Age differences in relationships

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LilRabbit

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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).
 
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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.
 

DHLA40

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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.
 

andysetra

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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 :(
 

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.
 
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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.
 
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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.

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.
 

Jewbacca

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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.
 
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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.

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?

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.
 

TallestBabyEver

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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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I experienced this problem when I was in college, 19 in love with someone around 14. It was nothing but pain, because I couldn't approach the sexual thing. The truth was that my sense of reality was off base, as I lived in this fantasy world. Eventually I was the one that put some distance between us, but it was because I was gong crazy. I tried to drown myself, did a ton of drugs and alcohol to escape. Maybe your friend is less consumed than I was, but it can be a huge trap. I still can play the music I used to listen to all of those year ago, and feel the same intense depression. To love someone deeply, and not be able to express it is as close to hell as one can get.
 

Aki

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My friend is around my age, 17 or 18, I forget. Her boyfriend of about three years, maybe more, is now 22.

They make it work. So I guess in certain cases it makes no difference. I see them and they're perfectly happy with one another. I don't see much of a difference between our age and his age.

If you can make it work, go for it. Just keep it legal.
 

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A couple week ago, I dated a 35 year old for 3 weeks. She was in love with me and we had sex like twice in that 3 week periods (she live out of town so that why we didn't had sex more times). She dated guys around my age before but it wasn't working out for me so I broke up with her. Even though we broken up, she still want me to go back out with her and it like yea...no thanks.
 
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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.

While it shouldn't be something you have to worry about it is. Even a statutory rape accusation can ruin a person for a long time. There have been more than a couple 19 year old kids who have been caught up in this way. It doesn't take sex occurring for bad things to happen, it just takes the accusation of an angry of a father or a jilter 14 year old.

Basically what is more important; a most likely to fail relationship between a 14 year old kid and a 19 year old, or avoiding the drama that relationship can lead to.
 

Peachy

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Since I'm the 'product' of a relationship with a significant age different, I'm not going to tell you that such relationships are bound to fail because of the age difference, or even at all. Instead, look at three different points:

(1) Legal issues. I don't know your local laws. Over here, the relationship isn't per se illegal, as long as the older partner is not taking advantage of the inexperience of the younger partner in terms of sexual matters (under that condition, the age of consent is 14). But your local laws may be different.

(2) Difference in interests. As people pointed out: 19 year olds and 14 year olds may not share the same interests. Depending on circumstances, the 19 year old may take everything more seriously while the 14 year old may still be in a playful phase and may, for instance, not show any sympathy for such 'adult' problems as the fear to get laid off, money problems or political opinions. However, that's purely on a personal basis. I have known 18 year olds with a driver's license and the key to their parents' BMW whose immaturity roughly equals the behavior of 9 year olds, and I've also known 15 year olds mature and responsible enough to lead a company or drive an oil tanker even though the law won't even allow them to get any job at all nor even a license to drive a farm vehicle. Besides, from what I understand, most teenage girls find their male peers too immature for their own tastes and may thus seek slightly older male partners.

(3) Difference in intentions. This is where I see the main problem. For most 14 year olds, relationship lack the seriousness that older people associate with it. They often consider it more of a game, a popularity contest or a way for sexual experimentation than to actually try to find someone to be with for a longer period of time. So the 19 year old may set himself up for some disappointment when the 14 year old dumps him, either on a whim because she found someone else to 'play with' or because her male peers have matured enough to let the problems of the age difference outweight the remaining immaturity of a partner of the same age.

My advice? I have none, I'm afraid. Fact is: Relationships are trial and error-based. If you don't try, you won't win, but if you get all emotional and depressed for months after each break-up, you may want to choose more carefully.

Peachy
 

fuctifano

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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).

Age differences matter less when both are over the age of 18. When you're still a teenager, a 14 year old is far too immature and young to be going out with a 19 year old. Tell your friend to stay away for his own good.
 
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ani

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They're 14 and 19. Neither should put significant emphasis on dating relationships. They have a lot of life to live.
 
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