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Teen Dating Issues/Teen Age Difference Advice?


I have a friend and I've known him for i think more than 3 years. I like him because he's very respectful, He doesn't like to argue and he is very smart (He's a senior and I'm a sophomore) and gets all A's in B's in school like i do but the thing is.. he's 18 and i'm 16 but he'll be 19 in April and I'll be 17 in December. I didn't date him yet because I want my parents to accept first. The question is.. Is 16 and almost 19 a big difference? Will my parents accept this? Oh! And we're definitely not having "it" til marriage and marriage is either after maybe 20? or after I'm done with college.

Myaa, there is something called "age of consent," which means the age at which leaders in a community believe a young person is "ready" to make romance choices for herself.  It varies from state to state, and I believe cities might even have some changes to the law that are harsher or more lenient than the state they are in.  So I am not sure if your dating is legal.  In MOST places, the age of consent is 17, but 16 is fairly common, too.  The magic number seems to be 731.  What that means is that two people can be 730 days apart (2 years) but not 731 days apart (2 years +1 day) if EITHER member of the couple is under the age of consent.  Since he turns 19 before you turn 17, there are more than 730 days between you.  But that ONLY matters if the age of consent in your community is 17. Make sense?  If not, Google "age of consent" and your city's or state's name.

Is 2 and a half years too much?  Not in my opinion.  What really matters, though, is what your parents think.  Because of your age and the fact you live with them (and seem to respect their opinion and acceptance), they have the final say.  

There are a few things I would do:

Don't hide the fact you are seeing this boy.  Don't "white wash" your outings and call it "the library" if it's really a walk by the lake.  EASE your parents into the idea that you are interested in romance.

Be someone they can trust.  That way, when you do start to date openly, they can trust you.

Be honest with your parents about your sexual beliefs.  If you believe in waiting till marriage, tell them. Keeping an open, honest dialogue about sex, and being transparent with your questions, your confusion, your values, etc, will build trust.  Your actions MUST match your words.

Bring the boy to meet your parents, and meet his.  It might be nice to introduce your parents to his parents.

Also, build a dialogue with your parents about the values you like in the boy, but keep the conversation broad.  For example, find an opportunity to say things like, "I really love how so-and-so is so focused on school.  I admire that in a person.  I don't understand why some kids throw their educations away."  By having a broad foundation of values that you share with your parents, you can add this boy into your life, and he will "fit."  But by only talking about him and HIS values, even if they are exactly the same as the above examples, your parents will wonder if it is your "crush" talking or if you are trying to sell them on the idea of dating this boy.  In a nutshell, let YOUR values be what your parents are judging, and then let the boy's actions, not YOUR WORDS, be what convinces your folks he's a good match for you.

I hope my advice helps.  Good luck!


Teen Dating Issues

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Suzi Zimmerman


I am a teacher and I write books on teen dating, self-esteem, and values. I can answer questions on making healthy choices, self-improvement, liking yourself, relationships and friendships, goal-setting, values, and how to handle making difficult choices.


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