Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Boyfriend Is Obsessed with Teenage Girls”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without any commentary from me:

My boyfriend of almost three years dropped out of college years ago without a backup plan. When I met him, he would talk about wanting to take courses to become a teacher. Months later, he said that he wanted to start some sort of business. Two years into our relationship he started prerequisites to become a diagnostic imaging technician. He never passed the courses and never got into the program, because he never really studied. And this is when his “hobby” started: befriending teenage girls.

After he failed his courses to become a diagnostic imaging technician, he started a job as a driving instructor and he mostly works with teenagers. Recently, I found out that he actually meets girls there, befriends them on Facebook and, I assume, keeps in touch from there. Yesterday, I noticed he liked one girl’s profile picture — a picture of her in underwear! In the back of my mind I’m thinking she’s just a child, an underage girl. He calls these girls his “friends” and says that they are “spiritually enriching” him.

Now, without passing anymore judgment on the issue myself, I just want to ask: is this normal for a 27-year-old guy and am I being unreasonable and overly-jealous?

I am working towards a career and I’ve been living on my own for a few years now. I am independent enough to have the resources to do all that and more, while my boyfriend still lives in his parents’ basement and doesn’t know what the next five years look like. I take vacations without him, because he can’t afford them. I love the guy — he has so many good qualities, but perhaps I see potential where there isn’t. I want to voice all this to him, but I am not sure where to start and how to go about it and if I even should. I never see him without getting into a fight, but I want to feel that I’ve done all I could, all that was possible before I move on. I am at a crossroads and I hope that you can help me get some perspective. — Not a Teenager

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

189 comments… add one
  • avatar

    MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:07 am

    Is obsessed or obsesses!?!
    The headline needs some help;)

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:21 am

      Having read the disaster of a letter. Its so early for this kind of neck pain after shaking my head so much.

      LW lets disregard the girls for a second, you’ve been dating for 3 years and seemingly the entire time he has had no future, no solid job prospects or aspirations, nothing… what potential do you see and how can you see it!?! It would appear that the most generous thing I can say is that you’ve grown apart and should MOA.

      Not generous would be to ask why you’re dating someone you dont seem to respect, have anything in common with, fight constantly with and cant even enjoy going on vacations.

      Brutal would be to say that when you got to referencing his age as 27 and wondered if it was an issue that he likes commenting on teen girls in their underwear on their FB pages… well I threw up in my mouth a little. What a fucking lecherous loser. What in the world is wrong with you that you have to ask if its ok that your bf checks out teen girls 10 yrs his junior!?! If you’re not ok with something that’s your intuition waving the red flag… in this case there’s a banner. Pay attention to it and please figure out why someone with career, etc ahead of them would even find this leech worthy of your attention for 3 years.

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      • avatar

        cdobbs July 24, 2013, 9:39 am

        “fucking lecherous loser” ….yes! the perfect description of this guy! thank you!!

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      • avatar

        acastil5 July 24, 2013, 10:46 pm

        ugh i feel so nauseated right now and it definitely is not the footlong chili cheese dog from sonic I had for dinner. If a guy told me that I’d say “Yup your’e a creeper” and walk out.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 9:33 am

      Wait, what is the difference?

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:43 am

        Wendy corrected. She had “is obsesses” which even my pathetic grammar self knew was off.
        Plus ive now felt the satisfaction of changing something for the better… which should more than make up for the ckusterf*ck of revisionist history when the LW starts chiming in defensively in the comments about how her pervy bf saves kittens and volunteers and is so wonderful.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 10:07 am

        True but now I got confused! New rule: if there’s a typo you can’t live with, email Wendy and flag it as super super important and make the subject line “Alert! Typo needs fixin’!”

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 10:14 am

        *or* I can just live with it – I’m breezy!

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 10:43 am

        You want me to email wendy direct!?! That seems like an extra step… but for you and the rest of teamDW I can handle the new rule (where are all the rules anyway!?!). It will be years before I make another correction anyway. English was never my strong suit;)

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 10:54 am

        The “rules” are all in my head and they change constantly and are routinely broken so….. the rules are a fluid concept. 🙂

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      • avatar

        Emsz July 24, 2013, 2:18 pm

        So they are like Gibbs’s (sp?) rules? 😛

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady July 24, 2013, 5:22 pm

        More like guidelines!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 25, 2013, 6:58 am

        or friendly suggestions!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary July 24, 2013, 9:07 am

    NO! This is not normal! Your boyfriend is a creepy loser at best, a pedophile loser at worst. Move on and don’t look back. Don’t even try to fix him or talk to him about this. And yes, you are seeing potential where there probably isn’t any.

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    • avatar

      SpyGlassez July 29, 2013, 9:57 pm

      Technically a pedophile is interested in prepubescent children. A hebephile is interested in younger teenagers.

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  • avatar

    Bunnycsp July 24, 2013, 9:07 am

    This is so icky. I would run fast. I mean it, run fast.

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  • avatar

    Kate July 24, 2013, 9:09 am

    So, first of all, that’s not normal, and it’s very shady.

    Beyond that, you love this guy for his potential, and because he has some good qualities. Those are bad reasons to stay in a relationship with someone. Your boyfriend and your relationship should be serving you well right now. That’s not the case here. It’s bringing you down and causing you worry and stress.

    Your boyfriend may have good qualities, but he also has some really really bad ones, like not being able to live like an adult (that isn’t going to change, by the way) and becoming involved with girls 10 years younger who are *underage.* He does not just want to be friends with these girls. He’s absolutely fantasizing about them, or potentially even acting on these fantasies.

    What are you really getting out of this relationship, besides the (false) security of being able to say you have a boyfriend, and some companionship? You should absolutely move on.

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    • theattack

      theattack July 24, 2013, 11:46 am

      I really like your point that the relationship has to be working NOW and not in the future. That’s so true.

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      • avatar

        Kate July 24, 2013, 12:19 pm

        Yup, you can get stuck for years in a bad relationship because you just KNOW he’ll change, or you’ll figure out how to make it work, or whatever.

        But what are the chances of that happening? What are the chances that a guy who’s NEVER showed any ambition is suddenly going to wake up and make a total life change? Or a guy who is showing a questionable sketchy interest in teenage girls is going to become a devoted, mature boyfriend? Those odds are too bad to stick around and find out.

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    • avatar

      Benjamin lewis April 4, 2017, 1:17 am

      Okay, my comment may not be able to go through but. I want to say this, men who go after teenage girls are simply stating the fact that they want to procreate. As long as the girls have well developed breasts and hips, I don’t see a problem. The only thing I would make a big deal of if he’s actually having sex with them while he’s still with his girlfriend, That’s messed up. if a man likes teenage girls, He shouldn’t make a relastionship with a woman his age in the first place. If I was this guy, making romantic/sexual relationships period is an immature thing to do unless you can pay bills and buy a house.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover April 4, 2017, 8:08 am

        No, sorry, grown men going after teenage girls is fucked up. Have you ever met a teenage girl? They don’t act like adults. They don’t think like adults. How an adult man could want to be with someone who clearly acts more like a child than an adult is beyond me.

        It’s one thing to see a fully-developed female and think she’s got a hot body. It’s another thing to realize she’s a teenager and go “I’m gonna get with that”.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl July 24, 2013, 9:15 am

    Umm why exactly are you with this guy? He sounds immature and creepy. Dump him and I would also inform the driving school about his ‘friendships’ since in all likelihood he is breaking a policy.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay July 24, 2013, 9:33 am

      I agree about informing the driving school. Policies like that are put in place for a reason, and who knows where his friendships with these girls might lead.

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      • avatar

        thatgirl July 24, 2013, 9:37 am

        He could/should lose this job…where he goes to meet more teenagers after that is scary

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  • avatar

    cdobbs July 24, 2013, 9:18 am

    after reading the letter the first thought in my head is the boyfriend is a creepy pedofile….what would a 27 year old man have in common with a teenage girl, except to creep on them? LW you need to run away from this guy as fast as you can….best thing that can come from that will be he realizes what a tool he is and grows up and starts acting like a real man!

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 9:46 am

      Creepy, yes but not technically a pedophile. Pedophilia generally relates to people who are attracted to pre-pubescent (thus not teenagers) but this dude is still all around gross and if he’s doing anything physically it is likely illegal depending on the specific state laws. She needs to run away really fast. And inform the driving school what’s going on.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday July 24, 2013, 9:54 am

        Yes, technically the term is “ephebophile” (one who likes mid-to-late adolescents, so 15-19 years old) but let’s focus on connotation rather than denotation, shall we? 🙂

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 10:15 am

        I can’t help myself. It’s what I specialized in during grad school and for some reason it just rubs me the wrong way. But no matter what this dude is or isn’t, he’s crossing all kinds of uncool lines.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC July 24, 2013, 10:14 am

        Let’s not get into semantics – it takes away from the point of the letter. I worked at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for many years, and yes, we knew the correct term, but everyone in law enforcement uses the word pedophilia in these cases.

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 10:19 am

        I made sure I addressed the point of the letter also. I work in law enforcement and most of the people I work with would be the first to correct it as well. Because it takes away from the people who truly are.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC July 24, 2013, 10:30 am

        OK, you win! Even though my experience has been different with this specific term, I can relate to how irritating it can be when people don’t use the correct term for things. It drives me nuts with other words so I will use the correct term from now because I don’t want you to be frustrated. I hope the tone of this doesn’t come across of snarky; I am being sincere!

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 10:40 am

        Haha I’m not trying to win 🙂 I think it was just pounded so firmly into my head that I can’t help myself. Just like some of the traffic investigators I work with hate the word “accident” so anytime I hear someone say it I automatically correct them to “crash” instead.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC July 24, 2013, 3:29 pm

        I do it with prison vs. jail and robbery vs. burglary…

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    • avatar

      zombeyonce July 24, 2013, 11:18 am

      From my perspective, he’s got a lot in common with many teenagers: lives at home, is irresponsible, and likes hanging out with people that don’t expect much from him, unlike his girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong, LW’s expectations of her grown-ass boyfriend are completely reasonable but if this guy wants to be a lazy SOB, hanging around unencumbered people (like he seems to want to be) makes it a lot easier.

      While I agree with some other commenters that said LW should tell the school, I think there is likely more to it than he just likes barely or not at all legal girls (which seems pretty likely). He doesn’t like that the LW wants him to act like an adult and it must be incredibly easy for him to delude himself into thinking that his current life is just fine when he compares it to the students in his classes.

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      • raptor

        gillociraptor July 24, 2013, 11:25 am

        A+ username.

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      • avatar

        zombeyonce July 24, 2013, 11:54 am

        Thanks! It’s based on a Halloween costume I came up with a few years back. Picture the Single Ladies outfit and glove plus zombie makeup.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay July 24, 2013, 9:19 am

    Your boyfriend is very clearly a creep and apparently a loser, as well. I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s a little embarrassing that you haven’t dumped his ass already. No, it’s not normal to be obsessed with teenage girls.

    He seems to have very few redeeming qualities. Aside from the teen girl thing, you guys seem to be in very different places in life and are not compatible at all. And you fight all the time. Why are you with him?

    Potential is a tricky thing in relationships. Loving someone and thinking they’re fun and smart isn’t enough to see potential in them. I mean, theoretically, almost anyone has the potential to do great things, but if they aren’t actually working toward anything, what’s the point? Honestly, most people who cite “potential” as a reason they stay with their partner are deluding themselves, because if they really had “potential,” they would have accomplished something already.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 24, 2013, 9:24 am

      I agree about the potential thing and it gets a lot of people in trouble. You should date someone for who they are right now, not who they might be and what they might do one day.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 9:30 am

        Yep! Because there’s a good possibility they won’t ever become the person you imagine they will be.

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:34 am

        I tthink theres a huge difference between potential… as in im in my 3rd year and successfully progressing through med school or I have a great internship lined up after grad school… and talking about maybe doing something in the future if you like it maybe 😉

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:52 am

        Just realized that could come off snobby… to clarify potential does not have to be connected to formal post graduate courses. Potential could just as easily be someone working as a mechanic with a goal of managing or owning their own shop. The key is WORK/ACTION/EFFORT/AMBITION. Trying and failing counts too as some of the most successful people in the world have failed a ton. The key is trying and doing. Not whining and quitting and living in your parents basement nearing 30 with no plans to get out.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 12:03 pm

        No, I got what you’re saying! And the thing about people who aren’t there yet or have tried and failed is that they HAVE done things already. Like in your examples, a person who has a year left of med school has already completed three and shown that they are smart, hard-working and ambitious enough to have gotten in and the first place. The same with someone having an internship. I definitely didn’t mean that you have to have completed all your goals in order to be considered to have accomplished something.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow July 24, 2013, 10:32 am

      Doesn’t Wendy say you have to love someone “as is”? Focusing on who they “could be” when they show no indication of changing or becoming that person you envision isn’t going to get you anywhere. Even without the creepy teenage girl thing, I’d say MOA. Or MOY!

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  • Copa

    Copa July 24, 2013, 9:20 am

    Nope! Not normal!

    In any case, beyond the issue of teenage girls, you two seem mismatched in terms of what you want out of life. You seem career-oriented, and he seems to have given up. I don’t think this bodes well for your relationship in the long run.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 9:23 am

    NO. RUN and don’t look back. This is NOT normal.

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  • avatar

    jottino July 24, 2013, 9:24 am

    This is soooooo not normal. NOT NORMAL!

    What is the redeeming value of this relationship? I mean, you’re already doing major things without him. Vacations? And what does he do while you’re on your trip — meet more teenagers on facebook? Does he actually do anything WITH you or FOR you that isn’t funded BY you? And you “never see him without getting into a fight?”

    At 27, I would think that this guy should have at least SOME idea of the next 5 years. And after three years of dating, I dunno, I would think there’d be some kind of future plan as far as marriage/house/cohabitating? Isn’t that discouraging to you? Just … nothing? No plans for a job or career or anything besides TALKING TO TEENAGED GIRLS.

    Please, just MOA. You seem fairly successful & smart, & you don’t need to be dragged down by this kind of nonsense.

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  • avatar

    Liquid Luck July 24, 2013, 9:27 am

    I’m not even going to touch the teenage girl stuff other than to agree with everyone else that it’s extremely creepy and inappropriate. What really stuck out for me was this line: “perhaps I see potential where there isn’t.”

    Bingo. You seem to have nothing in common with this guy. You lead completely different lifestyles, can’t spend time together without arguing, and you have no solid plans for the future (yes, you have your own, but it seems you have no goals together, which should be happening after three years). This is simply an instance of love not being enough to sustain a long-term commitment.

    Honestly, this sounds like a case of not wanting to cut your losses. You’ve spent three year with this guy, so it’s natural that you would want to work things out if you can to avoid having “lost” or “wasted” all that time on someone who won’t remain part of your life. But the truth is that those three years won’t be lost if your relationship ends. You’ll (hopefully) have spent them learning about yourself, about what you want for your future, and what you need from a long-term romantic partner. I hope you don’t think of the four years you spent at college as a waste now that they’re over, but as a time in your life where you learned a lot and grew as a person. Relationships are like that too, and every one we have, good or bad, can lead us to finding out what we truly need from a partner and inspiring us to go find it. So seriously evaluate the things you need that you aren’t getting from your boyfriend, and then go get them–from someone else.

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  • avatar

    ktfran July 24, 2013, 9:30 am

    To sum it up, your 27 year old boyfriend lives in his parents basement and has taken 9+ years to find a decent job, but at said job, he friends 15/16 year old girls.

    That’s really all you needed to say. And all we need to tell you is MOA. Yesterday.

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:36 am

      MOY MOY MOY!!!

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    • avatar

      Guy Friday July 24, 2013, 9:55 am

      I mean, when you put it like that, it almost sounds terrible 🙂

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    • avatar

      FancyPants July 24, 2013, 11:20 am

      You forgot the part where they don’t get along and she can’t communicate with him without fighting. I mean icing on the cake, really, but COME ON LW.

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  • avatar

    Christy July 24, 2013, 9:30 am

    I never see him without getting into a fight, but I want to feel that I’ve done all I could, all that was possible before I move on.

    You’ve already decided that you’re moving on. You don’t have to “do all you could” before dumping someone. If a relationship is over, it’s over. And yours is clearly over. Dump him and do better.

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  • avatar

    thatgirl July 24, 2013, 9:30 am

    LW, pass judgement!! His behavior with these girls is creepy, predatory and just plain gross.

    And after 3 years with no obvious plan or ambition to change his current situation, what are you trying to save? You fight EVERY TIME you see him? Seriously?? And not even about his creepy behavior?? You do everything to save a relationship that has potential, or because you have kids, or because you’re married, not one where after only 3 years you are already moving ahead without him (career, independent living, vacationing alone, etc.) The unacceptable, and completely inappropriate contact with these girls should be more than enough to end it now.

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 10:41 am

      Generally if I fight with someone every time I see them, I stop seeing them.

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 10:52 am

        Why would you do that!?! Then where’s the zest, the drama of like?? 🙂

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 11:21 am

        I know, it seems kinda crazy but I prefer to not have all that added drama.

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  • avatar

    Turtledove July 24, 2013, 9:30 am

    Gah! Your boyfriend is one bad judgement call away from an episode of Dateline. It’s not normal, and it is superlatively creepy and probably illegal.

    But for the purposes of your relationship, it’s almost doesn’t even matter. You say he has some good qualities, but then you go on to list all the reasons why ya’ll aren’t working out. He dropped out of college, he doesn’t have a plan, he’s “befriending” other girls/women on Facebook for “spiritual enlightenment.”

    Look, I’m guessing you’re in your early to mid-20s. So you’re young, but do you really want to waste your time on a relationship that absolutely cannot move forward? Sure he has potential, everyone has gobs of potential. But he’s got no plan and will probably be perfectly content to dick around as long as someone will support him. As long as that’s the case, this relationship CANNOT move forward. I mean, are you going to let him move in with you? As long as he’s stuck, the relationship is stuck. You can’t fix him, and to try is to set yourself up as the “mom,” which, you know, yuck.

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:37 am

      Points for the dateline reference 🙂

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. July 24, 2013, 10:24 am

      Yeah! I see these words in his future: “Hello, I’m Chris Hansen from MSNBC. Have a seat.” Seriously, this guy shows some worrisome signs. He is on the road to all kinds of wrong. Get away from him and report him to his boss. LIking pictures of teenage girls in their underwear and calling it spiritual enrichment is more than inappropriate. It’s way creepy.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ July 24, 2013, 11:34 am

      Side story – a guy I graduated with ended up on Dateline, and yes, on one of THOSE episodes. And not just some random guy from my class, either, he was part of my extended social circle (we never hung out together ourselves, but were friends with a lot of the same crowd, and my boyfreind-at-the-time knew him pretty well). He didn’t get a super-special feature on the show, they barely showed him at all because he wasn’t one of the more outrageous cases, him being just 18 and going after a “14-year-old girl” or whatever it was, still illegal but not quite as shocking. Still, he gets to spend the rest of his life as a punchline among those who knew him.

      He’s also well known for his habit of trying to run from cops, and failing? He was a track runner in H.S. so I guess he thought he had a chance, but as a teen he tried to run from some cops who were stopping him in a parking lot, turned and ran smack into a lightpost. And he tried to run from the Dateline/police folks too, did not make it far. Oh, Steve…

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady July 24, 2013, 12:05 pm

        My best friend’s ex was on the show as well. They didn’t date very long, and the one time they tried to have sex, he couldn’t maintain an erection. Which was totally explained when he was caught talking to a 15-year-old girl on national tv.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary July 24, 2013, 12:09 pm

        My one friend from college was caught “To Catch a Predator” style. Obviously I never talked to him again once I found out he agreed to meet with a 14yr old from the internet. I have the willies just thinking about it.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 24, 2013, 12:30 pm

        Yeah, none of us was TOO surprised with this guy. He was geeky, scrawny, awkward, a tad unpredictable, so it didn’t shock us to to learn he’d start chatting with younger girls, if only because that’s the only female attention he was getting at all (and again, he was 18 and a college freshman himself, so there’s really not *too* much of a stretch here IMO).

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 24, 2013, 12:31 pm

        FTR, not excusing him, just seeing how it could have unfolded, knowing what few details I do.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger July 24, 2013, 2:04 pm

        I kinda think they shouldn’t be people like that on the show. While what he did (or tried to do) is not cool and the internet makes it weirder, but it really effectively the same as a senior in high school dating a freshman in highschool. Or a senior in high school wanting/trying to date a freshman in high school. Like, if he bought the beer, he’d be underage too. I think there’s something wrong with humiliating that guy/ruining his life forever on TV and the internet for what could very well be a typical prom night. (18 and 14). (Note: I didn’t say anything about the law and if he should have gotten in trouble that way.)

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      • kare

        kare July 24, 2013, 3:31 pm

        A former DA for my county was caught by the show then committed suicide. My county and it’s district attorneys have pretty horrible fates….

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  • avatar

    Jenny July 24, 2013, 9:31 am

    He probably goes for teenage girls because 1) he’s a creep and 2) he is basically at the same point in life they are. I mean, to other people in their 20s he seems like a loser, but to teenage girls he’s old and mysterious and can buy booze! This will not end well. MOA yesterday.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary July 24, 2013, 9:34 am

      Yup. My siblings and parents always said that the only reason guys in their late 20s date teenage girls is because women their own age aren’t interested in them. Because any self-respecting woman in her late 20s does not date a guy who lives at home and lacks a career path or any ambitions.

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  • avatar

    boredatwork July 24, 2013, 9:32 am

    I knew a guy like this, unable to pull his life together even with the support of a great GF, he also was weirdly obsessed with young women. He often said “all women change at 22” but never explained it. What I have come to realize this means is that after 22 most people begin to grow up and mature. I’m guessing that your bf, while he is a total creep because no 27 year old man or woman should be befriending teenagers of either sex, feels like he is in charge or together when surrounded by teens. Remember that you as an adult are challenging, you have goals and dreams and expectations of him. These 18 year olds don’t. They may think he is cool or cute, maybe they think he is creeper as well but I bet part of the reason he is suddenly drawn to them is that it is easy to impress an 18 year old girl, much harder to impress a peer when you have nothing else going on.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2013, 9:32 am

    Oh man I had such a huge crush on my Driver’s Ed Instructor. He was so dreamy and shy and awkward and I was 16 and rebellious and ridiculous and you know – in that I’m a 16 year old girl so everyday I wake up thinking about how I can be out in public and wear the least amount of clothing – phase. I remember thinking he was just *so old* at the ripe age of 26. But then I did the math – and I was like – welllllll 10 years ain’t so bad. Age ain’t nothing but a number. Then I graduated and never saw him again. Thank god facebook didn’t exist when I was a teenager. I got into enough trouble as it was.

    That story is really irrelevant to your problem, but thanks for the trip down memory lane. Advice time: Your boyfriend is a creep, and I’m confused about how you see potential when he hasn’t done jack shit – and has actually regressed since you’ve been together.

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    • Copa

      Copa July 24, 2013, 9:45 am

      A bunch of girls — myself included — had huge crushes on the student teacher for my calculus class in high school. He was, like, a total babe. 🙂 At the time, I thought he was SO OLD. He wound up friending a bunch of us at the end of the school year (after we’d graduated). It was only a couple years ago when I realized we were still Facebook friends that it finally occurred to me that he is only 6 years older than I am — when I was a 17-year-old high school senior, he was a 23-year-old college senior, and at the time he just seemed ANCIENT. In a hot way. Haha.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC July 24, 2013, 10:20 am

        I am having terrible driver’s ed flashbacks. 1. I hit a pheasant on my first day (the only time I’ve ever hit an animal). Feathers everywhere. 2. The teacher had really bad halitosis. 3. One kid got in a fight with the teacher and crashed the car while trying to punch him and it caught on fire. He got expelled for that! Good times.

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    • katie

      katie July 24, 2013, 9:46 am

      my driving instructor was such a dick. and i mean, i was kind of a dick too, ill admit, but he was not very nice. i have very bad memories of learning to drive between that guy and my dad. lol

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      • Copa

        Copa July 24, 2013, 9:49 am

        My driver’s ed teacher was creepy and sexist and old. He would blatantly stare at all the girls’ chests and made comments about how if he could teach us girls to drive, he could teach anyone/anyTHING to drive. He also wore the same orange fleece jacket to every class.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 24, 2013, 9:58 am

        I had a woman driving instructor. (Not extremely relevant, but I like telling people this because everyone gets SO SHOCKED.)

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      • theattack

        theattack July 24, 2013, 11:56 am

        My credit for my driver’s ed class was removed about a year after I took it because the teachers were discovered transporting illegal immigrants into the country and hooking them up with driver’s licenses and fake social security cards. He was also my mom’s old band director who she says was a total dick to her. I wish he had been hot.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Mine was awful. He let my driving partner go 10-15 over the speed limit at all times, but the moment I happened to be 1 or 2 over, he’d threaten me and say that if we got pulled over, I’d never get my driver’s license. And he wouldn’t let me drive on the interstate, even though that was part of the lesson, because he didn’t think I could handle it. Every subsequent time I’ve driven cross-country (six so far) or in a blizzard, I want to tell him to suck it.

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    • avatar

      Bunnycsp July 24, 2013, 9:56 am

      When I was 18 and a freshman in college, I dated a guy who was 28. He seemed mature and worldly. But it was because he was a baggage handler at the airport and got cheap plane tickets. Now I look back at the drugs and binge drinking and think, he liked me because I was young and easily impressed.

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    • othy

      othy July 24, 2013, 12:17 pm

      This was giving me flashbacks to my alcoholic, leering drivers ed teacher. Ugh, he was a creep. Pretty sure that this guy is my old teacher reincarnated into a 27 year old. Ew.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle July 24, 2013, 9:32 am

    Uhh yeah, LW, I’m sorry…I think there is a lack of perspective going on, on your part, a sort of “you’re too close to see” situation? Which you seem to half-realize? (“…perhaps I see potential where there isn’t”, “I hope that you can help me get some perspective”)

    Putting aside the creepy behavior with teenage girls, this guy is completely unmotivated. He has shown time & time again that he isn’t willing to get his shit together. Like, it’s not just a wind-y road thing, or a rough patch—he has a *pattern* of putting quarter-assed effort into seemingly random careers, only to quit. He doesn’t have a plan for the next 5 years, as you say, so that means his life goals are not aligning with yours. This is enough reason to dump him.

    Now, his attention to the girls he’s instructing is definitely creepy & inappropriate. He shouldn’t even be friending them, let alone ‘liking’ pictures of these girls ~in their underwear~. He is not their peer. This is not something a 27-year-old man should be doing. I would say what you’re feeling isn’t so much “jealousy” as a profound sense of wrongness (& for some reason, the “they enrich me spiritually” is the worst part of this. Wtf?)

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  • avatar

    Adrienne July 24, 2013, 9:33 am

    His behavior is beyond inappropriate. You also specify that he only befriends the girls, and I assume he is teaching driving to boys too, showing he has a preference. It is wrong, and probably in violation of his employment. If you truly love him, you will do what you can to help prevent him from ending up in jail. Inform someone else of his behavior, and then take one of those vacations on your own. And then move on.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 9:35 am

    Yes, this is normal behavior – in prison!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 9:38 am

      ^ eh that kinda worked. Isn’t that a Friends line?

      Reply Link
      • bagge72

        bagge72 July 24, 2013, 9:47 am

        When Chandler gets his pants hemmed at Joey’s tailor!

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      • Copa

        Copa July 24, 2013, 9:51 am

        “Isn’t that how they measure pants?”
        “Yes, yes it is . . . in PRISON!”

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 10:38 am

        Classic.

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle July 24, 2013, 9:35 am

    To get perspective, try imagining this is your best friend’s boyfriend and she is asking you for advice. What would you tell her? Or try imagining that you live in your parents basement and have taken a job as a driving instructor. Would you friend 16 year old guys for spiritual enrichment?

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    • avatar

      Sandee July 25, 2013, 10:03 am

      Definitely not! That is the reason I wrote in, because this is the last huge red flag.
      He told me that I don’t understand it because I am unable to get along with everyone. I replied the people I choose to spend my time with have nothing to do with how I get along with other individuals..
      It actually angers me that he doesn’t get it.

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  • avatar

    bethany July 24, 2013, 9:36 am

    Pretty much not normal. Boyfriend sounds like a creep.

    I have a friend who had a skeezy boyfriend like that. He ran an off campus housing company near a college, so he was in touch with young college girls all the time. They’d be FB friends, text eachother, and just do not normal stuff for a 19 year old girl and a 32 year old guy. It didn’t end well for my friend, who was too blind to see what a creep this guy was.

    MOA. This isn’t going to end well.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 July 24, 2013, 9:38 am

    What potential are we talking about here? He has shown you that he has absolutely no potential so far, so I’m guessing you are holding onto the potential he showed 3 years ago. He is a creep, and is on his way to, or already has crossed a line with these girls. You should dump him, and then probably report him to his employer, before he does something to one of these girls.

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  • katie

    katie July 24, 2013, 9:45 am

    eh, the facebook thing is always a case by case thing. sure, he might be creepy-bordering on pedophile. but, i mean, there were kids in my high school (including me) who were friends with teachers, while in high school and now after. so, i dunno. hes a driving instructor- he works with teens. it follows that he will have contact with them, even befriend them. i dont think that there is enough information to really make a call about that.

    but really, even giving him a huge benefit of the doubt on the facebooking teen girls thing, you dont even like this guy. you dont even have a real relationship with him, i’d say. you vacation apart. you dont live together. you say you cant even *see* him without fighting. so… what is there to this relationship? its not a happy home. its not all the great times you two are having. literally- what it is? what is keeping you with this guy?

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 July 24, 2013, 9:48 am

      He is liking the pictures of them in their underwear.

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 9:52 am

        isolated incident, and statistically irrelevant anyway, most likely, because doesnt every teenage girl only post pictures of themselves in their underwear nowadays?

        i would just like to see a pattern of icky behavior before we go slapping labels on this guy. remember the letter about the man who wanted to see his former girlfriends kids? someone called him a pedophile, which is ridiculous. being a pedophile or a sex offender or whatever is a serious thing and you really shouldnt just assume that over one incident.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 9:58 am

        I don’t need a pattern to know that this grown man should not be liking even one underwear photo of a teenager. You can be a dirtbag only one time and still be a dirtbag. Calling him a pedophile because of it? Sure, not fair. But I’d bet dollars to donuts this dude has a fresh new spank bank in his mommy’s basement thanks to his new “friends.”

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 10:00 am

        haha, yes, that is probably true. spank bank gold!

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 9:48 am

      But your teachers probably weren’t liking photos of you in your underwear.

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 9:56 am

        but my freshman english teacher now posts long updated about her dating and sex life! which is amazing, ill add. she is a wonderful writer and hilarious.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 9:59 am

        Great…since you’re no longer a freshman in high school.

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      • othy

        othy July 24, 2013, 12:21 pm

        I knew far too much about my debate coach’s sex life. Far too much. While I was in high school. Oh, and she was the first person to offer me booze (I had graduated by then, but I was still 17. I look back on it now and I’m horrified!). She was quite young though (I think she was 25, and had the judgement of a 19 year old).

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle July 24, 2013, 9:54 am

      Yeah, I mean, my boyfriend works with teenagers & is Facebook friends with some of them (he waits until after they graduate to accept their friend requests, I think, though) So I agree that Facebook friending isn’t a red flag in ITSELF, but this guy seems to be initiating it, doing it repeatedly, & taking it to inappropriate levels (the ‘liking’ underwear pictures thing). Instead of maintaining a boundary, he’s deliberately pushing against it. That’s creepy behavior (although no, I’m not gonna say he’s a ~pedophile~)

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:59 am

        Yeah. I dont think hes a full on pedo. just a statutory rapist waiting to happen. Bare minimum hes going to get fired once some parent checks their daughter’s FB page and sees the likes. A shitshow to avoid at all costs IMO!

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 9:57 am

      He says the girls are spiritually enriching him while justifying his relationships with these girls to his gf… because we all know 17 year old girls are so spritual!

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 10:00 am

        in the same way that a guidance counselor/pastor/teacher/social worker/ect might say that helping kids is “spiritually enriching”?

        all im saying is not to hang this guy without actual proof. i dont even think the LW should continue her relationship, but lets not go all mid-century witch hurt here..

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 10:01 am

        I disagree. Your positive experiences dont negate the disturbing behavior here. Maybe if he wasnt a drifter. Maybe if he had always wanted to work with youth and had other coaching or training experience. Maybe but thats not the case here

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 24, 2013, 10:04 am

        Edit to add… and maybe if he was as attentive to the boys as he is the girls.

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 10:05 am

        all im saying is that we dont know. you dont know. we cannot make a call about these matters from one letter from one person who saw one thing on facebook. it could go either way. i have no idea. im just not going to join the mob, thats all.

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 10:09 am

        and ill add, what is happening here is NO DIFFERENT then when someone called that other LW’s ex boyfriend a pedophile.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 10:09 am

        I feel like you can excuse all of the behavior if you look at each thing separately though, which isn’t good to do.

        Lives with parents? – ok, maybe they are old and need his help
        Dropped out of school? – maybe he’s got a learning disability
        Struggling to find work? – like half the country right now
        Likes teen girls? – wants to be a mentor (but only to girls apparently). maybe he had little sisters
        Fights all the time? – maybe gf is a pain in the ass bitch

        Separately, you can find an excuse for each one. You have to look at the whole package though, and especially, imo, the liking underwear photos.

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      • katie

        katie July 24, 2013, 10:12 am

        well, like guyfriday said, the whole underwear thing is subjective- maybe this LW is super “modest” or whatever and she was in cloth shorts- you dont know.

        and, again, its not like i even think hes a quality person. i think the LW should break up with him. this guy obviously has nothing going for him. but to say he is a pedophile and/or sex offender, ect, is going way too far.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 10:14 am

        I don’t think anyone can say, with this info, that he’s a pedophile. He’s a huge ass creeper in my book though.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday July 24, 2013, 10:14 am

        I don’t think katie is saying you shouldn’t look at the big picture. I think she’s saying that all the people who are going “OMGWTFBBQ HE’S A PEDOPHILE!” are jumping to conclusions, which is a fair point to make. But, yes, the whole picture seems to be more effort than it’s worth. It’s just that she should walk away, not call the police.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 10:15 am

        omgwtfbbq. awesome.
        agreed.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 24, 2013, 10:58 am

        i’m craving bbq, btw.

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      • avatar

        ktfran July 24, 2013, 11:16 am

        have you been to bub city yet? I heard it’s pretty good. we should do a meet up there.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 11:28 am

        i’m craving bed. i feel sickly 🙁

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 12:54 pm

        Even then, it requires you to make up reasons for each item, which works for us, but not for someone who actually knows him. The LW surely knows whether his parents need the help or whether he has a learning disability. So, while for us it may be unclear until you put it all together, it seems less likely for her.

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      • avatar

        Sandee July 25, 2013, 10:18 am

        1.Lives with parents? – His mom encourages it (absolutely no disabilities, he’s more like a momma’s boy).
        2.Dropped out of school? – He woke up one morning and decided he won’t go to class and never went back again. Because it was too stressful.
        3.Struggling to find work? – He didn’t look for work for at least a year an a half (went to prereqs at some point) see point 1.
        4.Likes teen girls? – I don’t know if he likes them, he denies it and says he doesn’t like young girls like that. What strikes me the most is his friendships when he is almost 30.
        5.Fights all the time? – That was a wrong editing of my letter. I meant to say, I won’t leave a situation without “fighting”..

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 10:05 am

        Yea, I disagree also. I feel like you are glossing over the liking underwear photos.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 1:08 pm

        I don’t think he’s a pedophile or a sex offender (that we know of), but for someone who is a driving instructor because he’s failed at everything else he’s tried, it seems doubtful that he would use the phrase “spiritually enriching.” If that were the sort of thing that he says a lot or fits with his personality, I doubt the LW would have seemed so incredulous.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 1:09 pm

        Use it seriously to mean “fulfilling” or something, I mean.

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      • avatar

        convexed July 25, 2013, 8:51 am

        Well, all of those mentoring professions involve ethical codes and training of some sort, to ensure boundaries are respected. This guy is not a mentor. He is not a role model…what wisdom does he have to pass on to girls who are on the threshold of doing something with their lives and growing up? His life is no model, and his poor judgment in the way he interacts with these girls shows he is not nobody to emulate. The lw needs to tell him pointblank that he is not only skirting criminal territory, he is jeopardizing his current job, all future jobs, and exploiting these students over whom he has authority. It is not acceptable, and I agree she should send a screenshot to his boss. There are far too many decent unemployed folks who could use that job for him to be abusing it as access to underwear pics of teen girls. And by the way, lw, don’t just moa. Bust out of there like in an action movie. there better be a montage with explosions, car chases, and hot music for how epically yr ass gets away from this drain on your life.

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    • avatar

      Guy Friday July 24, 2013, 10:02 am

      I mean, to be fair, I friended (or perhaps was friended; I don’t recall) the first group of campers I ever was a counselor for (who, coincidentally, happen to be all female), and they’re about 10 years younger than me. I wouldn’t say we’re close or anything, but it’s definitely fun to get an email from them catching up once in a while and seeing them go to college and grow up and whatnot. It’s not as though I’m attracted to them; I’m friends with them for the same reason I’m friends with MY camp counselors.

      So I agree that the friending itself isn’t a sign of creepiness, nor is the liking of one picture of a girl (and I’d point out that there are a lot of outfits that I’d consider “underwear” or “pajamas” that other people consider “shorts”, so it’s possible the “underwear” comment is based on the perceptions of the LW)

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay July 24, 2013, 12:17 pm

        Eh, he’s a teacher. I think that’s different. There’s likely a policy against this kind of behavior. And while you just kept in touch and were vaguely connected by social media, it sounds like he’s actively being friends with these girls, which is inappropriate.

        As for the underwear, I think everyone is overthinking it. Fine, maybe it’s not underwear by definition, but if it can be mistaken for underwear, isn’t it the same point? The dude “likes” photos of underage girls he taught who are wearing short, thin clothing. Doesn’t really matter if it’s underwear or a bikini or short-shorts.

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      • avatar

        Sandee July 25, 2013, 10:24 am

        Underwear as in a bra. You can’t see the bottom part actually.

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    • avatar

      HmC July 24, 2013, 12:03 pm

      I think it’s weird to be facebook friends with teachers (in high school), camp counselors, therapists, or anyone with a position of authority over you. None of my friends in those positions are facebook friends with their students/patients because it’s just not appropriate. What’s the point? Can’t people ever just meet people and then organically let them drift out of their lives the way most people are supposed to?

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      • avatar

        HmC July 24, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Funny story- facebook has infiltrated the legal system in such a way that 1) defendants post their whereabouts and other information freely for the world to see, so investigating them for a crime is easy peasy and free (seriously, they don’t even bother with privacy controls sooooooooooo often); I’ve done hardly any criminal work, and the first thing I told the guy was to take down his facebook profile and he didn’t and then pictures from his profile were the most damning pieces of evidence against him. And 2) jurors keep adding the attorneys of the case they are constantly hearing! Seriously what is wrong with people. Facebook is the devil.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 12:24 pm

        I agree. Any teachers I know have, at minimum, a personal policy against this. If you want/need to keep in touch with a former teacher for say, a rec letter, use their work e-mail.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 25, 2013, 9:20 am

        Yup, all of the people I know who teach currently will not facebook friend students (or twitter follow, instagram, etc). GGuy specifically says at the begining of the semester “Do not try to contact me on social media, I will block you.” (We also don’t frequent bars etc where undergrads go in order to avoid his students.)

        On the flip side, I am FB friends with 3 of my high school teachers, but that did not come about until the past 3ish or so years. So about 5 years removed from them being authority figures. But it’s still a little weird.

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    • avatar

      savannah July 24, 2013, 12:12 pm

      Pedophiles are into pre-puberty adolescents (no more than 13 for girls) this guy just may be into underage girls.

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  • avatar

    kk July 24, 2013, 9:47 am

    seriously, you need to ask for advice on what to do with this guy????? this guy is a perv and a predator. dump his ass and alert the driving instructing company he works for about all his “friendships” he has with teenage girls who take courses with him. this guy is one step away from being a future registered sex offender.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana July 24, 2013, 9:53 am

    I am trying to be nice/sympathetic to your situation and that you have been with this guy for 3 years but I just it is hard. This should be no one’s standard for acceptable boyfriend behavior. He dropped out of college and has barely had a job in the 3 years you have known him. On top of that it would be weird enough if he was friending and keeping in touch with tons of women his OWN age he had never met and liking their personal photos and then meeting them in person; but teenagers? CREEPTASTIC. You have put up with his for 3 years? I could barely make it past the first few sentences. MOA please and have a baseline of how to be treated in a relationship (hint does not include any of the things you wrote about your current bf) so you don’t end up in a similar scenario again. You can do better, I guarantee it.

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    • avatar

      Taylor July 24, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Me gusta su nombre!

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  • avatar

    Nico July 24, 2013, 9:59 am

    MOA DTMFA!
    Hun, go find a man to spend your time with, not a boy.

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  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser July 24, 2013, 10:01 am

    Maybe all the girls are from a local ashram and he’s trying to find enlightenment.
    Maybe he can’t find the energy for school or a career because it would interfere with his daily meditations.
    Or maybe he’s a lazy, pleasure-seeking teen chaser and you should run.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 24, 2013, 10:01 am

    It’s VERY questionable — this teen girl obsession behavior — to be sure… But, as others have wisely pointed out, it’s still not the strongest reason you have to dump him… C’mon. This loser still lives with his parents! He’s a college drop out! He has NO future… Are you really THIS fucking desperate?!

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 10:08 am

      BGM called us wise!!! We made it. 🙂

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    • avatar

      anniemeow July 30, 2013, 1:30 pm

      My boyfriend is turning 26 in september(I am 20),still in “college” (We don’t call them colleges where I live),has failed tons of classes,was supposed to graduate two years ago but he still needs to pass 13 classes,do a six month internship and a 100page-essay to graduate…Where we live,we get the chance to re-take the exams to the classes we failed during the semesters at September.I study day and night since last week (that’s when I bought my computer,and I could not really “study” computer programming without a computer),and he puts off his studying all the time even though he has all the books,the notes and time he needs.I am still in college too(two more years to graduate),and even though I fail many classes,I really try my best to change this.Whenever I ask him if he is studying,he says “No,I have no time to study” and continues wasting time on videogames or scrolling through facebook.I know he flirts with other girls,I saw it with my own eyes when I borrowed his laptop.Dumbass forgot to clear history and I saw he had been visiting porn sites (not a big deal),online dating sites(ouch) and had forgot to log off his accound.So,I clicked it and saw that every day,for two weeks,he was flirting with a girl(she added him on facebook too….what a coincidence…)…When I confronted him about it,he promished that he would delete the dating-sites-accound (did that),give me his facebbook password(just bluffing) and delete every girl that IMed him hearts and kissy faces and flirting(still waiting to see that).I suggested that since he does not study for the exams he could get a job during the summer,said he will try,he wastes all day and night playing videogames.Yesterday I texted him “can’t answer phone today,I need to study more”,he called me right after that,I tripped on the power cord and accidentally unplugged my computer-all the notes I took during the 10 hours I had been studying were lost.His response? “No big deal…It was just notes.hahaha”…Seriously?Talk about potential….I bust my head studying day and night and he only has to say “no big deal”…Furthermore,I informed him that I would switch off my phone for the rest of my studying,and he got jealous out of nowhere.Why does he get to flirt,avoid fulfilling his promishes,avoid each and every one of his responsibilities and still be forgiven,and I want peace and quiet while I study and he gets mad at me?It is not like I want to be in college until I become 26 years old.I want to graduate in 2,5 years tops and get a nice job because I am sick of being a waitress (not a bad job and nothing against waitresses,but I would prefer a carrer),and at some point of my life,after everything is settled,have a family…He wants to take his sweet time graduating,become a musician (even though he does not know how to play music or sing), have kids one day and live only until he is 60 years old maximum (those are his aspirations,as he says)…Oh,and most of the time he lives with his parents (he rents an appartment at the town where our “college” is,but he spents 4 days almost every week with his parents at his hometown,while I live at the dorms and stay with my family only during holidays and summer vacation,spending most of my time looking for another job,improving my health and studying.)…Ughhh…They never really grow up….

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny July 24, 2013, 10:06 am

    Spiritual enrichment, huh? So many jokes, not enough time.

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  • avatar

    mf July 24, 2013, 10:07 am

    He does not have “so many good qualities.” He’s a creep and a loser. You sound like you’ve got your life together, so go find a guy who’s worth your time.

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    • avatar

      mf July 24, 2013, 10:09 am

      Also, I’m 27 and I can pretty sure none of my male friends are interested high school girls. His behavior is NOT normal. At best, he’s super immature. At worst, he likes preying on young women because they are clueless and vulnerable.

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  • avatar

    Lily in NYC July 24, 2013, 10:11 am

    Spiritually enriched??? Oh, that’s priceless. I guess lots of guys would find blowjobs from teenagers to be spiritually enriching. It doesn’t even matter if he’s cheating or not, this guy is a loser with a capital L. These girls either make fun of him behind his back because they think he’s a creep or they are messing around with him because he’s older and probably buying them stuff. Either way, RUN! RUN! RUN!

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  • genevathene

    genevathene July 24, 2013, 9:14 am

    Oy vey. No, this is not normal, and despite any of the other “good qualities” you mention, it seems that even your career ambition mismatch alone would be enough of a challenge to deal with in the not-too-far future. I’ll let the other commenters dig into the “spiritual enrichment” behind teenage girls in underpants.

    But, I totally sympathize with wanting to feel like you “tried it all” before ending this relationship. I recently read “Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay”, and it really helped me make some decisions about my relationship — I highly recommend it to you, too. The book goes through a list of diagnostic questions to help you make a decision and, most importantly, be at peace with it. You can skim through the questions on this blog site before buying the book:

    Reply Link
    • Today

      Today July 24, 2013, 9:22 am

      I agree! Even without the teenage girl stuff, there seems to be a mismatch in maturity level and attitude toward career and ambition. He doesn’t seem like he has much direction in life, and the LW seems unhappy with this aspect of him.

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  • avatar

    honeybeenicki July 24, 2013, 10:14 am

    LW, you are not overreacting. This is weird. Plus, you don’t respect the guy, aren’t on the same page as he is, and can’t see him without a fight starting. All of these equal a swift MOA.

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    Buzzelbee July 24, 2013, 10:24 am

    Oh hells no, that is not normal. GTFO. Find someone that shares your larger life plan who you don’t fight with all the time.

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    rachel July 24, 2013, 10:31 am

    This guy is a creep and a loser. MOA.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle July 24, 2013, 10:34 am

    I had another thought about this—I think his behavior with teenage girls is actually linked to his lack of responsibility. Because (& bear with me, here…) teenagers can be attractive? Like, I’m not saying it’s normal to consistently or ONLY find teenagers attractive, but I don’t fault a grown man for privately being like, “Oh, damn” at a 17-year-old who’s hot. (And vice-versa with the sexes).

    So, I’m not saying that him finding these girls attractive or whatever is the basis for his creepiness—it’s the seeking them out, liking their pictures, etc. He’s in a mentor position & should know better. An adult should have that NOPE NOT GOING THERE boundary in their heads (plus, they should feel intellectually & emotionally on another wavelength, thus preventing any desire to actually get to know or date a teenager…) The fact that he doesn’t have any of these things, apparently, kind of ties into the lack of ambition factor (because clearly he doesn’t care about his job?), & immaturity factor.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ July 24, 2013, 11:44 am

      Yeah, I can second this. I recently interned with a writing camp for young women, all about high school age, and after camp was over many of them found me on Facebook and started friending me. And I had a serious moment of “Is this the appropriate thing for me to do?” considering many of them were minors. The only other minors I’m friends with are either family friends or cousins. After some thought I decided to accept, but put them all on “lists” to limit what they’d see (I’m pretty strict about who gets to see my pole fitness photos and videos). It helped that I saw my co-facilitators had already friended them too. And if nothing else I got some new followers for my Writing Coach page.

      (Tiny plug: my page)

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      • othy

        othy July 24, 2013, 12:27 pm

        I worked at a treatment center with teen girls for a few year out of college. And a friended most of the kids I worked with. Mostly because I could keep tabs on them on their home visits, but also after they left the program so I could see how they are doing. I put most of them on limits as well. And I definitely never commented on their half-naked pictures.

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    Amanda July 24, 2013, 10:41 am

    I could only think of two things while reading this letter. 1) This guy sounds a lot like Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused: “I love high school girls. I keep getting older and they stay the same age.” 2) Who the hell would want to date that guy??!! MOA LW!

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    • avatar

      HmC July 24, 2013, 12:00 pm

      I came here just to type:

      “high school girls man… I keep getting older, and they stay the same age!”

      But I see you have it covered. Carry on!

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 July 24, 2013, 10:42 am

    Get out. Get out now. You can do better.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones July 24, 2013, 10:45 am

    MOA and aim higher!!!!!!! Why are you settling for this loser?

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  • avatar

    lemongrass July 24, 2013, 11:10 am

    No it’s not fucking normal that your boyfriend is creeping on and possibly grooming teenage girls. How is this even a question? Seriously, your boyfriend has no ambition, lives in his parents basement, can’t afford shit and is now being “spiritually enhanced” (WTF??) by teenage girls and you need to ask what to do? Dump his ass, call his employer and let them know and HYATC to figure out why you’re asking questions instead of taking action.

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    candyintherain July 24, 2013, 11:54 am

    Any adult who legitimately believes that they can be “friends” with a teenager because they “have so much in common” is emotionally stunted at best and a predator at worst. MOA as fast as you can.

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  • avatar

    Jessibel5 July 24, 2013, 11:56 am

    Anyone who uses the words “spiritually enriching” about teenage girls needs to be dumped posthaste. I had shivers from how icky I felt when I read that!

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  • avatar

    temperance July 24, 2013, 11:56 am

    Oh honey.

    I’m kind of worried that you seem to not notice all his glaring character flaws. You’re dating the dude who buys high schoolers beer and shows up at their parties and thinks he’s cool, but actually even the high schoolers know he’s a fucking loser.

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 12:54 pm

      I love any comment that starts off “oh honey”

      Bless your heart LW 😉

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  • avatar

    Jessibel5 July 24, 2013, 12:03 pm

    I wonder…(and maybe this means I’m not right in the head because I’m thinking about this) but does he ever ask you to dress up as a schoolgirl for sex? Not that that’s abnormal, because it’s a fantasy for plenty of guys, but…with this other behavior…I’ll stop writing now.

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  • avatar

    wow July 24, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Run as fast as you can and don’t look back, except to maybe make an anonymous call about his behavior to the police.

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  • theattack

    theattack July 24, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Just, MOA. I don’t know what else to say. MOA MOA MOA.

    And guys – I’m not trying to be mean, but no one ever tells you the worst part of being a social worker: your workplace sometimes smells like a sewer. I think I’m going to vomit for real. There is not enough febreeze in this office. I’m working right now with my office door closed and my shirt over my nose. Please pray for my olfactory senses today.

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    • avatar

      temperance July 24, 2013, 5:09 pm

      I worked in a domestic violence unit. I feel your pain.

      NOT that you should do this, but one of my coworkers put one of those things that sprays you with air freshener on his wall, so if anyone got too close or in his face, they would get spritzed. lol

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      • theattack

        theattack July 24, 2013, 5:18 pm

        We actually did decide to buy those automatic air fresheners after today, but they’ll just be out in the waiting rooms probably. We had a lot of smelly people in the shelter I used to work in too. I had to teach several adults how to bathe themselves there (as in basics like putting soap on a washcloth and rubbing it on the skin). We even had one woman there who on top of no hygiene, actually had a dead mouse inside of her hoo-ha, no joke. But today takes the cake in bad smells. It’s still lingering in the office after open doors and windows, tons of febreeze, and several hours.

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        rachel July 24, 2013, 5:19 pm

        WHAT?? a dead mouse??

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      • theattack

        theattack July 24, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Yup… An actual mouse was inside her vagina. I didn’t ask any questions about why it was there, but by the smell of it, it had to have been there for a while. I gently suggested to the woman that she go to Planned Parenthood for a checkup back when they had free exams in my state. (Obviously I didn’t tell her I suggested it because she smelled so bad, but yeah….). That’s what she came back and told us. Dead mouse. Vagina. Vomit.

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        lets_be_honest July 24, 2013, 5:28 pm

        Thanks. Really. I really needed to read that. Ga-ross! How did you not puck right there?

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      • theattack

        theattack July 24, 2013, 5:52 pm

        haha, I thought you might want something to end your workday with. Shock. Pure shock is the only thing that kept me from puking on her.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle July 24, 2013, 5:46 pm

        Omg. I would have asked SO MANY QUESTIONS.

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        Ladybug September 9, 2013, 3:37 pm

        OK, I missed most of this comment thread thanks to my vacation so I’m super late to this party, but I wanted to thank you for making it very easy to stick with my diet tonight. I now have absolutely no desire to eat. Or uncross my legs.

        I’m guessing this lady either (1) found a dead mouse and assumed that something small and furry with a tail could work as some kind of fucked up tampon substitute, or (2) the mouse somehow crawled inside her and died without her noticing. I’m actually hoping for 1, because imagining a live mouse crawling into a vagina is probably going to give me nightmares.

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  • Copa

    Copa July 24, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Here’s the most sympathetic way I can spin this situation: your boyfriend enjoys teenage girls not because he’s a huge pervert, but because teenagers are often as aimless as your boyfriend seems to be in his own life. In many ways — lack of education/career prospects, living situation — he is like a really old teenager and may feel like he relates to that age group.

    After my last boyfriend and I broke up, we were both mid-20s and just out of law school. My ex had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and couldn’t find a job, so he was living at home and working for his dad’s company. I found out through a mutual acquaintance that his solution to everything that wasn’t happening in his life the way he thought it would — opportunity & gainful employment — was to join a student organization at his undergrad’s alma mater, which was about a 20 minute drive from his parents’ house. It’s not quite as weird as being friendly with high school girls since everyone involved was an adult, but when you’re 26 and done with grad school and you’re hanging out with 18-year-old college freshmen? It’s weird. But I guess his reasons for doing this — he related to the mindset of the people he met there, who were mostly 18-21 because he was very lost in his own life — make sense even though I still think it’s weird. I’m honestly glad he wasn’t doing weird shit like that when we were together.

    So, I think that’s the best way I can spin it, and even then — it’s still just weird and, I think, says a pretty good deal about how you two are not at all on the same page.

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 24, 2013, 12:56 pm

      OMG. You dated rob lowe from st elmo’s fire!?!

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    Painted_lady July 24, 2013, 12:26 pm

    “Spiritually enriching” when discussing high schoolers has got to be the creepiest thing I’ve ever read. That is fucking gross.

    Okay, LW, the overwhelming majority of establishments that do work with underage kids have social media policies and social standards of behavior that can be summed up like this: DON’T BE FRIENDS WITH THE STUDENTS OR WE WILL FIRE YOUR ASS. I can’t be Facebook friends with current students, I can’t socialize with them privately, I can’t have them to my house or be at theirs other than officially sanctioned, parents-are-there, administration-knows types of activities. My kids have to have graduated – or in one case this year, returned to Ukraine – for any of that to happen. It was a big deal this year that my senior girls could add me on Facebook on graduation day. It still feels a little weird to see their comments pop up.

    You know what the kicker is, though? I’ve stuck to those rules for the four years I’ve been teaching, and I finally learned that they were official rules back in March. No one had to tell me that was inappropriate. Because it *is* inappropriate, and I’m the adult, which means it’s my job to know what’s right and what’s not right. I love my students, especially my theatre students, and to a certain degree, we interact on an equal footing because they’re people who deserve respect and have opinions and interesting thoughts and funny things to say. Going to rehearsals is kind of like hanging out with friends, and I like it that way, but at the end of the day, we *aren’t* friends yet. I don’t want to be friends with them, and more importantly, they don’t want to be friends with me. Your boyfriend is the age I was when I started teaching – he is old enough to know better, and he doesn’t, and even if nothing illegal has happened, something inappropriate certainly has. I think you need to call the driving school. If it were me, I would be legally obligated to, but I would also feel morally obligated to as well. He may not have done anything, and he may never do anything that would land him in jail, but right now all of the protective boundaries that prevent that from happening are gone, so there’s nothing, real or imaginary, to stop him from going there, and that’s his doing. Not okay.

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  • Northern Mermaid

    Northern Mermaid July 24, 2013, 12:31 pm

    How is this a Your Turn? Wendy I neeeeed to know what you’d think of this. Also: No advice. Your boyfriend sounds like a creeper. It would be one thing if he’d formed a genuine bond with like one or two kids (I have a 16 year old friend. We met when she was 12 and she asks me for life advice and stuff she might not want to talk to her mom about) but I think I would gtfaway from a dude like this.

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  • avatar

    JBinDC July 24, 2013, 12:31 pm

    One of my good friends from high school did this something similar to this. He went to (and finished) college, but then because of sky-high student loans he moved back home with his parents. Our town didn’t have great job prospects in his field so he’s worked as a waiter, bartender, and finally a high school swim coach. He befriended the younger girls he was around regularly in those roles. I finally got to him explain at one point that he was extremely frustrated and his self esteem was taking a hit because of his lack of “real” job prospects, the feeling that he was stuck in this perpetual state of never making enough to move out, and get his life started so to speak. Being around these teenage girls who looked up to him, thought he was cute, and most importantly, didn’t know enough to know that he was (a little bit of) a loser made him feel a heck of a lot better about himself. He liked the attention, it made him feel good/better about himself, and so he encouraged the friendships with the teenagers. I am wondering if your boyfriend is going through something similar. Not that its an excuse or anything, but it might explain some of it.

    I will say though, that the lack of goals, ambition etc. is a real red flag for having an adult relationship with this man though, because he seems to be perfectly happy stuck in an extended adolescence where he isn’t forced to accomplish much of anything. And you and his parents seems to ignore the issues – you haven’t even spoken to him about it yet! Definitely start there, and see what he says, then make your decisions based on how you feel after that. Good luck!!

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  • avatar

    trixy minx July 24, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Eewww.. Why would you date this creeper?

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  • Jess

    Jess July 24, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Minus the potential pedophilia, is it me or are 1/3 of the DW letters from ambitious women with apathetic boyfriends? I realize these situations may be skewed by the writer but it does seem like part of the trend famously documented by The Atlantic’s “End of Men” article.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ July 24, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Not much to add except that you know this relationship is going nowhere, LW. And, I think you knew what we’d all say. You have our permission and our approval: you have done all you can or should do to make this relationship work and it is okay to leave it and find someone better suited for you. Because, really? This guy isn’t going to wake up one morning, finish school or learn a trade, get a solid job and stop befriending teenagers. In all honesty, he’s probably going to get fired because he does something that crosses the line with one of these teenagers (whether he’s a perv or just has terrible judgment is debatable, but it doesn’t really matter) and then be unemployed and That Guy. Get out now. Don’t let him drag you down.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ July 24, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I can see this a few ways.

    1) Your boyfriend, having failed to launch himself into adulthood, finds mental/emotional comparisons with 16-17 year olds. If I wanted to be snarky, I could say that he’s still trying to find a career by grilling these kids about THEIR life goals.

    2) Your boyfriend is a creeper who likes teenage girls to idolize him a bit because he really hasn’t gone anywhere/done anything with his life.

    I’m leaning more towards #2. Why? Because you don’t mention that he befriends the MALE driving students. Just the females.
    What he is doing is highly inappropriate as a teacher (in any aspect). He may not be physically doing anything with these girls, but I’m sure that conversations aren’t exactly something a parent would approve of.

    If your boyfriend sees no reason to change his behaviors with these “friends”, has not made any life goals in the 3 years you’ve been together, and still lives with his parents – I think you really need to cut bait and fish somewhere else.
    After 3 years, what have you really done together? You go on your own vacations because he can’t afford to. Have you gone on any together? Are you the one always paying?
    Having been in a relationship where I was the only provider, with an ass that dated teenagers (because they were naive and easier to mold into the image he wanted), I’m telling you that you should walk away and stop worrying about him.

    If you think he’s done anything illegal with these girls (i.e., a physical relationship, supplying them alcohol, etc) then you do need to contact someone.

    In the mean time, dump him, get together with some girlfriends and have a night out. Take some time off to recharge your batteries and be pickier when dating.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay July 24, 2013, 1:05 pm

      And even if it was #1, it wouldn’t change the fact that he also probably finds them attractive. #1 and #2 aren’t mutually exclusive, and like you said, it’s suspect that it’s only girls.

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ July 24, 2013, 2:14 pm

        I agree. Many 16-17 year olds are very well developed. Some would argue the case of “looking at readily available pictures isn’t touching/illegal”, but to me, it is a very fine gray line. She already knows of one girl who posts revealing photos of herself that he “likes” on Facebook. She is under 18 and shouldn’t be posting those images, but at the same time, as an adult (and temporary teacher), he shouldn’t be “LIKING” them in the first place.

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  • Stonegypsy

    the_other_wendy July 24, 2013, 6:15 pm

    I’m going to throw in my two cents here and say that I don’t think the befriending teenage girls thing is about anything illegal/sexual. I think it’s more likely that since he isn’t really going anywhere with his life, he finds it easier to be friends with teenagers, because they are less likely to judge him for living in his parents basement and not doing anything with himself. It’s still creepy, but I think it’s more sad than anything else.
    LW: don’t stick around waiting for this guy to get his life together. You clearly have a lot to offer, and you’re throwing it into a vacuum. MOA

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  • avatar

    Boosker July 24, 2013, 8:36 pm

    Ew?

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  • avatar

    Married by Elvis July 24, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Aw, honey, your boyfriend is icky. I’m sorry. And you can do better.

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  • avatar

    Anna July 24, 2013, 10:59 pm

    The whole creeping on teenage girls thing is just icky, but as others have pointed out, what future do you see with a guy who lives with his parents, has no solid career plan, and can’t even communicate effectively with you? I understand that when you love someone you want to give them every last chance but if this guy is as unmotivated as my ex he will continue to disappoint you until you really do have to give up on him and just go on living your own successful adult life.

    I’ve made a pact with myself that my next boyfriend will have some kind of real career (I don’t care what it is), be able to support himself if I weren’t there, and be motivated to continually self-improve like me. Care to join me in that pact, LW?

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      Sandee July 25, 2013, 10:55 am

      Yes Anna! I do, thank you!

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  • avatar

    Sandee July 25, 2013, 9:46 am

    Hello everyone, I am the LW. Thank you Wendy for posting my letter and thank you everyone for your considerate and though love responses.
    As I can tell now, the letter are being edited before going up and I noticed a small mistake at the end. In my letter I meant to say that I never leave a situation in life without a fight, not literally speaking as in I don’t just give up. So it’s not I never see him without fighting.

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  • avatar

    Sandee July 25, 2013, 11:03 am

    I finished up reading the comments and although I am sad, I somehow feel better. I do, because some things that I read, I thought of myself, before writing in and now seeing so many people, not just my best friend agreeing, gives me a sense of comfort, if I can call it that. I have wasted so much time. Yet I feel that it is never too late to turn around and walk back to where you took that wrong turn. I am glad I wrote in. Again, thank you all! All the best!

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  • avatar

    Robert Johnson November 30, 2013, 8:40 am

    Many people would demonize a man for “Checking Out” a young girl, however that is normal male human behavior. We are programmed to be attracted to girls of breeding age period. While most guys won’t admit it, Do you really think when they are at the beach or pool they stop a girl in a bikini to ask for an ID before becoming aroused. This is a natural part of human sexuality. However, it is taboo because of our societies laws protecting young people. The Fact is most 14 – 15 year old girls are physically developed and so they will catch men’s eye, this does not mean they are mentally ready to enter into a sexual relationship which is why we have those laws. For those of you quick to judge, I will remind you in the United States just 150 years ago it was customary for girls to be wed at 12 and 13. As our Society evolved and we learned more about psychology and with a rising life expectancy rate, that is no longer reasonable. The question is an age old one from psychology called nature vs. nurture, Naturally men are attracted to girls who are physically developed and able to bear children, but we are NURTURED to know in our society that girl is off limits until the age of 18. Men that specifically target young girls probably have deviant tendencies but to say every man who has ever been aroused by an underage girl is a pervert is ignorant and untrue. You would be calling every heterosexual man on the planet a pervert.

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  • avatar

    Irise October 20, 2017, 2:09 am

    I just broke up with a man who liked seminaked pictures of teenage models of 13-18 years on instagram. His age- 39… Like a punch in the stomach…

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