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Niece is 16 and going out with a 20 yr old. AIBU to be concerned?

(135 Posts)
YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:19:46

My niece is 16. A really sweet girl who is doing well in school and is bright and popular. She's started seeing a guy who's 20 almost 21. I've met him a few times and he seems nice, works full time and I think treats her well. I don't know if they're having sex yet and don't want to push her away by asking.

He's also a bit of a party guy according to some people (small town gossip grin) but nothing really bad.

I look out for her and I just feel a bit concerned with the age gap. She's not very experienced and is mature in some ways but I think quite naive in others. She's planning to study at uni next year and I don't want anything to put her off. When I was her age I was hanging out with older blokes, bunking off, drinking etc and I don't want her to mess up like I did. Her mum (my sister) has asked me what I think and I honestly don't know?

Would it bother you and what, if anything should I say or do?

Scottishchick39 Wed 26-Apr-17 11:22:30

It would bother me if my 16 year old was seeing a 20 year old but not much I could do about it without alienating her. Just be there for her if it all goes tits up. It's really her mums place though, not yours. I wouldn't be impressed if my sister interfered.

Scottishchick39 Wed 26-Apr-17 11:23:47

Plus, do not ask her if they're having sex, she's 16 so it's not illegal and it's none of your business. I'd have been mortified if my aunt had asked me that when I was 16.

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:28:37

I'm not going to ask her. She probably is though with a guy in his twenties. I think my dsis wanted me to help as she knows I'm close with her and I'm the cautionary 'don't be like aunt Jesse' that's meant to make her behave grin

Batgirlspants Wed 26-Apr-17 11:29:18

It's really none of your business if your 16 year old neice is having sex though is it? It's legal. Also 20 isn't 40 and I would be ok with that 4 year gap as long as it was an equal healthy relationship.

Hasn't she got her own parents?

Batgirlspants Wed 26-Apr-17 11:31:12

Seen your update! How bloody rude snd lazy of your sister. She should parent her own child and has no need to slag you off. Your niece sounds more mature than you were anyway.

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:35:51

I'm a lot younger than my sister and I think she's just a bit uncomfortable talking to her daughter about stuff like that. She's quite uptight about sex!

She's not that rude honestly.

UpWithPup Wed 26-Apr-17 11:35:58

Try to ignore the 'number' - does he treat her well, is he kind, do they laugh together, is he respectful, does he distract from her study, does he support her plans.... he could be 18 or 80 and it not be a healthy relationship.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Apr-17 11:36:19

It's fine. I wouldn't say or do anything especially as an Aunt.

Huskylover1 Wed 26-Apr-17 11:39:33

I wouldn't be very happy with that. I know that my son (age 20) wouldn't consider dating a 16 year old! It's like an adult dating a child, imo. That said, my MIL was 15 when she started dating FIL who was 19, and they were together until she died in her 60's. It's a tough one!

Whosthemummynow Wed 26-Apr-17 11:40:08

I met my husband at 16, he was 24.....15 years later here we are!

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Wed 26-Apr-17 11:40:19

Bet he treats her better than a 16 yo lad would. .

PeaFaceMcgee Wed 26-Apr-17 11:42:32

Involve him in the family - meals together etc. Keep close to her and let her feel she can talk to you about anything. Ask no questions!

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:42:47

From what I can tell he adores her. They seem happy, lots of laughter. She mentioned that he thinks she should try to go to uni in the same county so they can be close but not trying to put her off. I know he takes her out on school nights and they drink but I've never seen her come in drunk with him.

I personally could imagine him being quite possessive but I really don't know him well enough to make that judgement. Just a vibe I've picked up on.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Apr-17 11:43:30

There seems to have been loads of threads about teenage age difference relationships lately. Perhaps it's very common. grin

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:45:12

Maybe it is. I'm just turning into a judgy old cow!

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:47:11

I know myself at that age could and was easily distracted by anything more fun than school and older blokes with cars and id were more interesting than a levels. 20 seems so old compared to my little 16 year old girl who was a child 2 seconds ago.

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Apr-17 11:49:59

I had a full time job at 16 and was very mature. I could quite easily have gone out with an older man.

You have a 16 year old girl yourself too OP?

Checklist Wed 26-Apr-17 11:50:43

I went out with a 21 year old when I was 16. He was my first love; and wild horses wouldn't have stopped me! We did split up during my 1st year at university, but the whole experience did me no harm at all and I found boys my own age at university immature in comparison. I only wish I had been at a later stage of my life when I went out with him; but that was my choice!

Frankly people have to make their own mistakes, and your niece won't thank you for interfering! You can't change anybody's behaviour except your own!

PeaFaceMcgee Wed 26-Apr-17 11:51:47

So 'party guy' takes her out underage drinking on school nights and is already imposing his preferences for her higher education choices...

I think on reflection you're right to be concerned. But keep them both close so the family can keep an eye.

It's her life but he could easily disrupt it negatively.

Batgirlspants Wed 26-Apr-17 11:52:06

I think you sound like a lovely aunty by the way. Just keep the communication lines open and let her know you are always there.

Her mum should be talking to her about contraception though! It's not good enough to start the crap that she's uptight about sex. She's clearly had sex herself so it's her job to ensure her dd is informed for her safety.

She can't absent herself from parenting about sex.

YoJesse Wed 26-Apr-17 11:54:35

No I have a 4 year old boy and have all this fun and games to come one day. This is my dry run grin.

judychicago Wed 26-Apr-17 11:55:54

Its so hard to say when I was that age I had older boyfriends as most girls seemed to and while it was fine there was a sense that it wasn't quite equal and I was probably quite badly treated by 2 boyfriends and I think the age gap had something to do with that. However that is not to say that all senarios like this would be the same. When I was 20 I met my now husband and he is only 18 months older than me and felt more equal in all ways right from the start.

However I would say my experiance of less good boyfriends made me realise a good man when I found one iyswim?

Sparklingbrook Wed 26-Apr-17 11:56:07

I was a bit confused because you said 20 seems so old compared to my little 16 year old girl who was a child 2 seconds ago.

Was that with reference to your niece?

VanessaBet Wed 26-Apr-17 11:56:31

I had a 20 year old boyfriend at 16, in fact I think I had two. (or one was 21 to my 17). Didn't sleep with either of them, they didn't pressure me to either. We did a bit of messing around. We went to the pub with friends at the weekend (this was v common where I grew up, they weren't too hot on underage drinking). They were both nice enough guys. I think it really depends on the people involved. My parents met them, I don't think they were overly concerned (they'd both been at my school previously, my dad would have known them - teacher). This gap may well have been the limit with what they were comfortable with though.

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