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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?

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AnotherEmma · 06/01/2024 18:50

BringMeTea · 06/01/2024 18:40

Please don't call 23 year old men boys.

This. He is a man!

You're in a slightly tricky position, OP. She's told you but not her parents and you don't want to betray her trust. However, you say that she is sensible. So if I were you I'd encourage her to tell her parents (or her mum at least) about him. If the relationship is genuine, healthy and respectful, with no pressure from him, and she's taking it at a pace she's comfortable with, feels able to say no etc, then (as a parent) I would be cautiously supportive about it. If her parents are reasonable and not overly protective or controlling, you could encourage her to tell them and reassure her that they would want to be aware so they can support and guide her if needed.

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JMSA · 06/01/2024 18:51

I wouldn't like it, that's for sure.

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 18:51

newnamethanks · 06/01/2024 18:45

I am absolutely shocked at how childhood is being extended year by year. How about leaving them alone to sort things out without involving anyone else? Not old enough to think for themselves yet? I expect you're well intentioned but you know far too much about them and the decision to have sex or not is none of your business.

I'm not sure why you think I'm trying to "think for them". I'm not trying to influence the relationship, or her life, in any way.

All I wanted some reassurance about was whether as a mother, you'd want me to tell you if your own daughter was seeing a 23 year old at 17. And whether you'd see it as okay, not ideal, or a full blown disaster.

I've had a range of responses here and the majority have been reassuring, I won't be "interfering" or breaking her trust, but I just wanted to be sure I did the right thing and didn't make a monumental fuck up as I don't have kids of my own and wanted to be sure I wasn't being too relaxed about it all.

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 18:53

BringMeTea · 06/01/2024 18:40

Please don't call 23 year old men boys.

You get the point though, I am not saying I think he's a boy/child, I just typed it out to explain the gender against each age. So because I'd typed girl I then just typed boy. No big deal.

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AnotherEmma · 06/01/2024 18:53

jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 18:53

You get the point though, I am not saying I think he's a boy/child, I just typed it out to explain the gender against each age. So because I'd typed girl I then just typed boy. No big deal.

Except that it's the whole point; she's a girl and he's a man.

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 18:56

Clutterbugsmum · 06/01/2024 18:45

Dear god the hypocrisy once again in full display, here on Mumsnet.

If it's okay for a 16 year male darts player to be in relationship with a 21 year old sure it okay for a 17 year old girl to be in relationship with a 23 year old.

As for OP it's none of your business whether or not you agree with this all can do is be supportive of your niece however long the relationship lasts.

Who is the 16 year old dart player?

Feel like I missed something big!

I really don’t think it’s ok for a 16 year old to date a 21 year old.

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JudgeJ · 06/01/2024 18:57

OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 17:51

I wasn't a child at 17.

But MN considers a 25 year old not to be an adult, according to many posts. It's odd how the age thing has changed, when I was in the 6th Form, eons ago, no girl would be seen with another 6th former most had at least a 4 year gap. Isn't this yet another example of the infantilisation that's taken place?

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Aliaolo · 06/01/2024 18:57

@Clutterbugsmum Agreed. On other threads where an older woman is dating a 23 year old, he is a boy with a not yet fully-developed brain. In this instance, calling him a boy is unacceptable as he is a man... 🥴

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JingleSnowmanTree · 06/01/2024 18:58

TomatoSandwiches · 06/01/2024 18:27

It's quite clear that everyone is posting their own opinions.
If all you can do is nit pick over terminology used then I would suggest you have a really weak point of argument if any at all.

@TomatoSandwiches

mo just a low tolerance for people who state their opinion as fact.

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maddiemookins16mum · 06/01/2024 18:58

At 17 I’d been out working for 18 months. There’s 5 years between them, if that, I wouldn’t have a problem. Girls often find 17 year old boys childish.

btw, I have an 18 year old dd (19 in April) who has a 22 year old bf (he was 22 in November).

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 18:58

Aliaolo · 06/01/2024 18:57

@Clutterbugsmum Agreed. On other threads where an older woman is dating a 23 year old, he is a boy with a not yet fully-developed brain. In this instance, calling him a boy is unacceptable as he is a man... 🥴

Yeah I don't think people can win sometimes! Also it's narrowing in on an issue that isn't even a point of the thread.. the ages are the same irrelevant of whether I'd said man/boy girl/woman.

I'd probably hate to have been called a girl at seventeen too!

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 18:59

Fact is op you can’t really do anything to stop it.

I do think it’s wrong. I would want to know if I was her mother or even his.

However, again there wouldn’t be much I could do. Because you try and force them apart they will hold on harder.

However I would point out to her that if she really thinks there’s no issue. She should tell her parents and if he really cared about her and he really thought it was ok, he would support in that. He wouldn’t be trying to hide it.

If she wants to be in a relationship with an adult and thinks she is grown up enough, she need to act like an adult and tell her parents herself.

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HamBone · 06/01/2024 19:00

@jazzy580371 Well, my final opinion as Mum of DD (18) is that no, I wouldn’t be thrilled about the relationship.

Not because I’m babying DD (she’s sexually active) but because I want her to go out and grab every opportunity she can at this age-and he might tie her down.

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 19:01

Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 18:59

Fact is op you can’t really do anything to stop it.

I do think it’s wrong. I would want to know if I was her mother or even his.

However, again there wouldn’t be much I could do. Because you try and force them apart they will hold on harder.

However I would point out to her that if she really thinks there’s no issue. She should tell her parents and if he really cared about her and he really thought it was ok, he would support in that. He wouldn’t be trying to hide it.

If she wants to be in a relationship with an adult and thinks she is grown up enough, she need to act like an adult and tell her parents herself.

That's fair. I definitely don't plan to do anything about it or to try and influence anything.

I guess I'm just wondering if her mum needs to know, but I totally agree that it would make sense for her to do it than me to be meddling.

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dapsnotplimsolls · 06/01/2024 19:05

Tricky one but better not to tell her Mum. As others have said, I'd be very concerned if she changes future plans because of the relationship eg no longer want to go to university.

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Megifer · 06/01/2024 19:06

No, mum doesn't need to know about this, particularly as mum can't do a single thing about it and all you'll do is ensure she never confides in you in future.

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Clutterbugsmum · 06/01/2024 19:06

Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 18:56

Who is the 16 year old dart player?

Feel like I missed something big!

I really don’t think it’s ok for a 16 year old to date a 21 year old.

The darts player whose been all over the news this week Luke Littler.

He is 16 and his girlfriend is 21 there was a thread on here the other day about it and most people were saying it was okay because he looks older then he is.

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Longma · 06/01/2024 19:06

I'd be concerned if it were my daughter (or son if roles were reversed.)

I'd also be concerned, possibly more so, if my 23y wanted to date a 17y. At that age the gap is large - different life stages. In a few years it won't matter, but right now it's a concern.

Dd is 21y and wouldn't dream of dating a 17y, let alone in a couple more years time.

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JingleSnowmanTree · 06/01/2024 19:07

@jazzy580371

No, your gid daughter need to have your confidence more than her mum needs to know about a friendship that may become a relationship. She's 17, not 13. Continue to be someone she can talk to. That's FAR more important than her mum knowing this.

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 19:07

jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 19:01

That's fair. I definitely don't plan to do anything about it or to try and influence anything.

I guess I'm just wondering if her mum needs to know, but I totally agree that it would make sense for her to do it than me to be meddling.

I have 2 teenage nieces. And a teen son and an adult daughter.

With my nieces I would help them tell their parents. Have a good chat about it and why their parents need to know. Like I said above, saying that if they are so sure it’s right then there’s no problem telling them.

I have a good relationship with them all and all confide in me. Because I don’t hugely over react or make them feel ashamed. But i do make sure i guide them to do the right thing.

My dd was 17/18 dating someone her own age but i had serious concerns about. I didn’t like what was happening but kept my opinion to myself but was honest in my advice. I would tell her their behaviour wasn’t ok and give her advice. She ended it after 18 months after discussing with me, their latest behaviour. I suspect if I had just said ‘no dump them they are a complete twat’ she wouldn’t have got there as fast.

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JudgeJ · 06/01/2024 19:08

TomatoSandwiches · 06/01/2024 18:17

@JingleSnowmanTree you seem to have misinterpreted my post, I disagree with people using similar past relationships as an excuse to accept the one being discussed.
It was never ok to not then and not now, hope that cleared things up.

What rubbish, just because past relationships don't fit your prejudiced views doesn't mean we can ignore them, there are many examples of relationships with a significant age difference which are successful, your rubbish claims it's wrong to have had a successful relationship!

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 19:08

Clutterbugsmum · 06/01/2024 19:06

The darts player whose been all over the news this week Luke Littler.

He is 16 and his girlfriend is 21 there was a thread on here the other day about it and most people were saying it was okay because he looks older then he is.

Genuinely don’t know about this darts player, but it’s been a busy week.

Thats appalling. People think it’s ok because he looks older. He is still 16!

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Clutterbugsmum · 06/01/2024 19:08

I guess I'm just wondering if her mum needs to know, but I totally agree that it would make sense for her to do it than me to be meddling

I wouldn't break her trust she needs an adult to talk to if she doesn't want to speak to her mum. It's better she has someone to trust.

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wateringcanface · 06/01/2024 19:10

I'm not comfortable with it personally. There's a reason its illegal in certain countries and states.

At 23, I would have seen 17 as still child like. I don't know why it's different when it's reversed.

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Onabench · 06/01/2024 19:11

Weird from the 23 year olds perspective. There is a MASSIVE pool of peers, why date a teenager? 6 years younger? Do they have no awareness or social maturity? They are in a position of power over a teenager

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