in relationships? I'm talking about teens here, but it can go into adults as well (even though it doesn't matter as much).

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Jake View Post
    Sup ladies. And... guys, too.

    I have this friend of mine. He's about the same age as me... 19 years old - and we've known each other for a few years so I know him pretty well.

    Now, he likes this girl in school that is significantly younger than him. Like... 5 years younger than him. So this girl is 14, and he's 19. They're not going out, and he thinks they probably won't. Personally I've been advising against the decision of asking him out (she has admitted she likes him). But he does really like this girl, and this girl does like him back. But he doesn't want to go out because of the crap that could result from it - even though he has said he wouldn't have sex with her for obvious reasons.
    A 19-year old has no business being around a 14-year old.

    They have nothing in common; the 19-year old is earning a living and no longer with mom & dad. The 14-year old cannot drive.

    It is this case with any "gateway" in life; a 50-year old has much the same experience in life as a 30-year old (albeit more), while a 22-year old has a radically different set of experiences than a 17-year old. It is this gulf between experiences that so stands out in my mind, rather than chronological age difference.

  3. #3

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    That's a grey area there. Because she's still considered a minor, and he's considered a "young adult", it could possibly turn into a matter of legality if her parents didn't approve of their relationship, and wanted to let the young man know that fact without having to tell him face-to-face. I'm certain there's many ways the parents could get the police involved in keeping them seperate.

    Whether it would be inappropriate if they were involved in a relationship because of the difference in age doesn't hinge upon the difference itself, but more because of the fact that she's not considered an adult. I wouldn't offer an opinion unless I personally knew both of the parties involved. I've known of riskier relationships of friends in school, and their suitors which struck me perfectly fine because of the respective feelings of the two involved. I've also heard, and read about young girls being abused, mistreated, and flat-out raped by the older boys whom they thought they were in love with. Since I don't know them personally, it's hard to say whether or not it's appropriate to consider.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    A 19-year old has no business being around a 14-year old.

    They have nothing in common; the 19-year old is earning a living and no longer with mom & dad. The 14-year old cannot drive.

    It is this case with any "gateway" in life; a 50-year old has much the same experience in life as a 30-year old (albeit more), while a 22-year old has a radically different set of experiences than a 17-year old. It is this gulf between experiences that so stands out in my mind, rather than chronological age difference.
    Yeah, I 100% agree with you. Age difference seems to get less and less relevant as you grow away from the teenage years. As for the above scenario, a relationship between a 14 year old and a 19 year old is doomed to fail, no matter how pure the intentions

  5. #5
    angelabauer

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    As the mother of our daughter Dianah who will turn 16 in May, I want her to be safe. My husband and I are not foolish enough to make a firm rule she is not allowed to date. Instead we have always communicated with Dianah about the joys of romance and the dangers of depression when romance ends. We encourage her to introduce us to anyone she intends to date. We also have made sure she knows how to protect her personal safety.

    When I was growing up starting in 1964 there was a theory that young women just past puberty were at least 2 years more romantically sophisticated than young men. Until long after I graduated from high school in California a 16 year-old could legally carry passengers of any age, which is not the case now. The high school I attended had a few students as young as 12 and as old as 19. At 14 many of my gal pals my age were dating guys age 16 with not parental worry. Maybe I was not social because I did not want to date until I was 15 and in the final semester of my junior year.

    Once I did start to date I was only attracted to adult me already finished with college. Yes that was very risky and I share this as a caution to those thinking of doing this. My folks never tried to spot me dating those men, but were also not thrilled about it.

    In my under-grad university years I really concentrated on my studies. None of my professors were so attractive as to make a fling with one worth the risk. There were some nice grad students, but they were not in law school so I had little in common with them. The few times I dated were on weekend trips to New York City or Boston where the men I met had no connection to my university.

    Only in movies do law students have spare time for a social life. Those years I might have had one or two dates a year during breaks.

    Age difference? I was approaching 26 and had been working as a fully licensed attorney for almost 2 years when I met Don Davis at a large party. He was well-dressed, as if a managing senior partner at a major law firm, yet my impression was he was at the most 50. In fact Don was almost 59. He made no secret about while we were first talking.

    So I knew what I was getting into while falling in love with Don. His daughter Cynthia with his late wife Jean is 4 months older than I am, so Don was super cautious about me. He joked he was not so sure his cardiologist would approve! I never doubted my family would adore Don and that proved to be true. Don is almost 2 years older than my father.

    Before Don and I became engaged he made sure I had talked to specialists in the medical management of senior citizens. We talked about the risks. The thing is we had so much in common beyond diapers. Both of us were honor graduates of top post-grad schools. One of his PhD degrees is from the arch rival of my law school. We managed to get past all that.

    Yes, there are downsides to a vast age difference. Perhaps a 14 year-old gal in love with a 19 year-old guy is at a bigger disadvantage than a 26 year-old law school grad in love with a 58 year-old business executive.

  6. #6

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    Bad idea. As has been mentioned, age is more than a number. Age is experience. 5 years that early in life is such a huge difference in life experience it is ridiculous. 5 years younger than me is about my absolute age minimum, and even then it would take a very certain kind of person. It isn't a hard fast thing, of course there are exceptions, but in general it is a horrible idea that young. It is an even bigger deal because sex or not he is putting himself in a very awkward situation. People will be suspicious of his motives and it could come back to bite him in the ass.

    Age stops being as much an issue as you get older simply because 5 years becomes an insignificant portion of your life.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by frillyfoxy View Post
    Bad idea. As has been mentioned, age is more than a number. Age is experience. 5 years that early in life is such a huge difference in life experience it is ridiculous. 5 years younger than me is about my absolute age minimum, and even then it would take a very certain kind of person. It isn't a hard fast thing, of course there are exceptions, but in general it is a horrible idea that young. It is an even bigger deal because sex or not he is putting himself in a very awkward situation. People will be suspicious of his motives and it could come back to bite him in the ass.

    Age stops being as much an issue as you get older simply because 5 years becomes an insignificant portion of your life.
    It just occurred to me that I'm agreeing with Ray Kurzweil above. Suffice it to say, our experience of time is non-linear, and marked by milestones or gateways.

    You're right, frillyfox, 5 years is inconsequential later on in life.

  8. #8

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    Statistics is the answer to this question, my dear, Statistics!
    I've always noticed that relationships, in which both parties consider each other close to equals, always follow a law of percentages. And the law goes like this:
    If partner B's age is <50% or >200% of Partner A's age, this type of relationship has pretty much a 0% chance of developing, and increases along the bell curve in between these two bounds.

    So all in all it's not so much the numerical difference in ages but moreso the percent difference between each one.

  9. #9
    EmeraldsAndLime

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    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    A 19-year old has no business being around a 14-year old.
    That may or may not be true, depending on the circumstances. Age in the teenage years is a large discriminatory factor, but if there's oversight I don't see why a 18-19 year old can't be general friends with a 14-15 year old.

    Sexually, though, is a different matter. Any two people with such an age difference really shouldn't be going out and they definitely shouldn't be fooling around, even if it's just to protect yourself from the authorities.



    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    They have nothing in common; the 19-year old is earning a living and no longer with mom & dad. The 14-year old cannot drive.
    Not sure if you're up-to-date with the youth of today. There's been numerous reports of kids staying at home until they're well into their 20s and sometimes early 30s. Apprenticeships don't earn you much to begin with, and you can't study and work both full-time.

    I'm 19, 20 in a few months and I've no intention of moving out any time soon mostly because I can't afford it. Not much of a living, eh?



    Quote Originally Posted by h3g3l View Post
    It is this case with any "gateway" in life; a 50-year old has much the same experience in life as a 30-year old (albeit more), while a 22-year old has a radically different set of experiences than a 17-year old. It is this gulf between experiences that so stands out in my mind, rather than chronological age difference.
    This, however, I tend to agree with. It's like the old case of looking at younger people and going, "Hell, was I really like that!?". Experiences and ideals develop over time, and the teenage years are the most turbulent.

  10. #10

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    i have had two major relationships in my life and both of them have been within a year of my age (acutally more like a month XD) and both lasted a long time both ending on good terms. I believe that age has little to do with a relationship but it depends on the age difference and how mature those people are. I would advise against it as well as i don't think she is mature enough to be starting a relationship that young.

    When i hear crazy stories about 18 year old dancing and dating with 40 year olds, i highly doubt the relationship has anything, if not nothing, to do with the one thing that really creates a relationship: love between two people. It makes me sick to see how far people will go to get money from their "loved one." Too much love in the money and not enough for the person.

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