OK For a 16-Year-Old to Date 20-Year-Old?

Dear Dee:
I am a 16-year-old girl but I have a body of a 21-year-old. Since my body looks older, I have always acted more mature then anyone else. I'm writing because I have never had a boyfriend. All the guys my age think I'm 20 or something.

And all the guys who ask me for my number or ask me on a date are 18 - 22. I'm so tired of saying 'no' to them especially when I think they are cute. My older brother came back from college and brought home a friend. I like him and he likes me so we exchanged numbers.

I made sure I didn't find out his age and he didn't find out mine just to see if age was really just a number. So we were talking for like 2 months and we finally kissed. That's when I decided to ask him his age. He said 20. Then I told him to guess my age and he said 19 or 20. When I told him my age he didn't even care. He said he liked me for who I am and he was glad I didn't tell him my age before because he would have never gotten to know me on this level. Now we've been going out for 6 months.

So my question is ... is age just a number or is it wrong for a 16 and 20 yr old to be together?

I can't really believe this guy didn't know how old you are/were. He's your brother's friend. And I am sure, after meeting you, he asked your brother about you. And come on. You had an idea of how old he was, because he's friends with your brother. So while you saying 'you deliberately' didn't ask age, you knew. Anyway, this isn't the issue.

The issue is this: I believe in most states, it's illegal for a 20-year-old to 'date' a minor. And the first thing coming to my mind when I read your situation is this guy just wants something from you -- and it doesn't seem to be a long-term relationship.

You are 16. And while it's way cool for you to date a 20-year-old, does it really make sense a college boy would chance his 'cool' factor by telling his college friends he's dating a 16-year-old sophomore/junior in high school? It doesn't seem to add up. Sure, there are the rare exceptions out there but it's not the norm. Don't take that the wrong way. It's not being said to be mean ... Can you see how your situation doesn't make sense? It's like a senior in high school dating a freshman ... doesn't really happen that often ...

I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your brother, but if he's a typical big brother who's rather protective of his little sis, maybe he'd have a few things to say about his friend. Does he approve of you dating? Does he even know it?

Age isn't just a number at your age. There are too many personal and emotional differences between a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old. You are still in high school -- figuring out what your next steps are and are getting guidance from your parents. He's in college, hopefully with a career path in mind and is making many of his own decisions. He probably has more experience with relationships and sexual situations than you do -- and could pressure you into things you're not ready for. I'd also worry you'd not feel comfortable saying 'no' in order to not come off younger and inexperienced.

Later in life, age is less of an issue when, as an adult you've gained more life experience and you can make more informed decisions.

Regardless of whether or not you look it, you are 16. You need to experience things a 16-year-old would experience -- with peers or those a few years older than you. Learn to drive. Get your license. Celebrate high school. Enjoy your beautiful figure by respecting your body and not getting into situations you're not yet ready to handle. Don't grow up too fast. And, don't be deceptive about your age. This is very, very important.

Sorry I can't say what you want to hear. But regardless of whether you take my advice or not, I do hope you will think this situation through very carefully and at least be aware.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Though I do not think it is right, It is not illegal to date a minor. It's illegal to have sex with a minor.

Anonymous said...

I'm 17 and dating a 21 year old. It's pretty much the same thing. All i can say to this girl is, dont fall to hard for him. Chances are, he is going to end up hurting you in the end. Take things day by day, and if you argue, don't be afraid to say your point of view because u think hes gonna like you less. That was my biggest problem with my age difference. But i gave my boyfriend a choice; I told him he could either date a 17 year old senior still in highschool that has many guy friends and is spoiled, braty, stuck up, immature, and 4 years younger then him, or we could call it quits. He told me he loved me no matter what, and that he doesnt care about all the differences. So far, hes more attached to me then i am to him. My main point is just stand up for yourself, dont let this older man walk all over you and think of you as a kid. If he does, hes not a keeper!

martin said...

Go for it fuck the law poeple are talking like they dont know shit im a 20 year old guy and i once date a 16 year old when i was 19 and the age dont mater they are stupid numbers and cmon u got to look for what u want not what poeple say that u should do cuz lots of time they are wrong ok i agree the experience may varry but if you know he is not dating you for ur body and he love you for what you are just go for it lol don't even think its illegal cuz ur 16 and its legal u could even have sex with a 30 yo for god sake that will be kind of retarded but poeple are so stupid to think that its wrong look at ur parents lots of them have like 10 years of diference and less sometime more so lol wth :D btw im from canada where the age is 14 and me personaly i wont date 14 yo cuz the imaturity lvl but i get girl crushing on me from this age up to my age and even higher than my age this is only a number tell urself that

Chelsey said...

It Happens More Than People Think It Happens Everyday It Doesnt Matter The Age (Within Some Obvious Rationality Of Course)If You Truly Care For Someone You Can't Just Write Em Off Because Of "The Law" I Think If You Have Chemistry With The Person Go For It :)

Anonymous said...

HISTORY TEACHES US THAT HISTORY DOESN'T TEACH US A DAMNED THING! MOST SOCIETY OF FIXED,ARRANGED MARRIAGES HAVE HAD IT GOING ON FOR AGES!MATURE YOUNG WOMEN DON'T WANT A DAMNED THING TO DO WITH STUPID IMMATURE GUYS "BOYS" THEIR AGE! ALWAYS WILL BE THAT WAY!MOST OF THE TIME A DOWRY IS INVOLVED, OF LATE, STUPID HAS WALKED IN ON US!THE ERA OF DRUGS HAS MADE MOST OF YOU ON DRUGS...WEIRD!PARANOID!LEAVE MOTHER NATURE TO HER DOINGS AND LEAVE DRUGS ALONE!

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LND said...

I am in the same boat you are in. I am 16 in high school and the guy i like is 20 in college! I really really like this guy and I dont know what to do! Cuz my parents don't approve of us being together like we want because they say that its too big or an age difference him being in college and me still in high school!! I don't what to disrespect my parents or anything but, I think im in love and I just really don't know what to do!! I dont want to wait any longer, what should I do???

Anonymous said...

i just turned 17, And i have had many boyfriends that were older. i think that girls that realize "boys" their age are stupid and dont know what they want. so girls that are 16 & 17 feel the need to date older men and have more experience and arent so stupid. Ad right now my boyfriend is 3 years older then my, and his birthday is 5 days b4 mine. So when he will turn 21 i will b 18. There is noting wrong with dating someone older. Adults do it, You dont see 15 year olds dating and marrying a 35 year olds do you? but you sure as hell see 20 year olds marrying 40 year olds dont you? exactly, so its not wrong to date some one tats only 4 - 3 years apart!! (:

Anonymous said...

For all of you that think this is cool, let me tell you my story... When I was 17 I had been going steady with a girl that was less than a year younger than I. We were together for around three years when she turned 16 and got her driver’s license. At this point in our relationship she decided to date an older man. The guy was 35 at the time, and was a cop of all things. She pulled the "Let's see other people for a month" line on me. I guess this proves that young guys can be stupid sometimes. She had this other guy all lined up and ready to go before she pulled the "line" on me. When I discovered what was going on it really devastated me and forever made me guard myself against getting to close to anyone ever again. The funny twist to all of this is now that I am 30 years older, I can look back and see that it wasn't me that was the problem; I would have done anything for her. This was her decision. Later, after this older guy dumped her and gave her a car in trade, she wanted to get back together. I tried but could never again trust her. I always felt as if I was the "second" guy. Always having to sneak around and try to stay out of site from some mysterious person, someone that she didn't want them to see her with me. I couldn't deal with that anymore, so I ended it. She was an only child and was used to getting things her way all of the time. The years have passed and she is still that spoiled little brat, always wanting things her way. I have been married for 28 years now. I have two grown kids and a beautiful wife. This girl that pulled this on me all of those years ago has been married and divorced twice and is currently single. The years have not been kind to her as she looks kind of ragged and well worn. Dark circles permanently hang below her eyes and the sparkling smile she once had is now faded away. Is this a good thing? Well... Life is what you make it. It's all about choices, some of them good, some of them bad. The most important thing is do what makes you feel best, but keep in mind that there are consequences for your actions, both good and bad. Just don't make the mistake of having a baby with someone just because you "think" you love them. It really is a responsibility of a lifetime, either shared or alone. One more thing... If you're going to post a comment on the internet, please proof read your statement. It is really stupid for someone to accuse someone else of being stupid when their punctuation and spelling really make the author of said comments look way less intelligent than the subject they are commenting on.

Anonymous said...

My situation is a bit similar , Im 15 dating an almost 20 year old . At first we difference he thought i was 17 , Yes i look much older then i really am but we lied to my family saying he's 17 .. Well as soon as my mother found out she freaked thretended to send him to jail if he doesnt stay away . Our relationship is so amazing , i love him & he loves me .. For a while (Before my momma found out)we kinda lived together , it was great we didnt fight or anything he was like my bestfriend/Boyfriend . Welll . anyways he recently had to go to Cali to start his football , i was so depressed .. Still im slowly getting over itt , But hes comming back (: FINALLY ! but my mom put a restraining oder on him /: So i dunno what to do .. Should i see him still or wait till im older ? Because im sure our love will always be there , ui jus dunno if us being together is worth him going to jail and him having a record of a sex affender .. /: HELP !

Anonymous said...

My situation is a bit similar , Im 15 dating an almost 20 year old . At first we difference he thought i was 17 , Yes i look much older then i really am but we lied to my family saying he's 17 .. Well as soon as my mother found out she freaked thretended to send him to jail if he doesnt stay away . Our relationship is so amazing , i love him & he loves me .. For a while (Before my momma found out)we kinda lived together , it was great we didnt fight or anything he was like my bestfriend/Boyfriend . Welll . anyways he recently had to go to Cali to start his football , i was so depressed .. Still im slowly getting over itt , But hes comming back (: FINALLY ! but my mom put a restraining oder on him /: So i dunno what to do .. Should i see him still or wait till im older ? Because im sure our love will always be there , ui jus dunno if us being together is worth him going to jail and him having a record of a sex affender .. /: HELP !

Anonymous said...

I'm a 23 yr old guy i'v been dating a high school chick we talked for bout 6 months b4 she's turned 16 as friends she liked my insight and out looks she's the best thing that has ever happened to me even tho sometimes her immaturity shows I've been with her for 18 months now thru everything she goes thru I have never once been like hey let's have sex I turn her down not her turning me down I don't do it bc I don't want to but my morals telling it's wrong plus waiting is what I wanna do .. I was a virgin till I was 19 so it was never bout sex so honestly I don't see anything wrong with dating a younger chick she's I love her for who she is and I have changed her life and she has changed mine so I don't think it matters as long as it true live and not just for sex

Anonymous said...

It's amazing truly how on the same level even a 15 year old and 20 year old can be. I was very mature growing up and at 19 I became best friends with a girl who was 14 and believe it or not it led to love. I talked with her parents and explained my intentions and all and they were ok with us dating. I was 20 and she was 15 by the time we actually started dating but we had so much in common. The "cool" factor in college didn't matter to me because I'm not about what other people think of me but rather being happy. People can't say "I don't know why someone that old would be interested in someone that young" until they have a similar situation. It is possible no matter how unlikely. I ended up marrying this girl later on in my life. You can't rule out everything that looks suspicious. Everyone preaches the legality of it and yes there are hefty penalties, but who doesn't drive 10 over the speed limit? (of course some dont) my point is, there's always disregard for the law. Don't let the voice of people who have not been through such situations lead you astray. It might not work...but it still actually might work. You never know. And as for just wanting sex...common...90% of guys just want sex even into older ages. Yes it'd be happening with a younger more innocent being but nevertheless...you can't make an excuse for everything it's just how guys can be in general regardless of age. Give it a shot. Why not?

Stuck_in_love said...

I Juss turned 16 a while ago. My boyfriend is turning 21 in a few months. we've been together for 3 years & its pure love.. all my friends say we're like a married couple. when my mom found out when i was 13, she was furious & wanted him to leave me alone but we cant. Its like we're stuck 2getha. we plan to live to gether soon & have kids but he says he'll wait till i finish college or when im ready. im jus waitin till im 17 to tell my mom we still have a relationship. i hate hiding it from my mom cuz shes like my best friend. today me & my boyfriend were talking & i finally decided to go online & check the legal age of consent & its 17. jus 1 more year... still dnt kno if i can tell her at 17 becuz i fear she will do evrythin in her will to stop it. why imy relationship so complicated??

Anonymous said...

we started talking i was 14 he was 17. he turned 18 a week later and i turned 15 a month later.
we met about 2weeks after i turned 15. he stopped by to say hi for the first time
neither of us knew how old eachother were... but we had been talking and sharing things about eachother for a while.
lol i told him happy belated 17th birthday.. and he said im 18... and i was like oh i thought you were 17..
he laughed it off and then asked how i was i told him i was 15 ( he knew my birthday had just passed)..
it was an issue for less than a minute. we started dating about 2 months later. he met my parents a month afterward.
they never asked how old he was.. they asked if he was in my class. i told them no that he graduated the year before.
my mom didnt care my stepdad raised all 13 levels of hell... (as he does for everything). but still..
in my house im usualy on lock down.. my mom has bird nest syndrom and doesnt like people around or for any of us to leave v.v
... but i've been with my bf for about 2 years now. hes about to turn 20 in 11days and i turn 17 next month.
he just moved into a new apartment an has just contracted with the military and will be commisioning soon after. (very proud of him)
and yet after 2 years we are very close.. still very much in love with eachother .. and it barely feels like 6 months.
he wants to keep me in his life and never loose me and i feel just the same.
So If you really care for this guy (hopefully you read this lol)
then go for it. I love mine with everything i have despite the world.
they all told me no to everything i did. im 16 i've had a job for awhile i get my liscens in januarary and i just recieved my GED first try.
and to top it off. ive had a guy to love and love me back for 2years that hasnt wanted to be apart. FUCK the world lol.
If its pure of heart then its just fine. age is just a number until you are 18.

Anonymous said...

Well... I'm a 16 year old, (actually... not yet. I have about 21 days left until I'm truly a 16 year old.), and I have a HUGE crush on my Italian teacher. >_>

He's 24... turning 25 in November.

I'm wondering if I should just drop the hope of achieving a relationship for the future with him... you know, when I'm a college freshman and all.

ReeseSoSweet said...

Well im 16 and my boy friend is 21. We have been dateing almost 7 years yes since i was 10 see the thing is i always look older for my age and i always was mature. I dont think anything is wrong with it because if you know how to be mature and you know thats what you want then be happy with it. I say keep him and be happy because you never know at the end of this whole thing he could be your soul mate. Just because they law says no dosent mean anything because you can be 35 with a 20 year old so why not 15 or 16 with a 19 to 22 year old thats just my thought.

Anonymous said...

I am a 20 year old girl who likes a 16 year old guy that i have known for at least a few years, tho i don't know him very well. I do know his family too. My family and his family are practically neighbors. And i have also liked him for quite a while. Since i don't know him that well and all and i know his family and don't want them to look down on me in that way, im just trying to get to know him as a friend better. And maybe in a year or two see if something else happens if we talk more. Im moving in a few days so i don't really know what could come of it unless we talk on facebook or something, but i am also taking that slow.

Anonymous said...

I am a 20 year old and I've been with
My girlfriend for a little over a year. She' will be 16 in a few days. At first i felt like I was in the wrong like I was doing something I wasn't aloud to but there was something there some little spark that kept me around like I couldn't leave I think that age don't matter what makes you happy and feels right is what matters more than anything!! Me And her Parents get Along great it really is crazy how mAture someone As young as 15 can be

Anonymous said...

Hey same boat. But my parents said they were gonna do something but didn't. Don't see him if you do he can go to jail don't put him or his family through that. I now it's not what you want to hear I wouldn't either but he could lose everything he has and will ever have. Sorry

Anonymous said...

Im 14, nearly 15. I went on holiday and met someone that i thought was 16. I liked the look of him and we played a few of the activities together. We started to speak so i gave him my phone number, and it turned out that he was 20. I've fell for him, and because he thought i was older, he fell for me to. Now that we know eachothers ages we don't know what to do. We really like one another, what should i do???

Anonymous said...

Hi :) Im 16 this year and my crush is 20. I met him in church and i like from the start when I first saw him. I haven't confess to him though but I really like him alot. I believed that its not a big gap or any wrong with it becuz' most importantly is that both parties aremature enough to handle things and go through ups and downs. Do not complain,do not whine. Obstacles will always approach,now,it depends on how both of you fight for each othe

Anonymous said...

Same situation, im 15, hes 20, we get along so well and when im 16 we will get together (im not ready for sex yet and he understands) my parents are against it alot, but at the moment were just friends so there is nothing illegal, I have to hide it from my parents wich I hate and I understand their concern and I don't disrispect them but they're over reacting so they'll have to deal with it and have to deal with it when I turn 16 and tell them it all, even if it does cause an argument, there's no law breaking so its just the way it is

Anonymous said...

i am 11 i date a 17 year old boy.we had sex before he lnew mmy age .boy was his penis long.i thinl age is only a number

Anonymous said...

ok im 15 and a half my boyfriend is 23 and a half.we started dating at they age of 12 and 20.he made me pregnant at 14.my parents dont mind.dad is 20 years older than mom.she had me at
13.they think its cute that im pregnant with twins.i already have one girl.as soon as i have these babies if ones a boy .theyy be brought up to have sex together.but plz dont just get pregnant.i dd coz me and my boy have very rich families.they oldest man i dayed was 39.i dated him when i was 11.nothing sexual happened.i stayed qoth him for a year.i only want to date menway older than me or younger.

Anonymous said...

ok im 15 and a half my boyfriend is 23 and a half.we started dating at they age of 12 and 20.he made me pregnant at 14.my parents dont mind.dad is 20 years older than mom.she had me at
13.they think its cute that im pregnant with twins.i already have one girl.as soon as i have these babies if ones a boy .theyy be brought up to have sex together.but plz dont just get pregnant.i dd coz me and my boy have very rich families.they oldest man i dayed was 39.i dated him when i was 11.nothing sexual happened.i stayed qoth him for a year.i only want to date menway older than me or younger.