Is it wrong to date an adult while you are a teenager?

lovergirl asks: Is it wrong to date a 20-year-old guy while you are 14?

Hi lovergirl –



I have many thoughts on this, but lots of them depend on defining the words you used.


For example, when you say “date,” do you mean “hang out with?”  If so, then there’s probably no problem with it.  But if you mean “get romantically involved with,” I’d ask you what it is about him that draws him to someone so much younger than he is.  I’ve known lots of couples who were six years apart, or way more, but that’s a lot less time when you’re 30 than when you’re 14.  I mean, if he turns 21 before she turns 15, he’ll be half her age older than her!  So I’d be concerned, but not necessarily say it’s impossible.


But now we get to that other word, which is “wrong.”  Do you mean “against the rules?”  Well, nothing I said above is against any rules, but if that 20-year-old is thinking of getting sexually involved with that 14-year-old, he’s talking about something that’s ILLEGAL in most places.  And can get him locked up in jail for a long time, or worse!  Yes, you’ll hear about cases where it’s kind of questionable – an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old for example, but this age distance is so big that no one will look on it with tolerance.


But if you mean “wrong” in the sense of my being fully against it, the only way my doggy opinion gets in here is out of that same concern, that 20-year-old boys tend to want more in a relationship than most 14-year-olds are ready for.  And I do not want any 14-year-old girls feeling pressured into things they’re not fully ready for!


So my wish would be that this girl and this boy become great friends, and take lots of time before moving on to anything else.  And if they’re still interested when she’s 16 and he’s 22, then maybe they could look at actually dating.  And if they’re still interested when she’s 18 and he’s 24, then I give them my full blessing to whatever they feel like doing, including moving in together, getting engaged, whatever!  (Now usually I urge humans to hold off on marriage thoughts till they’re older, but if they’ve stayed together through all that time, they’re likely good for it).


You see, lovergirl, one of the main reasons I do this work is that I love kids and teens so much, and I love them being kids and teens.  So anything that seems like it might force a teen to become an adult too soon, I’m going to be opposed to.  But that’s a far cry from saying something’s “wrong.”


Except when it comes to that legal stuff.  I really urge everyone to avoid that one like tigers with ticks!


From your best loverdog,



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