General Question

shrek_king86's avatar

Is it ok for a 22yr old to date a 16yr old?

Asked by shrek_king86 (6points) April 18th, 2009

I like this girl and she is sixteen and i have fallen head over heels for this girl.

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39 Answers

Staalesen's avatar

Depends on the maturity of the persons involved… I tried it once, and it did not end well….

Pol_is_aware's avatar

It’s legal in some countries. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it in most cases, though. Chances are it won’t last long, and it can’t end well.

Staalesen's avatar

It can end well for some, and here it is not an uncommon thing.. I know people who met then who are married and have a great family, and I know people who broke off after a short time….
Again, it depends on the level of maturity of the persons involved..

Poser's avatar

No. The six years between 16 and 22 is far more dramatic than the six years between, say, 22 and 28. Let this girl grow up on her own.

hug_of_war's avatar

Even without you having to explain to everyone why you’re dating someone so young, I wouldn’t reccomend it. Do her parents know? But honestly, being mature for your age doesn’t mean you’re ready for anything. Sixteen year oldss – even the more self-aware ones – tend to think they are invincible. And then there’s the fact a relationship to even a mature 16 year old is probably not the same as a relationship to a 22 year old. My 23 year boyfriend has a 16 year old friend who I later became friends with, and even though she’s really mature I don’t think she’d be able to see it’s a bad idea, she would be so excited that this better, older guy liked her.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

As a twenty two year old, the youngest you should date (in my opinion) is an eighteen year old. @Poser hit the nail right on the head. Six years may seem like a fairly small number, but the difference in maturity level can be absolutely massive.

A friend of mine (har har, no really, a friend) was in a similar situation and it didn’t work out too well, just because they didn’t have much in common. He had to worry about getting enough work hours in, getting the rent in on time, having enough money scrapped together for classes next quarter and she, well, didn’t. I know there are some pretty mature teens out there, but in this case she couldn’t quite comprehend that all that older college boy charm he had for her was a result of busting his ass. All of her friends and their squeezes could go out every weekend and party or have a good time, he couldn’t, and she just couldn’t seem to wrap her head around why it was he had to take shifts instead of telling his boss he couldn’t work.

It lasted about four months before they broke it off. I, admittedly, was quite pleased, as I couldn’t stand her, but I also felt he wasn’t really in a position where he could nurture a healthy relationship anyway, even with someone his own age.

Darwin's avatar

In addition, if things should progress beyond simple dating, then you need to remember that “sixteen will get you twenty.” That is to say, she is too young to give consent to intercourse so it would be classified as statutory rape, and you would be classified as the rapist.

Wait until she is older, say at least 18 or 19, and see if the two of you are still interested in each other.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

It depends on many things. Her level of maturity, for starters. Her family opinions on it has to also be considered. I met my husband when I was 17 & he was 22. All of my family instantly loved him to pieces. We’ve gone on to be married for many years & have 2 daughters. So it’s not impossible. It just all depends on the people involved. There’s no set answer.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Nope. At 22 you should almost be out of college. She’s in the middle of high school. Find someone your own age, and wait for her to grow up.

casheroo's avatar

I dated older men when I was 16. 21 or older. Trust me on this, she is not mature enough.

marinelife's avatar

What @Darwin said.

Also, I dated a 22-year-old guy when I was 16. I thought I was madly in love with him. What I liked were all the wrong things. He is not someone I would be remotely interested in and would not have been even 2 years later. In hindsight, i can also see that I was incredibly immature and handled the whole relationship badly.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

No! No! No!
She’s a sophmore in high school. You’ve been out of high school for 4 years. She’s not as mature as you think she is (Really!). Wait until she is 18 if you feel so strongly about her. I can’t stress this enough.

jessicar's avatar

No at least let the girl get out of high school and if you really like her and she likes u then its better to wait. Also you wouldnt want to get in legal trouble.

augustlan's avatar

As a woman who was once a girl in this position: NO. I thought it was incredibly cool at the time, but when I look back on it I think “God that guy was a perv for dating me!”

cak's avatar

Why would you want to date someone in high school? She is still a kid. She has a long way to go and you should be worlds apart, maturity wise. Are you going to take her to prom and be happy with not being able to do “adult” type things – I’m not even talking about sex. I’m talking about going to a bar, having a drink together. She’ll have a Shirley Temple, thank you.

I’d love to know what her parents think about this, because if it was me, I’d be asking a lot of questions. I have a 15yr old daughter. If she told me she was dating a 22yr old – I just don’t see that one going over too well. I’d love to know how you’d feel about the curfews, the no dating on school nights and homework, school activities and other obligations come first.

Seriously, how well can this work out? Both of you need to wait. Thing is, she’s the minor…the adult (that would be you) should know enough to tell her NO.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

No! Get real. She doesn’t know what she wants in her life and you just think you do.

seekingwolf's avatar

Personally, I have no issues with age gap relationships. I’m in one myself and he’s 15 years older. If both parties are committed and mature about it, it can work.

HOWEVER, I don’t think 16–22 relationship is good idea, simply because she isn’t 18. If she was 18, this would be a non-issue and I’d say go for it, but where it stands now, you could get in trouble! And I mean, in serious, felony trouble.

It’s not worth risking your reputation and freedom for this girl. If you’re going date younger girls, make sure that they are over 18. Better safe than sorry.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Is 16yrs old considered a legal adult where you live? That would be my first concern. About the maturity and age spread, it’s all subjective. I graduated high school at 16 and went straight into college but still didn’t feel as mature as some other people my age who were still in high school. I know several teens now far more mature and responsible than those in their mid or late 20’s but it’s best to err on the side of the law.

Jack79's avatar

Yes, I think it’s fine, assuming you’re talking about two normal kids that like each other. If my daughter were 16, I wouldn’t mind her dating a 22-y-old, as long as he treated her with respect. It’s not as if it’s a 30-y-old with a 13-y-old or something. 6 years is not all that much.

fundevogel's avatar

the standard equation for figuring out the youngest person you can date is:

x/2 + 7=y

x=your age
y=is the youngest you can date

At twenty-two the equation sets your limit at 18, sorry.

seekingwolf's avatar


Does that equation actually have any merit? I’ve seen it used in a joke context and in all serious-ness and I think it’s just kind of odd. My boyfriend failed it with me and so have many other people with their sig others, but that doesn’t mean that the relationship is DOOMED.

Tangent_J's avatar

no. regardless of legal age of consent…16 yr old is a child

fundevogel's avatar

@seekingwolf – It’s merit is debatable, but I think it’s worth noting. Certainly once ages are this disparate there can be additional issues to work around besides the usual ones.

seekingwolf's avatar


I guess so.
I don’t know, I just think any age difference can be okay, it just depends on the people. Some may be too immature to handle a difference of say, 5 years, while another couple does fine with 20 in between them.

Age is just a number and you should only let your own maturity/judgment decide who you date, within the law of course.

fundevogel's avatar

It’s isn’t just the net difference in years though, like @Poser said, the point at which each person is at in their lives is significant. I would say more significant than the actual numbers. You can have the exact same birthdays and still be in different point in your lives, it’s just more likely when you are chronologically at different points in your lives.

This is of course just a generalization, there will always be exceptions.

But at 16 to 22 I think it’s probably safe to say these people are not at the same point in their lives. Can you as an adult imagine dating someone that was technically still living under their parents rules? I personally wouldn’t a date anyone that wasn’t, without question, free to make their own decisions without their parents intrusion.

seekingwolf's avatar


Yeah, the parents issue would definitely be bad.
But also, the age of consent law sort of helps with that. For most 18+ people (out of high school), they don’t need mummy and daddy’s consent anymore. Most can’t date people under the age of 18 anyway so it’s sort of a non-issue in a way.

fundevogel's avatar

I agree. I wouldn’t have even brought it up except that the asker was referring to a 16 year old.

Lupin's avatar

Don’t have sex with the 16 year old if you live in New York State!!! Consensual or not, it is considered Rape 3rd and will get you locked up. It is very easy to prosecute these cases. All the DA needs is the birth certificates. Watch out!

Jack79's avatar

@fundevogel so if you’re 12 the youngest age you can date is 13, but if you’re 84 it’s 49? Hmm…maybe you have a point.

24–19 etc

So for me it’s 25? I should get rid of the 31 year old then…

fundevogel's avatar

You’ll have to keep upgrading, by the time you’re 50 that 25 year old you traded in for will be several years over your current limit .

nikipedia's avatar

I was going to say no, no, no, absolutely not, because that was my gut reaction.

But I remember when I was sixteen, I had an insane, ridiculous crush on a 21-year-old guy. We never dated, but we got along very well then and still are good friends. I am not sure it would have been a bad idea for us to date, then.

I am not sure age is a good indicator of much of anything. I’m inclined to think it’s best to disregard it and evaluate people on their relevant, individual characteristics. But I remain a minority in this viewpoint.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I am not sure if this is relevant, but my gentleman of the hour is 36 and I am 24.

FiRE_MaN's avatar

no! its illegal!

Cardinal's avatar

Hell no, you are a moron to think it is OK, if you do!

Lupin's avatar

I cannot stress this enough, check the laws for your state. Sex with her one day before her 17th birthday will get you locked up – even if she asked you to do it. She is not of age. You can also be prosecuted years after the fact. Her parents might be angry with you for some reason 2 years down the road and have you charged. Let her grow up! Call her when she’s 17.

wundayatta's avatar

If it’s dog years, ok, otherwise, NO!

arcoarena's avatar

I would say it really depends. It looks like the general consensus is no and maybe with good reason but don’t turn the situation down flat out. I figured I would throw my two sense in since I understand this first hand. My current girlfriend is 18 and I am 22 and will be 23 before she turns 19. We started dating when she was only 15 and i was 19 and there was a few month period where i was 20 and she was only 15. Still only a 4+ year difference but pretty similar and we are still together almost 4 years later.

I would say in most cases its probably not a good idea but if you guys get along really well and you enjoy her company I wouldn’t let age drag you down. I would say it’s something that should go into the equation when you are considering things but not the only thing that should. Do beware that she is NOT fully mature yet and that may become an issue now or in the future and is one that I have had to deal with from a first hand perspective.

I remember being so frightened of bringing her home to a gun wielding dad years back but the funny thing now is that he really likes me and is happy for us being together and has actually invited me over to drink, play poker, watch football without her even being there on multiple occasions.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@arcoarena This is kind of the situation we had when we were dating. As I stated WAAAY back up there, I was 17 & he was 22. He & my parents came to love each other. He’s sit & drink a few beers with my dad. They went hunting together. The whole thing just fell into place perfectly.

I think they were confident knowing that when I was out with him, I was taken care of. They didn’t have to worry about me. It wasn’t like I was out with another 17 year old punk. After being with him, the guys I went to school with acted so silly & immature. Because they were. It was their age. We hung around with his friends & they all accepted me immediately.

shrek_king86 I still think this can work if you handle it right. But everyone is right on one thing: DO watch the rape charge thing. That’s a very real concern if someone would want to pursue it.

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