My Teen Daughter is Dating an Older Guy

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December 9, 2006

My daughter told me yesterday that she has been dating, a 16 year old boy who is gothic and skips school, for months now. She is only 13. What should I say about this interesting relationship?

Thanks for the help,
Virginia from Atlanta, GA


September 23, 20110 found this helpful

Tell her why people date. Tell her what kind of man she should look for when she's older and tell her love is not like in the movies. Also, tell her how beautiful and smart she is everyday because girls need to hear that, especially from their dad or some sort of male figure. This guy could be a phase or it could be bad news.

Whatever you do, support her decisions and don't criticize. She needs support. Only support, this doesn't mean just for boys, try to support her in other interests that you think are appropriate in hopes that she will get more focused on music lessons or sports than on the guy.

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April 21, 2011

My daughter told me yesterday that she has been dating, a 16 year old boy who is gothic and skips school, for months now. She is only 13. What should I say about this interesting relationship?


Thanks for the help,
Virginia from Atlanta, GA


RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I can't say that I'd be letting my 13 year old daughter date anybody. Since you asked, I would say this, "You are too young to date. You are not allowed to go out with this guy, or any guy. If you disobey me, you will be punished." (12/09/2006)

By Lee Ann Perri

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

At 13 a girl should not be dating. It is too complicated a social situation for a child to navigate. She'll see boys at school, clubs, and church (if you're church-goers). Most of the gothic students at our high school are not into schoolwork or being respectful. They are more likely to skip school. They aren't all bad kids, some just want to belong, and this is a phase for them.

At 13, your daughter is probably in middle school and the boy is probably in high school. A 16 year old boy should be socializing with girls his own age. Why isn't he? If she were in high school she might see him in a different light. (12/10/2006)

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

She is underage & living in your home. Why is she allowed to set her own rules? If she is already out of control it's going to be a disaster as she gets older. (12/12/2006)

By Me

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

From my own experiences as a child, if my parents tried to break up a friendship between me and someone, I liked them that much more. Instead, with my boys, I invite the girl over. I try to get them to stay for supper, and just be super nice to her. So far, both boys, have only had one girl each that I didn't like so much, but after having the girl over as much as possible, the boys soon tired of them.

When you meet the boy, act like this guy is the most fantastic thing that has ever happened to your daughter, and that everything he does is the most wonderful thing. Believe me, this I know for sure, you will soon be hearing the doubts she has about him. Then one day they are gone and your child can't stand the sound of their name! Good luck, have patience. (12/12/2006)

By Jean in GA

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I don't think a 13 yr old should be dating. I know things have changed a lot but I think that's too young. If she were older, a 3 yr difference wouldn't matter much but a 16 yr old is too old for a 13 yr old!

Also, I'm not sure how she has been actually "dating" him and you didn't know till yesterday? (12/12/2006)

By Debbie Dzurilla

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I would find a church that has Wednesday night service (dinner) and Sunday late service, like at 11:30 in the morning. Tell her Gothic kids have a reputation. Maybe this boy is a good kid just not accepted by kids his own age. Let them sit with you and eat dinner at church. You can hear the kid talk and see how he acts. Then after the dinner there is youth group. They could go to that together. (Check with leader to make sure they go to the classroom)

Then on Sunday have them go to Sunday school together and church service. let her know if this boy doesn't want to go 'anywhere' just to be with her, he really isn't interested in 'her', just her body. Four good things happen from this arrangement. You get to know him, you can give your daughter a chance with him and if he doesn't like it he wasn't worth it, and they learn moral lifestyles, lets your daughter know she is worth a little trouble, if this boy doesn't think so another one will. After you get to know him tell her YOU will decide if he is good for her or not. We must do this for our kids, because they are not capable of knowing the danger signs like we are. (12/12/2006)

By Debbie

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Why is she interested in someone that much older? I'm a high school/middle school teacher and this is way wrong.Simply put, a 16 year old boy is looking to have sex with her. I see it every week!Why isn't he "dating" someone his own age? more than likely the girls his age don't want to date him.

I agree with the post "You are too young to date. You are not allowed to go out with this guy, or any guy. If you disobey me, you will be punished." but be careful of the backlash from her. Have some things planned that you can do with her or with her friends. If you simply say no, more than likely she will rebell and this could cause more problems.

Get involved now! Talk to the school counselor, his counselor and parents. And the school resource officer (the school cop) if you need to. Serious problems could be ahead if you don't take action now. I am not trying to scare you needlessly but you need know this a very serious problem. (12/12/2006)


RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I agree that a 13 year old is too young to date. The only way I would even consider anything like that would be if they are supervised or chaperoned any time they are together. I think the boy would lose interest very quickly.Three years is a big difference when children are that young.

If she won't listen get her to talk to a guidance counselor maybe. Lastly, remember, you are the parent and it's your house, your rules.Don't be afraid to have your teenager mad at you occasionally, it's part of the parenting process. (12/12/2006)


RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

You are not your daughter's helpless buddy standing by while she has this dilemma; you are her parent, her mentor, her guide, her boundary-setter. She is encountering a huge upswing in hormonal growth at this time. Unfortunately, it is unaccompanied by the same rate of mental growth in judgment-making or abstract reasoning.

It is critical that you set the boundaries for her, that you parent her. Whether choirboy or goth youth, the rules for dating must be the same: No dating at all before such a grade. Afternoon dates only until such a time, No dates at all on school nights. Parents must drive on dates until such a time.

At all times you must know where when and with whom, no matter how old she is. And you will check. Then welcome her young man warmly into your home to do the things that are appropriate for your daughter. Screen movies for them to watch together. Have her serve snacks that she has made with your assistance. Have them prepare a simple meal together (pizza and a salad) from scratch and serve it to everyone. Have a barbecue and invite another pair of their friends over. Do a small home renovation project together.

Go shopping together. Take them bowling or to an ice rink or a sports game that your daughter likes. Let him understand that it is not all about him, but that he is welcome to celebrate her. If this becomes to tedious for him, or too babyish, she will see him. I believe, for the poseur he is. If he hangs in there, he may even drop the Goth pose and find he's quite the likable guy. (12/13/2006)

By Counselor Katie.

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Your are the parent she is 13 she should not be allowed to date until she is at least 16 parents are letting their kids set the rules. Because we want to be their friends which we are not! My daughters were only allowed to wear foundation when they were 12 no other make up was allowed and if caught they were grounded. We as parents need to take responsibility for our kids, Even going out on group dates they will find away to be alone. Accept this boy into your home and show him that you care enough to be concern where this is going. (12/14/2006)

By Brenda

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I am wondering if this girl lives with her father. That could explain why mom didn't know what was going on for months. If that is the case, the mother needs to find a way to be involved and set limits. (12/15/2006)


RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

13 may be too young to date, but at 13, kids like to put a "cool" label on "getting to know each other". I would know, because I'm in 8th grade with a million girls and guys that think they're going out, but how can you call being picked up by your mom at the movies a date? If the guy was responsible and respected your daughter, I would suggest that you let them play "date", but closely monitor their relationship (without snooping).

Personally, I have a "crush" on a 10th grader that I met at CHURCH, but would only go out with him if he respected me and wanted to get to know me for who I am.Discuss with your daughter about what she really wants in a guy and what she's actually getting out of this relationship. If you take her seriously, you'll be surprised how much she'll want your advice.

I also just wanted to say, thanks for being concerned. There's so many mothers that don't give a freak, but you obviously want the best for your daughter. (01/04/2007)

By ...

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

14 year old bride married to 19 yr old (by reason of pregnancy!) Yes, this happened in my family. Parents paid $240 to a lawyer he submitted papers to a judge, he granted them a court ordered marriage license. Her parents were not ok with all of this but signed for it anyway to keep everyone (including themselves) out of jail. I thought it was all a garbage, but the baby is due here in the next couple of weeks. Lady, I tell you get her away from him in a heart beat. Seek counseling on how to do it right though or otherwise she will see him anyhow. (01/04/2007)

By Joyce A Ratasepp

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I agree with two points mentioned - she is far too young to date and also the post about being nice to the guy. The reason your daughter is dating such a freak is an act of rebellion against you. If you are not reactive against her seeing him, and be nice to him and invite him over all the time then she may tire of the situation herself.

If you ban her from seeing him, she will rebel and want to see him more! Being a goth, he is also looking to shock adults, which is probably why he chases 13 year olds. If you are nice to him, he will not get the reaction he wants and will probably stop hanging around. (01/11/2007)

By Cathy

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I see that a lot of parents are saying not to let your daughter date because she is 13. But in the world today, kids are growing up so much faster, and her interest in boys is not going to disappear. and if they have been dating for a while. Maybe he actually does like her. Yes, most of the time boys only want one thing, but we also have to understand, there are guys who are little players who actually do find the right girl and settle down. Also, if he wants to express himself as a goth, that shouldn't be a problem, it shows he is emotional. instead of jumping to conclusions.

Meet the Boy, you might actually like him, if you put aside what he looks like. REMEMBER looks aren't everything. IF your daughter is happy, then let her date him, just keep an eye on things and don't give her complete free range with him, happiness is whats best as long as he isn't dragging her down with him into his little Gothic trend.Hope you give your daughter and this boy a chance. (02/20/2007)

By Amanda

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Ashamed to admit my lack of knowledge, but what does "gothic" mean?:)(b)Editor's Note:(/b) Gothic or Goth is a style of dress. Normally black hair (dyed), white skin, dark eye make up and black clothing. (03/26/2007)

By Willem

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I think that a 13 year old wanting to date isn't as serious as people made it. I remember when I was that age and was "dating". Compared to now it wasn't really dating. The only way it would get on that level if the guy is older, then i don't think that you should allow a 13 year old to date a junior or senior. If she wants to "date" her peers I think it would be okay. I had my boy friend at that age I was so called "dating" him.

My mom was okay with it. I think I turned out pretty good with the dating situation. My boyfriends were allowed to come to my house we would hangout in living room and in my room with door open. As my age changed certain regulation changes but I mean I thought that was very fair.

When I have kids long time from now I want to follow in my mom's good parenting footsteps. I think the "you are too young to date" you are not allowed to go out with this guy, or any guy. if you disobey me,will be punished" isn't very effective.

I have friends who had parents like that and they ended up rushing into things, because they had to sneak around. What your middle school age child wants to do, isn't really "dating" unless its with someone older because they'll influence her. Anyway just offering my opinion =) (07/31/2007)

By highschool senior

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Your daughter is far too young to be "dating" a boy in high school. she can't possibly have a mature enough way of thinking or judgment to realize what is really going on. I advise you to check this boy out. meet him and see if he is going to have a bad influence on her. do not allow her to go on single "dates" with him alone until she is at least a few years older.

This relationship as it is could lead to serious problems, and if not resolved, could drive you further away from your daughter. Let her hang out with him in a group or with an adult's supervision, but don't let it go unnoticed. Always be kind and open to her, while at the same time laying down the rules and expecting them to be followed. You need to set better boundaries for your daughter so she will be able to make better decisions on her own in the future. Good Luck. (04/14/2008)

By Cookie

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

People need to think of it from the girls view. I'm 13 and I like my friends older brother whose 17. And I've been hanging around him a lot lately. He's actually liked by a lot of my friends and most people don't think of my crush has a bad thing.

I think its about what you're all about in the relationship. For most girls I know its not about being cool or because he's older and you're rebelling. It's about the fact that you like the guy for who he is and he likes you too. At an older age with the same age difference people say it's different, but really there is no difference. You are the same age apart, and that is not going to change. So if its wrong now its gotta be wrong later too! Am I right? (05/13/2008)

By aj

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I'm 15 and I totally agree that 13 is a bit too soon but I do love a guy in my school and this is his last year. I just have to say a lot of you adults are just a tad paranoid. All typical parents will say "Oh, he's just using her for sex". This does not have to be the case. The guy I like is taking things really slow with me. Oh and labels do not matter whatsoever. Goth, punk, prep, jock, gangster, it doesn't matter if you love them. Except the school skipping part is definitely a problem. I say you end that before she wants to skip class to hang out with him. (05/24/2008)

By Monika

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

My daughter just turned 15 and I had thought her boyfriend just turned 17. Not the case he just turned 18 and now is out of high school. even at this age I think she is too young. Like someone said "date" in your peer group.

Amanda, kids are growing up faster because we as parents allow it bottom line. Do you want to go back a century where girls were being married out by their parents at 12 or younger. Enjoy childhood you get one chance at it. That was growing up fast. Growing up fast these days means kids doing what ever they want whenever they want because their parents are slacking or want to "Be friends"

Aj, you make our point of how a young girl views things. Girls do think it is cool to be "going with" an older boy. Happened in past generations and happens now. And there is a major difference between 13 and 17 than say 25 & 29. Using your argument it would be ok for a 14 & 10 year old. Doesn't wash.

I am trying to be open minded about it. I am only 20 yrs older than my daughter and I had my fun as a teenager believe me. Heck her and I listen to the same music which was unheard of when I was growing up. That doesn't mean we are best friends.

We as parents are here to look out for our kids and their best interests whether they agree or not.So where are we forbid and she will sneak around and do it. Bring him into the family and he may run. Which would be good for me. Either way chances are they are or will be sleeping together soon. I just hope she is smart about it. (06/11/2008)

By Eric

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I'm fourteen and I think that is a good age to start dating, even though I've dated before.I'm really falling for this guy, but the problem is he's 18. We both really like each other but my mom has a big problem with it. I'm not asking for alone time with him, heck I don't care if she come to the movies with us, all I want is to see him.

She called the cops on him and they gave him a warning to not make any contact with me but we sneak and talk on the phone and text each other.

Today was my sister's girlfriend's birthday party and I had him come but my ex boyfriend (who might I add is only a year younger then him and my mom doesn't have a problem with him) ratted me out and told my mom he was there. My mom called the cops again so now the cops are investigating :'(

We are dating but were keeping it a secret. He said he loves me a lot and is really falling hard for me but he might not be able to do this because he can get in serious trouble. I've tried and tried and tried so hard to get my mom to at least meet him but she's to stubborn. She's like "I'll meet him in court while there taking him away in hand cuffs" blahx3.

He even tried to get her to like him. He picked her flowers once and she just nagged at me that I was grounded (because I went in my drive way to say "hi" to him). My mom said I could go to the movies with him as long at my sister and her girlfriend tagged along. I was really excited and then once he came in my drive way to say hi to me she flipped out!

I need advice, Quick!:(Please write back to what you think I should do, or If you think my mom is right about all this. (07/25/2008)

By Love vs. Law

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

To the last poster.You are way to young for and 18 year old man. If he is interested in a girl that is only 14 then there is something wrong. He should be dating ladies his age. The difference between 14 and 18 for you now is a lot. When you are 18 and he is 22 then not so much. He should be more mature then to want to be with a 14 year old girl. I am not trying to be mean just from experience when I was younger. If you really like this person and he likes you wait another 2 to 4 years. Sorry this is not what you wanted to hear. (07/26/2008)

By wacky camper

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I've known this guy for 6 weeks now, and we are dating. However, he's 3 and a half years older than me. I'll be 16 in a couple of months and then 6 months later he will be 20! At my age, yes, this is a big deal. We haven't even talked about sex or anything along those lines. He says the nicest things, and yes I am falling for him and badly. The other problem is that we have been dating for 3 weeks now, but 2 of those weeks have been in secret.

We told a few people we were dating and a quarter of those reactions were bad and miffed. So we decided to just date in secret. However, my best friend works with my boyfriend and she keeps telling me that we should both go back out together. I feel so bad lying to her, but then if I told her things would go back to being so complicated. It's hard with the age difference because at the moment it is a big issue.

It will be better when I turn 16 in a couple of months. But I've read the comments above about how he's only after one thing and how nobody his own age will date him, but that is untrue as a girl at his work fancies him so much! But do you think that this will work? I speak to him every night for hours on end.

I've met up with him once on mutual ground at both of our friends house. I sat next to him the whole night and while it was a bit awkward at first, it was fine afterward. Also, I see him at my best friends work, when I go to meet her and everything is fine. But I've never been alone with him to date. I'm not scared about doing it, in fact looking forward to doing it. Were planning to go to the cinema in a couple of days which will be good :) So yeah basically, I love him and he does as well. Does four years really matter? (12/29/2008)

By Charlotte

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I'm 16 an I'm with a guy that is 22. I love him with all my heart but I have to live in a big lie everyday. I have to lie to my parents because my mom put charges on me for being with him and is wanting to put me in jail for being with him. I just wish she would understand and see what a good guy he is. (02/04/2009)

By Marie

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Ok, here is the deal people. My daughter who is 13 starting seeing this boy who was 17. I did not want it to happen but he was a friend of my sons who is 16. The long of it short is she is not emotionally mature. Those of you who are young girls will not understand until you are older. You are not ready to deal with the maturity level of an older guy.

It is kind of creepy to think that he is praying on the innocents that you have. Why let someone take away your child hood. Enjoy your youth. Stay young and just be friends with boys and hang out. OH and I don' t mean friends with benefits or just hooking up at a party. That is gross. Do you find your self being secretive, hiding things, lying to your friends and family? If so then guess what its wrong.

If you are hiding things then something is not right. If the relationship was meant to be than a few years of you growing up will be much more healthy than you being an emotional wreck. He wont be able to go to dances with you or school functions. So are you going to stay home. NONONO don't do that to yourself.

Enjoy your time he had his in high school. Stop letting this older guys steal your childhood. Ugg why wont you girls see that you are worth so much more to yourself. Go out and prove us all wrong get good grades, make a lot of money, get your own place, and then start dating him when you have accomplished your goals. (03/02/2009)

By momwithteens

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Hi, I am 16 and when I was 14, I had a 17 1/2 year-old boyfriend. My parents were very against it and they did everything they could to stop it, and so I went behind their back about it, but guess what? I don't regret it! Teenagers are supposed to be irresponsible and silly and make bad decisions! That's what teenage-hood is for!

I knew my limits and stuck to them, and I had a great time with my boy while it lasted, and we still talk! And guess what? Just cos I had a 17-yr-old boyfriend at age 14, does not mean I am a down and out stupid head.

I got my NCEA Level 1 endorsed with Merit thank you very much! I do think that 13 is a bit too young to be dating, and I think 14 would be better and then, I think if the boy was 17 then, it would be an alright age gap. But hey, she's been honest now, it must have taken her some courage! Why not give the boy a chance? Just don't give her too much freedom with him, keep some tabs on her and definitely tell her if she ever, EVER skips school, you WILL come down on her like a ton of bricks! (04/22/2009)

By Marion Wilson

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Hi I'm 15 and I practically date a 20 year old and there's nothing wrong with the age gap, no one minds not even the pastor and youth leaders at church. Your daughter has really trusted you by telling you this, I know how hard it is to talk to my parents about it (they're the reason we don't actually date). You need to make time to talk to her about it, ask her what she sees in the guy, get to know him and don't judge him before you meet him.

Yeah the school skipping thing is a problem but maybe by accepting him you could help? and you could encourage your daughter to tell him its not cool and help him stop. Whether the age gap is a problem or not really depends on maturity I think. And why does everyone think older guys are only out for sex? My friend Joseph (20) has gotta be one of the nicest most decent guys I know and he would never take advantage of me or any girl. (07/14/2009)

By Rosie

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

I can't believe you teen age girls thinking you are really in love, and especially with older guys. Yes, when I was a teen ager, I had a crush on an older guy, but I also knew I would never be allowed to date him, in fact I wasn't allowed to even date until I was sixteen, and then only for special occasions. Your parents should know where you are and who you are with at all times.

My daughters weren't allowed to date until age 16, and then again only for special things, and home by midnight at the latest and that was for homecoming and proms. I guess I can't believe your parents are letting you girls date these older guys. (08/17/2009)

By Joan

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Tell her she is only allowed to see him if he comes to the house while you all are at home. If you forbid it they will sneak around. If he truly likes her he will obey your direction. He probably needs a family environment anyway. Maybe your positive influence will help him get back on the straight and narrow. (08/08/2010)

By Marisha

RE: Daughter Dating an Older Guy

Just don't be too strict to your daughter so you will know everything what happen to your girl and she will not hide anything from you in terms of this matter. Just make sure to explain to her all the limitation and priorities. (01/12/2011)

By Joshua Ty

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