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Dating a guy 7 years older than me

Wendy, 15, Tunkhannock, PAFirst of all, I don't doubt your love for a second.At the same time, I am reading between the lines of your letter: You are 15, your boyfriend is 22--your friends and family are right to be concerned.

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Don’t embrace any rigid rule about age differences. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because someone is older, he or she isn’t very sexual.If that's not an easy conversation opener, I truly don't know what is.)But after all sorts of successes and failures with women, as time has gone on, I've found at least common failure: a massive age gap.I'm, by no means, the most mature 30-year-old dude you're going to meet, and I'm not insinuating that all younger women are flighty or immature.But in a relationship where one person is an adult and the other is an adolescent, there's an imbalance. And if your relationship gets physical, not only is it immoral that he's dating you, but it's also illegal.Even if he doesn't try to touch you, there's something very odd about a 22-year-old man who feels connected to a 15-year-old.(And don't get caught up in defending yourself and saying you're different -- once you're 22 yourself, you will majorly question the judgment of a 22-year-old who goes out with someone who's your age now.) But my most immediate concern is that you will be getting into situations (drinking, sex) that might be appropriate for a 22-year-old but that are not at all appropriate for someone who is 15. Listen, I realize that what I'm asking of you isn't easy.

But if you won't let the people who love you protect you, then at least protect yourself. See it as a romantic love that's a completely ill-fated thing.

The 8-year rule states that you shouldn't date anyone outside of an 8-year age range. I've dated (or tried to date) women who are older, younger and, if you'll believe it, exactly the same age as I am.

I am aware there are possibilities where two people can successfully date with an age gap of more than eight years. (Seriously, she was born on the same day and same year.

You're probably thinking that you know tons of happily married couples with an even bigger age gap between them.

But let me tell you the difference: When two adults are in a relationship, age is much less of an issue because they're on equal footing--both have weathered adolescence, which is when many of the most important life lessons are learned. Because the period between childhood and adolescence is another key time of emotional growth.) So basically, the people who love you are wondering what a 22-year-old could have in common with a 15-year-old, besides One Thing.

For example, generally, you try to avoid people with two first names or those who abbreviate the word probably as “probs.” But you never know; that one awful abbreviator could be your soulmate.