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Dear Wendy

I’m 21, and considering dating an 18-year-old… is the age gap too large?

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice I’m 21, and considering dating an 18-year-old… is the age gap too large?

  • This topic has 23 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 13 minutes ago by XH.
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  • #1090582 Reply

    Why do people keep exaggerating the age difference?? Or year in school difference? 20, almost 21 is not 22. It’s a 3.5 year age difference. Not 5.

    #1090584 Reply

    I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Here’s why — You’re in COLLEGE. Look AHEAD! Is it possible to be simpatico with someone in high school? I guess. But don’t you want to broaden your horizons, especially if you’ve been so sheltered?? SPREAD YOUR WINGS! It just has a very safe, going-backwards feel to it, from what you’ve described.

    Not the end of the world if you do date him, but you are in college to GROW. A lot. Go out, meet people, mix it up. Don’t fixate on someone in another town who is — no matter what you say — still immature. Go after your OWN maturity. That’s what college is for.

    At the very least, I’d wait until he turns 18. A lot can change in six months. But in that six months, get out of your comfort zone a little.

    #1090586 Reply

    If you get on well and they are up for it this doesn’t seem like an unwieldy age difference to me.I’d give it a go were I you.If it doesn’t work out no harm done.

    #1090590 Reply

    First — love how nobody in here can do basic math. 🤷‍♂️

    That said… I’d so NOT tie myself down to anybody in highschool while heading off to college.

    Those were the best sexual years of my life. No. Seriously!! And saving yourself for somebody else far away strikes me as silly. Profoundly ill advised!

    P.S. Nobody I know who did that at the U of Arizona wound up together anyway. They just wasted a lot of time mooning over somebody miles away… If your meant to be… it can happen in a few years.

    You should enjoy college.

    He should enjoy highschool.

    Trust me on this.

    Sigh… I envy your youth. And that you are young and gay now. 1991 was a fucking hard year to gay. AIDS seemed like such a certainty… I was gay bashed by thugs with baseball bats and spent the night thinking a friend might not wake up. Blood everywhere. Police who didn’t care…

    I’m serious. Don’t take any of this for granted. You are luckier than you know.

    #1090592 Reply

    Hi @Bittergaymark . Thanks for the advice :). Honestly, it’s not a sexual thing though. I mean, I’m attracted to him, of course, and I’d be lying to say I’m not interested in sex. Sure, I could be having a breadth of sexual experiences in college. But I like him. I don’t know why… can’t help it. I couldn’t enjoy being with someone else like I could with him. I’d rather have the happiness of being with him than the short-lived satisfaction of a lot of sex with other people.

    Also, I’m not sure if it was clear in my post, but he’s at a school within walking distance of my college (closer than some of my classes, actually). He might, of course, move away for college next year. But that’s something I think I’d be willing to face. In any case, by then we’d be in much closer places in life.

    Sorry for the experiences you had. My family is profoundly homophobic (my uncle, father and grandfather together bashed a gay man’s head in and nearly killed him, but got off because it was way back when), but it’s reassuring to see that society has become so welcoming.

    #1090596 Reply

    This is a serious question: What does “be in a relationship” mean? These days do young folks just go straight from “talking” to being in an exclusive boyfriend relationship? Skipping the part where you date to find out if you want to commit? Or how does that work?

    #1090603 Reply

    “I could be having a breadth of sexual experiences in college. … I couldn’t enjoy being with someone else like I could with him.”

    It’s clear no one is going to talk you out of this, so we are wasting our breath. But, you have NO IDEA if you could enjoy being with someone else. Sounds like you haven’t tried it much. Also, I was talking about a breadth of PERSONAL experiences, not necessarily just sexual.

    Don’t fixate on one person. Not when you’ve been isolated and there’s a whole world opening up to you.

    #1090607 Reply

    It does sound like you’ve already built this up in your head a bit too much and prematurely filled in the blanks before even going on a single date.

    In college, a friend and I had mutual crushes on each other. He ended up transferring to another school across the country after we’d become close. He came to visit the next summer and I think we both kinda knew things were going to get physical. They did. The emotional and mutual attraction was there, but the physical chemistry was surprisingly not. If we’d lived in the same place, any relationship between us would’ve probably run its course quickly.

    All this to say, you can’t know that this guy is the only one who will make you happy or that everything will go as planned if you do start dating. So, I agree with everyone saying you should just start with some dates. Try to lose the tunnel vision and just see how things go.

    #1091129 Reply

    I stayed with the same person from age 19 to 30 and lord I wish I had the “breadth of sexual experiences” people are talking about now. I really feel I missed out. Don’t be like me.

    #1091145 Reply

    “I could be having a breadth of sexual experiences in college. … I couldn’t enjoy being with someone else like I could with him.”

    eh… I honestly don’t know how you truly know that. You haven’t even met anybody else… But the level of freedom you will have as a college student versus a senior in high school will make it very tricky to date. More —- very few college students want highschoolers at their parties or events. And for good reason.

    #1091783 Reply

    I don’t think there is anything creepy or immoral about this particular age difference and circumstance. It seems you’ve checked what’s legal in your state so as long as you aren’t doing anything that could land you in jail, I would say ask him on a date, take things slow and see how it goes.

    As others have noted, while the number of years of age difference is not large, you are at very different life stages that may make dating complicated. Soon you will be 21 and (assuming you are in the U.S.) you’ll be legal to go to bars and clubs that your potential boyfriend can’t get into. You may want to go to parties where the people hosting don’t want high-schoolers attending. Maybe none of those are your thing anyway, but it’s something to consider. Also does this guy live with his parents? Does he have a curfew or other restrictions that will make dating someone with more personal freedom difficult?

    The people telling you to enjoy your freedom and get a breadth of experiences make a good point, but ultimately you need to make the best decision for you. Some people don’t want the wild college experience that others do — my sister dated her high school sweetheart long-distance through college. They’ve been happily married something like 35 years now. I could never have done that myself, and frankly wasn’t really done sowing my wild oats when I got married at 26. I chafed at things that don’t bother me now at 50 (divorced and in a new relationship). Anyway, having a relationship that doesn’t ultimately work out isn’t the worst thing in the world, and in fact, most people have several of them. I don’t see a reason not to give this a try.

    #1092039 Reply

    @Bittergaymark, just wanted to say how sorry I am that happened to you, and WTF is WRONG with people! Including the f’ing police! I can’t imagine the courage it took to come out back then, and I know things are better now, but why does coming out STILL have to be any kind of risk??? I hope I’m wrong but as far as we have progressed it’s not far enough for me.

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