What do you think about age gap?

I don't really get the whole issue of age gaps. If someone was 17 and he/she consents to being in a sexual and emotional relationship with someone that is about 5 or more years older, what is the problem? Besides the legal reasons.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • It comes down to maturity. At 17, you tend to think you have the world all figured out, then you get a little older and realize you don't have a clue. Almost everyone goes through that period. And you're saying "well, not me, I'm different..." No, you're not. You're just like everyone else, and so were we.

    The 22 year old is a little older and wiser, and is capable of manipulating a pseudo-wise 17 year old. So there's an element of "maybe this 22 year old is using this 17 year old." That may or may not be the case, but the stigma is there.

    But once everyone is of legal age, the age gap dynamic changes. That same 22 year old can go five years the other way and date a 27 year old, and no one bats an eyelash, because everyone involved is presumed to have enough wisdom to make good decisions (which many don't at any age, but that's another discussion). Plus there's no adult-child dynamic. Different cultures have different ideas on what constitutes an "adult", in terms of romantic and/or sexual involvement. Personally, I think 18 is the line, although at 35, I'd have a hard time dating an 18 year old, but for someone a little younger, knock yourself out. Some states in America have an age of consent of 14, which I think is absolutely disgusting. There's nothing adult about a 14 year old. But that's in weird places where they don't care if you marry your cousin either, haha.

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    • another way to look at it, @WhiteSteve and @MidnightCityBaby, is in terms of ratios, for the 17 year old, 5 years is just a little less than a fifth of their entire life, while for a 22 year old, it is only a little less than a quarter...

      Steve, i commented on you're opinion because i would just repeat you if i made my own opinion

    • Most of that is arbitrary. The brain is in development (for most people) until around twenty-five. Not everyone matures at the same rate. To the best of my knowledge there are also no states in the U. S. with an age of consent at fourteen. The minimum as far as I know is sixteen, which is the federal age of consent.

      It seems like more unnecessary government intervention. If people want to do things that are harmful to themselves they ultimately have that option regardless of their age, at least when their brain has matured enough to begin its higher cognitive functioning. People have and deserve free will. Fear is what causes laws like that, not reason.

      You believe that it is disgusting but that is merely your belief, an opinion. Don't confuse that with fact because it isn't.

What Guys Said 16

  • well the difference often between 17 and 22 is huge vs say 27 and 32? Why? the 17 is not even on their own yet. They probably don't really know what they want or where they want to go or what life has for them. The 22 year old has FIVE YEARS on them in terms of understanding.

    so it is best for the 17 year old to find out what life is about before committing to someone that is 5 years older.

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    • I'm almost 17 and I can see where you'd think that but it's nice to be with somone that has all their shit together. Could actually learn a thing ot two and be helped out on their experience.

  • The fear with age gaps in romantic and sexual relationships is that the older and more 'mature' party has the potential to manipulate the less experienced party and use them for their own ends. The problem with this fear is that it lacks much scientific merit outside of brain development and even that seems questionable.

    It also prevents people who may be mature enough to handle the circumstance from legally pursuing a relationship for fear of a negative social stigma and legal repercussions. It seems to be a relic of a bygone era when fear motivated many laws like prohibition. The reality is that, biologically, males and females can produce more viable offspring while they are younger and with less complications. They would also be closer in mental development to their children, possibly allowing for more smooth communication rather than being farther detached from their own youth.

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  • Yea I am with you. I don't think it matters either. I think that is between those two people. If both are mature and know what they are getting into I say go for it.

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  • Its kinda wrong when your in the highschool age, but after 20 or so its ot really weird.

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  • I prefer thigh gap

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    • lol, nice one, but thigh gaps are really not that attractive. they might look kinda good at first, but then it just gets weird how you have a fucking gap. that basically means you have no leg muscles lol

    • Show All
    • More than an inch of thigh gaps are whack.

    • Models body < voluptuous bikini body

  • i don't see any problem... and at 17 you're not illegal.

    why people find age gap a deal braker is surprising

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  • It's absurd. Why do people feel the need to step into something that doesn't involve them at all?
    I can understand that with a huge age gap, the two people may have trouble understanding each other as they wouldn't have much in common... but then again, they might get along perfectly well. There is no rule to this.

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  • I guess it's all got to do with the maturity level of both persons
    if they could keep things basically only relationship only and
    wait a year to have sex than it would be fine there was couple
    dating he was age 19 she was 17 but they kissed, dated but
    no sex until she became age 18. But i agree usually age
    16 is the age of consent in most states, your best to check
    the laws in your state but really age 17 is way more than
    age of consent...

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  • Aside from the obvious potential legal issues (they vary from place to place so it may actually be legal depending on where you are) I see no issue with this

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  • I m talking to a girl who's more than a decade younger than me... and 2 girls before her were also about a decade younger than me. I decided to go back to school and it's about proximity often. They don't seem to mind at all although I find myself being very patient at times. It's less of a concern when people are older but thr less sophisticated are always at a disadvantage but if the older has good intentions, I don't se mucj of a problem if there's trust.

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    • Having said this, teenagers almost always don't know who they are and what they want. This is a risk the older person has to consider before starting a relationship. She may change and want or need something else from her partner. From reading some psychology articles...26 seems to an average age where women are more mentally stable. Until them, they may or may not dramatically change/grow... it's sometimes hard to trust someone who's constantly changing and growing... you can't predict the future

  • So true you can't help who you fall in love with. I have dated girls much younger them me

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  • I'm gonna be 26, and I mostly connect with 19-23 year olds. Older ones are waaaaay too grown up for me.

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  • Probably maturity. I was going to go on a date with a college grad to talk about application but then she saw i was getting a lift from my mom and might have changed her mind lol

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    • One thing I learned Is to try and not judge someones situation

  • age is never matter for love and sex, here understanding matters

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  • I've read a story about that, but no problem there though, but I guess that's because it was only a story. :\
    Well I guess 17's alright. :)

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  • NP at all as long as he/ she is legal... in the UK its 16.

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What Girls Said 83

  • It's all about maturity. I'm 22 and my boyfriend is 28, but it hardly feels like there's a 6.5-year age gap between us. We relate to each other well and have a surprising amount in common. The coolest part is that we're able to have deep, serious conversations and we can also tease each other. The trick is to not take ourselves too seriously, even though after a year and a half our relationship is getting pretty serious.

    It's also about where the two people are in their lives. I'm in my last year of school and my BF just went back for a second degree; the fact that we're both students makes it a lot easier to find time to chat. If one (or both) of us were working, things would be very different!

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  • Well.. everyone is different. And that 17 year old may be mature for there age, but the age gap is still a thing. I'm assuming you're 17 and someone/people are telling you you shouldn't date an older guy.
    Look, I know you feel grown up, but there's still a lot you don't know, don't have experience with. You are still in high school, and this man is out of college. He is two stages of life ahead of you. It's important for relationships to be on the same page. And I'm not questioning this guys character in anyway, but he being so much older, he could take advantage of your youngness/niaveness or maybe even subconsciously pressure you into doing something or simply just changing who you are. There's a lot of pressure on a much younger girlfriend. You will feel the pressure to be grown up and mature for him and his friends. And he will always have to remember that you're young and have limitations. He'll have to make excuses for you, or miss out on nights out with you because you're still young. Just give it a couple years! The older you get, the less the age gap matters because the "life stages" broaden their age limits. I'm in no way judging your relationship, or if it's not a relationship, your choice of men. But take it from someone who has been there. Don't go there. Wait. If the guy "loves" you, he can wait around a year or 2. But honestly, I think there's still plenty of great opportunities, you just have to be patient!

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  • Well I don't know my opinion is that me as a 17 year old would be grossed out to have someone my best friends sisters age want to date or have sex with me! It would gross me out and turn me off. Don't get me wrong I love "older guys" but no older than 19, i most definitely would find it unnattractive if a 20 odd year old fancied me (british term) but you'll get it when you're older. That when u look back and see how naive you may have been thinking (and excuse me if this comes across rude it's not intentional) you will honestly say "ew, why did he/they like me?" "That's really disgusting that he's a grown man liking a pubescent teen:&" because trust me the transition from 16 to 17 changed my way of thinking and it felt kind of over night where I looked back on my adolescent bullshit that I said and asked myself why? Because I used to think the same shit too, what's wrong with an age gap? But then the transition through age gave me the question what would a grown man want with a little girl? And yes we're not little girls but its still a sick thought that a guy in the eye of the law or even women in the eye of the law would want with someone classed as a child

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  • One of my best friends got married at 19 and the guy is ten years older than her. She's 25 now and they're still together and super happy and as of two months ago expecting their first child. So in my opinion age isn't an issue. I get where the problems come from though, the fear that the older party will take advantage to the detriment of the younger party... But that isn't really to do with age, it's to do with being a good or bad person. Dating someone your own age can just as easily lead to manipulation and hurt as it can if you date someone older than you.

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  • My bf is 2 years younger than me. I don't mind an age gap. BUT it more depends on the maturity level. A 17 year old could still be a junior in HS or a senior. What would a guy that's 21-22 want to be doing with a high schooler? Or any guy thats older than that. Of course as long as they are both mature and consenting then I don't see a big problem with it.

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    • 21 year old guy? Could be a college student. There are differences between college and high school, but they're still students, and could be studying the same thing. Could be religious and attend the same church, could attend the same community events. It's not such a big age gap that they would be going to see different bands, so maybe they met at a show. 17 is old enough to have a part time job, so they could work together. There's lots of things they might have in common.

    • Still, why would he want to be with a high school girl? She probably has a lot of thing she might not be allowed to do because of her parents that would restrict her from being able to do things that he is already able to do.

  • I think it can be alright, but I think to a certain degree it can also be a terrible idea. For example, I think if you are under 18 especially if you're closer to like 15-16 and younger, you have no business doing stuff with someone in their twenties.. that's illegal and just not a good idea at all. I also think people who are in their twenties shouldn't be dating people in their 40's... the "age gap" should have its limits. I think it's perfectly fine to date people that are like 5-7 years older or younger in most situations.. i'm 20 and my last boyfriend was 27 which I think is perfectly fine. I would never be able to go for someone old enough to be my dad though...

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  • You're still young and you (should be) at a completely different stage than someone that is sufficiently older than you. 5 years can be a big difference in some cases and in others not so much. Say someone who is 15 with someone who is 20 or someone that is 25 worthy same who is 20 year old. Although the age gap is technically the same here the fifteen year old is at a completely different stage in life, they're still a kid, figuring out who they want to be and experiencing life at that age. If you are under 18 I'd advise that to stay away from older relationships because odds are that more often than not that person is manipulating you. They look for someone they can prey on and control easily just by being older. Since they are older the younger "lover" is going to look up to them and trust in what they say, they'll want their reassurance. This does not go for every situation but more often than not an adult will be looking for someone that has grown of of that developmental stage and matured into the next stage of growing up and not someone that has been denied that childhood privilege. Once you hit 18 you're allowed to make your own choices but honestly you have the rest of your life to worry about love and sex and the connection between them.

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  • The problem is that younger people are easily manipulated by older people, sometimes because they see it going somewhere or think that they are loved, when most of the time the older person is seeing it as strictly sex. The rule of thumb is to date within two years until you are 18, then 18-20 is date within 3 years, and once you are in your twenties it is not as important.

    Another problem with bigger age gaps is that there is usually a gap in place in life. If they are 24 and in the real world, they have to deal with real world problems like paying bills and going to work. Whereas if you are 17 you are worried about high school problems and prom and who you friends are. It is often hard to ignore these gaps in life when it comes to a serious relationship. A college student struggling in a class may feel as though a high schooler wouldn't fully understand their stress and may not validate any stress a high schooler might feel.

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  • nothing... people assume the older person is taking advantage... i really dont see anything wrong with it to be honest

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  • A 17 year old lives at home, is in high school, has parents that pay for a cell phone, health insurance, dental insurance, make them food, do the grocery shopping, pay for their housing and utilities. Someone 5 years older has a lease and should be paying a lot of their own bills. A 5 year age gap in say the 30's doesn't make as much of a difference but the difference between a high schooler and a college senior or someone of equivalent age and maturity is huge. And also really really odd on the older partners like really sketchy.

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  • None except sometimes guys that are going for a girl like that are in it for the wrong reasons. even if they promise they aren't, and the girl, believes, them, they are.

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  • As long as the guy/girl is "old enough" to fully understand what they are getting involved in and likewise "mentally competent" to make such decisions, find someone you like and enjoy life; age isn't an issues as long as the two people involved are content with it.

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  • Age is just a number and I've dated guys 5 years older than myself. BUT! Be aware that you do have those older people that will manipulate you into doing things. But that's only if you let them. Not saying every older person you date is gunna be a problem but just know what you're getting into.

    I like dating older guys because they're experienced and know exactly what they want.

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  • It's really not a big deal.

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  • At 17, you're still in high school and aren't mature enough yet despite what you may think. If you were 20, it is different because there are no legal problems and even in those three short years you've had some time to gain more maturity and understanding.

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  • There are many reasons. Maturity level is one. There's a big difference between a 17 year old and someone who is 22 year old or older. Another is that they are simply at different point in their lives, someone in their 20s is getting ready for college graduation, getting a job, and maybe even traveling internationally while a 17 year old is still in high school. Even more so is that 17 year olds are still growing and figuring things out. I can't even began to explain how much I have changed since I was 17 and it has only been two years, I shake my head at some of the thing I used to think and do at 17. If there is someone who is 5+ years older than you they'll be ok with waiting a few years.

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  • My boyfriend is 7 years younger than me (I'm 28 & he's 21) I see no reason to not be together because of age. Yes the legal age is 18 but nowadays people pretty much accept 17 as able to consent. Hell you can get married in some places at 16.. so there's no reason to not accept 17 in my opinion

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  • Love has no number and sees no color
    Love is blind

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  • The legal reasons ARE the problem. And for those reasons I find the relationship grossly wrong.

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  • I'm 17 and i would feel uncomfortable dating a much older guy. He would most likely already have graduated from college while I'm still in high school. A 17 year old and a 22 year old are at two completely different stages of life, and therefore have different interests, problems and priorities. Besides, I would feel childish and inferior being around someone who is so much older.

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    • But at the same time it would have to depend on the person. I am also 17 but I feel (just as many other 17 year old may feel) that I am mature. I have 20-something and almost 30 year old friends so it wouldn't be a shocker or uncomfortable-ness for me to date someone that age. And yes, I would be mindful that at that point we will have different priorities and problems in our lives, this plays a major role in compatibility in my opinion. However, those priorities that the teen currently has will pass and soon they may have the same agenda as their older significant other.

  • An adult shouldn't date anyone underage.. Too many risks involved. Once both are adults my general rule of thumb is to never date a man old enough to be my father or young enough to be my son.

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  • its more about power imbalances in relationships
    if the younger sees the older as more mature, powerful than them, then it can cause problems such as being scared to bring up tough issues because they dont want to seem like a baby.
    Often the reason many people are wary of age gaps is because it is a lot easier for the older one to be abusive and the younger one won't speak out because theyre scared its their fault for getting into the relationship in the first place

    there's probably more reasons but thats all i can things of
    - personally i am not agaisnt age gaps as long as there isn't a feeling of being superior/inferior to each other

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  • I'm not one to judge... but seeing relationships where a man in his 60's is with a woman in her 20's makes me very uncomfortable, as does seeing a young teenager with someone who is passed 20 or so.

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  • I think its not a deal breaker or anything however that fact that the 17 year old is still in secondary (High School) has a lot of effects on the mental abilities between the two. For me, I'm 19 now and at the time of 18 was seeing a man who was 21. As I look back I feel really bad for him (even though it was only a little over a year ago) because of how much I had yet to learn about life. I was childish and even though I was told to be "mature for my age" and I graduated secondary 2 years early I still just wasn't on the same level as him. The amount of things I have learned between 18 - 19 is overwhelming about life, however beautiful. If I was in a relationship with that same man now it would be so different from just a year ago. However this is from my experience, it is different for every person. But just because you're 'mature' or 'smart' doesn't mean you are even close to the same place he or she could and probably it mentally. There is so much to learn about the 'real world' and everyone learns it differently and at different times.

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  • Depends on where you are from with the legal reasons, in the UK the age of consent is 16 so there would be no legal issues. But somewhere with a higher age of consent, the guy or girl depending on who is the oldest could potentially be arrested. However, if they wanted to be together waiting to have sex until the younger of the two is legal, then there shouldn't be a problem. I personally like to date older guys, I don't see anything wrong with it. Depending on the ages of course!

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  • It all depends on the individuals. In my relationship now there is 6 years difference, I never feel it though.

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  • When you're that young, you can be easily manipulated, even older people get manipulated. The thing is that there is a fear that the older person can use the experience they have and take advantage of the inexperience of the young one and used it, for their own satisfaction. It wouldn't be the first time it happens. There is a reason why the legal age to get married without the parents consentment is 18, or 16, depending on the country, there are many changes during the previous stage. It's just a way of preventing a young person to get hurt at such a young age.

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  • There is nothing wrong if u truly love them then go for it age shouldn't matter

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  • So long as it's legal Idc. My rule has always been, if they're old enough to be my my father/mother, they're too old. Otherwise they're fine. Now a days kids are popping out kids at twelve tho and that's insane and not what I mean. I just average it to 18years. If they're 18years older I stay back

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  • Depends really if this 17 your old has the mentality of someone older if there still in that high school phase most of us are in then I if I where an older guy I would not date me back then... I was such a little shit. But I find older men 25 to 37 extremely attractive... don't know where I went wrong dating a 22 year old (joking)

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