Bit of perspective needed please(37 Posts)
DD, almost 18 met a 27 (just) yr old at a friends NYE party. They talked afterwards and have been in regular contact . She has arranged to meet him tonight. I thought it would just fizzle out. I don't know why he would be interested in DD. He knows she is doing her A levels. He has a job, is renting a flat with someone and has a car. Should I be worried? Would you be worried? Her dad is not happy , I'm uneasy, but I trust DD. She is nervous but just 1st date stuff. When I was her age I was involved with a 31 yr old divorcee. My mum had recently passed away and I had no-one to look out for me. I can see now that that was a very unhealthy relationship.
We are very close and she does tell me things. I know I am lucky there. I don't want to come down hard, I can't come down hard as she would just start lying. I think her dad somehow blames me for not stopping her going but she is nearly 18.
I'm not sure if I have messed up and how I could be playing this. Thoughts?
I met a 28 (nearly 29) year old in my first year of Uni. I was 18.
We dated for nearly two years; no idea how my parents managed to keep schtum, but they did. If they hadn't, I was so head-over-heels for this boy, I'd have probably snuck away to marry him.
As it was, when we did drift apart (as most relationships that start when at least one party is still so young do) there were sighs of relief all round.
I'd just let her get on with it, especially if she's a sensible girl. If she's off to uni soon anyway, it will likely fizzle out as she makes other friends and goes out to pubs.
Thank you. I don't know why but the age difference just doesn't sit well with me. Perhaps if she were closer to 20, I don't know it just seems such a gap at this age. she isn't going to Uni yet.
she is 18. There are plenty of people around with a 9 year gap.
What does he see in her? well, and bright, pretty, full of life young woman I expect!
I am with you in that I would be uneasy, it does feel like a big gap, and she seems young, but I also think that you have to back off and let her find out for herself.
If you are close, I would ask her about him and let her tell you, without too much comment. That way you will hear what is going on. I might, if I could find the right words, gently warn her that not all men are as they seem and it is ok to back out at any point for any reason. But she probably knows that anyway.
Really tough as a parent but maybe you need to let it run its course. If my parents had laid down the law at that age it would of made the man in question all the more attractive. It's great that she talks and is open with you and it would be nice to keep the openess. My husband is 12 years older than me and I married him young. It can work really well. Age gaps are not always a bad thing. I found other men of my age like kids at 18 years old. Maybe it's that you have never met this man and his age is the main thing you know about him. It may just fizzle out or not even progress beyond a date. Try to keep a calm head. I'll be back when my daughter's the same age with my own worries I'm sure! Being a parent is tough.
Thank you. She has said quite a bit about him. She has looked him up on social media, he is well travelled (apparently). They have similar interests in music but I know from being on mumsnet for many years how 'grooming' can work (not saying this is what this is). DD is intelligent, very quick witted, polite, she has lovely manners. She is also prone to anxiety, is not feeling very good about herself at the moment (bad skin). I have said to her if she doesn't feel comfortable I will get her straight away. We are both very sensitive and my stomach is churning up.
Her friends often tell her she tells me too much! Her friends used to ask my advice.
He has proper facial hair not bum fluff!
Anxiety is well known in this house too. It's natural to be cautious when it comes to your child's relationships, especially when still a teen. I dread to think how I'll be in years to come as theres logical thoughts vs everything else my brain invents. She knows you are there for her if she needs you. She also sounds a sensible and intelligent young lady, which can only be a good thing.
Oh my goodness, teenagers never fail to surprise us do they? I'd be anxious about this too.
As you obviously have a very good relationship with your DD she will be much less likely to have a relationship with someone who isn't good for her.
I know on threads like this one MN-etters post about their long term relationships that started when they were teenagers, but it's unlikely that a relationship that starts when someone is still at school will be long-lasting, so try not to worry. But do encourage her not to neglect her friends and interests if this young man and her become 'an item'.
rogue that would be me that mentioned my long term relationship. I also said it may fizzle out and not even progress beyond a date. I was trying to give a balanced answer.
I dropped her off a while back. she told him she was getting an Uber, yeah , mum uber lol! Got a bit lost on the roundabouts coming back though. I'm hoping she texts so I can pick her up later, she has money, Uber on her phone, her phone is fully charged. She is worried she won't fancy him, I'm worried she will!!!!
I appreciate everyone's input, it is helping to calm me.
ifcats - my mention of posters who are in long term relationships that started when they were young was not aimed at anyone in particular. I think threads about relationships where there's an age gap or where the people are very young strike a chord with MN-etters who have experience of this themselves resulting in a disproportionately high number of posts reminding the poster that these relationships can work out well, or advising the poster that the relationship might be long-lasting so to be supportive. IYSWIM?
Statistically it's unlikely that a relationship starting when someone is still at school will be long-lasting. So if possible, it's probably best to try not to worry - easier said than done - or give it undue importance.
How did it go OP? It's so hard isn't it when you want to ask 50 questions but also recognise the need to give them some privacy. Probably the best thing you can do is to try to give the impression that you are happy for your DD as dating is fun, but not concerned about this young man as it's no big deal. So that your DD knows (thinks) you have confidence in her, will react calmly to anything she tells you and to model an attitude of
keeping dating in proportion.
I started seeing a 25 year old when I was 16. My parents were totally against it and battled constantly with me about it, which of course just made it more exciting.
It fizzled out when I went away to university but 10 years later we bumped into to each other and now we've been happily married for 9 years. As a parent myself I get why you are so anxious but I suppose my point is age gap relationships can be successful, we shouldn't assume the older man is predatory and as a parent staying out of it may be the best thing you can do. Have yet to follow my own advice on this though
It was awful, I've handled this/am handling this really badly. I didn't want to come home from school today(I'm a teacher)
She didn't come home last night so I had an awful night's sleep, so did her dad.I confided in a couple of friends at school and they were really concerned. This led to me getting the shakes and throwing up in the toilet. Extreme I know but I was thinking absolutely everything.I tried texting, nothing. I tried phoning, it rang out. A couple of times the call was cancelled. In my mind he was cutting up her body and putting her in a lime bath. He was torturing her, you get the gist.Then I got a really weird, almost robotic reply last night to say " I am safe". That made me feel really worried as it didn't feel like my DD and I thought he has control of her phone. Apparently it was her but she was drunk by then.
I finally spoke to her at lunchtime and have spoken to her tonight. It hasn't gone well. There is a 26 yr old guy in work and I hypothetically posed the question. He felt it was wrong, just wrong. I know she is a teen but she is still a child. She told him her real age, he was ok with it. Why is he ok with it? What are his motives? I can totally see what interests my daughter, but him?
I had the biggest row with my husband which made me cry. I know he blames me. I ended up crying in the school car park I got that upset. DH and I have been together 30 years. We never argue. I keep thinking , isn't he concerned about what we think? He now knows she is almost 17 and still living at home.
I have to say at 17 I was staying out all night regularly and my parents just let me get on with it.
I wasn't sleeping around but I was going to lots of gigs in London and basically having a brilliant time. I think you really need to take a step back and stop being so involved in her life. She is pretty much an adult now and if she moved out you wouldn't have a clue what she was doing and who she was doing it with.
I can definitely see why you're concerned but it does sound like you are still experiencing a very intense reaction. Is your daughter OK? How did the argument with your husband start?
I'm usually of the Spartan school of parenting but I'd be worried about unplanned sleepovers with blokes she's just met. Poor you OP, you must have been terrified, and for what it's worth I think you handled it well - you couldn't have predicted this! Is she home now? What's she saying?
She is ok. My husband just feels like she does what she wants, regardless , and is really inconsiderate. I know it was an intense reaction and I come across as a bit unhinged but I'm not (honest). I was just worried(naturally from not hearing from her) and my peers reaction made it worse.
Whatever age she is I think it's out of order to not let you know she's staying out and reply to texts etc.
That's awful, thoughtless behaviour from your dd. She's also put herself at risk by staying over with a virtual stranger.
No idea what you should do about it, though. FWIW I don't think your reaction is extreme. I'd be beside myself as well.
Sounds like a familiar recurring argument in our house about one of our DDs. DH says exactly the same about her.
Agreed, I do think it's courteous to let people know where you are, especially when you've gone to meet someone you don't know well.
I'm married to the then 26 year old I started dating when I was 18. We've been married for 6 years and together for ten.
Don't paint this chap as some kind of weirdo. Wait until you've met him to pass judgement. I'd have been so upset if my parents had been that way about my DH.
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