Is it Creepy for a twenty-something to date a teenager?

I briefly dated a 17 year old girl when I was 24 (which would have made the year 1976). Back then, “dating” didn’t automatically imply sex, like it seems to these days. This relationship was actually pretty innocent, we never did anything more than kiss goodnight after dinner and a movie. The reason it didn’t work out was that her older sister (who for some reason was her caretaker, I don’t recall why) thought I was too old for her and that she was too young to date. So after the sister got her hooks into her in that way, she reluctantly broke up with me. I haven’t spoken with her in decades, but my daughter still knows some people who know her; she would be in her late 50s now, and as far as I know, she has never married.

Not necessarily creepy. It depends more on what stage of life they are in.

Not necessarily creepy but peculiar. Makes me assume that he either has social issues that keep him from relating to his own own (~24yr old) peer group or is in it for the sex. As others mentioned, when I was 24 years old, I didn’t really have a lot to talk to 18 year olds about but I’m sure I would have been happy enough to sleep with one.

My wife is 6 years younger than me, although we met when she was 23.

I’ve often thought about what would have happened if we met when she was 18 and I was 24. Since I know we’re so happy together, on it’s face is seems like we could’ve avoided years of loneliness and in her case an abusive marriage. In practice, I think 24 year old Fuzzy Dunlop would’ve felt like a fucking creep dating an 18 year old and would probably have never pursued her, had we known each other at those ages.

I’m not exactly sure at what age a 6 year difference would’ve stopped feeling weird for me, but I think it was a year or two sooner than we actually met. I might have paused at 27 or 28 before dating a 21 or 22 year old, but eventually given it a try.

I wouldn’t conclusively assume any 24 year old man dating an 18 year old woman was being sketchy, but there’d be a pretty strong bias toward sketchiness.

I actually knew a 24 year old woman who was dating an 18 year old boy and I find that just bizarre, but not sketchy. I have a hard time imagining anyone older than 18 wanting to date an 18 year old boy.

Its not so bad

I seriously think it’s when both parties are 21 or older. It’s the point when you don’t have to censor your choice of activities based on the age of one of the participants. I wouldn’t even blink at a 21 year old dating a 27 year old, for example.

When I turned 21, happens I was a few months older than my boyfriend-of-the-moment. I remember it being a tremendous pain in the ass to work around the fact that I could go do some stuff and he couldn’t. It contributed materially to our breaking up, as a matter of fact. He kept getting pissy that I kept going to see shows in venues he couldn’t get into without a fake ID and he couldn’t come. It finally came down to an ultimatum - he wanted me to skip a show at a club I was planning to go because he couldn’t get in. I declined. It was a small venue Pearl Jam show - with a grand total of 250 tickets available. Damn skippy I went - it was a great show.

Possibly because at 18 I wasn’t on the same page as any other 18 year old I knew, if my daughter came home at 18 with a 24 year old I’m sure it’d not feel right to me.

But then when at age 24 a 42 year old wanted to date me I was quite ok with that :o

YMMV and all that.

I was 23 and she had her 17th birthday two months earlier.
I met her at a university nightclub. She was with her brother who was in my classes.
She told me she was 19 and I said I was 21, so it seemed just fine that night. Throw in a few drinks and throw out the inhibitions.
I had been on a drought for almost a year, so I was more than willing. She had been on a drought for…hmm, 17 years, and was very eager to learn.
Our relationship lasted almost three years.

If I had met her a few years later, I would have married her.

Not Creepy. This should have been a poll.

I don’t have anything against it personally. I knew a couple like this where the girl was the younger one and was still in high school. The girl was precocious, highly intelligent, came from money and is a successful woman today. The guy was a socially retarded loser but hey he had a car, he worked some dead-end job and as far as I know he still does. The relationship didn’t last too long and the woman acts embarassed if you bring if up now.

Not creepy.

Not if it’s a teenager that is of age. I mean, I guess you can do the 0.5x + 7 calculation if you want, but I’ve never really seen anyone care when the difference is just one age category.

Now, when a 30 year old marries an 18 year old, that turns heads. And it lead to a divorce pretty quickly.

Nah, not creepy. If she’d been under 18, however…

Not creepy at all. I have to admit that when I was in high school I thought the high school boys were immature idiots so I dated college guys. Since my high school sent me to the local university to take several classes, I had a college ID and spent time there so it was quite easy to pass as a college student. It only occurred to me much later I had been putting them at risk for statutory rape charges. I apologize to them now.

I don’t think I’d go to “creepy” but I would automatically assume there is something wrong with the 24yo for dating a teenager and assume the 18yo is a poor judge of character to miss the giant red flag of a 24yo dating teenagers.

I met my wife when she was 14 years old and although she was immediately smitten with me I very deliberately kept her at arms length for a long time because 3 years difference is an eternity in high school but it’s not a big deal when you’re both in your 20’s. We’re happy, we love AND like each other, we have beautiful children, etc. so I’d say it worked out.

There’s nothing inherently wrong, but there’s bound to be some awkward finagling if it’s treated as a “serious relationship”. Mostly due to all the moving around that tends to happen at those ages due to college admissions, graduation, summer internships, job searches, etc. There’s no reason you can’t get it to work, but at least one of them will probably (think they) have to sacrifice some of their plans in the short term for the sake of a relationship that’s only in its early stages. This is mostly a problem of dating at that age in general, though, but two 24 year olds can probably base their plans about post-graduation which are more similar than one figuring out college and one figuring out employment prospects (or grad school).

There’s also some things that depend on the people involved, 18 year olds can’t get into a lot of events that serve alcohol (even if neither party plans on drinking, a lot of times you need to be 21 just to enter at all), then there’s dealing with people who don’t think it’s okay. And, of course, 18 year olds don’t really have a fully developed brain while a 24 year old either does or is very close to having a fully developed prefrontal cortex; though the effect of this is going to heavily vary from person to person.

None of that is necessarily a dealbreaker, but it makes the gap more difficult than at other life stages where you’re more stable, and massive life changes generally aren’t on arbitrary but inflexible time scales like college graduation is. The 18 year old is probably more at risk here both because they’re more likely to be inexperienced at relationships, and 18 year olds have worse planning skills in general, so they’re more likely to sacrifice themselves for the sake of TWOO WUB.

If I thought it was creepy, I wouldn’t currently be married. He was 25 and I was 19. This was in this century, so not In The Old Days.

Another vote for probably okay, depending on the individuals involved.

As I’ve posted many times in threads on similar subjects, I started dating a 27 year old when I was 17 (I don’t know when we started having sex but I’m sure it was after I turned 18). In retrospect I think I was a little more mature for my age and he was a bit immature for his. Actually, at the time I thought it was a bit weird; when I went to parties hosted by his friends, who were all out in the professional world and mostly married, I was a little embarrassed for both of us.

But overall it was no big deal. The relationship ended after a few years but I don’t think the age difference was the major reason.

I briefly dated an 18-year-old girl when I was 24. I was the one who asked her out. As I remember, it wasn’t so much the age difference that made it awkward (not at all, actually) but the fact that we met at work.

Not if the 18 year old is out of high school; 24 is still pretty young. 24 might still be in school or just starting to get a career going.

22 and 28 actually sounds like a bigger - and creepier - age gap to me. At 22, you’re still dipping your toe in the adult world, but by 28, you should be there.