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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:
IpsyUpsyDaisyDoos · 06/01/2024 19:50

I went out with a 21 year old when I was 17. I was miles more mature than him but with less life experience. He turned out to be a nutter. After him I dated a very nice, but very boring 25 year old (I was 18/19). And at 21 met my now DH who was 30.

I think as long as she's careful and he's nice, it's ok, but looking back at my own experience, the life experience can make a big difference in it. At 17 I was flattered a 21 year old would look at mw and then struggled to get out of an emotionally abusive situation (ended up running to my mum when it finally did turn physical). But at 21 I had a couple of "real" relationships behind me and knew how to handle myself in one better.

If she trusts you, encourage her to be open with her mum. If she is hiding it only because of the age difference, she won't need to. If she thinks it's dodgy for any other reason and that's why she won't tell her mum, then there's more to worry about.

Katemax82 · 06/01/2024 21:13

I was 17, my DH 27 when we first got together. Seems very inappropriate looking back but I had had relationships with older than him previously

shmookymoo · 08/01/2024 04:17

My daughter met her first serious boyfriend when she was 17 and him 23.
I was initially anxious, but they have been together for 13 years now, happily married for 7 years with 2 beautiful children.
I think, it was apparent from a couple of months in, that they were on the same path, had a lot in common,were very good friends and respected one another.
It certainly rubbed mud in the faces of family members who made me feel wrong, for giving them both my full support.

DipsAndSplits · 08/01/2024 04:28

It wouldn't bother me, no.

juicyfruitmtume · 08/01/2024 04:56

I don't think it's a problem!

autienotnaughty · 08/01/2024 05:16

I'd be concerned why an adult man would be interested in a teenager. At 17 I'd say anything between 16-19 is appropriate after that they are in a different life stage.

I'd say to her you are concerned and I would mention it to her mum.

Strawberrycheesecake7 · 08/01/2024 05:29

I was 18 when I met my husband who was 23 so a very similar age gap. However he wouldn’t have gone near me if I wasn’t legally an adult. There may not seem like much difference between a 17 and an 18 year old but legally there is. I would find it odd that a 23 year old is interested in someone who is technically still a child. If they waited until she was 18 to start anything it would be better.

PixiePirate · 08/01/2024 05:54

Back in the 90’s my first proper boyfriend was 24 and I was 17. I was considered very mature and sensible for my age, but with hindsight (and safeguarding training!) I can see that I was still far too young for him. He was much more experienced than me and hung around with an older crowd. There was a clear power imbalance. He turned out to be quite jealous and I didn’t have the life experience to navigate that alone.

In your shoes I’d urge the 17 year old to tell her mum. If necessary I would frame it that the mum would be really hurt to find out I knew and had kept it a secret from her, and that mentioning it to her is the courteous thing to do now.

i wouldn’t say much at all to the 17 year old about the potential relationship or age gap myself. I wouldn’t want to encourage or validate it, and unless there are significant issues at home, I think her parents should get first crack at broaching any concerns.

StarlightLady · 08/01/2024 06:19

Probably not an ideal set up, but l think anything that is seen as outside interference will only complicate matters. Probably the personality of the man is a bigger issue.

lt’s more important to (gently) remind her the importance of safe sex. And don’t expect them to announce to you or her parents they have crossed that threshold. At that age my hormones were bubbling.

Babyblackbear78 · 08/01/2024 06:25
Lily Gladstone GIF by Golden Globes

She’s almost 18. It’s not like she is going to turn 18 at midnight and it’s going to make any difference. I say just be there for her, answer any questions she has etc. it’s not a big age gap. I was 19 when I got with my ex and he was 29 so a way bigger age. We split after 14 years and one child. He’s still my best friend. (Although I used to say chronologically he was older, mentally I was lol). It’s nice that she trusts you to conoce in you, don’t break that trust, because once it’s gone it will be hard to get back!

My 23 year old son has just ended a relationship with a 34 year old who had 3 children. I wasn’t overly keen on the age gap, but she was a lovely lady, they just realised how far apart in life they were.

MissTrip82 · 08/01/2024 06:26

There’s not much anyone can do.

It’s a bit odd when he’s presumably out the other side of formal education (unless he’s doing a long degree) and establishing his career and she’s presumably still at school? Those actually are very very different life stages. So no, I don’t find it ok but there’s little to be achieved by objecting.

quisensoucie · 08/01/2024 06:39

Good grief, given the level of hysterical pearl-clutching on the thread about Luke Littler and his older girlfriend, be prepared for a:

  • slew of 'paedoplile' accusations towards the young man
  • outrage at parents of your God daughter
  • even more outrage at you for not reporting her parents to social services
  • the collapse of worlds
alcohole · 08/01/2024 06:45

I think this is weird. She could be in school and he could have already graduated university. Most people that age date people with similar life circumstances to themselves eg both are uni students or same age - people younger seem like kids, people older seem like proper adults. I don’t know what he would see in her tbh, it’s not like women his age are undesirable. It’s more likely he’s undesirable to women his age and the 17 year old is an easy target

PaintingPictures · 08/01/2024 06:45

That’s a big gap at those ages. My son is only 20 and no way would he date a 17 year old. A 23 year old interested in a 17 year old is creepy.

bluebellcopse · 08/01/2024 06:53

I don't think it's one size fits all answer.

Depends on the maturity and experience of the individuals involved - girls can mature much faster than boys.

Sunflwer · 08/01/2024 07:21

bluebellcopse · 08/01/2024 06:53

I don't think it's one size fits all answer.

Depends on the maturity and experience of the individuals involved - girls can mature much faster than boys.

Yes, this. Many successful relationships have that kind of gap and many 17 year olds are already at university. I'd look at the dynamics between the two before making a judgement on the relationship.

BarbedButterfly · 08/01/2024 07:24

Don't see an issue at all here

Sunflwer · 08/01/2024 07:27

When I was 17 and all through my 20s and even 30s, I found guys my own age so immature. No interest at all. I was at university, working to support myself because my parents had a policy that as soon as you leave school, you're on your own financially. Maybe kids stay kids for longer now and that makes a difference, but I'd look at the dynamic between the two to decide if it's a good relationship or not.

keylemon · 08/01/2024 07:48

My DDs would said definitely not on. I dated a boy two years older at 16 and she goes on about it all the time 😂

Tartantatooes · 09/01/2024 06:19

At 16 you can decide to have sex , go on the pill. At 17 you can learn to drive . 18 you get the vote , legally smoke and drink , get married without parental consent,
but can't leave school . Some of these so called children are almost 19 before they leave school.

lavenderphase · 09/01/2024 07:13

I think the age gap is too big at their ages. Different stages of life, different experiences.

I absolutely get why she wants to be with an older guy, I did too. What I don't understand is why a man in his 20s wants to go out with a teenager.

I know there are people queuing up to say that was their age gap and it was fine and maybe it was but what people did 20/30/40 years ago doesn't mean it's seen as ok now.

The young people in my life would say this is creepy and weird.

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