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AIBU?

to think my 16 year old shouldn't date a 21 year old?

140 replies

pollywolfff · 21/12/2019 22:50

Not much more than that really. My 16 year old has been 'dating' this 21 year old since February and I have finally been told. I am unsure how to feel. I have never met this guy. I know in the future it's a normal age gap but for now it feels odd to me. I am uncomfortable but I don't know if there is anything I can really do.

OP posts:
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Ridiculousanx · 22/12/2019 05:23

People talk as if staying together forever somehow justifies the age gap. But if my daughter meets her future husband when still a child, never experiences adulthood as an independent woman, never dates other men, I don't think I would see that as a good thing, personally.

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Buyitinbamboo · 22/12/2019 05:44

I agree with Rachelfromfriends. I say this as someone who dated a 23 year old when I was 16, and my now DP is 10 years older. I thought it was cool when I was 16 but when I was 21 I realised how weird it was for a 23 year old man to want to hang out with loads of 16 year olds, looking back he was a weirdo who wouldn't have attracted women his own age. I wouldn't ban her from seeing him though, just gently discourage the relationship whilst being there for her

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ukgift2016 · 22/12/2019 05:46

I would not be happy about it. The man is either very immature OR is seeking a young girl to control and mould.

My 27 year old brother dates younger women. He is immature and a woman his own age would eat him alive. He has never dated a girl younger than 18 though.

Those two years between 16 and 18 are huge. I think people forget how much people can grow in a year as teens. Big age gaps for teenagers are huge and you shouldn't be comparing it to adults.

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Iamclearlyamug · 22/12/2019 05:52

When I was 17 my boyfriend was 26, we were together 10 years, got married and had a child together before we split (acrimoniously but now very good friends).

I'm now with someone 11 years older and we'll get married next year. I've never been with someone my own age, I've only ever been interested in older men

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Waxonwaxoff0 · 22/12/2019 06:56

I think it's odd. I always assume that men over 20 years old who are interested in 16 and 17 year olds want someone young and naive that they can manipulate. It's not illegal, but I would judge the older party.

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Bluerussian · 22/12/2019 07:02

I agree with those who say it will probably fizzle out. I do wish op would come back though and tell us why daughter hasn't brought her boyfriend to meet her. There must be a reason, it's not like they've only been dating four weeks, it will soon be a year.

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NearlyGranny · 22/12/2019 07:04

My first thought, like two PP, was to wonder how old DD was back in February...

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Newbie1999 · 22/12/2019 07:04

Met my husband at 18, he was 29. I’m now 30 and we’re happily married (mostly Grin) with 2 kids.

I’d just see how it goes and make sure she’s open with you about it.

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Newbie1999 · 22/12/2019 07:05

I should add that I was an ‘old’ 18.

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Mummyoflittledragon · 22/12/2019 07:30

I would not be ok with this. My dd is only 11 so this is all to come. I agree with ukgift. We do change so much between 16 and 18. I think there is a big difference between a 16 yo and 18 yo dating someone in their early 20’s Even a 17 yo is far more mature than a 16 yo. I casually “dated” a man 10 years older than me at 16. I discovered he was living with a pregnant gf and was interested in not just me but another girl the same age. We were in our O level year.

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lowlandLucky · 22/12/2019 07:33

Adult with a school girl ? How has your Daughter managed to date an adult for the last 10 months without you knowing about it ?

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moofolk · 22/12/2019 07:40

Not cool.

I'm sure you mr daughter is great, but I work with teenagers and are well aware that they are children.

Not adult.

Not sexy.

Her boyfriend is a loser.

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AgeShallNotWitherHer · 22/12/2019 07:51

I was the same at 16 - BF was 21. (It didn't last but we got back together again 10 years later. Still didn't last but we have been good friends since and we are now in our 60s.
My next serious BF was 14 years older and we married and had kids. Separated recently but still good friends - happy for 30 years.
Age gaps are normal, (as in usual, common, fairly standard). People want to make it into something creepy when it usually isn't

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puds11 · 22/12/2019 07:54

At 17 I dated a 31 year old. Looking back it was weird but at the time I thought it was fine. Being a mother of daughters I think this would bother me.

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puds11 · 22/12/2019 07:58

What @ukgift2016 said makes a lot of sense. I met my ex when I was 19 and he was 28. When we spilt he tried dating women his own age (mid 30’s) but it never worked and his current wife was 25 to his 37 when they met. He is an immature man child.

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JoanieCash · 22/12/2019 08:08

Thinking back the three teenage friends of mine who dated older men whilst at school, had all lost there dads as young teenagers. It’s a bit text-book what they were after or liked, but we’ve discussed since just how screwed up all of them were, sexual pressures in them whilst those men were unappealing to women of own age etc. All friends came out relatively unscathed though as were wise and moved on fairly quickly.

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TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 · 22/12/2019 08:09

I was 16 when I met my DH who was 23. Been together 19 years, married 13 years.

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CherryPavlova · 22/12/2019 08:14

Whilst accepting some 21 year olds are still immature and more akin to children than adults, I’d not be happy as a sixteen year old needs to be focussed on school work and exams. A 21 year old boyfriend lives in a different world ( hopefully) and will be unlikely to be understanding of the limitations.
Where are they ‘going out’ to? Getting a 16 year old into pubs and clubs is harder these days and most 21 year olds I know don’t want their entire social life to be the library or Costa. Does he have friends his own age?

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EnthusiasmIsDisturbed · 22/12/2019 08:15

It’s progressive that we question this not the other way round. So what we all did it (I was 16/17 and had a few boyfriends in their late 20’s I was a child they were adults I felt they saw me as an equal what utter rubbish did they they saw me as easy to manipulate)

What does a 21 (adult possibly been working for a few years or been to university - lived life as an adult) see in a school child

No I would not be happy.

I think it’s a fair question to ask him why he is interested in a girl who is not yet an adult

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malificent7 · 22/12/2019 08:16

What can you do about it though...you can hardly forbid it...she'd just go behind your back.
Perhaps voice your concerns but say you will always be there for her and ask him roundcfor tea. She's old enough to get married (weird law) so.....

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AugustFalls · 22/12/2019 08:17

To be posters saying they were 16 when they met their DP in their 20s, here’s a different question for you: Would you have dated a 16 year old when you hit 21? And why do you answer as you do?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with age gaps at all and that’s not the problem. But 16 is very young and still a child - 21 an adult with an entirely different set of life experiences.

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AgeShallNotWitherHer · 22/12/2019 08:20

Whilst there are those who are treating a 16 year old as a child in this scenario there are people suggesting Greta Th. gets a nobel prize; insisting 16 year olds were right about Brexit and should have / should be allowed to vote or thinking that a 16 year old is plenty old enough to permanently damage his/her health by taking puberty-blocking drugs in order to "reassign".

Wayne Rooney was 16 when he played for Everton and 17 for England, (other notable capped teens Michael Owen, Theo Walcott, Raheem Sterling, (huge dedication, responsibility and pressure).

You can drive at 17 and many parents will be actively encouraging kids to do so. Parents also quite happy for kids to permantly mark their bodies with tatoos and to have piercings and many people quite happy to see the sexualization of their kids in clothes that mimic adult dress. Society idolises young models, film stars and pop artists, (1D were all teens - most just 16 when they shot to fame again with all the pressure that brings).

Many, but not all, 16 year olds are really quite grown up.

I don't get this inconsistency of approach or this obsession with sex - I really don't. (OP is talking about her own daughter though - and she knows her best. I am talking about the general view)

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Designerenvy · 22/12/2019 08:29

I wouldn't be happy with this ! She is still a school girl and he's a man . Can't help but think it's seedy of him and wrong .
How old was she in Feb? 15?
Sorry, I'd be very disapproving but not sure how I'd handle it.
You don't want to drive her away, yet you want her safe .
Best of luck , no advice sorry , but I know I would be very unsettled by this if it was my dd.

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mclover · 22/12/2019 08:37

When I was in 13, a 16 year old wanted to go out with me. I was quite flattered until my mum pointed out that he must be a bit of a loser if no one his own age wanted to go out with him and he had to go two years below at school to find a girl friend - put me right off!

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Talktome101 · 22/12/2019 08:51

I had a 21 year old boyfriend at 16. My parents weren’t happy, particularly as he looked nearer 10 years older but they did what they could to ensure I felt I didn’t have to hide or lie about it. They always knew where I was. It ran its course - he wanted something more serious than I was ready for and I knew I could go to my parents for support when I wanted to end it. Just be there and make sure she knows she can always come to you if she needs to and doesn’t end up moving in with him just to be able to be with him.

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