A question I receive often is, "How did you make the decision to date and marry a younger guy?
" While it's fairly common for a woman to marry an older man, the reverse isn't as much of a social norm. Travis and Leah, who have been married close to 20 years, met while attending the same six-week missions organization training.
Once kids start to drive and have the little independence that teens should rightfully be given, controlling who they date becomes more difficult. When I was 15 I dated a 19 year old behind my parents back. The age of consent in the US is 16 years old at least, and higher than that in most states. Anywho, I agree that a parent must tread carefully when it comes to teenager's relationships (teenager anything, really) but that doesn't mean you don't have a right as their parent to put your foot down and make your wishes known.
I would strongly discourage relationships with too large of an age gap, but there's really only so much you can do. When I turned 19 looking back, I realized just how different a 19 year old and a 15 year old were, and why my parents did not approve. I really think it depends, but as a general rule I would probably have a problem with my DD dating anyone over 2 years older. Just because they might "do it anyway" doesn't mean it's pointless to dissent.
For me, I would be VERY uncomfortable with my 15 y/o dating an 18 y/o in most cases. Whether or not I know this 18 y/o well matters, etc. I celebrated my 17th birthday just one month after his 20th but we kept our relationship hushed until then.
The money didn't matter at all, but he wasn't a bad guy and was trusted to help out the family when we needed it.
I guess it was because I'd heard two or three stories of the woman being seven years older, so I'd sort of decided that was the outer limit of age difference acceptability. (And I would hit 31 a month before his next birthday.) Feeling defeated, I sat at the small wooden table in Starbucks, where I was meeting Kevin for the first time since my startling discovery. In case you're wondering, I married that guy eight months later.
I don't know why this one year made such a difference to me.
After spending a few days trying to adjust to the fact that the handsome co-leader of my small group was seven years my junior, I had just realized that he was actually eight years younger!
When I was 15 my parents would not let me date a 19 year old. I just moved on (clearly I wasn't that interested). From the outside looking in, I can't see why people would have a problem with it.
I did find it quite ironic though, as my mom was 16 when she was dating my 22 year old father (my grandparents clearly did not approve and they dated behind their backs until she was 1. I'm a teen with no car, no money, no place to live (on my own, anyway), and still no formal education. I was forbidden to see him but that never stopped me.
I was dating a man who lived alone, over an hour from my home, and who drove and was generally more mature than I was. In fact, we married each other 6 weeks after I graduated.
The funny thing is, he bought groceries and Christmas presents for my family because my parents couldn't afford it and promised to pay him back.