A hypothetical question that applies to both you guys and gals. OK here goes the question. Let's say you were as old as I am now, 51. Now let's assume that you found yourself falling real hard for someone 18 or worse 17. What would you do?
Regardless of what my profile says, I'm older than you. If you fall for someone you fall for them. (Can I assume this is online and not in person?) Can't really help it sometimes. It just happens.
However I'd like to think I was disciplined enough not to act on it, or even say anything to her. I'd like to think that I cared enough about her to not want to take her youth from her. Because even if she were receptive to it, that's what it would be doing. Life is too precious. All the stages of life. She needs to be given the chance to live through those stages. Someone in their 50s would not really allow for that. It would be too lopsided and unfair to her. It would be taking something away. Something that's important. Sometimes caring for someone means letting them go.
Not my thing, personally. I've dated a lot of much older guys though. If someone's legal, then I really don't see a problem with it. I think 18 is slightly too young but if it were say someone in their 20s then no problem, go for it.
I will share my own experiences. Have had girlfriend 5 years older, one my age, two 15 years younger (including current gf), one 7 years younger, one 7 years older. Everything worked out in the sense that the age difference was never an issue. But when I met this woman more than half my age (she was 21) the whole word was against us from the start and we both just gave up.