It’s a little complicated when you’re a teenager dating an adult. Fact is, when you’re older, age starts to matter less. But when you’re still a teenager, age differences are a way bigger deal.
Think of it this way: Imagine being 17 and dating someone six years younger than you. That’s an 11-year-old! You’re at a totally different stage of life and maturity at 17 than you are at age 11. If you’re 28 and dating a 22 year old, there is way less of a huge maturity difference. If you’re 15 and dating someone who is 25, however, you’re also at very different stages of life.
Teenagers are living their teenage lives, going to school, worrying about college admissions, etc. But adult have different things to worry about: Financial freedom, paying rent, getting to work on time, and…still wondering if a crush notices them but still, the point is that life is just different. It’s still fun and exciting, but you’re looking at life through a very different perspective.
Got it, teenagers, especially teen girls, are intrigued to do something that is seen as a little “bad?” So many of you, our awesome readers, and teen girls in general, are effing smart. You’re mature. You’re precocious, headstrong and opinionated. You don’t want to date dopey dudes your age who still think that fart jokes are the height of humour.
But we can acknowledge the appeal of dating older dudes and still be grounded in a, perhaps harsh, reality at the same time: A relationship between a teen and an adult isn’t real, it’s just gross.
Can the feelings be real? Duh, nobody is going to deny that feelings can’t be felt. I have no interest in sitting here and saying that your heart palpitations for an older guy you might be dating aren’t real. You’re not a robot! But when we’re talking about a relationship between a teenager and an adult who is significantly older–yeah, not just some 16-year-old dating an 18-year-old–there is often something weirdly fraudulent about it.
Hear me out: When you’re a teen girl dating an adult, what does your relationship look like? Honestly, what does it really look like? Are you showing off your new boyfriend to your friends? Is he doing the same? Are you kind of sort of gushing about how great they are to your nosy mum? Are you two taking stupid selfies together and posting them on Facebook with too many Emojis attached? Eh, probably not.
There’s nothing wrong with unconventional relationships within reason, but this is a little different. More often than not these relationships are secretive and denied when convenient. Also there is the issue of Statutory Rape.
Also, as annoying and irritating as this question is, it holds some legitimate weight: Why is a dude who’s perhaps out of tertiary institution interested in dating a teenage girl who’s probably still in secondary school?
While an older guy might seem way more on your maturity level than the bros in your class who only wear gym shorts, is this older guy necessarily on the same maturity level of other women their age? If they aren’t, that’s a huge red flag, girl, and says a lot about the dude you’re dealing with. As an adult, I can tell you that there are dudes my age (sadly) who aren’t mature whatsoever and can’t date a woman their age to save their life. So these dudes find it easier to attract the attention of teen girls who might give them the time of day instead. And…it works!
No matter how old you are, you can be susceptible to manipulation, and dudes like that are annoyingly good at manipulating young girls into thinking that they’re cool and interesting when they really aren’t all that cool and interesting.
Does every single relationship between a teen girl and an older dude end up being some hell hole? No, but most do, because those dudes are creeps and the girl will always be disadvantaged.