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AIBU?

17 year old girl and 23 year old boy. In your opinion is it ok?

171 replies

jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 17:33

Very close friendship.. likely heading towards a relationship.

17yo isn't extremely immature and age gap won't be big when they're older but currently it's a little bit of a gap IMO..

Am I being overprotective?

OP posts:
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BestZebbie · 06/01/2024 17:54

I went to uni at 17 and would have felt a bit strange about dating a third or fourth year (age ~20/21) then, so 23 does seem quite a stretch for having things in common/longevity of relationship if they are both likely to be moving around a lot over the next five years.
For me it doesn't ring the same types of alarm bells about the older ones' motives as e.g.: age 33 might, though!

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HamBone · 06/01/2024 17:55

OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 17:51

I wasn't a child at 17.

@OpalOrchid Even if you felt mature, you were legally a child and you would’ve matured a lot between 17 and 23. My DD has matured in the last few months after starting uni-it’s a time of great change!

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BeaRF75 · 06/01/2024 17:55

I don't think you can (or should) betray your goddaughter's trust. She is nearly adult, and sensible, so she has to work this out for herself. Maybe you can have a gentle chat about sexual and emotional health, protection etc.

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mn29 · 06/01/2024 17:56

OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 17:51

I wasn't a child at 17.

Yes you were. Everyone is a child at 17, no matter how mature they may feel.

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Goodbye2023 · 06/01/2024 17:56

Another no from me. Age gap too big for her current life stage

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Megifer · 06/01/2024 17:56

She's confided in you because she trusts you. This means she's likely to confide in you in the future and next time it might actually be over something she needs serious support with. If you break that trust, over what sounds like something of no concern in the slightest, then she will absolutely not trust you again which might leave her with not many people she can turn to when she actually needs someone.

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HamBone · 06/01/2024 17:57

jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 17:50

She told me they haven't slept together and he's not trying to get her to.

But they text a lot and are very emotionally close and have kissed. I do agree maybe they should keep it friends until she turns 18. But like people have said.. doesn't mean they will; even if they say that's what they're doing!

The main concern is that he doesn’t influence her upcoming choices- leaving to go to uni, for example. It’s a time of great change for her and it would be awful if a relationship held her back.

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 17:57

No, it’s not ok.

Not even fussed about how many people end up in long relationships from similar or bigger age gaps.

It’s really not ok. A ‘not immature 17 year old’ is still a 17 year old.

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Namerequired · 06/01/2024 17:58

I had a boyfriend at 22 when I was 17. I was a mature 17yr old who lived alone though and he was a youngest child and there really wasn’t a gap maturity wise. He was also a really good guy. We went out for 3 years and tbh I felt the gap more by the end as he was more ‘settled’. I don’t have any bad feelings on the relationship though even many years on. I do remember much older guys coming on to me and what flattered me then makes me ick now, but I don’t think of him like that.
That said I wouldn’t be happy with those age gaps with my kids. I suppose it depends on the people. I was way beyond my years (no choice).

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OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 17:58

HamBone · 06/01/2024 17:55

@OpalOrchid Even if you felt mature, you were legally a child and you would’ve matured a lot between 17 and 23. My DD has matured in the last few months after starting uni-it’s a time of great change!

I've been with my DH for over 30 years. I didn't go to university though. The age gap worked for us.

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Henryhover · 06/01/2024 17:58

9 years between me and my partner but we been together 2 years but I don't see a issue with it their ages OP

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 17:58

BeaRF75 · 06/01/2024 17:55

I don't think you can (or should) betray your goddaughter's trust. She is nearly adult, and sensible, so she has to work this out for herself. Maybe you can have a gentle chat about sexual and emotional health, protection etc.

Thank you for this. As I'm not a mum myself I guess I wanted to hear what a mum would advise to do.

I think it makes sense because otherwise she won't come to me again should there be other things or potentially worse things.. I'm glad she feels comfortable being open with me.

I understand it too as I'd never have shared certain things with my own mum when I was younger.

OP posts:
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Therollinghills · 06/01/2024 17:59

I was 17 when I met my ex who was 23, I think it depends on the man and how potentially vulnerable the girl is. In my case my ex coerced me into doing a lot of things I didn't really want to do because he would imply older women would do them and that made him happy so, being insecure and looking up to him as a 'proper adult' , I went along with it. There is a power imbalance with that age gap where the man may have a lot more life and sexual experience.

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JingleSnowmanTree · 06/01/2024 18:00

TomatoSandwiches · 06/01/2024 17:47

There is a huge difference even within yourself between the ages of 17 and 23.
It's absolutely irrelevant that people here were in similar age gap relationships 20, 30 or more years ago. If you go back far enough you can find people with bigger gaps or getting married even younger.
It doesn't make it ok.

@TomatoSandwiches

& what exactly about now makes it any less ok than 20/30/40 years ago??

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happinessischocolate · 06/01/2024 18:00

If it's a friend of her brothers, how will the brother react?

Is he likely to be angry and tell him to stay away or is he likely to be okay with it because the bloke is a nice guy?

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 18:01

happinessischocolate · 06/01/2024 18:00

If it's a friend of her brothers, how will the brother react?

Is he likely to be angry and tell him to stay away or is he likely to be okay with it because the bloke is a nice guy?

Haven't a clue in the slightest! Could go either way I assume?

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CruCru · 06/01/2024 18:01

I was in a relationship with this sort of gap. At first it was a lot of fun - easy to get into clubs with a load of older guys etc.

However it ended up being weird - I was a schoolgirl who had homework and he was at university. He always said how mature I was - not actually a good thing as no one says that their social / age equal is “very mature”. I never wanted to act my age.

I now wonder if he was actually quite frightened of girls his own age when he was younger.

He broke up with me when I was 21. I suspect that when I was 17 I was “nice” and as I grew up he didn’t like it. He’d followed me to university (worked for my second year and then did a masters for my third). I then got a graduate job which involved some fairly hard exams and he was … unsupportive. He’d also borrowed a lot of money from me to do the masters and was sluggish about paying me back.

Honestly? Going out with that guy meant I didn’t make the most of my university years and I regret it.

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HamBone · 06/01/2024 18:02

OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 17:58

I've been with my DH for over 30 years. I didn't go to university though. The age gap worked for us.

@OpalOrchid I think the main concern for parents is that the older partner doesn’t mold or influence their child’s life choices too much, iyswim. For example, if the goddaughter wanted to travel with friends, move out of the area for a job, etc.

Older adults in LTR relationships make these decisions all the time-but I’d hate for my DD to forego opportunities so young.

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JingleSnowmanTree · 06/01/2024 18:02

HamBone · 06/01/2024 17:49

My DD (18) would be creeped out by this age gap, tbh. She and her friends tolerate a max. of three years at the moment.

I know that will change as they mature, but perhaps it would best for your goddaughter and this man to stay friends for now and if it’s meant to be when she’s older, fine.
At least wait until she’s legally an adult.

@HamBone

why?

what's going to be different in a few months because she's legally an adult??

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Thefrogwife · 06/01/2024 18:02

I met my husband when I was 18 and he was 21, and I never felt there was anything wrong there.
However, I was also teaching 17 year old Sixth Formers as a 23 year old Newly Qualified teacher, and that definitely felt like a gap!!

A year or so makes a big difference at that age. My main concern would be making sure she didn't let the relationship have any role in her decision making about going to uni etc. He will automatically have a bit more power in the relationship (more money, experience, opportunities) so I'd be concerned he would unduly influence her even if he was a totally nice guy.

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Singleandproud · 06/01/2024 18:03

I went out with a 24 year old when I was 19, when I look back I wonder why on earth he did that. I was still at college, living at home with my parents with a weekend job.
He was full-time, owned his own house (inheritance) etc.

There was nothing wrong with the relationship, he was perfectly nice and respectful but when I was 24 and saw 19 year olds the life experience even between those two ages are vastly different. He had his head screwed on and I could have had a very nice life with him but I wanted to go on a gap year and to uni so it didn't work out.

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Iwant2beJessicaFletcher · 06/01/2024 18:03

My 1st boyfriend was 22 when I was 17 (but nearly 18). I was definitely the most mature one!! We were together til I was 21 and I dont regret it at all.

My DC when they found out did say they thought I was groomed! Hilarious.

But no, it wouldnt concern me if it was my daughter.

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CruCru · 06/01/2024 18:03

The rule of thumb is the younger partner should be no younger than half your age plus 7 years. It’s not a perfect rule but it does allow for bigger age gaps for older people.

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lljkk · 06/01/2024 18:04

I only read OP's msgs. I would be ok about this.

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Stompythedinosaur · 06/01/2024 18:04

Not ok.

What sort of a 23 year old is sexually interested in a 17yo? Creepy behaviour.

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