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Love

“Is It Okay That He’s Older Than I Am?”

I really like this guy; the problem is that he’s a few years older than me. Is it okay if I date him? How old is too old?

Dating can be complicated! When two different people try to function together in one relationship, it can be really great or it can end up being pretty bad. To avoid some unnecessary heartache, it’s really important to consider all the factors when deciding if a relationship is appropriate or not. Age is one of those things that matters when you’re a teenager!

Although some people may argue that age doesn’t matter for teen dating, I STRONGLY disagree! As a teenager, it’s probably best to date within a two-year window of your own age. Many of you may be asking “why,” so here’s an explanation.

As you age, you’ll go through different developmental stages. During each stage, your emotional needs, desires and preferences change. This means that what was important to you at 12 years old is different from what’s important to you at 16 years old, and so on. (As you get older, these stages get further apart and age becomes less important.)

If you’re dating someone who is more than a couple of years older or younger than you when you’re still in your teens, you’ll probably run into some pretty BIG differences, which can result in unnecessary conflict and heartache. Also, depending on your ages, there could be legal implications. Dating a guy who is a legal adult (which is 18 years old) could be a really big deal if you’re still a minor.

If you’re thinking about dating a guy who’s a lot older than you, ask yourself these questions first:

  • Do I REALLY have anything in common with this guy?
  • What are the reasons I want to date him? And are they good reasons?
  • Would my parents approve?
  • Am I confident around guys my own age?
  • Where can I go to meet more like-minded guys my own age?
  • Have I prayed about it?

Some potential consequences to dating a much older guy while you’re a teen include:

  • Discovering that you have very little in common and breaking up quickly.
  • Unwanted peer pressure and increased sexual temptation.
  • Unnecessary heartache.

It can be tempting to date a guy who is much older than you, but as a teen, it’s probably not the best idea. Protect your heart! God has the PERFECT guy waiting just for you…be sure to wait until God sends Him your way!

What do you girls think? 

Image: iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Project Inspired

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74 Comments

  1. Muse

    Posted by Muse on January 6, 2015 at 12:43

    My boyfriend is 19 and I’m 16, almost 17. I know it seems like a pretty big age gap, and my dad thinks so too, so he doesn’t let us go on dates alone.
    We’ve gone to the same church for over ten years, and we’re both on the worship team; he plays electric guitar and I sing. He used to come over to our house almost constantly when I was like 10 (he’s friends with my older brother). This summer it happened that we started hanging out all the time in groups, and we realized that we had so much in common, it was crazy. I just couldn’t help getting a huge crush on him, and he had the same feelings for me.
    We started “dating” in September, and we still are. We haven’t kissed or anything, but I think that’s okay, probably even good for our rerelationship. He’s so sweet to me, and would never do anything to hurt me. He’s responsible and intelligent, and very respectful towards my parents.
    So, I guess my point is that it really depends on the people and their level of maturity and willingness to wait. I think it’s okay to express feelings for each other, but not put yourselves in a tempting position.
    I have a feeling that if my boyfriend and I continue to wait for the physical aspect of our relationship, this could turn out to be a beautiful story.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Equine99 on August 7, 2014 at 10:50

    I liked a guy who was way too old for me once. I am 16 and he was 22. I knew that was way too big of an age gap while I was still a teenager. So I just ignored my feelings when I was around him and eventually they went away. I have only dated one guy who was one year younger than me, and that whole relationship was a disaster. I wouldn’t recommend dating someone more than a few months younger than you. Only because guys are already more immature than girls. So if you date someone a few years younger, you are basically gonna be babysitting your boyfriend.

  3. GrayC

    Posted by GrayC on August 6, 2014 at 08:05

    What if you’re the older one and he’s younger by about two years?

  4. bchbabyrach

    Posted by bchbabyrach on August 5, 2014 at 21:47

    I agree with everything you said, except for the part that “wait until God sends him your way”….My ideology is that God has a man in mind for you who respects you and loves you, but he isn’t going to point him out for you.. You know what I mean? So I guess my question is, what do you mean by that? I’m confused.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by just_teyquirisi on June 28, 2014 at 07:53

    I am currently in a relationship with my boyfriend turning 19. We’re 3 years apart, both excepted Jesus Christ and love Him, have many things in common and with having Jesus there isn’t temptation. He doesn’t pressure me into doing anything. We pray and read the bible together. & we’re going on 4 months (:

  6. Sabrinafair608

    Posted by Sabrinafair608 on June 28, 2014 at 07:50

    Amen Amen Amen Aysha! Unfortunately, I learned this from experience. In my experience, even being one-on-one close friends with a guy who’s quite a bit older is a very fine line to walk on. (Which also goes along with a recent PI article “Can Guys and Girls Be “Just Friends”?”) Even though both of us are very strong Christians with a lot of similarities, different ages mean different stages and motivations. In fact, this is something I had to deal with in the last week which yeah, has lead to some unnecessary temptation and heartache. Girls, believe me, you do NOT want to be talking about marriage when your only 16! Even if he is “the one”, in my opinion it is unwise to get into a serious relationship like that when you’re so young. It may be better to be casual friends until you both believe you have similar motivations and are at a similar stage. Don’t worry: like Aysha said, if he’s the perfect one, God will send him to you when it’s the right time.

  7. holplake

    Posted by holplake on June 27, 2014 at 20:06

    I believe it depends on the two people involved.

  8. Shaybug9

    Posted by Shaybug9 on June 27, 2014 at 19:26

    I have this problem. I like this guy who is two years older than me… I’m 16 while he just turned 18… But he acts like he likes me too. Also we are both in 11th grade. I’m just so lost….

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by just_teyquirisi on June 28, 2014 at 07:54

      When in doubt, pray about it. God will tell you what he wants for you, it’s just up to you whether to listen.