Sex + Love

Older Men

Everything you always wanted to know about them, and weren’t at all afraid to ask.

A common theme in emotional abuse is the abuser creating distance between the abused person and their friends and family in order to exert control over them. When you can’t tell anyone that a relationship is even happening in the first place, the potential for abusive isolation is built right in from the start. A predator can easily take advantage of your lack of a support system—they know that if they manipulate and/or hurt you, no one can give you a reality check and say, “WAIT, HOLD UP, THE WAY THIS PERSON IS TREATING YOU IS REALLY NOT OK.” Of course, this also applies to physical abuse–it makes it a hell of a lot easier for someone looking to harm you bodily if they know you haven’t told anyone about the fact that their behavior is scaring you. If any of this sounds like something you’re experiencing, please tell someone right away, even if—maybe especially if—you’re afraid to do so.

Eventually, Alan’s insecurities about my social life rose to unmanageable levels. I didn’t even have to mention my family or friends (whom, keep in mind, he had never met) anymore for him to launch into hateful tirades about them. This finally got me to see Alan for what he was: a by-then-29-year-old who needed to control and manipulate a 15-year-old in order to feel validated. Once I did, I was outta there LIKETHAT.

7. SEX SEX SEXXXXXX.

SO MANY OF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT THIS. The questions in your emails tend to go like this: “If I date an older guy, is he going to expect me to go further than a little chaste makin’-out sooner than I might otherwise do that?” Well, it depends on the guy, but typically, the answer is yes. Since most of these dudes have been sexually active for longer than you have, sex isn’t, for them, the momentous occasion it might be for you, especially if you haven’t had it (or much of it, anyway). So they’re less likely to wait a while before moving past the tonsil-hockey stage.

In these AND ALL relationships, it’s crucial to communicate clearly what your boundaries are, and by this I don’t mean wordlessly steering someone’s hand away from where it’s feeling around on your skirt like 23 times in a row while you’re kissing them. Tell the person that you’re with, in words, what you are and are not ready to do, preferably well before any of those activities are on the verge of happening—you don’t want to have to make a split-second decision in the heat of the moment about what is or isn’t off limits.

If your love interest isn’t willing to respect the boundaries that you set on your sexual activity, that’s their problem. Another problem of theirs is that you’re not going to stick around so that they can try to convince you that THIS IS WHAT MATURE PEOPLE DO and that IT’S REALLY NOT A BIG DEAL and that YOU CANNOT TELL A GROWN MAN TO WAIT. You’re going to leave them on the curb alongside the other garbage bags.

***

OK. Phew. So, that’s all the stuff I wish I had known! I will repeat here that I don’t think that dating older guys is always terrible or that it will irrevocably ruin your life. Even if you have a bad experience like mine with Alan, you will get over it.

And for all the dangers that come with dating older people, there are upsides—obviously, or we wouldn’t need to have had this li’l talk. It’s nice to be around people who are assured of themselves and their interests, a quality that usually increases the longer you’ve been hanging out on planet Earth. And, of course, there’s the whole face-washing thing. Swoon.

Just be sure—and I say this to you no matter what age your love interest happens to be—that you and of course THEY are responsible and respectful in actions and behaviors; that you are equal partners; that you feel like you can get out of it at any time, for any reason, without fear; and that you are happy.

And remember: Lolita is not a love story. OK? All right, get along. As always, be safe and enjoy, ya little minxes. ♦

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100 Comments

  • NotReallyChristian January 10th, 2013 4:34 PM

    I probably should weigh in on this one: I am 21 and my boyfriend is 31, and we’ve been together since I was 19 (and dated a little before then). All of Amy Rose’s advice is totally great and you should definitely bear it in mind, but I’m just here to tell you that sometimes things turn out good.
    Right now I’m in my last year of university and my whole life is in such a whirl that it’s an incredible relief to have someone there for me who is settled and ready to cheer me on from the sidelines when he can’t be there with me. He’s always been considerate of me, never rushed me to do anything and never ever made me feel like a lesser person because of my age.
    He may well be the exception to the rule, but those people are out there :)

    P.s. Seriously, watch out for creeps though.

    • etoilefille January 12th, 2013 9:08 AM

      I guess that ties in to what she was saying though – to me, 21 and 31 are much closer in mental sensibilities and points in life than say… 15 and 25.

      I’m glad you guys are happy :)

    • Christine A. March 7th, 2013 8:35 PM

      Good advice, Amy Rose.

      I’m ancient, at a whopping 29, but that’s how old I was when I met my boyfriend a year ago. He’s 46. I know, your thinking “ew”, but he’s a babe and we love each other. End of.

      My point is that even at my completely independent and mature age, we still get eyebrow-raises and mislabeled because there is a sexual stigma of young women and older men. This means understating yourself first and foremost before committing to anyone.

      It doesn’t really effect my life to any great extent, but I wanted to chime in and say that we, as young women, are NOT objects and people who chose to diminish and undermine our intelligence are backwards themselves.

      Enjoy your girlhood and single hood for as long as you can. Relationship sound fun and romantic, and they can be, but they’re also mostly working with someone you love to deal with day-to-day stuff. Don’t rush it, just take your time and eventually we all meet someone who isn’t just our “boy/girlfriend”, but our best friend.

  • annika January 10th, 2013 4:40 PM

    tHANK YOU FOR SAYING LOLITA IS NOT A LOVE STORY!
    it creeps me out so much when I see teen girls with blogs obsessed with the ”’love”’ story they interpret from lolita.

    • enface January 10th, 2013 7:04 PM

      Yes! Also, it’s unsettlingly common for fashion magazines, ads, etc. to mimic Lolita. Like it’s a cool, stylish ideal you should aspire to. I’d like to believe that’s not exactly what Nabokov had in mind.

      • ladyjenna January 10th, 2013 8:59 PM

        I <3 Nabokov.

        But srsly when they made jeremy irons humbert ^2…..

        • Zebbie January 17th, 2013 11:39 PM

          The song by The Police “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” is about that book too.

      • rrruthie January 11th, 2013 1:18 PM

        YESSSS. it’s so weird. Also the Virgin Suicides? I can’t stand when people romanticize the story. I’m kinda like… a major point in the story was the creepiness of the boys romanticizing those girls && their death… so you want to romanticize them too????

        (also Lana del Rey songs. I lovvvvve her in the same way that I love Lolita & The Virgin Suicides BECAUSE she points out that the glorification of that type of fucked up romanticism is weird, but so many people interpret her songs as sweet & idealistic & stuff)

        (also Madame Bovary in terms of someone screwing up their life bc of romantic ideals)

        (I’m down for romance, but when a work of art is clearly critiquing romanticism and people misinterpret it it always freaks me out. It’s one of my favorite things to read about right now.)

    • Aurora January 10th, 2013 9:59 PM

      Lolita is one of my favorite books, and when I described it to my friend she was all “Ooh soooo romantic!”
      Unsettling definitely.

  • Ribba January 10th, 2013 5:02 PM

    Great rule for age creepiness in relationship by XKCD: http://www.reenigne.org/creepy/

  • AnnaH January 10th, 2013 5:04 PM

    Wow, I really liked your post. It was really well written and I dont think you have left out anything at all. One of my male friends (22) is currently in a relationship with a girl from high school (17, I think) I send him your post cause for the last couple of month he has basically been telling me the same things for example that he cant take her anywhere because people make fun of him or make him feel like a child molester.

    http://cheekyprawn.blogspot.de/

  • poetess January 10th, 2013 5:08 PM

    Amy Rose, you are the best. :)

  • morganosaur January 10th, 2013 5:25 PM

    Really informative! Dating an older man has always seemed exciting to me but also really creepy? So this was interesting to read!

    Also, my mom and dad are 11 years apart, and even though they are happy and adults (like you said), it still kinda creeps me out to think that my mom was barely out of kindergarten when my dad graduated high school! (despite the fact that they didn’t meet until my mom was 19)

  • Katherine Electrique January 10th, 2013 5:38 PM

    All of this was true for me in my relationship with an older man (I was 19, he was 30). It began with emotional control and manipulation and escalated to physical abuse. And he turned out to a monster. I stuck with him for so long because he had me isolated from my friends and family. And the idea that you had to stick it out to make a relationship work. YOU DON’T. Beware, it can happen to anyone.

  • Harriet January 10th, 2013 5:39 PM

    Oh man I so needed this in my life right now. As a 19 year old student a 27 year old electrician going through a divorce probably isn’t right for me… What concerns me is that it took me this long to come to that conclusion! Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. Big love Amy Rose xxxx

  • Maddy January 10th, 2013 5:41 PM

    No but like seriously I’m not going to have the high school romance thing ever either. This was informative. Unluckily/luckily the men I like are not creeps so they are not interested in me like that (or at all, it seems).
    Beckett! Gee, you were a smart teen!

  • Kaetlebugg January 10th, 2013 5:42 PM

    I am NOT judging teenage girls who date older men – if it works for you, go for it – but I must admit, I really wish it weren’t seen as such a cultural trope and such a massively desirable thing, because I think even if the guy is truly a great person and really, really respects you as an equal, there are still societal power dynamics that make me uneasy. There is just such a power imbalance! Especially if the man is white and the girl isn’t, or the man is in a higher class than the girl – there are just so many things I feel could create an imbalanced power dynamic, even if the guy really is a great person.

  • EveyMarrie January 10th, 2013 5:43 PM

    This is freaking awesome. When I was a freshman (14), I dated a senior (18) and as awesome as that totally sounds for my old high school rep, my parents were soooo sketched about it because, you know, he’s a legal adult. But after having a talk with my folks, they ok’ed. And we had a fine relationship. The most we ever did was make out because he understood that I wasn’t at the age of consent (in PA, that’s 16).

    It was an awesome relationship and he was super nice and sweet to me. It really all does depend on the guy you choose, you know? I could have easily went out with an asshole, but luckily, he was a darling.

    • caro nation January 11th, 2013 9:40 AM

      This was reassuring, I have been agonizing over the freshmen/senior dilemma all year.

  • wongstea January 10th, 2013 5:47 PM

    I wish I had this article way earlier. When I was 12 I met this guy who was 3 years older than me online, and we went out for over a year (until the day after my grade 8 graduation). It wasn’t a huge age gap, but it was really scary because it was online and I was barely a teenager. Thank you so much for this advice, I’ll keep it in mind, and share it with anyone who needs it.

    P.S I’m disappointed by the lack of Scott Pilgrim references ;)

    • raggedyanarchy January 10th, 2013 9:02 PM

      Scott Pilgrim is literally the only thing I could think about after reading this article.

  • Riley Emmy January 10th, 2013 5:51 PM

    thank you so much for this article! it was so well written and helped me more than you could imagine :)

  • puffling January 10th, 2013 6:03 PM

    Very important article.

    When I turned 13, I was relentlessly pursued by an 18 year old about to move away to university.

    His sexual comments towards me would have been inappropriate from any man to any woman, let alone towards a child.

    It worries me so much to think about. Did he grow out of it? Or, more than ten years later, does he still think it’s acceptable to pursue and sexually proposition 13 year old girls? Have any of them fallen for it, and been abused by him…?

    I feel that there is something we should be able to do, as women and girls, to protect ourselves and keep an eye on men like this, but I don’t know what.

  • shelley January 10th, 2013 6:16 PM

    A boy in my year at school dated an older woman, his parents found out and rang the police and she ended you going to jail, even though he looked and acted like someone so much older and was only four months below the age of consent. He was fine but she ended up with a criminal records and her kids went through such a tough time
    . Thank you Amy rose for pointing out that it can be illegal

  • maggiemadge January 10th, 2013 6:21 PM

    Wow! This really speaks to me! My three pervious boyfriends were all significantly older than me (my first was 24 and then turned 25 while dating, second was 26, and my last was 25). I just turned 20 last month and I have recently began to hang out with a guy that is slightly younger than me (only by a few months!). I do see a significant difference between dating men my age and men older than me. With a guy that is around my age, there seems to be less pressure to be more than the guys I had perviously dated. However I do agree with the wish I could have had the puppy-love, just having fun-and-making-out-love before I got into serious relationships I have before. I think I’m going to do that actually (maybe it is my own version of Benjamin Button, but with dating.)

  • silvermist January 10th, 2013 6:21 PM

    I don’t know why, but thinking about teen girls dating older men always made me cringe. I once wrote a post about this on my blog – more specifically about how I tried to forget the fact that in my favorite book ever the girl is 18 and dating a 40 year old man – and people commented saying I had preconceived ideas and that age doesn’t matter when you’re in love, and I even had to delete some mean comments, while admitting to myself that I had to ‘fight’ this prejudice.
    Then I suddenly became (or pretended to be, I don’t know) very accepting and started to answer questions of random girls on the same blog post – I guess it comes high up in google searches, idk? – on how they could tell their parents, if they should hide their relationship, if it was legal. (Looking back I probably shouldn’t have given advice at all since I was their age and not experienced at all.)
    I guess now I am more ‘genuinely’ accepting of relations where both consenting parties are happy – whether they are 2, 5 or 10 years apart.
    It’s great that you are discussing the issues that can happen in these relationships, without being preachy or prejudiced :)

  • missmar10 January 10th, 2013 6:23 PM

    I am so very glad that Rookie addressed this issue. Thirteen years ago when I was 17, I dated a thirty-two year old. Before that, I lost my virginity to a twenty-four year old. Looking back at this time having been twenty-four and now approaching thirty, I can say that I regret even knowing these men and feel incredibly taken advantage of. When I was younger I thought, “Age is nothing but a number”, but age coincides with life experience and relationship expectations. In no way am I saying that teenage girls are naive or stupid. I am only saying that these older guys do not have the same wants and explorations teenagers. They have been there, done that. There is a world of 18+ places, I wasn’t able to share, go or even know about when I was dating these men clubs, bars and even workplace functions. Dating is more than a deep friendship, it’s honesty, understanding and openness. Neither of which were my experience when I dated these men. Looking back I was a novelty, a young girl doing adult things with men and not an equal in a relationship.

  • rottedteeth January 10th, 2013 6:28 PM

    This was actually really helpful toward someone I had seriously been considering pursuing who is about 12 years older than me. Definitely gonna wait until the romanticized ideas about forbidden love have left my head.

    http://growtolovesoon.blogspot.com/

    Just realized my blog URL kinda relates too.

  • BeforeItRains January 10th, 2013 6:37 PM

    I wish this article had been around two years ago. Listen to this girls, they are real words of wisdom.

  • nicholo94 January 10th, 2013 6:45 PM

    Thank you so much for this helpful article Amy Rose! I didn’t personally need the help, but I know that dating up seems to be a common thing these days. A lot of girls need to know these things because there are definitely creeps out there. I am dating someone who is 23 and I am 18, and I don’t really feel as if there is a huge maturity difference between us. The only things that are a little weird in our relationship is that I can’t stay out super late on school nights and that his sister finds it to be a little weird. These are definitely things to keep in mind if you date up–society has certain expectations and you can’t always do what you want because of what your parents may say. I personally believe that dating up is better, but I think the oldest anyone should go is a quarter of their age, like you said. Dating an older guy can be a lot of fun, and I think that they are a lot more mature. The only thing that I didn’t agree with was the whole high school romance thing. Last year I dated three guys that were at my school and the relationships weren’t like kissing in the hallways and passing each other notes–people just don’t do stuff like that anymore (although I definitely wish it was like that). Everybody makes fun of the people that do that stuff at my school. If you are dating someone in high school, it’s just not as romanticized as you’d think. In my experience, you aren’t really missing out on having a high school romance.

  • marineo January 10th, 2013 6:57 PM

    when I was a 15 year old sophie I dated an 18 year old for just over two weeks (my parents shut that shit down fast) but it was amazing how fast people’s perceptions of me changed. instead of being just some normal nerd girl i was now some RAGING SLUT OH GOD SO SLUTTY AHHHHH to all the douchebag boys (and a few girls) in my classes because we went to homecoming together and (prepare yourself) made out. People spread rumors about us too, which i was really annoying because even after we had broken up people still treated me like some sort of sexual deviant….

    It was really irritating. this one guy even brought it up earlier this year (i’m a senior) in an attempt to shame me in front of my chemistry class but I had none of that, so he ended up looking like an idiot..

  • Domenic January 10th, 2013 7:01 PM

    I think it’s worse when the person can’t tell anybody else about the relationship because of their home countries religion hating their sexuality.

    • Nishat January 11th, 2013 3:29 AM

      Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that some people are in the situation where their parents/friends/family will not take “I’m dating someone x number of years older than me” well. I am totally against countries’ religions hating on LGBTQ people, too.

  • olivetree January 10th, 2013 7:13 PM

    This is quite relevant considering that I was fantasizing about dating Zac Efron in the car today and just kept telling myself AGE IS ONLY A NUMBER. Maybe I’ll reconsider that relationship for now…

  • Hey Yo January 10th, 2013 7:13 PM

    Although a good article, it’s kinda as if the author assumes that you can just choose who to fall in love with and make them love you too. I would love to have a highschool romance but none of the guys at my school are even remotely interested in me and I’m not exactly sighing after them either. A large part of my social circle consists of older people, I function better with these people and we meet as equals. It’s all good.

    I am currently in love with a man 19 years older than. I didn’t choose this, okay, he’s just wonderful. It is very unlikely that he would ever return my feelings and I would probably never go out with him out of emberassment anyway but just know that’s it’s really not a choice and not always the man leading the young girl on.

    P.S I fell in love with him the few times we’ve spoken and from kinda watching his life and career from a distance. It’s totally innocent.

  • GlitterKitty January 10th, 2013 7:18 PM

    I am the only one who thought “Scott Pilgrim is dating a high schooler” the whole time I read this?

  • Jes January 10th, 2013 7:28 PM

    y’all be very careful! just today I learned one of my friends was almost charged with statutory rape!

  • anyone January 10th, 2013 7:32 PM

    This all reminds me of my best friend. When we were 13/14 she had an almost 20 year old boyfriend. For about two years. And in the end he would not allow her to hang out with her friends from school…
    We all did not realize how scary this whole thing was. When we talk about it now… We say: what was wrong with that guy that he had to fuck up the life of a 14-year old?
    Also, she missed a big part of being young… We were starting to go to parties with classmates e.g. And she could never join us.
    I never had a relationship with an older person, but that experience of my best friend will always make me warn every young girl: enjoy being young! Maybe you want to be all mature and grown-up… But you have your whole life to do so. And – as clichéd as it may sound – you are a teenager only once! So BE young and hang out with other young people who also just explore what it means to be a teen! It is awesome!!!

  • Tangerine January 10th, 2013 7:47 PM

    An important thing for the teen in the relationship to ask herself/him:
    Were his previous relationships all teens as well? GET OUT. He is likely some kind of damaged goods, and women his age can see it.
    Sorry, but it’s so often true.

  • ladyofithilien January 10th, 2013 7:56 PM

    “but you can never have a real high-school romance again after 12th grade is over”

    But what if you can’t have a relationship in high school? What I’m saying is, I go to a tiny school, and to all the boys there, I am hardly a blip on the radar. I’m not trying to be melodramatic, I’m just saying, none of them are interested in me, since they all think they know who I am “that smart girl who takes things seriously, watches SciFi and won’t hook up on the first date”.

    So to find a relationship, I’d have to look for someone that is older…

    From time to time, attractive older guys will talk to me, but as soon as they find out I’m 16, the flirting stops abruptly.

    So I have no idea what I should do.

    • Moxx January 10th, 2013 8:51 PM

      Kind of on the same boat. I guess we wait?

      P.S. love your username

      • ladyofithilien January 10th, 2013 10:23 PM

        I suppose we must… I just hate feeling helpless like this. All the other things I want in my life, I’m used to going out and trying my best to achieve them but unfortunately this is something I cannot change. And its like, someone has liked me… but he was creepy in the you-are-the-most-beautiful-girl-in-chemistry-class-i-am-going-to-send-you-creepy-explicit-anon-tumblr-messages-because-I-creep-so-hard-I-found-your-tumblr way. But I don’t want to be with someone like that (for obvious reasons…) You know what I’m saying? So yes… waiting seems to be the only option…

        And hahaha I’m glad you like it… do you get the meaning/where it’s from?

        • Violet January 11th, 2013 5:49 PM

          Girl,
          I feel your pain. Been there too.

          I loved the article, AND there is something to be said about high school romances. They can be just like the gang of cool/beautiful people in the class: a club you might never join and can only watch from afar.

          Also there is definitely something to be said about the simple fact that guys don’t mature at the same rhythm as girls do, period. So sometimes it’s just difficult, almost impossible to relate to guys in your class.

          But don’t worry ladies, try to be happy yourselves and live your life to the fullest, at some point it will come together I’m sure.

          Love,
          V

        • M. Kitka January 12th, 2013 5:30 AM

          Hey, don’t wait! Get outside of your school. This sounds really stupid but: go to clubs and events and things outside of your school with kids your own age! My cowboy relatives several generations ago used to go to special dances just for the purpose of FINDING OTHER PEOPLE YOUR OWN AGE that weren’t in your own tiny town. Branch out! Check out funtimes for teenagers in nearby towns or for groups you don’t normally socialize with but maybe wish you did. Or START A CLUB for cool peeps like you…? :-)

        • Moxx January 13th, 2013 3:04 PM

          Of course! That’s why it’s a beautiful username. Tolkien 5ever.

          At M. Kitka- I’ve started hanging with people from other schools with interests which are a bit more similar to mine, and it’s been great so far.

  • rosesinthepark January 10th, 2013 7:59 PM

    Thanks, Rookie, this is exactly what I needed. I fell in love with a guy seven years older than me, but I should give guys my age a chance and wait until I’m older.
    Thank you so much, you have no idea what this means to me!

  • pennyslemonade January 10th, 2013 8:18 PM

    When I was 20, I went out with a couple of guys older than me (in their 30′s from memory). It’s not so bad by that age, especially since I had moved out of home, but it did strike me how not-mature they were. I remember initially getting caught up about their age, oooh, older men, but the more I got to know them, the more I realised that they were just like me, albiet at a position in their life where they could be so much further along than what they were. I was lucky to have met dudes that didn’t persue me because I was younger than them.

    (Although on a funny note, I don’t think one of them ever recovered from learning he had graduated high school the year I started primary school AND that his favourite pop song was one i hadn’t been old enough to hear the first time around. The look on his face is a memory that still makes me laugh.)

    • renegadekitty January 12th, 2013 10:44 AM

      so, having been there yourself, what advice would you give to a 19 (almost 20) year old considering somebody almost 14 years older?

    • Tyknos93 January 12th, 2013 8:35 PM

      Yes this! I am becoming sorely disappointed in every adult I meet. Nearly every person who approaches me is significantly older. At first it was flattering, but looking back it’s a bit predatory. Not that I would ever seriously act on their advances, but it bothers me that when you tell someone you are 17 it’s like “Oh, never mind you are much to young! Err go study something”, but when you say you are 18 guys are like “Here’s my number? What are you doing later? Let’s hang out.”

      SERIOUSLY!? A YEAR AGO I COULDN’T VOTE, GET INTO CLUBS, AND I STILL CAN’T (legally) DRINK.

      So the only thing it could possibly be is sexual. I don’t even look older, so it’s not like people just assume I’m in my 20′s. I guess I’ll just never get guys appeal with girls who are ALOT younger than them. Control? Immaturity? I don’t know.

  • yvetttteeee January 10th, 2013 9:15 PM

    *sighhhhhhh*
    this gives me a lot to think about

  • llamalina January 10th, 2013 9:23 PM

    definitely guilty of romanticizing this kind of romance and always going after older guys, whether it be a couple years or a lot more than that. this article made me think about that a lot. thank you for this.

    http://llamalina.blogspot.com

  • Sharon January 10th, 2013 10:41 PM

    The only thing that doesn’t make Amy Rose my Cool Big Sister is genetics and the minor fact that she doesn’t know me. Whatever. Thanks, sisterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • Kate January 10th, 2013 11:47 PM

      Haha my thoughts exactly. I feel like that needs to be a show: Amy Rose Is Your Cool Older Sister…

  • Hadar January 10th, 2013 10:52 PM

    Wow, what a perfect time for this article to pop up! I just turned 18, and am “dating” a 26 year old. I don’t see him that often, because he is in med school and works at the hospital. Plus, I DO have to lie to my parents sometimes to see him :/ But when we do hang out, we watch 80′s movies, play music, cook, and lay in bed having organic chemistry lessons and it’s not only about sex at all. Today I was sitting in the library during lunch period and he texted me sweet things. When this all began, I really was afraid of being taken advantage of, but this man is so intelligent, cute, funny, etc. And guess what? When I had just met him, the fact that he knew Samuel Beckett impressed me too! But most of all he is gentle and sensitive, and I don’t feel any pressure coming from him at all. I think it has to do with the fact that he’s a huge nerd and has had only one serious relationship and I don’t necessarily feel that he is that much more experienced than I am. But you know, this “relationship” is fairly new, and I’m super glad you posted this; I know what to look out for now and feel more comfortable about what I am doing. Thank you :*

  • InColdBlood January 10th, 2013 11:25 PM

    I was dating a 28/29 year old at 18, and one thing I noticed is that he was in such a different stage of his life that it wasn’t working for me. He wanted me to have his kids and was all “you can finish college later, if you do get pregnant!” and he never ever bought condoms. So eventually I never ever slept with him, because his excuse was so bs–there aren’t any I can fit in!–that I thought he just really wanted me to have his kids and that creeped me out. I did once, and I really regretted it because I’d told him I didn’t want him to do anything if he didn’t have a condom, and he didn’t have one that time but I kinda got caught up in it all.
    Oh it also creeped me out that he called my mother and got my address and showed up to my place uninvited, three times. On one occasion, he was sobbing and it was just massively weird. Well, as was the whole showing up univinvited despite my never having given him my address…thing.

    I did have a better relationship with someone only 5 or 6 years older than me. When I was 17 I went out with a 23 year old and he was just wonderful. I mean, he was a heroin addict and on the verge of homelessness, but I was doing loads of drugs at the time, and he was really sweet and wrote songs for me. We had to break up ’cause he had to move many hundreds of miles away and, obviously, I couldn’t go with him. But, I mean, if you ever want to take things slow with le sex, choose a heroin addict! They have no sex drive but like to cuddle, haha.

  • gretagreta January 11th, 2013 1:58 AM

    This was so interesting to read Amy Rose, thank you! My parents are the exact same age and large age gaps have always felt very unnatural to me. The story of Lolita has always been interesting but neverrrr romantic or something I would idolize!
    Still, I feel sad to think that the likelihood of having a high school romance, in all its John Hughes worthy glory, is looking dreadfully unlikely.

  • MaggietheCat January 11th, 2013 2:48 AM

    I’ve never dated anyone more than a few years older than myself, but my best friend was courted by numerous older guys. I knew it was shady at the time, but looking back, I can’t believe what was going on. Sometimes we would both get picked up and we’d drive around or park somewhere and drink and get stoned. Looking back, I’m thinking WHAT THE FUCK WERE THESE CREEPS THINKING GIVING ALCOHOL TO TEENAGE GIRLS. Ew.

    I just think that the ideal way to deal with these situations is what Agent Cooper said when being pursued by Audrey Horne: “you’re intelligent, beautiful, and young, so I’m going to be a good person and just be your friend”

  • resonance January 11th, 2013 2:58 AM

    #5 is the biggest issue for me. If someone in their mid- to late twenties is an adult who has a job, lives on their own, and is basically in an entirely different place in their life than a teenager is, then why would they want to date a teenager in the first place? It seems creepy and wrong to me. I’m sure that some relationships between teenagers and adults of that age can be healthy and work out, but I’d still be extremely cautious if I were a teenager and being pursued by a significantly older man.

  • Nishat January 11th, 2013 3:24 AM

    This is so, so relevant. When I was 13 my boyfriend was 16. Even that seemed like a big age difference. I am still happily with the same guy and I am 19 and he is 22. Turns out, in society, age becomes less and less of a big deal as you become (in its eyes) more of an adult.

    Make good decisions. Like the article (and everyone) says, you are mature for your age. Don’t do anything that FEELS wrong. If you have to have doubts and questions, think harder about it. Make your own decisions (and your own mistakes,) but be safe.

    The biggest thing that’s different about “dating older men” is that you should absolutely MAKE SURE that they aren’t pressuring you into doing things. This can come in the form of making you feel guilty. Avoid that at all costs. You’re in charge, you are equals in a relationship. You are equals as human beings, too.

  • morganlily January 11th, 2013 3:43 AM

    Wow. This article brought back a lot of crazy feelings for me.
    Around 2 years ago – I’m 16 now – I was dating a guy who was 5.5 years older than me. It was long distance, but a lot of this still applied.
    Like feeling belittled. And the power struggle between us. And sexually,the whole situation was frustrating & I didn’t know how to speak up & fix it.
    I didn’t dislike our relationship in the beginning, I learned from the experience & I have changed drastically since then, but:
    I’m graduating high school in 4 months at the age of 17.
    I’m going to be going to college filled with older cute guys that wont be nasty immature high schoolers and I don’t really know how I should handle it.
    I’ve never been attracted to boys my age – I usually like them & then get completely turned off a day later. Sometimes I can’t even relate to my friends who are all at least a year older than me because I started school young.
    But my last and only relationship with somebody older was disastrous.
    I’m going in circles here, but I guess what I’m asking is if I should try again if the chance arrives? Do you think my first experience will affect how the next goes? Do you think us both being in college changes it?
    I know you can’t know all the answers, but this article had me thinking of what’s to come.

    This comment isn’t really a comment, lol
    But thanks anyway to anyone who responds. c:

    • Violet January 11th, 2013 6:07 PM

      Hey morganlily,
      from my humble point of view: the best advice I ever got from a girlfriend was: look around and look at your previous relationship(s), and YOU figure out what you want and don’t want in your special someone.

      YOU’re in control, basically, and the best you can do for yourself before falling in love (and being a bit less in control maybe) is actually anticipate and train your own listening to yourself.

      If your last relationship was miserable, analyse it, understand why, and the next time to see even the slightest redflag about (older or younger) somebody’s behavior, you’ll recognize it. On the other hand, also learn how to recognize the stuff you really care about in your companion. Test out the relationship a bit (just like trying on clothes), while being prudent of course and knowing how far you’re willing to go.

      And remember, there is NO RUSH. If a person really likes you and respects you, he/she will wait.

      Hope this helps!
      Love,
      V

      • morganlily January 13th, 2013 5:35 AM

        You’re right! Thanks!

        I guess I never thought of dating as such a relaxed situation.
        Everyone in my family has only been with like…3 people – max – before marrying.
        I feel so much pressure, as crazy as that sounds. I feel like if I meet someone it has to be perfect & last long.

        I just need to trust myself & take things at a more reasonable pace.

        Wow, that feels good to think about, hahahah(:

        Thank you so much~! :3

  • amelia January 11th, 2013 6:18 AM

    number 5 is a BIG one. if ever I, or friends of mine, have considered getting involved with an older guy, we are usually met with a chorus of ‘he might seem nice, but he only wants to date a highschooler because girls his own age wont date him!’. this mentality may not apply to every situation, but in most cases, there was a not- so- good reason that the guy in question wanted to date someone younger. manipulation, too, is difficult, because often if the younger half of the couple is blindly in love (or lust) with the older person, they can’t even see the manipulation going on. everyone dating a much older guy should read this article, it’d make even the most confident of girls reconsider i think!

  • saramarit January 11th, 2013 6:35 AM

    Oh just wait til you’re in your mid to late 20s and see all your male peers dating younger women, the joys!

    Anyway, this article is really good advice for all relationships no matter what your ages are, abusive relationships are not worth enduring.

  • Aoife January 11th, 2013 9:05 AM

    I’m 20 now and have been dating my 25 year old boyfriend since I was 18 (and seeing him a little before that haha) and it’s the perfect age gap for us. His friends are much older than him though so I find most the people I hang out with to be 28-35 and when they date girls under 20…it just seems off.

  • gnarlyelixir January 11th, 2013 10:52 AM

    OMG WOW. THIS WAS GREAT. I’m the saem as you Amy. I’m 15 and unfortunately I love that stuff. I would like to explore this private love. I actually want that just to know what it feels like, but the things you said I might not know I actually knew.. and I still want it. Should I “explore” this private illegal love??

  • moonmaker January 11th, 2013 11:56 AM

    amen.

    last night i searched rookie for thoughts about romantic relationships with an older man and this pops up the next day. thanks rookie. you guys always are a big help.

  • Shamenaunidentified January 11th, 2013 1:21 PM

    This popped up at exactly the right time! I’ve been ‘seeing’ a man lately, he turned 21 a month after I turned 16. We’d been talking for half a year and built up a good friendship. There was always a bit of flirting but not until I turned 16 did he make a move, as 16 is the legal age in the UK. He’s always really paranoid about the age gap and he always asks for my consent and is considerate of my thoughts. Of course, my family don’t know about him but I’d like it if one day in a few years time that they met him. However, I’ve always been a bit unsure about this, seeing as he’s not fully committing to me. This article has definitely made me more aware of anything that could ever potentially happen, thank you!

  • strawb3rrysandsugar January 11th, 2013 1:40 PM

    great advice for that hugness age gap of doom in a relationship (that was a bit weird)
    http://strawberrysandsugar.wordpress.com

  • soundsswell January 11th, 2013 4:02 PM

    the one thing that negates all of these wonderfully laid out points is the special snowflake idea.
    everyone thinks that they are the glorious exception to the rule!
    i was 19 and dating a 29 year old, dated him for almost 4 years, and i thought that it wasn’t an issue because i was sooo mature, sooo intelligent and so on.
    i would have read this, absorbed it and agreed with it, but then never applied it to myself because he and i were absolute exceptions.
    oh yeah, i ended up freaking out when i was 23 and had changed so drastically in those 4 years (while he was the same pretty immature dude) and ended the relationship.

  • xxcaracxx January 11th, 2013 9:20 PM

    I’m 19 and I am seeing a 29 year old. The weird thing is that it didn’t start out romantically. We were friends from a mutual friend and we ended up just really hitting it off. We have been talking for about a year and a half now. It was hard at first because we lived in different areas but I know live where he does as I am attending school in that area. This article really made me think, maybe I was so caught up in being wanted when everything started, but the truth is I really like this guy. Are relationship isn’t strict, it’s more fun and I really don’t see not talking to him or seeing him. It’s hard to say if there is a right and wrong behind all of this. People are people and we all have own different situations. Maybe in 5 years we will still be together and I it’ll be great, or maybe we will be done and I think that it was the strangest relationship ever, but who knows. This is going to be part of my life and help build who I am.

  • smilelikeyoumeanit January 11th, 2013 9:57 PM

    Thank you so much for this article! I myself have been going through deciding whether or not to act on my feelings towards an older man. I have really wanted to read something about it to gain some perspective. This has helped me a lot. This really helps me. Again thank you so much!

  • Velvetmary January 12th, 2013 5:54 AM

    Well, first I’m really thankful, that you write such a great article about such an important, underestimated topic.
    But since I’m dating a 22-year-old guy, I feel a little offended by this. I’m 16, so it’s basically different: 6 years between us, not more than a decade. And I think it’s also a little different, because here in Germany it’s not illegal at all (as long as I don’t pretend he would tempt or force me to do anything I don’t want – which is, obviously, not the case.) We are a couple since two months now & it works out perfectly. We have similar friends (all around 17- 19) and so he doesn’t “isolate” me at all. Of course, talking to a person who is older chneges your view on the people your age a lot – but I feel “older” and more mature than them anyways, and I did before I met him.
    What is really a point I can’t leave out: he’s from a different world. I, myself, live the protected student teenage life with my parents, while he knows how financial problems feel, how work life is, how hard an own household can be and anything else from the adult world I never experienced. That scares me. I often feel like I’m not good enough, not experienced enough, but he doesn’t think so. It’s important to talk to your boy about this. Honesty is the most important thing.
    But apart from that: I do not feel the age difference. And he is scared of the fact I’m 16 (so barely over the line of acceptance) himself, because for him I seem to be 19, 20. Weird, what?
    What I wanted to say: he never treats me like I’m younger than him, he never manipulates me. He loves me and I love him. :)

  • alyz January 12th, 2013 5:54 AM

    I’m 23 (almost 24) and my bf is 32. We met when I was 18 and he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He never pushed me, he always respected my age.He helped me a lot when I needed him..He’s also my best friend, I guess. I feel lucky. Everybody (me too) was very doubtful when we started dating but he’s a good guy and our love is a real thing. We’ve been together for 5 years and an half and I love him like the first day. Yeah of course there are fights and misunderstandings but I wouldn’t change him for anybody my age. We will see what the future holds for us. Sorry for the grammar errors , English is not my first language. :)
    Ps I loove Rookie and I wish there was something similar in my country when I was a teen.

  • negativecreep January 12th, 2013 6:23 AM

    Great article! I am 14 and in a long distance relationship with a 19 year old (turning 20 soon). Unfortunately, none of my family knows which is the biggest downside. I’ve known him for 2 years already.
    I think a big thing you need to do if you get into a relationship with an older person is set boundaries. If they make you uncomfortable, tell them. If they can’t handle your feelings about something, they aren’t right for you. Thankfully, my boyfriend refuses to meet me until I am of legal age in 3 years (even then, he understands the possibility of a breakup if it ever happens). Some relationships can be successful! Some crumble. Some aren’t pedophiles and simply liked a younger person once but never sought out another relationship with a minor again, etc.
    Be mindful of laws and be careful. In some places, kissing can even be punishable. Respect your boundaries, know the laws, and COMMUNICATE. Don’t hesitate to get into a relationship with someone because of age. Just be sure to take more time to know them before jumping into it and don’t be afraid to set some rules.

  • Sorcha M January 12th, 2013 7:01 AM

    It’s amazing how many people forget Lolita is a story about a middle aged man continuously raping a 12 year old girl.

  • Yani January 12th, 2013 10:21 AM

    Amy rose, Amy Rose. Neat summary sprinkled with experience.
    I especially agree with number 3.

    Hmm looking back a couple yrs, it seems unreal to know what when turning 19, I was dating a 28 year old. He was a brilliant manipulator, spent all his days on the computer alone, researching quantum physics and philosophy… And very young naked girls on a horribly named website I won’t mention. Once, I actually saw what he was masturbating to and it was very distressing and I cried till my ears blocked. Small clues to how someone is playing with another always re-occur. Mine were, him not listening when I said to no to sex- so rape, not using condoms and myself going through pills and other fake hormones that stuffed up my body, being so out of tune with my own mind that even feeling uncomfortable I still let this stuff happen, this feels like therapy, also like Amy Rose said, someone putting down your close network creates this very close bond. I say, ask about his recent dating history, that says heaps about where a person is at in their sexual mind and respect .. levels. Even if those person is a brilliant mind, talented artisan, if they don’t want to be only friends or respect your boundaries and your body (neither my older ex did, I shudder to think of the past), they’re not worthwhile. Except of course, if you want to acquire a few scars.

  • rowantree January 13th, 2013 11:16 AM

    Great article – the added personal experience makes it much more relatable, and if I was in a relationship like those mentioned, both in the article and in the comments, I feel as if I’d think twice before ignoring the advice given.
    I lost my virginity to a 24-year-old man when I was seventeen. I’d only known him for about an hour when it happened, and I never saw him again, but I don’t regret it. I’d known I was ready long before that night, and it was one of the best nights of my life, but the next morning was a rude awakening. I realized we hadn’t used a condom, and so a friend and I went to get Plan B and then went out for sushi. Taking the pill with a glass of water at the sushi restaurant, I received a grilling from those friends of mine that had found the address of the guy’s house the night before and come to “rescue” me. Looking back, I realize how stupid I was. After meeting the guy and five of his friends on the street, one girlfriend and I got into his car and went back to his house. We justified the fact that he wasn’t a serial killer by the fact that he fed his cat when we walked in the door – serial killers don’t have cats, do they?
    I was incredibly stupid and I blatantly disregarded everything I’d ever learned about strangers and getting into people’s cars and unprotected sex.
    That night could have been the end of my life or the start of my pregnancy, and thank god it wasn’t, but it all started with a sketchy college grad who liked picking girls up off the street.

  • architrave January 13th, 2013 8:37 PM

    When I was like 15 I had such a huge crush on an older dude (early 20s) because he was SoCool(TM) and played in a band and had tattoos and piercings and would talk about politics etc. I was really disappointed that nothing would ever happen, but now that I’m his age, I am so glad that nothing ever *did* happen, and that he treated me like his little sister instead of a groupie. It just makes me have so much more respect for him looking back, not having exploited an inherently imbalanced relationship.

  • beachyhouse January 13th, 2013 9:01 PM

    Wow. Perfect timing. I’m 17 and currently seeing someone who is….. *drumroll* …… 33. Blah. He is really awesome, and we’re not “together”, but we are both very much into each other. Said 33 year old does not know my age (believes I am 19), therefore I can’t judge him. I can’t relate to many of the things said here, but it did offer some useful stuff and basic information. We don’t talk down to each other, and I feel like we are definitely on the same level in regards to interests and other important stuff. I am dreading the day (which will be very soon), that I am forced to tell him my age. He is really great, but considering he can go to jail for dating me or having sex, is something horrible, and would make me selfish because in a way, I am betraying him. He is really intelligent, so I am 99.9% sure that he will no longer pursue this “thing” we have. Oh well.

  • Sara January 13th, 2013 11:12 PM

    This was a very great article, thank you for writing it!

  • uptilitwaslight January 14th, 2013 12:11 PM

    fabulous article. it actually made me appreciate something that happened to me all the more–when i was 14, i met this guy online who was 18, and i promptly fell IN LUV<3 with him. fortunately for me, he was actually a very good person and never tried to pursue me romantically (though i did get a kick-ass friendship out of it). i came to realize that was pretty much the ideal way that could have turned out, because in retrospect, the 4 years between 14 and 18 is a LOT more than the 4 years between, say, 22 and 26. also, i really liked your point about what the older person is doing in the relationship. for me it was never the younger individual who gave me pause (since i, obviously, understand the attraction to someone older), but the older–as in, what are they after? i mean no disrespect to relationships that have worked out and are not manipulative/otherwise icky, but it's still a valid point.

  • lightbeforerain January 14th, 2013 1:49 PM

    This was a great article. I do wonder what it is that makes some girls serially attracted to older men. Ever since I started sprouting boobs and entered the dating world I’ve only been with a boy my age twice. The other half dozen were between 4-10 years older. I was 14!

  • Yayo January 14th, 2013 8:21 PM

    Just a quick thing on the whole legality thing specifically for in the UK: If an under 16 has consensual sex with somebody over 16, who genuinely thought they were also of legal age, they can in most cases get away with it if they had an adequate reason to believe – such as fake ID. Unless it was with an under 13, in which case they’ll automatically assume it’s all bullshit.

    It’s such a coincidence this article is posted when it was, because only yesterday I was reading my dad’s Criminology Textbook on rape laws and stuff (he IS in the police, I don’t just keep that shit lying around my room haha).

  • thecultfollowing January 15th, 2013 3:51 AM

    Oh my god! I love this article so much! Even though I’m older than most of your readers (I’m in my early twenties) I can so relate to this. When I got into college I was a newbie; I’d never had a guy flirt with me, show romantic interest or make me feel special in that kind of way. There was some super cool guys who were soo nice that I wished I had got to know better but I was swooning after this total creep who was over ten years older than me. It makes me shiver the way he treated me. He had a girlfriend, someone I was friends with, but he would hit on me CONSTANTLY. He would touch me (my face, my hair, my waist) without asking and it seemed to me like he REALLY cared about me/ was super attracted to me. He would say sexual type things and get real close, way too close, to me all the time. He would do this all the time even though he had a super amazing, beautiful girlfriend who he was serious with. I just felt really special and wanted that I ignored all the creepy bad things he did. So many of my friends thought he was a creepy, well, perv and I just ignored them thinking that they just completely didn’t understand how incredibly charming he was. He was really just power tripping on the idea of young, innocent, inexperienced girl wanting him. He would do stuff like ask for my number then get upset that I texted him when he wanted me to text him. He was an a** that would heavily flirt with me as soon as his girlfriend left the room. He was super immature and there was a reason he hit on way younger girls he liked the power.

  • kikki_rimo January 15th, 2013 4:38 PM

    Wow. This toooootally made me feel a better about my relationship with a 26 y.o guy (I’m 17).

    I met him online and pursued him as much as he did me. I met him and hung out and eventually did end up losing my virginity to him. He lives an hour away so I only see him about once a month.

    For a long time I kept this a secret from my friends which was probably the worst bit of it all. I’d say that if you need to keep the relationship a secret from your friends there is probably something wrong with it. Eventually I told my two best friends. One almost fainted, the other was excited for me and wanted to meet him.

    I validated this relationship for a few reasons. For one, there are no guys that interest me in high school (ask my friends, they will tell you there are no artsy boys at my school). It wasn’t that I was out of my wits horny, it was more that I was just extremely interested in sex. I really just wanted to see what all the hype was about! This guy was nice, interesting, mature, and not a creep (he was very apprehensive because of the age) and eventually we chatted so often that it’d be ridiculous to not meet.

    I also validate the weirdness with the fact that I’m a girl. Like, “a teenage guy with an opportunity to get with a hot 26 y.o would jump on it, right?”

    There are obviously some problems still. I need to lie to my parents, and I can’t take him to prom :( But overall I’ve enjoyed my experience

    AND THIS:
    “remember: Lolita is not a love story”
    Very true.

  • OliviaL January 17th, 2013 10:54 AM

    Thank you so much for writing this, Amy. This topic is such a taboo in everyday life, but like many things people are too afraid to talk about, very real and very common. I’ve had so many questions around a person I may become involved with, and this was extremely helpful.

    Thanks again!!
    OL

  • heroofthisstory January 19th, 2013 6:07 PM

    Whoa. I love the relevancy of this. Everyone should exercise extreme care when engaging in a relationship with an older guy, simply because there is a skewed power dynamic involved. All of your advice is stuff every young lady should follow. Brilliant. It makes me feel a little better. I met my boyfriend when I was 18 and he had turned 21, and some people think I’m too young for him and he’s too old blah blah blah but it’s really not as a big a deal as people think it is. It’s not. Things can work out, but they don’t always work out in the girl’s favor because they often end up used and abused. And our age-gap really isn’t that alarming. Thank you for this.

  • lovelula January 21st, 2013 10:24 AM

    this is such a well-written article with great advice. listen to her, girls! i think lots of girls who are in their twenties or thirties would tell any teen girl, if said older guy is interested/relating better to teenagers than adults, he’s not as awesome/mature as you think. in fact, something is probably a little off.

    i remember feeling that sense of longing “but where will i meet guys? when will i get a boyfriend?”.. it’s better not having a boyfriend and falling for someone naturally when the time is right, rather than actively searching for a boyfriend to make yourself feel loved. getting an older guy to feel the void isn’t worth it!

    im now at that age where a couple of my friends are dating truly “older” men. my 26 yr old friend is dating a man who is almost 50. i would be lying if i said it all seems normal, but it’s a pretty awkward age gap to accept.

  • courtyellen January 24th, 2013 5:32 AM

    Best advise I have had in a long time!

    If only I had read this three years ago…

  • evagm January 29th, 2013 11:43 PM

    This is probably one of my favorite articles of all time. I’m 16 and theres this guy i adore who’s significantly older then me. Whenever I try to talk to my friends about it, they act like I’m stupid or crazy. This article was so helpful, insightful, and well written. Thank you so much for writing this Amy Rose, and thanks for being willing to talk about this Rookie.
    gurrlpowerr.blogspot.com

  • ArmyOfRabbits January 31st, 2013 9:04 PM

    I’m in a relationship with a gentleman who is nine months older than me (we’re in our twenties). He is a very mature and is a sophisticated man– turns out that he was that same sophisticated teen who went to my high school. I probably walked passed him numerous of times and not realize that there was a wonderful boy for me.

    Anyways, gals, please be patient and keep your mind open– because there may be awesome people in your age group too.

  • potameides February 4th, 2013 3:43 PM

    I used to be so scornful towards people saying age difference mattered, probably partly just because I really hate being told what to do, but like Amy I’m realising that there ARE things to think about before entering into a relationship with an age gap. I acted really stupidly around 17/18 when besotted with several much older people.

    It’s hard when you are a pretty intelligent and thoughtful young person to realise that you are still lacking knowledge/experience, and to make yourself slow down, especially if you really like someone, but important to keep in mind I think.

    Though on a slightly different yet related note, myself and my boyfriend have quite a common age difference (22 and 28), yet we have been yelled at and made to feel uncomfortable by strangers just because people think I’m younger.

    It’s awful when people actually think they can harrass others because they decided they’ve spotted something immoral going on without even knowing the truth.

  • potameides February 4th, 2013 3:45 PM

    by the way I meant ‘pretty intelligent’, not pretty and intelligent!

  • inkandhonesty February 4th, 2013 5:44 PM

    My aunt and uncle are 20 years apart. It’s really weird to think that my uncle was entering college when my aunt was born. Now, he’s around 50 and she’s around 30. Even though they’re very happy together, I can still see times when their age gap comes into play. My aunt wants to be an artist and shop and finds suburban life extremely boring. My uncle just wants to settle down and have a quiet life. But they somehow make it work. However, I wouldn’t recommend this age gap to anyone. My aunt and uncle are the exception. People with a huge age gap are at different places in their lives, and no amount of love can make them want the same things.

  • Grenade February 5th, 2013 11:49 AM

    I really wish I had read something like this when I was a teenager. I was in a 7 year relationship from the age of 16 with a guy 10 years older than me. I still feel like some of the most important years of my self discovery were lost in adapting to him. I changed my clothes, my taste in music, the way I spoke, everything.

    He told me not to put my virginity on a pedestal like some stupid self obsessed girl, and I didn’t want to seem like I thought my virginity was such a great thing to be saved, so after loads of No’s I finally just allowed him to do whatever he pleased with me, which was a really scary experience! I really wish I had been with someone who was as awkward as me back then, where sexuality could have been a mutual discovery instead of something terrifying. It took years before I could enjoy sex for myself, I felt like a piece of candy which he would eat like a crazy animal.

    And even if the dynamic works in the beginning, him teaching you the “great truths about life” and you being an eager student, you’ll soon enough become a young woman, able to think for yourself and have strong believes, which is hard when you’re a teenager. My guy used to tell me how to walk, interrupted me when I spoke to others to “translate” because I spoke too fast according to him, when really he just didn’t like that I was passionate about something of my own. Eventually the mess turned in to real physical violence when he couldn’t control my mind anymore, so he tried to control my body instead.

    It’s rare for a good 26 year old guy to be interested in a 16 year old girl…

  • LoveYourLife February 14th, 2013 6:46 PM

    Thanks for this article!
    I’ve never dated anyone let alone an older man, but whenever I have a dream (an erotic one), I always seem to be with an older man between the age of 38-48. Is that normal?

  • Ali Moriel March 26th, 2013 4:58 PM

    everyone should absolutely read this!! My Dad is 21 years older than my Mom and they are terribly unhappy. I really urge everyone to rethink relationships with older people.

  • siobhanoleary November 11th, 2013 7:30 PM

    I always go with the half his age plus 7 rule so if a guy is 20 (20/2=10+7=17) anything lower than 17 is probably questionable. but there can be exceptions ahaha