18 yo girl and 25 yo?

You may not be able to. I think that’s the underlying big takeaway from this experience. You can’t necessarily change someone else’s mind, and ultimately you might have to choose between the guy and your parents’ acceptance.

I have a problem with this as a blanket statement. An 18 year old and a 14 year old isn’t the same thing at all.

I met a girl when we both worked at a summer camp, I was 22 and she was 17. Being at camp together, you are have similar states of mind even though she was going into her last year of high school and I was starting my last year of university. It also helped that she was an intelligent, mature girl.

We never hid our relationship from her parents. Her father wasn’t happy about it and her mother referred to it as her “summer fling” but it worked for us.

24 years later, 17 years of marriage, 2 kids, and her parents divorce we are as much in love as were then. I wouldn’t recommend it as a general dating strategy, but it does work sometimes.

I began dating my eventual husband when I was 16 and he was 25. I was a college freshman and he was a graduate student, so in that particular environment, it wasn’t as odd and potentially creepy as it might have been. I realized my mother would be a little taken aback when I decided to bring him home for a weekend, but I also knew that there was no way she’d take my relationship seriously if I wasn’t up front about it and willing to tell her the truth. She wouldn’t out and out give us her blessing to date, but she was wise enough not to tell me I couldn’t date him, either. I was out of the house and she had no real control over whether or not I continued to see him. As time went by and we continued to date and our relationship strengthened, she eventually got fully on board with it. But it was as much the fact that in spite of my age, I treated it as an adult relationship with adult responsibilities to those around me that convinced her as it was the longevity of the relationship.

By lying from the get go, you gave your parents immediate suspicions regarding the nature of your relationship. I would have felt the same had my children acted in that manner. If you want to continue your relationship with your boyfriend, do so in as adult a manner as possible. Communicate with your parents and let them know that you take it seriously and that you are going into it as an adult. Your honesty with them will rebuild their trust in you, and if nothing happens to shake that trust, they will learn to accept your boyfriend and the validity of your relationship. Yes, it will be harder now than it might have been because you have destroyed your parents trust in you. But it isn’t impossible to regain it. It will just take time.

Congratulations, and please be assured that my comments are not intended as a criticism of your relationship. My view that the OP should NOT get married is excellent advice for anyone who is 18 or 19 years old. If she were to have 6 or 7 years of a successful relationship, putting her in the mid-20s, I consider that a totally different question.

ETA: But as a general rule, I strongly disagree that your average college senior is in the “same state of mind” as your average high school senior, even if you are at camp together. Again, you say that was the case for you, and I have no reason to disagree, but I cannot consider that a rule of thumb or common-sense advice.

Tell your parents its not creepy for an older guy to want a younger girl. In fact, its probably a biological drive.

Like you there is 7 years between my wife and myself. I first met my wife when she was 16 and I was 23, Her father hated me on sight and never changed his opinion up until the day he died and beyond (that man really could hold a grudge) We got engaged and 5 years after meeting we were married, 3 years latter when we had our home around us our first girl was born and over the years she was followed by another 2 girls, now after 43 years of marriage my daughters have given us 5 grand children, and they said it would not work. What I am saying is it is not a race, you have time to get your family on side and that is important, it is also a time when you can get to know one another, find out your likes and dislikes and what compromises you will have to make.
I hope that you get things sorted…Tobias

There is a huge difference between “living off” someone, bound to be under their control in your personal life, and accepting continued assistance from generous parents who offer educational aid. If the parents are only paying direct education-related costs, they have no right to demand anything except keeping up with the requirements of fulfilling educational expectations. No more so than a college scholarship fund administrator has a right to monitor personal behavior that doesn’t affect the ongoing education of their recipient students.

The parents can, of course, demand anything the want, and can withdraw aid at their whim, but this thread is about what it is reasonable and just for them to demand

How foolish of you to lie about it to start with. Really bad start. Had you been honest about it you’d be better off now.
Having said that, you’re an adult and I guess it’s up to you. Frankly, your parents need to accept that you’re going to be dating guys now, and 25/18 is not a particularly unusual split.

I don’t really understand why the “It can work / it can’t work” argument is even coming up.

  1. That’s not really the OP’s problem. Her problem is her relationship with her PARENTS, not her boyfriend. She lied to her parents, and her parents now mistrust her.

  2. Of course it probably won’t work, because most romantic relationships don’t. If you spend your while life with the first person you ever dated that’s great but it’s not how life goes for most people. You get into a relationship and then another and another and they all fail for one reason or another until you hopefully get into the one that works. And one of the reasons that last one works is BECAUSE you were in the ones that didn’t work and you learned how to deal with this stuff.

Let the woman date the guy. Odds are they’ll break up someday, but so what? What, she isn’t supposed to date while in college? What kind of crazy talk is that? One of the things you should be doing in college is dating people and having sex and learning how to deal with all the madness that brings, because it sure as hell won’t be any easier when you graduate if you have no experience at it.

They may not be reassured to hear, “Dad, he just wants to pass along his genes!” :wink:

Well, she said she’ll be “away at college” in a few months. Will a long distance relationship work? Especially with some new fellows around…

(Has the boyfriend finished his education?)

It’s true that chances are that whatever relationship she has now won’t last forever, whether it’s with the 25-year-old, or with another 18-year-old. But there’s a difference between good relationships and bad relationships. I don’t have any kids, so take my words with a grain of salt, but if I thought my hypothetical 18-year-old was dating someone bad for them, I would share my concerns. Not forbid it, since that can backfire, but let them know why I’m concerned. If they are dating someone, I’d want them to be in good relationships, where they have fun and grow as people and learn more what they want from relationships, and can move on without too much devastation or baggage. I wouldn’t want them to be in a bad or terribly unequal relationship, where when it ends they have a hard time trusting anyone ever again. Of course there’s no way to get out of most relationships without at least some hurt, and you do have to let people make their mistakes, but if you see someone making what looks like to be a huge mistake, and you have experience to know why it might be a huge mistake, it’s not crazy to tell them what you think.

We don’t know enough about this guy to know if he’s good or bad, or if the relationship is good or bad. But I can understand why the parents are concerned.

No offense taken Ravenman, but the OP talked about dating the older guy, not running off and marrying him. And unless you’ve grown up attending and then working at a summer camp, you wouldn’t understand the atmosphere. Like StillOwnedBySetters and being at university together, other factors give you more in common than age.

I disagree. It was a very reasonnable thing to do if she knew that this age issue would be a stumbling block regardless of the personal qualities of the boyfriend. It seems that the parents had no objection wrt the boyfriend until they knew his actual age. For instance they didn’t feel he was sending “creepy predator” vibes, nor that the pairing was inapropriate until they found out his actual age. So, it’s quite clearly an issue of deciding that a relationship is unacceptable on principle based on an arbitrary criteria, rather than on whom the boyfriend actually is. Which makes it in my mind quite similar to deciding on the basis of other arbitrary reasons like “he belongs to the wrong religion” or “he isn’t studying for a prestigious enough career”.

If your parents are unreasonably stubborn because they’re stuck in their personal arbitrary conceptions (can’t say with certainty that it’s the case of the OP’s parents, but she doesn’t give me any reason to think otherwise), I don’t think lying about it is that wrong. In the long term, of course it’s going to be an issue when the truth will have to be disclosed, but, no offense intended to the OP, her relationship isn’t likely to last that long (just a statement based on statistics, comments of dopers who have been married to their first sweetheart for 20+ years notwithstanding).

What I rather wonder is why they didn’t elect not to tell the parents about the boyfriend at all, especially given that she soon won’t be living anymore under their roof.

Finally, isn’t being in conflict with one’s parents about one’s lifestyle a normal feature for a 18 yo? :smiley:

But her parents aren’t just sharing their concerns, they want to put an end to the relationship altogether. And again, they didn’t seem to have felt any concern until they found about his age, so that’s apparently their only reason to oppose it.

And good luck with that. Last time my parents tried to tell me at 19 what I should do with my life, I just left to make my own mistakes as you put it (and in fact live with my then girlfriend, that mom didn’t approve of for nebulous reasons), which didn’t turn out to be a mistake, all things considered.

When I think about it, had I lied a bit at the time, things would probably have gone more smoothly.And at the time, there was no internet to double check what I was saying :wink: .

That’s true, but in this case, her parents are much more likely to be part of her life, say, 10 years down the road, than her current boyfriend is. What you said is more applicable in the unfortunate cases (sometimes reported on this board) of parents who keep rejecting their child’s partner after they entered a long term commited relationship. At which point you might have to choose between your parents and your spouse, indeed.

But regardless of how serious her current issue appears to be to the OP, I doubt it will be more than a funny memory in some years. It’s unlikely to create a permanent strain on her relationship with her parents.

Isn’t there some saying the perfect age for a girlfriend/wife is half the guy’s age plus 6 years? I’m not saying it’s true, but it came to my mind. So, half of 25 plus 6 is 18. So, going by that “rule”, it’s a good match.

But he’s got a 7 year head start on you on life. He’ll grow tired of hearing your freshman blues, sophomore insights, and about your dorm dramas. And as long as your parents are supporting you financially, they’re going to feel entitled to tell you how they feel about what you’re doing. Sorry, but that’s how it works.

Sure, you’re 18. Do what you want. You’re going to do so anyway. Anyone who tries to tell an 18 or 19 year old female what they should do is mostly wasting their breath. It’s not my circus or my monkey. That being said, I’ll still suggest you be CERTAIN to use reliable birth control.

I went to school with too many kids who felt their parents owed them a college education. They would give the I am an adult and can do what I Want. Mom and dad have no say in what I do and they had better keep on paying the bills, they owe me. That is why I disagree with you.

As long as my parents were supporting me I owed them the respect to give in to their wishes. I paid for my first year at the academy, my parents my 2nd year, and I had student loans my last year. But my parents provided my car ad gave me gas money. Yes they had a right to have a input into personal behavior until I became an independent adult. Being over 18 does not make truly an adult. Managing your own life does.

I started dating a 27-year-old when I was 17. I never lied about his age to my parents and yes, they were very unhappy about the relationship and would have stopped it if they could (I was already away at college living in a dorm, so they could not control my daily movements unless they wanted to yank me out of college). At one point my mother said “if you loved us, you’d stop seeing him.”

That was an epiphany - it made me realize “if he is truly my soulmate, I will be willing to go against my parents wishes in order to be with him.” So I made a choice to defy them. But it was always in a grown-up manner: no hiding the truth or lying. I was willing to be upfront and accept the consequence of my choices. Seems to me that this is almost invariably the best choice.

(In the event, I did not end up with that boyfriend, though he badly wanted to get married as soon as I graduated from college. In retrospect I do think he was a little immature - I may have been mature for a 17-year-old, but not THAT mature - but he was a stellar human being: honest, kind, and reliable. I don’t regret not marrying him, but I think very highly of the person he was when I knew him.)

I was responding to RickJay, about how the parents should just let her date him and not worry about it, since it’s normal to date in college and most relationships won’t last forever anyway. I think there’s a middle path between just not being bothered by it like RickJay seems to be saying, and totally forbidding the relationship like the parents actually did. I’d hope that if I was in the parents place, with a teenager dating a person 7 years older, I’d take the middle path.

Or the OP is just a real shitty liar, the parents figured that something was up, went looking and found out that this guy lied to their face about his age within minutes of meeting them. Understandable that they’d have a problem with that.

It was immature of both of them to lie and it was a stupid lie as well since it’d be so easily discovered as the relationship moved forward. Even if the OP had legitimate reason to believe that his age would be an issue, it would never be easier by lying about it and waiting for the truth to come out. Seriously, that’s like a kid gluing a vase back together and turning the broken side to the wall, assuming mom will never notice. A far more mature solution would have been to be honest about his age while playing up all of his many positive qualities.

That joke is supposed to set the minimum age, not the optimal one :stuck_out_tongue: