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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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Longma · 06/01/2024 19:11

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.

I saw two threads and both were giving a mixed response, as on here. The majority of comments did appear to think the age gap at those ages were inappropriate,

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Onabench · 06/01/2024 19:12

Also at 23 I’d have been EMBARRASSED to be seen with a 17 year old. They are so child like. I’d judge a man attracted to that.

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trippily · 06/01/2024 19:15

I think it's creepy. I was in a 5year age gap relationship from 16 and I really regret it. He coerced me into changing my body hair, doing things in bed I regret doing etc etc. He always used the age gap as a trump card and I thought the sun shone out of his arse. It robbed me of my confidence and I went really off the rails when we broke up.

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LolaSmiles · 06/01/2024 19:18

Clutterbugsmum
I haven't seen that thread but FWIW I also would say an adult in their 20s dating a 16 year old boy is problematic.

Plenty of people in their 20s will date older teens. For some it works out long term, for some it's harmless but fizzles out because really they're at different life stages, for others it is what it is, and others it's harmful.

One thing I've noticed on here is that for every poster who says "I met my DP when I was 16 and he was 25" there's many more who say "I was 16/17/18 and dated a man in his 20s. I thought I was grown up but when I hit my mid 20s I couldn't have imagined dating a teenager / when I look at my teenagers I realise that it wasn't an unproblematic relationship / it was consensual and no harm done but now I'm older I find myself questioning why they wanted to date a teenager"

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:18

CharmedCult · 06/01/2024 17:39

I'd be having words with my 20 year old DS if he started dating a 17 y/o girl, never mind if he was 23.

A 17 and a 20 year old ? What's the problem? That's only 3 year's age gap

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:21

At 17 I was working full time , learnt to drive and was out clubbing and pubbing. So was everyone else at 17 . 17 is not a child .

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Klcak · 06/01/2024 19:21

If he’s a friend of her brother and is being respectful, that sounds alright. It is a little bit unusual, but if you think it all sounds ok, then it probably is.

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RTHJ14 · 06/01/2024 19:22

At that age I’d been going out with my boyfriend a year - we had a 7 year age gap. My Mum initially was horrified… but got to know him and realised he was a lovely person (probably fairly emotionally immature himself to be honest which is why it didn’t ever feel wrong..)

Instinctively people look at the ages and are appalled which is understandable but sometimes there is more to it than that. I came from an environment where it was totally normal to go out with someone older, all my friends did too.

There was never any pressure to do anything I wasn’t ready for. We were together for years, I went off to uni and he encouraged me every step of the way in my early career. We eventually broke up post uni but I still think of him fondly and we catch up from time to time.

I can absolutely understand many of the responses but I do think the individuals/personalities/circumstances should also be considered. You say she’s a sensible girl, and before long she’ll probably be off at Uni where no-one will have a clue what she’s up to.. I’d not worry too much - just keep communication channels open with her.

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OpalOrchid · 06/01/2024 19:23

Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:21

At 17 I was working full time , learnt to drive and was out clubbing and pubbing. So was everyone else at 17 . 17 is not a child .

Same. MN seems to be under the illusion that everyone goes to university. Or is still in school at 17.

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CharmedCult · 06/01/2024 19:26

Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:18

A 17 and a 20 year old ? What's the problem? That's only 3 year's age gap

He’s a man, she’s a child. That’s what the problem would be.

She’s a child who is living at home, can’t legally drink and probably doesn’t even drive yet.

I can’t even begin to tell you the many ways my DS changed and matured between the ages of 17 and 20, and I’m sure in another 3 years he’ll have massively changed again in many other ways.

And the fact that he’s a friend of her brother is even more ick. I wonder how old they were when he first knew her… 12 and 18?

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GingerSquid · 06/01/2024 19:27

I dated a 23/24 year old guy at 18/19 … power dynamic felt off and slightly exploitative. It was fun, and didn’t do me any long term harm, but in hindsight I was incredibly young and naive (and I’m from inner city London!). For my daughter, I would much prefer own peer group at that age .. give or take a year.

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:30

@CharmedCult
A 17 year old is not a child . A 20 year old boy is not a man . So a 16 year old dates in a 19 year old and a few weeks later she is 17 and he is 20. So they have to end the relationship? .

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Maray1967 · 06/01/2024 19:31

CharmedCult · 06/01/2024 17:39

I'd be having words with my 20 year old DS if he started dating a 17 y/o girl, never mind if he was 23.

I’d certainly having words with my DS 23 if his girlfriend was 17.

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CharmedCult · 06/01/2024 19:32

Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:30

@CharmedCult
A 17 year old is not a child . A 20 year old boy is not a man . So a 16 year old dates in a 19 year old and a few weeks later she is 17 and he is 20. So they have to end the relationship? .

If you would encourage your adult male son to have a relationship with a female child that’s up to you.

I wouldn’t.

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Winnipeggy · 06/01/2024 19:32

I mean.... there's nothing you can do about it is there? You can tell her mum and break her trust, but then what would happen? It's not going to stop them from seeing each other. I dated someone my own age at 17 and it was a horrible relationship that scarred me for a long time, I don't think age is the most important factor but how he treats her.

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LakeTiticaca · 06/01/2024 19:32

Each generation seems to get ever more infantilised than the last. Never has the word " kidults" rang so true!!

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sunglassesonthetable · 06/01/2024 19:33

Personally I think approach with caution but really 🤷‍♀️

She's confided in you. Does she feel threatened, unhappy, pressured ? She's sensible and mature , he's a nice guy. These things happen.

Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with family friends . I think a brother's friend is a great way to meet someone. And frankly it has been forever.

I think it's creepy to suggest he's been sizing. her up since she was little.

There's not much you can do ( or mum can do. ) Apart from wait and see and give all the relevant advice and keep communications open.

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sunglassesonthetable · 06/01/2024 19:35

We can't control everything. Just be there.

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Workingtomorrow · 06/01/2024 19:36

Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:30

@CharmedCult
A 17 year old is not a child . A 20 year old boy is not a man . So a 16 year old dates in a 19 year old and a few weeks later she is 17 and he is 20. So they have to end the relationship? .

So at 17 your aren’t a child but at 20 you aren’t an adult?

What?

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:37

In my youth most teens at 16/17 were out pubbing and clubbing until the early hours . Most teens were working full time or were apprentices . Not as many went to Uni only the brightest went . Many had learned to drive before they left their teens . By the time they hit their mid twenties most were married / living together with a kid . I think people need to cut the apron strings and let their kids grow up . No wonder they are gagging to go to uni to have some independence and fun and to grow up .

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:41

sunglassesonthetable · 06/01/2024 19:35

We can't control everything. Just be there.

This . The more you put them on a tight lead the more they will rebel . Slacken the rope and let them grow up. It's the finger pointing blame culture of today that's the problem . Plus everything ending up on the interest.

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:41

Sorry meant internet

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Tartantatooes · 06/01/2024 19:44

@Workingtomorrow
Legally they are but emotionally they are not . I don't believe you become a true adult mentally until your mid twenties. Around 25 is the age you truly become an adult in my opinion.

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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 19:47

sunglassesonthetable · 06/01/2024 19:33

Personally I think approach with caution but really 🤷‍♀️

She's confided in you. Does she feel threatened, unhappy, pressured ? She's sensible and mature , he's a nice guy. These things happen.

Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with family friends . I think a brother's friend is a great way to meet someone. And frankly it has been forever.

I think it's creepy to suggest he's been sizing. her up since she was little.

There's not much you can do ( or mum can do. ) Apart from wait and see and give all the relevant advice and keep communications open.

Thank you for this. I thought the fact he's her brothers friend actually made him a much better choice than some random she met in a bar/online. Confused why so many have said it was creepy.. there was no closeness when they were younger. From what she has said they spent more time together after her brothers gatherings/parties/meals etc at the house, and some of her friends came too. I can't imagine that would've been the case when she was smaller as she wouldn't have gone to them.

OP posts:
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jazzy580371 · 06/01/2024 19:47

sunglassesonthetable · 06/01/2024 19:33

Personally I think approach with caution but really 🤷‍♀️

She's confided in you. Does she feel threatened, unhappy, pressured ? She's sensible and mature , he's a nice guy. These things happen.

Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with family friends . I think a brother's friend is a great way to meet someone. And frankly it has been forever.

I think it's creepy to suggest he's been sizing. her up since she was little.

There's not much you can do ( or mum can do. ) Apart from wait and see and give all the relevant advice and keep communications open.

Oh and by every account she is on cloud 9 and thinks he's the best thing since sliced bread, so I don't think there is anything to worry about re. Him being a not very nice person or trying to manipulate her, from what I know at least

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