“I don’t know how I feel about the large age gap…”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

Okay so first I should start by saying that I’m 17 and he’s 25. We work together and my mom does too. She’s kind of the one that introduced us. We started talking because I got tickets to a concert that sold out instantly of a singer he really likes and basically we’re going together, just as co workers. But the more I’ve gotten to know him I’ve really devolved a crush on him and it seems mutual. As happy as I am about that I don’t know how I feel about the large age gap, we’re just in such differnt places? He’s really the sweetest purest shyest guy I’ve ever met like he’s too good for this world so I’m not worried about getting hurt I’m just worried about how to tell my parents if it actually works out. That’s going to be super embarrassing for me I guess just knowing that my mom workes with him 6 days a week and having her knowing. I don’t know I’m just worried they will focus too much on the age (which is totally fair) and my dad won’t actually approve of it.

Answer

I can see that you’ve chosen to use the embarrassed emoticon which I believe indicates that you feel embarrassed about liking someone who is older than you. I hear that you have a lot of concerns about how other people in your life may react if this becomes a relationship between you and him… especially your father, you worry that he won’t approve. I can understand how if you are in a relationship with anyone, it’s important to you that the people in your life approve of the person you choose to be with and are happy for you. However, you have no control over how others will behave or what they may think, you can only control the decisions you choose to make for yourself based on what you feel is best for you at the time. Despite there being a substantial age difference between you and your co worker, as long as he’s not an authority figure to you (like your boss), then it isn’t illegal for you guys to date. However, I’m sensing that a part of you is reluctant to enter an intimate kind of relationship with him… if you aren’t sure, then there is no need to rush into identifying your relationship with him, is there? Might it be possible to establish a friendship with him for now and take the time to get to know each other on that level? You can go to the concert with him as a friend, can’t you? I hope this has been helpful in offering you a different perspective to consider! Have fun at the concert!

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