Can I marry my 16 year old girlfriend?


I’m 28. Would it be immoral for me to marry my 16 year old girlfriend?


That is completely immoral. It is immoral for a 28 year old to have a 16 year old girlfriend. She is still a kid.


If you love her…wait for her to turn 18 before you resume dating her. Then, if you both still want to get married, go ahead.


Here is the link for Cannon Law regarding Marriage…

Some highlights (bolding mine):

Can. 1057 §1. The consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons quali-fied by law, makes marriage; no human power is able to supply this consent.

§2. Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which a man and a woman mutually give and accept each other through an irrevocable covenant in order to establish marriage.
Can. 1058 All persons who are not prohibited by law can contract marriage.**

Can. 1072 Pastors of souls are to take care to dissuade youth from the celebration of marriage before the age at which a person usually enters marriage according to the accepted practices of the region.

Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.
§2. The conference of bishops is free to establish a higher age for the licit celebration of marriage.**

In other words… I think the sacrament is subject to the laws of the country (someone please correct me if I’m wrong)… you may want to contact your local diocese to see if Can. 1083§2 is defined.



I am 23 and I would feel like a pedophile if I even had an INTEREST in dating a 16 year old girl.


If you love her… Let go of her and let her live her life. Let her finish high school, start college and have a life. If it’s meant to be you’ll find each other again when it’s more appropriate.

My GF is quite a bit younger than me too, I’m 31 and she’s 20, 21 november. But she’s already finished her college courses, and is half way through her Student teaching. Think of this this way, you don’t have all that much longer till she’s at least legal (truely) at 18. At the very least… anyway.


Technically it’s not immoral, it’s illegal. Cannon Law says a man must be 16 and a woman must be 14… but they are subject to the civil law - so in the US it would be considered illegal.


There’s nothing wrong with big age differences - you’ll find many people with 10+ year age gaps… (ME! DH is 10 years older!)

But - you DO have to follow the law regarding legal marriage.


I will clarify that I personally think it is completely immoral for for a grown adult to be in any form of a romantic relationship with a child.

A big difference in age doesn’t bother me at all unless one person is still a child. The fact that this relationship exists is so creepy.


Yes it would be. May I ask how you both met to begin with? My son is 16…he doesn’t hang out with people who are in their late 20’s. :confused:


Totally agree!.. I was just answering the question technically:wink:


gotcha’! I was getting worried that I was all alone on this one!!


There are only a few reasons a 28 year old would want anything to do with a 16 year old… none of them good.

Usually, men that much older go after teenagers because they are easily controlled and manipulated. They don’t want an equal partnership, they want a domination and control scenario.

If you were trying to date my 16 year old daughter, my husband would have his 12 gauge trained on you!


Our Blessed Mother married St. Joseph when she was only 16, and some people say Joseph was much older.


Again… if you actually read all the responses… Civil Law plays an important role here - read the Cannon Law I posted above. :o

The age difference, in and of itself, isn’t bad… it’s the idea of an adult having a “relationship” with an underage child (by law).

Do her parents know? :blush:


And THAT was a totally different culture, different time, different place. Marriage itself was different. It was much more of a woman renders service - man offers caretaking and resources type of arrangement. A man had to be established to offer those things, and women needed to be young and healthy to do their part.

Don’t sully the Virgin and St. Joseph trying to justify what you are doing.


Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

And don’t bring the Holy Family in as your excuse. We don’t know how old St. Joseph was, but that culture at the time married girls off in their mid teens. In that culture living to 40 was old.


I’m going to assume you’re joking and go happily about my day - without the image of grown, Catholic men pursuing young girls in my head.:nope:

…you are joking, right? You don’t really have to ask?


Okay … that comment is even more creepy and rather insulting …

No it is not okay for you ][28 years old] to date a 16 year old [not matter how mature you will claim she is!] …

How immature are you?

When she turns 20 [so that she has lived her own life independently of parents and adult BF] you will be 32 … then you could resume dating and if both should desire then marry … As others have noted it is not the 12 years difference in your ages but the 12 years difference in the ‘stages’ of your life …

She is still in high school, subject to her parents … you are an adult, at this stage of your lies - you are just another ‘authority’ figure like a parent, teacher, coach, etc … the scales are set for you to manipulate and control … Ugh … that is why others like myself find this creepy …

One wonders if you have started being sexually active [statutory rape] with this girl?

She needs to be herself, her own person not just her parents daughter … she does not need to exchange them for you. She needs to finish her education.



This is rare: I completely 100% absolutely whole-heartedly agree with you. Especially the first 7 words.

This is about as close to a black and white issue as there is around here. There is no relationship possible now - only bad things. Wait eight to ten years and see; if you love her enough then you will do that.

I also urge you to seek counseling to see if there is an underlying reason why you are attracted to this child.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit