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Wrong For 14 Year Old To Be In Relationship With A 24 Year Old?

Published: November 28, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Hello I'm a 14 year old girl and I was wondering if you think it is wrong for someone of my age to be in a relationship with someone around 10 years older. I am not in one and am not planning on it any time soon but most of my friends are adults and I only really like much older guys. I can wait on relationships thats no problem. I don't want to be in one unless its serious anyway but if I was to be the guy would probably be older. I actually really liked one guy he is 24 but he trys to avoid hanging out with me because he feels wrong doing anything with me. To be very clear when I say relationship I don't mean there will be sexual activity involved thats really why im asking would it be ok to be in a relationship like that if there was no sexual activity going on? And I'm not crazy or stupid I do know much older guys that are willing to wait on sex.

Signed: Wrong For 14 Year Old To Be In Relationship With A 24 Year Old?

Dear Wrong For 14 Year Old To Be In Relationship With A 24 Year Old?,

If you were referring to a dating relationship where there was any type of physical intimacy occurring, yes, TeenHealthFX would have concerns about this. For one thing, someone around 24 would be breaking the law by being sexually involved with someone around 14. Secondly, FX would have serious concerns about the emotional health and/or intentions of someone in their twenties pursuing a romantic relationship with someone so much younger.

If you are referring to a dating relationship between two people in these different age groups where there was either no sexual activity or minimal physical intimacy, FX would still have concerns because, again, what is going on with the emotional health and intentions of a 2-something person who wants to date someone 10 years younger?

Since you are saying that you are referring more to relationships between people in these age groups where there is no sex or physical intimacy of any kind involved, but what sounds like more of a friendship, rather than focusing on whether these relationships are “right” or “wrong,” FX would like to raise the question of what draws you to an older crowd. There are people out there in their early and mid-teens who have relationships of different kinds with people in their 20’s. Some may have siblings or cousins who are in their 20’s, spending some time with them and having perfectly healthy and loving relationships with them. But when a 14 year old talks about having friends exclusively with people in their 20’s, and having people 10 years older than them as their main social outlet, FX can’t help but wonder what is going on that the preference is to be with older people rather than their peers closer to their own age.

Without knowing more about you and why it is your preference to spend your time with older people, it is hard for FX to comment in detail about this. We do have some potential concerns about how you may feel about yourself and how you may feel about people your own age that we think would be helpful for you to talk about with a trusted adult. That said, FX recommends that you speak with a trusted adult, such as your parents, a school counselor, or a private therapist, so that you can talk in detail about your desire for these types of relationships and your reluctance to want to focus your attention on people closer to your own age. Once someone has a better idea of where you are coming from with this, they can give you the support and guidance you need to make the healthiest possible choices for yourself when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

I

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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