Posted by: Tara | 2009/10/05

Acceptable dating ages

My daughter is 16 years old. She has had a few " boy friends"  previously but no-one serious - only friends. However she has now met a guy - age 20. They have similar interests i.e music, hobbies etc and seem to get on really well. Is this age gap too big. My gut feeling says yes, however I would like some kind of guidance on this ? Many Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

Hi Tara,

Whilst in later life a 4 year gap is not considered big at all, there can be developmental differences that are quite large between 16 and 20, for example being in school or not, still legally under parental care and not to name just two. However, emotional maturity should also be considered and often girls mature earlier than boys, so it is not unusual for a 16 year old girl to be as emotionally mature as a 19/20 year old guy. However, this depends hugely on the individuals concerned.

Have you spoken to you daughter about your concerns? If not I would recommend that you speak about your worries and try and find a way of coming to an agreement that takes both of your feelings and concerns into account. Listen to your gut too, as you may want to see how it goes, but make it clear to your daughter that you have some misgivings about the age gap.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: almost mad | 2009/10/09

20 sounds too young to be dating a 20 year guy. Im 25 so i know boys in their 20' s. This is a bad idea when you 16.

Reply to almost mad

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