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  #1  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:33 PM
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How to handle daughter dating older guy (Long)

I've been a lurker here for some time, and I've seen some great advice given out. I'd love some words of wisdom for my situation.

I found out that my 17 (18 in 6 months) year old daughter is dating a 25 year old guy that she had previously only been friends with, and Iím not sure how to handle this.

First off, my Daughter is a smart, funny, mature, independent girl with a lot of friends and who does very well in school, and is preparing for college next year. She hasnít dated much, and that has been by choice. She broke up with her last boyfriend (who was her age) because he always had drama going on around him, and unlike a lot of teenagers I know, she hates drama. (Sheís up to ears in it now, though!)

Daughter met him some months ago when her friend got her uncle (The Guy) to drive them to the mall. Since then, he has driven their coed group of friends around town to movies and such on occasion for some months now. This whole time, Iíve been constantly asking why is a 25 year old guy ok with hanging out with a group of 17-18 year olds? Just didnít sound right to me. But Daughter said that Guy doesnít drink and all his friends do, and he doesnít like to hang out with a bunch of drunk people. So I trusted her and let her go. By now, Iíve met Guy a few times and he actually seems like a nice person.

So the last few weeks, I notice her texting and talking on the phone to Guy more and more. I start to question her on the nature of their relationship. A lot. But she insists they are just friends.

Today the shit has hit the fan.

Her dad and I (We are divorced, but try to keep a united front in the raising of the kids) found out they have been dating for a while and are possibly having sex. She and I have discussed sex, safe sex, responsibility and consequences on numerous occasions, and she has confided in me about some of her friends activities; some that she disagrees with. On that note, I feel she is comfortable talking and being open with me. (Weíre going to talk more specifically later tonight)

I know she lied about dating because we would not have approved, and that is true. So there will definitely be consequences for that, but as for the rest, I am at a loss. I canít change whatís already happened; I just want to find the right way to deal with it and move on.

My knee jerk response is 17 and 25? NO F***ING WAY! But knowing her, I can understand what an older person would like about her. Sheís always had her head on straight, I donít think for a second she would allow anyone to pressure her into anything she didnít want to do, and Iíve always believed she is WAY more sensible than I was at that age. So I generally trust her judgment. But now that sheís lied, I donít know what to do.

And Guy has called apologizing about lying and they both have said he wanted to tell us, but she didnít. He also said that he would do anything he could possibly do to show that he really cares for her. And I think he really does.

On the other end of that is my ex. I spent a lot of time today talking him out of finding the Guy and doing bodily harm to him. He has refused many times to even meet the Guy when he thought they were just friends, and now has labeled Guy a sick pervert.

I donít think heís some sicko perv, but I AM uncomfortable with the age difference. I feel like I can only condone or condemn the relationship, and neither one really sounds like the right thing.

We made it to 17 without a bit of trouble, and now I just donít know how to handle it. I donít want to push her away with ultimatums and demands, as she will be 18 soon; she could just go do whatever she wants anyway, then. Conversely, I donít want to treat the situation too lightly.

Or, hell, maybe I'm just overreacting about the whole thing. I just don't know.

Iím planning a long talk with her later tonight, then talking to her dad and then figuring out where we all go from there.

Any and all advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:50 PM
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You can piss her off for the next six months trying to prevent something she will do anyways, or you can realize there is nothing much you can do, there is not that much of an age difference and she's not a little kid anymore. I guess you could call the cops and ruin his life for doing something entirely normal.

Last edited by DigitalC; 04-05-2011 at 05:50 PM..
  #3  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:56 PM
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I am no expert, but I taught in a public alternative high school (13 to 18 year-olds) for several years and feel that I got to understand the mindset of teens (at least a certain population of them) and their priorities pretty well, and I would guess that the chances that they are not already sexually active are about the same odds that Pres. Obama will drop Joe Biden as VP and ask John Walker Lindh to be his new running mate.

If I were in your shoes, I would get your daughter on birth control TONIGHT, as in RIGHT NOW, meaning grab her by the hand and walk out the door IMMEDIATELY, before you finish reading any more of my mindless drivel.....

Good Luck!!!
  #4  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:57 PM
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Age of consent might be lower than 18 in the state in question. If it isn't - I don't have any idea what consequences, if any, there might be for parents who don't intervene if they know that sexual activity is going on.

That being said, I vote for making a big huge deal about her lying, and also advocate for a visit to a gynecologist or Planned Parenthood. Tell the (female preferably) doctor that she is probably/definitely (depending on what she admits to) sexually active, and your daughter can be in the exam without you. An exam and maybe hormonal birth control is probably what should happen next. Maybe STI testing if she hasn't been practicing safe sex every time, all the time.
  #5  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:58 PM
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Well, first I would say that when you talk to her, try to make sure you express yourself in a way that is about how you feel - rather than what she should do.

YMMV, it doesn't sound like your daughter is heavy into rebellion, but you don't want to get into the whole forbidding/I can do whatever I want! dialog. That usually creates a motivation for the child to act just to make a point to the parents.

Also, try to validate her feelings on this - I suspect she finds his "maturity" attractive, let her know that you understand that and admire that she values maturity. Then ask her if she thinks a 25 year old guy who dates a 17 year old is actually expressing maturity? IMHO he isn't. He coulda waited until she was 18.

I think it would be important to express that you feel finishing school and focusing on college should be a priority. You expect her to have relationships, that's normal. But you're worried that, because of where he is in life, it will distract her from her goals.

That's just off the top of my head. It's unlikely you'll convince her to dump him, but if you can express your concerns thoughtfully, you may plant enough seeds with her.

As for The Guy, if he comes around treat him with respect, but I wouldn't be afraid to tell him you don't approve, and think he acted very unwisely in persuing her and that you hope she grows out of this phase. Oh, and pick on somebody more your own age, loser.
  #6  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:00 PM
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I am 10 years older than my wife, so i am not qualified to give help in this case. I did meet my wife when she was 25 though.
  #7  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzomax View Post
I am 10 years older than my wife, so i am not qualified to give help in this case. I did meet my wife when she was 25 though.
Yeah, but a case could be made that you were closer in the "stages of life" range than a 25 year old and a 17 year old high school student.
  #8  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:16 PM
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It doesn't sound like the end of the world. On the plus side, the Guy has been in contact, so he's not just some shady stranger, and now that this is out in the open you can at least try to set some rules. On the minus, even the smartest, most mature teenage girls in the world have been known to just equate age with authority and let themselves be pressured or abused by older boyfriends just because 'I really want him to like me, and he thinks I'm so mature.'

The lying? Clearly not cool. And you might also ask her how she would feel about a male (or female, I guess) friend her own age dating a 12- or 13-year old (not the same difference in years, but IMHO you change just as much in those years as you do in your late teens and your twenties).
  #9  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:38 PM
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I'd say be accepting. You said your daughter is smart and has a good head on her shoulders and that the guy doesn't come off as a sleeze. I doubt that he'll treat her worse than a 18-19 year old guy would. Trust your daughter's opionions, but talk to her to make sure she knows you're there for her and that she needs to should stay strong.

-I too must add I'm 11 years older than my wife. We met when she was 26. This may color my answer, but I do think I was at a place where I could treat her like a real and valuable person much better that when I was younger and more insecure.
  #10  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:38 PM
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I'd try to find out what this guy's other friends are like. Does he have a full time job? Live at home?

My personal hunch is that however "mature" your daughter finds this guy, he's personally emotionally immature enough that he feels more comfortable being the big guy around teenagers than to be around peers his own age.
  #11  
Old 04-05-2011, 07:26 PM
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Ditto on the birth control ASAP. They are probably relying on luck right now, and the last thing you/they need is a pregnancy.

Ditto on I don't think that anything you do or say will change her mind toward him, but will drive her away from you. You want to make sure that her relationship with him doesn't derail her future college plans. Keeping your relationship with her as good as you can is about the best you can do.
  #12  
Old 04-05-2011, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
And you might also ask her how she would feel about a male (or female, I guess) friend her own age dating a 12- or 13-year old (not the same difference in years, but IMHO you change just as much in those years as you do in your late teens and your twenties).
That doesn't seem like a valid comparison. A 17 year old who is dating a 12 (or even 13) year old is edging close to pedophilia; a 25 year old dating a 17 year old, not so much.
  #13  
Old 04-05-2011, 07:57 PM
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You want to make sure it's easy for her to brake up with him later. Making this into too big of a deal will make that harder, because then breaking up will seem like a big dramatic thing that she doesn't want to go through. A teen can spend six months in a bad relationship to avoid having an awkward conversation explaining it to their mom. I know it seems impossible, but I think you want to treat the relationship as casually as possible.

I suspect she's not as level headed as you think she is. I was very good at projecting mature, because in most ways I was, but there were huge, bizarre holes in that maturity. All you can do, though, is keep the lines of communication open.

I would NOT talk to the boy. It was weird and creepy for him to call you. I mean, if they want to talk to you together, that's fine, but for him to call you without her screams emotional immaturity to me. It's got this weird "let's talk as the adults in the situation", like he himself doesn't know how he is supposed to deal with you--as his peer or as a superior. Make it clear that your relationship is with your daughter, and he's not a part of that.
  #14  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:02 PM
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When I was 17, I started dating a 28-year-old. The OP's description of her daughter sounds exactly like the way my mom would have described me when I was 17!

Mom found out about my dating the older guy when I sat her down after work one weeknight and told her I wanted to start The Pill. She was floored. She knew she wasn't going to talk me out of it, and that I would go behind her back to see him anyway. I had my own car and a job at the time, was doing fine in school and was on my way to college.

She resigned herself to the fact that I was going to date this guy, and was on board very quickly with preventing a baby. We went to the gynecologist that week.

I dated the guy through my senior year of high school and through my first three years of college. He was a programmer in the 80's and early 90's - he owned a house, drove a paid-for sweet sports car, and had lots of cash. A dream guy for a high school girl. He was somehow not a tool, but was in retrospect I think, of a certain immaturity that made him incompatible with women his age. He also never drank or smoked or did anything else remotely illicit aside from dating me.

Once I started to grow up and found different priorities while getting closer to graduating and starting to live on my own as a grown-up, we broke up. At that point I was nowhere near wanting to get married, and he needed someone who needed him. I wasn't that woman any more. It made sense to either make the decision to marry or not be together any more.

I hope that lends some sort of perspective to the OP.
  #15  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I suspect she's not as level headed as you think she is. I was very good at projecting mature, because in most ways I was, but there were huge, bizarre holes in that maturity.
Speaking as a former teenage girl, I can agree with this. I remember telling my mom about what some other classmates were doing and how I didn't think it was right. What I really meant was that sometimes I thought that way, and sometimes I desperately wanted to be doing that, and often I both wanted and feared sex at the same time. I kept up the facade of "yuck, can't believe those girls would do that" because there was No Way In Hell that I would have talked to my mom about my sexual feelings.
  #16  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Ditto on the birth control ASAP. They are probably relying on luck right now, and the last thing you/they need is a pregnancy.
Why are you jumping to that conclusion? It's definitely possible that you're right, but condoms are easy to get and from what the OP says, her daughter knows how to be safe about sex.
  #17  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Antigen View Post
Why are you jumping to that conclusion? It's definitely possible that you're right, but condoms are easy to get and from what the OP says, her daughter knows how to be safe about sex.
Yeah, 25 year-old guys are infamous for loving sex when wearing a rubber--Apparently the condom increases their pleasure 100 fold.....
  #18  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:40 PM
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Why are you jumping to that conclusion? It's definitely possible that you're right, but condoms are easy to get and from what the OP says, her daughter knows how to be safe about sex.
Yes, but it's reasonable to worry that a 17 year old would find it easier to stand her ground on the condom issue with a boy her own age than with an man who has overawed her, and might also be more likely to believe BS when it is from someone who has much more experience than her.

Doesn't mean that it's happening, but it's worth worrying about.
  #19  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Troubles View Post
A 17 year old who is dating a 12 (or even 13) year old is edging close to pedophilia


Edging ?
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  #20  
Old 04-05-2011, 08:59 PM
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When I was 17 I dated a 25 year old, and I could have been described similarly to your daughter. It didn't strike me as different in any way, and I usually felt more comfortable with guys older than myself. I would just let it run its course, if she is intelligent and level headed like you feel she is, she won't be any more pressured into anything with this guy than she would be with any other. Let her make her own decisions, and leave the lines of communication open so she knows she can come to you with questions or concerns.
  #21  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:11 PM
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I agree birth control is definitely a good idea. Personally I'd try to get her on something that doesn't require remembering daily like a nuvaring or depo.
Yeah, maybe she's being careful, but it's a biological reality that teens' brains are not fully mature and they often act impulsively without thinking it through, so I wouldn't just take a "she seems smart so let's hope for the best" attitude on something as important as unplanned pregnancy. I remember reading a statistic a while back that some large percentage of teenage single moms are impregnated by older men, not boys their own age.

My experience has been that these guys who date younger girls often are more immature than guys who date girls their own age are. That means that I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up outgrowing him after a while. I would not try to forbid her from seeing him since that may trigger the "forbidden fruit" reaction, but I definitely think you're justified in expressing your concerns about him (as you would if she were dating a boy her own age you didn't approve of).

Last edited by lavenderviolet; 04-05-2011 at 09:12 PM..
  #22  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:18 PM
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I would tell this scumbag once, and once only, that he was never to speak to my child again, and that would be the end of it.
  #23  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:23 PM
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I'm glad you didn't talk to her about it yet. She's very nearly a legal adult and I don't think it's a big deal at all. How you handle this will provide the foundation for your future relationship to her as an adult. Let go of your emotional response, and treat her like the adult she practically is. Even IF the guy was a total scumbag, showing resistance to their relationship or trying to limit her freedom would cause her to cling to him harder and push her further away from you.

You don't need to talk to her about birth control like it's a new subject, she already knows about it either through friends, internet, or sex ed. Just tell her you're going to schedule her a doctor's appointment so she can get her first pap smear (offer to go in with her but let her go alone if she prefers) and some birth control pills/shot. Unless she has a reason for not wanting hormonal bc and is religiously using condoms, in which case it's awesome she's thought that hard about it already. But she still needs a pap anyway.
--
Anecdote time. My lesbian sister was dating a significantly older woman throughout her entire college career, but didn't come out to my parents until after she graduated because they were homophobic and losing the college money would have fucked her life over, big time. Now she and her girlfriend are still dating years later, and both music teachers. It's cute

Lying about this kind of personal choice (like who your daughter chooses to date) for self-preservation (to prevent your ex from finding out about it and beating up the guy and possibly withholding future financial support for college) is not wrong. Acknowledge that she lied and you understand why, and that she can come to you in confidence in the future if she wants to about ANYTHING, and you won't tell her dad about it--it's her choice to tell him or not to IMO.

It's okay to express parental disappointment, it's natural to be disappointed in your children. This does not warrant punishment.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 04-05-2011 at 09:27 PM..
  #24  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:24 PM
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You have to look at what your options are. Forbid her to see this guy and threaten to throw her out of the house if she doesn't comply? That's a bad plan.

I think you have to accept the inevitable - she's apparently decided she's going to keep seeing this guy even if you disapprove.

So tell her that you think it's a bad idea, but also tell her she's mature enough to be making her own decisions. Hopefully she'll come to the realization that you're right and she'll break off the relationship on her own. (And who knows? Maybe she's right and they'll happily spend the rest of their lives together.)

And tell her you don't want her lying to you.
  #25  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:38 PM
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It's only 8 years, that's not a big deal
  #26  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:40 PM
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Thanks all for the advice. Many of the suggestions have flown in and out of my head all day.

Yes, my big fear is the ďYou are forbidden to see him!Ē will just have her run off to live with him in 6 months. I am currently trying to talk her father out of that mode for that very reason. Sheís going to want to get away from the ďhorrible strict parentsĒ when I think, left to itís own devices, it could fizzle out on itís own.

I am definitely not on board with getting this guy branded a sex offender or anything like that. I donít want to ruin his life. He may be showing some poor judgment, but I donít think heís malicious or some kind of a predator.

For now, though, seeing him is not happening because she is punished from activities with ANY friends for the time being. I was very clear that this was because she LIED. She accepted that.

We did talk about sex, and I told her that at 17, I was more upset about her lying to me than if she was having sex. I confided in her that I was her age when I first had sex. She said she hadnít had sex yet, and that Guy said it was not important, and he would wait until she was ready. Iím leaning toward believing her.. weíve always had a pretty open line of communication. Still, there are doubts.

We talked about going to the doctor and getting on birth control; she again said it wasnít necessary, but she agreed to go at my suggestion, because at 17, itís bound to happen sooner or later, so I think better safe than sorry would be the best course.

Icarus - I like all your suggestions; college has been a priority and pretty much drilled into her brain since she was a baby.

Her: ďPretty car! I want one when I grow up!Ē
Me: ďYou know how you can have one when you grow up? Go to college!Ē

I will bring that point up again.

When The Guy called today, I told him I appreciated his concern, but did tell him I was NOT happy about the situation and that there was definitely more that needed to be settled with Daughter, Dad and myself before we would talk about anything else.

Cat Fight - I did ask her to look the situation from an outside point of view, not knowing the people involved. A 25 year old guy and a 17 year old girl just doesnít sound right. I acknowledged that everyone is different and SOMETIMES it can work out, in general most people would disapprove. She said she understood my point.

HawksPath - Iím not so bothered by a big age difference if the youngest person is over 25. And not my Daughter

Jophiel- Your personal hunch is mine as well. He does work full time and has a small place of his own. His mom has been staying with him while her house is being rebuilt. Or so Iím told.

Manda JO - I agree about not making a big deal about it. I would probably stay in a miserable relationship to spite my own mother TODAY if she told me not to. But thatís another thread entirely

As far as the phone call, Daughter called him during a big fight with her dad. When The Guy couldnít reach her back, he called me to see what was going on. That said, I still felt weird about talking to him. I didnít realize why until you explained that way.
(By the way, as a lurker, Iíve seen your advice on some other topics. You seem to always give the best advice!)

SeaDragonTattoo - Thank you for sharing your story. It makes sense; you matured and he basically stayed the same. I could picture that, should this turn into something more.

And thanks to all I didnít address specifically.

So many thoughtful replies! I teeter on the brink of ďAm I totally screwing up my kids??Ē almost constantly. The fact that the replies have been similar to some of my thoughts has reassured me that I may not be screwing them up as bad as I thought
  #27  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:54 PM
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Overreaction alert.

A 25 year old guy has been hanging around your 17 year old daughter. Of COURSE he likes her. So what are you going to do about it now? If she's behaving herself and going to class and not being a typical teenage pain, then you're seriously overreacting.

I was fourteen when I had my serious "crush". He was 19. Our parents didn't like it, so we stayed friends. They respected that. He was always extremely respectful. After he joined the Marines, we'd write letters back and forth and talk on the phone. He was seriously my best friend. During one of his leaves, he told me that he loved me (in that ofhanded twenty one year old I can't believe I just said that aloud way). Still stayed friends. Talked every day. He helped me through boyfriend problems, school problems, parents problems, etc etc. That is man who loves you.

Our families kind of thought that I'd grow up and we'd date and get married and ya ya ya. Then this little thing called Iraq happened after I graduated HS and I won't get into details, but I am not a military wife.

I will tell you that had my mother flipped and tried to ban us from seeing each other, it just would have made it all the more sweet.

When I was seventeen, I fell for this guy who as 23. Mr. Marine was off doing Marine-type things overseas at the time (before Iraq). This guy ended up being my "first" (sounds so silly to type that) and taught me a lot of things about men. All the things that made men good and bad, I guess. He didn't do drugs, he had a great job, ya ya, but he was older. My mother didn't like it but didn't ban it. That was an off and on thing for a few years.

I'm glad I had both experiences. I'm glad I also briefly dated the football captain, the tortured musician, and the drama nerd.

Dating is practice for the grown up stuff. Just make sure you're there for her and make sure she has all the tools she needs for the right decisions.

She's seventeen years old.
  #28  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
I'm glad you didn't talk to her about it yet. She's very nearly a legal adult and I don't think it's a big deal at all. How you handle this will provide the foundation for your future relationship to her as an adult. Let go of your emotional response, and treat her like the adult she practically is. Even IF the guy was a total scumbag, showing resistance to their relationship or trying to limit her freedom would cause her to cling to him harder and push her further away from you.

You don't need to talk to her about birth control like it's a new subject, she already knows about it either through friends, internet, or sex ed. Just tell her you're going to schedule her a doctor's appointment so she can get her first pap smear (offer to go in with her but let her go alone if she prefers) and some birth control pills/shot. Unless she has a reason for not wanting hormonal bc and is religiously using condoms, in which case it's awesome she's thought that hard about it already. But she still needs a pap anyway.
--
Anecdote time. My lesbian sister was dating a significantly older woman throughout her entire college career, but didn't come out to my parents until after she graduated because they were homophobic and losing the college money would have fucked her life over, big time. Now she and her girlfriend are still dating years later, and both music teachers. It's cute

Lying about this kind of personal choice (like who your daughter chooses to date) for self-preservation (to prevent your ex from finding out about it and beating up the guy and possibly withholding future financial support for college) is not wrong. Acknowledge that she lied and you understand why, and that she can come to you in confidence in the future if she wants to about ANYTHING, and you won't tell her dad about it--it's her choice to tell him or not to IMO.

It's okay to express parental disappointment, it's natural to be disappointed in your children. This does not warrant punishment.
Oops, too late! I talked to her; I kept the tone casual and light. I mentioned the birth control because it was a topic we've talked about before; just not to the point of actually going to get it.

I can appreciate your point of view about the lying and I can definitely understand why she would not want her dad to know. She has confided in me once or twice about other things, knowing I would not tell her dad. I don't like to be put into that situation, but I kept my word on it.

She's dated a little bit in the last year or 2, and not felt the need to ask permission; nor have I felt the need to give it. But this was different. She lied about dating him, she lied about places she said she was going to be and people she was going to be with.

She has had fairly free reign to do what she wanted because I trusted her. If I can't trust her to be where she says she's going to be, I can't let her go. She's nearly an adult, but not quite one yet. And while I'm paying for food, home, clothes, etc. I do expect a level of respect. And lying does not express respect to me. Just MHO. Although I can understand if others disagree.
  #29  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:54 PM
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When you take her in for birth control, be sure to get her the HPV vaccine if she hasn't already had it.
  #30  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Antigen View Post
Why are you jumping to that conclusion? It's definitely possible that you're right, but condoms are easy to get and from what the OP says, her daughter knows how to be safe about sex.
Condoms alone have a high failure rate, especially among teens. This is what I meant by relying on luck - even if they are using them, they're not a reliable method.

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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I would tell this scumbag once, and once only, that he was never to speak to my child again, and that would be the end of it.
Young grasshopper, you have so much to learn!
  #31  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:59 PM
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I think 17 and 25 is a big difference in ages. Between 18 and 23 you go through a lot of growing up, even physically your body still has changes till after 21, when it starts settling down.

A 25 year old has a lot more life experience under his/her belt. And is usually done with the school and starting out in life on a career. Granted this is not an absolute by any means.

That said, there's little you can do, but if she's 17, she still owes it to you to respect your wishes. And as long as their no danger to her physically or she won't have her bank account emptied, the worst that will happen is a broken heart, which is almost never fatal or forever.
  #32  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
I think 17 and 25 is a big difference in ages. Between 18 and 23 you go through a lot of growing up, even physically your body still has changes till after 21, when it starts settling down.

A 25 year old has a lot more life experience under his/her belt. And is usually done with the school and starting out in life on a career. Granted this is not an absolute by any means.

That said, there's little you can do, but if she's 17, she still owes it to you to respect your wishes. And as long as their no danger to her physically or she won't have her bank account emptied, the worst that will happen is a broken heart, which is almost never fatal or forever.
My suspicion is that a 17 year old is going to outgrow a 25 year old who is interested in dating a 17 year old.
  #33  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:19 PM
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I'm 29 and pick up girls 18-24 (one 17yo who lied about her age to me). You don't even want to know the things a lot of 17-25 year olds do with random sketchy strange guys at the bar. Your daughter sounds like a smart kid and this guy sounds like a nice dude...they're friends, he's respectful with regards to pushing for sex (they've probably done it but if she says he said he was willing to wait till she's ready odds are he DID say/mean that back at the start). It's not like he's some creepy pedophile preying on her. He's part of her social circle and while he was akward with the phone call he's at least TRYING to show you he's responsible.

You can't snuff out attraction, just make sure you fully educate her on birth control and STD stuff and make sure she knows the nuances of the pill (missing a few days = baby city) etc so she can be safe about what they'll do with or without your approval. Then trust that you've raised a kid smart enough not to jeopardize her future.

Odds are she'll date him thru college (better that guy than her getting railed in threesomes with drunk fratboys right?) and he'll get closer to 30 and she'll grow up a bit and they'll both want different things and break it off.

Definately stick to your guns on punishing the lying though, I fully agree that the two are separate issues and as long as she userstands it's the lying she's in trouble for and you aren't trying to ruin the guy's life for having the audacity to dare like your daughter, you have a very solid foundation for having a trusting open communication relationship with your daughter with the topic of sex in the future.

All in all good work! I think you handled it great and just remember she could be seeing a lot worse of a guy than a dude who doesn't get shitfaced every weekend and doesn't lie about his age to her and doesn't avoid meeting her parents.

- TWTTWN
  #34  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWhoToTheWhatNow View Post
I'm 29 and pick up girls 18-24 (one 17yo who lied about her age to me). You don't even want to know the things a lot of 17-25 year olds do with random sketchy strange guys at the bar.
Tell me another one, Professor!!!

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 04-05-2011 at 11:29 PM..
  #35  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:31 PM
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I think you have a very good attitude towards this- you seem open to taking a nuanced view while still dedicated to protecting your daughter as she moves into adulthood.

Normally I am generally against any relationship with a significant age/power imbalance, but you're right that this particular set of circumstances seems fairly benign. Sure, there is room for things to go wrong, but there is room for things to go wrong in a more symmetrical relationship as well. She's close enough to 18 that it's not unreasonable for her to start making the kinds of choices adults make. And if she is happy and he seems like a decent guy, maybe it's an okay thing. Mature 17 year olds having sex is not an automatic recipe for disaster, but more of a warning to be cautious.

That said, I generally don't think young women should be getting into serious relationships of any sort. It's very easy to lose perspective and make sacrifices for a relationship that realistically isn't going anywhere. I wouldn't encourage them to play house or start inviting him to family holidays. Even if they date for a long period of time, take it slow before he "becomes part of the family." Getting serious can be very tempting at that age, and it feels good to be treated as an adult. But when you start thinking about a boyfriend, you stop thinking about yourself. I kick myself when I think of all the opportunities I missed when I was young because I was busy investing in relationships that I pretty much knew were not going to last into the next stage in life. I should have been maturing independently, not attached to another at such a young age.

As for birth control, plenty of 17 year olds are capable of being responsible for birth control, and there if she's as mature as you say, she's probably as invested in not having a baby as you are. Make sure she gets to the doctor, but I wouldn't intrude too much on the details- let her work it out with her doctor. She seems old enough to take control of her sexual health.
  #36  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
When you take her in for birth control, be sure to get her the HPV vaccine if she hasn't already had it.
Thanks for mentioning this. I will have to check her records, but I think her doctor recommended it, and she got one a few years ago at a routine check up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
My suspicion is that a 17 year old is going to outgrow a 25 year old who is interested in dating a 17 year old.
This is what I think may happen as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhoToTheWhatNow View Post
Odds are she'll date him thru college (better that guy than her getting railed in threesomes with drunk fratboys right?)
Thanks for the advice and encouragement! But holy shit, dude! I REALLY didn't need to read THAT!

even sven - Thanks, I put a lot of effort into trying to balance letting her learn her own lessons and knowing when to step in. I constantly second guess my decisions. In spite of that, she has been a great kid and has managed to avoid most of the troubles some of her friends have gone through, so far. I guess that's why this has thrown me for a loop.

I had the same experience with the over investment at a young age. Daughter and I have talked about that as well.

And she has said on many many occasions that she NEVER wanted kids. I always used to smile and say, "You never know, you might change your mind when you get older" Now I just say "GREAT!!"


Thank you all again. I know it's not so horrible on the grand scale, I just really want to handle it the best way I can for all of us.
  #37  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurningJapanese View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhoToTheWhatNow View Post
Odds are she'll date him thru college (better that guy than her getting railed in threesomes with drunk fratboys right?)
Thanks for the advice and encouragement! But holy shit, dude! I REALLY didn't need to read THAT!
Of course when I wrote that I didn't stop to think "wait, what if they DO break up before she goes off to college? Maybe I shouldn't be typing this..." haha

My apologies for any future anxiety attacks.

- TWTTWN
  #38  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:00 AM
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A 25 year old man interested in a 17 year old girl seems creepy to me. Whether he is just a little creepy or super creepy, I don't know. I would insist on meeting this dude to find out where are on the creep-o-meter he is. Once you meet him, you can have a better judgment on the situation. Even if he's super creepy, you can't forbid the relationship because that would just backfire, but you would be possibly prepared on the trouble your daughter might be in store for.
  #39  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:52 AM
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I was your daughter a decade ago. My parents pitched a fit about my 9-years-older boyfriend, forbid me from seeing him. I saw him anyway. I got myself on birth control thanks to Planned Parenthood.

13 years later, the boyfriend is now my husband. He supported me financially while I was in school. I have completed two college degrees and have a job that pays me rather handsomely. He runs a freelance business. My husband and I are working hard to pay off our debts and otherwise be good citizens. We hope to start a family later next year.
  #40  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:57 AM
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I guess I am old school, but what ever happened to the girl bringing home the boy and introducing him to her parents? Had she already guessed that neither mom nor dad would like her dating the boy? Interesting.

Be sure and tell her that even though you are helping her get birth control, that you are not condoning sex outside of marriage. I don't care what you did when you were single and dating. Neither you nor your ex are condoning sex at your daughter's age. Right? She can decide IF she wants children AFTER college. If she thinks it would be so much fun to have her very own baby to love, you may be a grandmother before you think.

Back to her dating an older man. Ask her to think about dating an older man while she is in college. She is studying and hanging out with fellow students in those odd hours that most students have (remember all those free afternoons at the lake?) The guy is holding down his 8 to 5 or whatever. Two different worlds.

Ask her if she is thinking of the guy as marriage material. Yes? OK, another bag of worms. If the answer is no, then be nice, but point out that she shouldn't be wasting his time or hers in a relationship that she knows she doesn't want to be in. Date with the idea of figuring out who you are, what you like, and where you want to be one day. If the "the rest of your life" is not in the equation, why are you still dating that person?

Another suggestion: Copy all this thread to a file and let her read it. Heck, you can even edit out certain statements if you want. She is a mature 17-year-old, right? She might get a kick out of total strangers' opinions. And get other points of view, too.
  #41  
Old 04-06-2011, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
My suspicion is that a 17 year old is going to outgrow a 25 year old who is interested in dating a 17 year old.
Assuming, of course, that they don't wind up growing up at the exact same time. I'd say I feel about three years younger than I actually am, and that's been consistent for a very long time. I've only dated one woman who was older than me, and she turned out to be literally crazy.

A question for the OP: Are they both seniors? For some reason college seniors and high school seniors often seem to feel they have something in common. It only lasts if the college graduate is going on to get a postgrad, and even then it will likely fail after that, as most people who date a someone with postgrad ambitions want one themselves.

I must admit I'm still not entirely sure why different levels of maturity freak people out, and only when it comes to dating. I'd say half the guys and at least a third of the girls I know act younger than they are. And I'm including acquaintances, so it's not biased based on my maturity level.
  #42  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Assuming, of course, that they don't wind up growing up at the exact same time.
As I said, it could happen. I don't know any of the individuals involved. And Pullet pointed out it worked for her.

But all that said, the odds are against it. Like Markxxx said, most people grow a lot between 18 and 23. If this guy didn't grow up then, he's not very likely to grow up now. In five years, she'll be a young adult of 22 and he'll be a 30 year old teenager.
  #43  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:01 AM
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Please, please ask your daughter what kind of birth control she prefers and don't just force her on hormonal birth control. I have good friends who have had terrible reactions to hormonal contraceptives, one of whom became seriously depressed for about two years after taking them for 8 months. I think it's a common fallacy to automatically assume that they are the best thing for a young woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
My suspicion is that a 17 year old is going to outgrow a 25 year old who is interested in dating a 17 year old.
I think this is a good point.
  #44  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasDriver View Post
Be sure and tell her that even though you are helping her get birth control, that you are not condoning sex outside of marriage. I don't care what you did when you were single and dating. Neither you nor your ex are condoning sex at your daughter's age. Right? She can decide IF she wants children AFTER college. If she thinks it would be so much fun to have her very own baby to love, you may be a grandmother before you think.
Come on now. What if, unlike you, they actually have realistic expectations of what their 17 year old daughter is going to do and condone her being in control of her own body to do it? Why does sex automatically = children? They've already discussed birth control and sex quite extensively.

Quote:
Ask her if she is thinking of the guy as marriage material. Yes? OK, another bag of worms. If the answer is no, then be nice, but point out that she shouldn't be wasting his time or hers in a relationship that she knows she doesn't want to be in. Date with the idea of figuring out who you are, what you like, and where you want to be one day. If the "the rest of your life" is not in the equation, why are you still dating that person?
I don't think it really needs to be said, but do not do this. Shouldn't be wasting her time in a relationship she doesn't want to be in? Clearly she does want to be in the relationship or she wouldn't be in it!

God, what a bunch of terrible advice all condensed down into one post.

Last edited by ladyfoxfyre; 04-06-2011 at 04:25 AM..
  #45  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasDriver View Post
Ask her if she is thinking of the guy as marriage material. Yes? OK, another bag of worms. If the answer is no, then be nice, but point out that she shouldn't be wasting his time or hers in a relationship that she knows she doesn't want to be in. Date with the idea of figuring out who you are, what you like, and where you want to be one day. If the "the rest of your life" is not in the equation, why are you still dating that person?

Because
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenPained View Post
Dating is practice for the grown up stuff.
It is not "what you do in order to select a spouse"; it can be but (please do not read this if you're fainthearted, TexasDriver) not everybody wants to get married and it's pretty much part of the definition of both "17 years old" and "23 years old" to be figuring out what they want their life to be like: this includes figuring out whether they do or do not want to get married. And some people do not want to get married and do want to have sex, either casually or as part of long-term relationships: o tempora, o mores!



(That's Latin for "won't someone think of the children?")

Last edited by Nava; 04-06-2011 at 04:53 AM..
  #46  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:57 AM
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My parents got together when my mother was 17 and my dad was 24. Think it's their 35th anniversary this year. Just saying. (Not saying that a relationship can only be a good thing if it leads to marriage though, that would be silly.)

I don't personally think there's that much chance of accidental grandkids at this stage; the older guy who tells his teenage girlfriends 'not to tell, people won't understand'-yes I'd be pretty worried; the older guy who wants to meet the parents, owns his own place (with his mother staying!).. You know, I can't see him wanting to get his teenage girlfriend knocked up at this point either.

When I was 25, one of my best friends (also female) was 17- never really felt that as a massive age gap. Really depends on the individuals concerned...
  #47  
Old 04-06-2011, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I would tell this scumbag once, and once only, that he was never to speak to my child again, and that would be the end of it.
That's one way to make sure the relationship lasts a long time, and that your daughter will never speak to you again.
  #48  
Old 04-06-2011, 07:42 AM
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I don't get the people saying, "oh, you can't stop her from seeing him." The hell I can't. It's not about forbidding her, it's about terrifying him.
  #49  
Old 04-06-2011, 08:36 AM
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No, but you can stop her from respecting you. If she thinks you make hasty, stupid decisions, she will think "Well, mom & dad don't know what they are talking about anyway" and as soon as she gets out of your reach she will do the stupid things anyway. Better to have her do them under your supervision and trusting you, coming home to tell you the issues.
  #50  
Old 04-06-2011, 08:40 AM
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I agree with those who say that a 25-year-old being interested in a 17-year-old is creepy. Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big an age difference. But looking at the different life stages they're at now, it's a huge difference. And it's skeevy.

My husband's roomate in college started dating a high-school sophomore when he was a junior in college. That's what, maybe a 5 year difference? And it was incredibly weird then - we teased him mercilessly. Because no way were they both in the same place.

I'm not saying it'll never work out, and I'm not trying to belittle those that did make a go of relationships that started in a similar way. I'm saying I totally understand where you're coming from, TJ. My mom woulda lost her damn mind.

And here's the interesting thing: I knew that, even back then. My parents' rule was that you could date someone in your class or the class above or below you, but dating beyond that was right out. So even if I wanted to date someone outside that range, I wouldn't have, because I knew the rules and respected them (and my parents). I wasn't the lying or sneaking around type, I guess.
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