14 year old daughter has boyfriend of 17

(32 Posts)
littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 11:53:54

This is my first time on Mumsnet so go easy on me! I have a 14 year old daughter who seems to have started a relationship with a boy who is 17, and will be 18 in April. They started by flirting online on sites like instagram, twitter etc and then progressed to facetiming each other and now meeting up to watch films, walk the dog and generally spend time together, Initially she told me he was 15 and in the year above at school. But I found out he is actually at college and 17. After lots of tears and tantrums she is still seeing him. She says he is nicer than the boys in her year at school, doesnt try anything sexual with her, respects her bla bla.. but I am worried. Husband and I not sure how to handle it. He has been at our house and they sat and watched a film downstairs near to where I was cooking etc. He seems ok but I am worried the relationship will become sexual and of course very soon he can buy alcohol, drive etc. There doesnt seem to be any embarrasement for boys to date much younger girls today. I worry that if I ban the friendship she will simply hide it from me and sneak around and lie. She has already done this to a certain extent. Has anyone any advice or experience with this?

mumoftwoteens Mon 16-Dec-13 13:07:14

that's two big an age gap at that age....... have you spoken to the boy's parents?

littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 13:20:03

Not yet. Think I will . Was told at first they were just "talking" not "going out". Now they are "going out". But say what? Apparently he's quite shy. Not a cocky type at all. But yes I think I may do that.

mumoftwoteens Mon 16-Dec-13 13:41:33

just say you are a bit concerned about the age gap between him and your dd and see what their think. do his parents know he is with a 14 year old girl?

littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 13:48:18

Not sure. They have met her and the mother made my daughter lunch. But they may think she's older. Why do I feel so stupid?! I know my dd will freak if I go and speak to his parents. But I think I will have to. Probably seems obvious to everyone else sad I guess it's nice to see my dd happy as she's had quite a few friendship issues since starting secondary school. I'm scared to destroy her happiness. What a wimp I am .

ajandjjmum Mon 16-Dec-13 13:55:39

I had a 17 year old BF when I was 14 - we split up because his DM made it so awkward, and I've dislike her ever since.

She was probably right thought! grin

MolotovCocktail Mon 16-Dec-13 13:56:02

Be supportive, and keep your eyes on them. Perhaps discuss contraception and STDs with your dd (I.e. the necessity to use condoms if they dtd ... but that they shouldn't because of her age, etc).

You won't be able to stop them seeing one another; they will do stuff behind your back if they're into each other, so always be mindful.

FWIW, I met my dh when I was 17yo and he was 23yo. We're still together 14y later smile

MolotovCocktail Mon 16-Dec-13 13:57:43

Just read that your dd has had friendship issues at school. You need to watch out that she doesn't use this relationship to fill the void of friends. Be careful that she doesn't come to rely on this boy too much.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Mon 16-Dec-13 14:02:51

Too big a gap IMO. I'd be doing what I could to discourage the relationship, although obviously you have to tread carefully. And yes to speaking to his parents and making sure they know how old she is.

I agree with what Molotov said about her using this relationship to fill a gap. 14yos can be very intense. Does she have interests outside of school? If I were you I'd be encouraging her to take part in activities etc which will help her widen her social circle.

Ziggyzoom Mon 16-Dec-13 14:07:47

I had a 17 year old boyfriend at 14 and it worked out ok. He lost interest in me after 6 months because I couldn't do all of the things he could do and I think his friends took the p*ss out of him due to the age gap!

Having said this, the big warning sign for me is that he lied about his age. I wouldn't be happy with any dishonesty in this situation and you need to talk to your daughter about trust.

littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 14:32:38

No he actually didn't lie about his age - she did! She lied to me. She has 2 or 3 close friends now but school is like a war zone at that age it seems. Lots of bitchiness and falling out with one another.
So I think, discourage but don't ban. Don't make it easy. Speak to his parents , keep up other interests... But keep talking . Thanks everyone. Any other views ?

Breadkneadslove Mon 16-Dec-13 14:45:25

I think that it is quite a common age gap, teenage girls tend to be more mature than boys and so it is seems likely that a 14/15 year old girls would be attracted to and fancy 17/18 boys and vice versa.

I would just monitor the situation, it sounds as though it is early days in the relationship and so I would just welcome him into your home so that your DD knows that he and their relationship is accepted. That way you can get to know him better (which may also alleviate some of your anxieties) and it may also serve to strengthen the relationship between you and your daughter so that she feels she can if she chooses to discuss her relationship with you (not that I am saying anything negative about your relationship with your DD).

Even if she were older or if he were younger the issue of relationships and sex is going to come up but i can completely see why you are anxious and unsure about the situation. best of luck navigating your way through this, I'm sure you were expecting this day would come but hoping it was a long way off in the future…

lljkk Mon 16-Dec-13 20:48:11

I don't think it is that big a gap, pretty normal when & where I grew up, but it's very risky for the boy. I would be more worried about the dangers to him than to her.

kilmuir Mon 16-Dec-13 20:52:24

i have a 15 year old DD, i told her about this thread and she thought odd that a nearly 18 year old boy would be interested in a 14 year old.
have you told her you are not keen. is he a young 18 or a adult one

BertieBowtiesAreCool Mon 16-Dec-13 20:53:20

I would be cautious as well. It could be (and probably is) absolutely fine, but I would be cautious.

I definitely agree with getting her involved with something outside of school - my friends outside of school were my absolute saviour when friendship politics at school were difficult. And they are fucking annoying at that age - I had so much ANGST over it and it seemed like the biggest deal ever at the time. I think it's a very big possibility that she could come to rely on the boyfriend to fill this gap, so encouraging her to spread that support would be helpful I think. I don't mean "Quick sign her up for stuff so she doesn't see him so much!!" but just so that she has some other friends in addition to him and to the school friends. I did a drama group - what's she interested in?

randomquicknamechange Mon 16-Dec-13 21:00:26

Right, I know this isn't a popular view but you have to be supportive keep the lines of communication open and wait for it to run its course.
I was dating a 23 year old when I was 15, I know for a fact that I wouldn't have dug my heels in and stayed with him after I got bored if my mum and dad hadn't kept banning me from seeing him, the sneaking around was much more exciting than he was.

FlatsInDagenham Mon 16-Dec-13 21:01:50

I think this is a fairly normal age gap - worrying for you but not an unusual situation at all. I had much older boyfriends when I was a teenager.

My parents always kept my boyfriends close - invited them to sunday dinner etc - because any other course of action is bound to drive the young couple underground. They will continue this relationship with or without your approval / knowledge. Much much safer then for it to be conducted right under your nose and keep the dialogue with your DD open so she feels she can talk to you about it if things go wrong.

NigellasDealer Mon 16-Dec-13 21:04:23

the person most in danger from this relationship is the boy

Tishtash2teeth Mon 16-Dec-13 21:08:56

I had a 17 year old boyfriend when I was 14. I'm 32 now and we're still together!

Edinbugger Mon 16-Dec-13 21:17:40

I'm not sure I agree with the posters saying that this is a normal age gap at this age. I think a 4 year gap is normal at later stages (from about 17ish) but the difference between a fourteen year old and a nearly eighteen year old is huge. Having said that - it does depend on the individuals involved - like if your DD is very mature and her boyfriend isn't then it kind of evens out a bit. What's your impression of him? Does your DD think the age gap is unusual?

DD3 was 14 when she started going out with a 17 nearly 18 year old. I was concerned, but I did think that once he was able to do things that 18 year old do he would soon lose interest in her and I expected to pick up the pieces of a first love gone wrong. It hasn't happened yet..... and they are now married and expecting their first child. They are so happy and I have no doubts that they were made for each other!
When she was younger I encouraged him to come round our house, so that I could keep tabs on what was going on. He is a lovely guy and we get on really well.
I do understand you worries, but perhaps let her see how it goes and keep a close eye on how it develops. I did warn my now son-in-law that I would have serious words if he ever overstepped the mark with DD3 - tongue in cheek, but he got the message! he has always been very respectful and caring.

Bowlersarm Mon 16-Dec-13 21:39:58

I think it entirely depends on the individuals concerned. If he is an unworldly 17 year old and she is mature, three years isn't a big difference.

I understand your concern though, if my 17 year old DS was going out with a 14 year old it would worry me. Especially the sex angle.

TSSDNCOP Mon 16-Dec-13 21:40:25

When I was 14/5 my boyfriend was 18/19. I tired of him long before he tired of me.

Keep tabs, discuss contraception but beware taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

stickysausages Mon 16-Dec-13 21:41:06

Would he be willing to wait two years until she was 16.... and not statutory rape?

redrubyindigo Mon 16-Dec-13 21:44:55

My god-daughter is 13 and has a 17 year old boyfriend. I am very uneasy about this but her parents seem unconcerned. I think she is still a child and needs protecting. He is at boarding school and they email each other constantly. Her parents have never checked her emails.

I am suspicious she is a bit of a game for him and her emails are forwarded for laughs amongst his school mates.

littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:47:35

Ok. Well he is def a young 17 year old. She is a fairly shy but quite mature 14. We have had another hat this evening. I've said I will call his mum and have a friendly conversation just saying hi and checking she's aware my dd is 14. But in a nice way. My rules are that she can stay friends and he can come to our house but they have to stay downstairs, never in her bedroom and is must be the same at his house. She tells me (my daughter ) that he is so nice and more respectful than the boys at school who are all after sexual encounters! Hmm. Not sure but I will ask that his mum ensures it's the same rules at their house. He has younger sisters so I'm hoping she will understand. Lots of chat tonight but I'm glad I'm making clearer guidelines .

littlebird99 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:48:29

Thanks for all your help. Felt overwhelmed earlier today

McFox Mon 16-Dec-13 22:55:22

I don't think it's a big age gap at all. In fact my sister and her DH got together when she was 15 and he was 18. 21 years later and they are married, with kids, and very happy.

Try not to worry too much. She's old enough to have a boyfriend, so give her the benefit of the doubt and trust her judgement - if you discourage it, it won't help anyone. Let her make her own mind up.

chocoluvva Tue 17-Dec-13 23:08:27

IMO you're taking a very sensible line on this. Hopefully the relationship won't last too long.

My DD went out with a 17YO boy when she was 15. He was rather unsociable and I got the impression that his mum encouraged the relationship as she was glad he had a nice friend. She had no concerns about her age - definitely worth having a chat with the BF's mum IMO - though be careful what you say - my DD's BF's mum told them her version of what I'd said, so it backfired on me.

I think your approach of being welcoming to him but not encouraging the relationship is very sensible. smile

bakehouse Thu 19-Dec-13 13:41:52

My DS18 says it would be social suicide amongst his friends to go out with a 14 year old. One of his friends made a comment to him once that he thought DD2 aged 14 was 'really fit' and liked some of her pictures on Instagram and Facebook and he has been ribbed for being a 'peado' ever since. Obviously a couple of years older and the age gap makes no difference at all but at 14 and 17 they have such different social lives which wouldn't be easy to integrate. DD1 aged 16 thinks that if a boy that much older was interested in a 14 year old she would consider it would only be because he had either run out of options with girls his own age or that none of the girls his own age was interested in him!

BertieBowtiesAreCool Thu 19-Dec-13 13:47:40

It sounds fine and I think your rules are sensible. It's fairly likely if he's a "young" 17 that they aren't anywhere near sexually active yet.

mrsjay Thu 19-Dec-13 18:46:25

I was 15 and had a 18 yr old boyfriend we didnt have sex although he did seem to get fed up with me after a few months probably because there was no sex as long as your dd is aware I wouldn't ban it may just let it run its course as long as she doesn't do anything she isnt comfy with

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