Girl Dilemma-age difference



At my church I do voluntary work one day a week working with destitute asylum seekers, I find the work deeply rewarding and enjoyable.

While there today I met a very nice girl who was clearly interested in me, flirting, finding opportunities to be near me ect. As I have been single for a while I rather enjoyed this. I feel i could have a have a good realisionship if I ask her out.

Unfortunately there is a bit of an age gap. I’m 19 and she is 16 (we live in the U.K so this would be perfectly legal.)

Normally I wouldn’t consider this but there are several factors leading me to
• We clearly find each other attractive. Obviously.
• She is very intelligent and mature
• We are both practising catholics. I only date girls who go to church and trust me, theres a BIG shortage.

Should I ask her out? If no, why?


I’d say ask her dad and if he gives you the green light, go for it! 3 years difference is nothing later in life, and if she’s mature and you’re mature, it can work. Let us know what happens! :slight_smile:


I know what you mean by being single. I’m 29 and still flying solo…I enjoy it, but it does get lonely.

Having said that, and you don’t want to hear this, but 19 and 16 is much different than 30 and 27. With so much going on and still trying to find out your place in life, it’s a very, very hard age.

If you view dating as a potential for marriage, and as finding a mate to marry, then keep this in mind-the odds are against it being long term. Listen, I don’t want to sound like a jerk, or anything else like that, but just trying to let you know that it may not be all groovy.

A 16 year old is young, very young, as are you and I. Try it if you want too, but remember that her parents still sort of have the final say.

Once again, I’m sure your a very nice guy, and all is lovely, but just trying to give you another look at the situation. Date her all you want, just be cautious.

Peace out my brother (and hey, I’m also British by ethnicity, so we’re brothers in more than out religion…:thumbsup:)


Is she one of the destitute asylum seekers? If not and if it not illegal in the UK, it’s not a huge age gap, but I don’t think I would let my 16 y.o. daughter date a 19 year old…16 is still young…


no, shes a volunteer. dating one of the “clients” WOULD be inappropriate.

Thanks for the advice everyone! keep it coming


A few additional questions:

What do you do besides volunteer? Are you a student? Do you hold down a job? Are you still living with parents or are you on your own?

What about this girl?

What are you looking at as far as this relationship goes? Do you merely desire female companionship? Or are you looking at her as spouse potential?

I’d ask these questions no matter how old either of you currently is. But the questions and answers are particularly important when you are both young.


I am studying a degree and work-part time. shes studying for a-levals. How is that relavent?

Isnt planning marrige after 1 conversathion a bit fast?


My questions had to do with what you consider the point of dating. In general rather than this girl in particular.

The thing is, most people treat dating as a form of recreation. In that case, why would you even care if it’s OK to date this girl?

I’m suggesting that it’s a bad idea to date anyone who you don’t consider marriage material. The point of dating is to find a spouse. That doesn’t mean you WILL marry the person. But I do think that if you can’t imagine someone as a potential wife you should refrain from asking such a person out at all.

Only you can answer the question as to whether or not you consider this girl as a *possible *spouse.


I’m not sure the UK levels of schooling, I know it differes from country to country, too. Is 16 your 18? Is she done her “high school” education and moving on to college or University? Is she still living with her parents? Are you?

When do “kids” in your country usually move out to go to higher education? Or do you have boarding schools? Is she used to being on her own? I think this makes a world of difference between Europeans and Americans.

I’d say that it’d be good to be close friends for a while. I think its the equivalent of an American 22yo and 18yo dating…not desirable but not impossible, either. Keep your friendship for atleast a year before you consider dating…this will give you alot to build on.


As a girl who happened to wed at the age of sixteen, I’d say ask her father. Show him through example that your intentions are good and pure. :slight_smile:


When I was 16 I had a relationship with a 21 year old. We had a lot in common, and it was a good relationship. Age wasn’t at all an issue for us. 3 years is such a small age difference that I wouldn’t worry about it.


absolutely. Don’t date if you are not looking for a potential mate. Otherwise, go out in groups with guys and girls.


Ask the dad; date the girl!


Three years is little difference when people are done with their degrees. Initially, three years is possibly a whole tier of schooling, but later in life in doesn’t matter at all. In fact, it’s probably preferable.

In my country, there was a whole theory about girls maturing 3 years ahead of boys on all levels, the result being minimal age for marriage at 18 for women and 21 for men. That law is no longer there. The whole thing was probably propaganda helping to deal with the needs of military draft. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway, it’s normal for a guy to be older.

Now, yeah, you’ve got to consider that she isn’t legally adult and parents have a lot of responsibility in her life. I don’t think it would be seen as necessary where I live, but in a conservative Anglo-Saxon community, it probably would, AND it could be helpful in convincing a Catholic father that it’s no scheme or predation but just an accident of life, a situation that was normal a couple of decades ago anyway, and you have no ill intentions. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that parents are entitled to plan out her daughter’s dates.

Now the obvious result of your telling her father is that you’re assumed to be seriously interested and you have to live up to your declarations. Something of that kind could be rather constricting. You will need to know when to do that. It might be necessary to explain to the father that you’re telling him and letting him know because of the special circumstances, not because you’re about to ask her hand some time soon.

Speaking of, people were right when they told you that dating is for the purpose of finding a partner for marriage. I don’t think that means all teenage crushes should be banned, but there’s a lot of wisdom in not “pairing up” until such time that one’s fully developed and won’t change so easily, until one has a job and a stable situation and so on. That’s what I would suggest when it comes to looking for a date on purpose. On the other hand, things are different when the date comes to you.

My advice would be to give yourself time and see what happens. See if you haven’t changed your mind in, say, two weeks from the moment you experienced so intense emotions. See if you still think she’s interested, if you still think you are etc.

And obviously, you don’t go talk to her dad just like that. You can go and a pay a visit to him specifically when both you and the girl decide it’s a good idea to start dating, or you can use the opportunity when you’re visiting her in her house and talk to her father even before she knows (“Well, sir, I haven’t told her yet, but I will have to soon and I would feel better if you knew, given that she’s not legally adult yet and I am. Thus I would like you to know first and would like to know what you would have to say about it.”). Keep it short, polite and as light-hearted as possible. As I said, you aren’t asking to marry her.


I’m surprised so many of you are suggesting he speak to her father. Why? This is not a part of the Catholic faith. Did I grow up on a different planet?

I personally would be very creeped out if any man I was dating asked my father it he can date me, I think my father would be even more creeped out by it and wouldn’t know how to react. Of course I’m an old lady now, but it was the same back when I was a teen.


I suggested he ask her father because of the age difference. She’s 16, and her parents might not even allow her to date yet. If that is the case, her father could tell him that and the girl in question wouldn’t have to be embarassed and make an excuse or tell him she’s not allowed to date yet. I also just think it would be respectful. :shrug: Just my opinion. I’m 24, and I would never be “creeped out” by a man asking my father’s permission to date me. I think it would be kinda nice.


I’ll tell you the why. The why is the conservative Anglo-Saxon culture. In that environment, those things are a daily occurrence. Puritanism is abounding and fathers are the forefront of fight against unchastity that happens frequently among the not-yet-voting generation. What’s more, they’re much bigger on obedience and it seems common for 16 year olds to owe uncomfortable levels of obedience. In a situation without the age gap or some such factor, I never would have made such a suggestion. But given that the man was an adult and the young lady not yet, I thought it would be a good idea to calm the parents down a bit and to avoid offending delicate sensibilities.

When I was talking about it, I suggested, though I should have spelt it out clearly, that it’s a girl’s decision as to the choice of the man, the father may have some rights to decide whether the two can meet, at what time she’s supposed to be back home etc. I believe 16 year olds should be almost adults and should be treated as such. This is also why I suggested keeping it light-hearted as far as possible and not making a big deal of it.

Yes, I’m definitely uncomfortable reading about how much say parents seem to be accorded in their children’s “dating lives”, though when I read about what happens during unsupervised dates, I feel less and less liberal. Both of those sides of the same coin are not what I saw around me when I was growing up.

Of course I’m an old lady now, but it was the same back when I was a teen.

I tend to think it’s actually the good old-fashioned way to treat teenagers 1) like people, 2) like adult people. A bit of an honour system, so to say.

I’m of mixed feelings on that one. I don’t think parents should do that. I don’t believe in isolating people in one-sex compounds and then rushing them off into fast-track six-month “courtships”. That’s unhealthy. On the other hand, it’s very frequent in some environments for 16 year olds to fall and give in and do those things they resolved not to do. Parents have very limited rights when it comes to telling 16 year olds what to do and any authority has little rights when delving into the territory of feelings or emotions.

I also just think it would be respectful. :shrug:

Yes, I agree. A 16 year old is not her mother. She’s part of her parents’ household and they are responsible for her. Depending on how things are done in a given community or even family, it would be proper. Not in some others, e.g. where it’s understood that as long as commandments are kept, there are no parental rules on dating.

Just my opinion. I’m 24, and I would never be “creeped out” by a man asking my father’s permission to date me. I think it would be kinda nice.

I’ve minced the words that first came because it could have been somewhat discorteous of me. :slight_smile: However, I do need to point out strongly that it’s definitely not a father’s place to give any sort of permission when it comes to romantic affairs of an adult child. With a minor, permissions are not in matters of heart, but in matters of custody, e.g. a father not wanting his highschool-going daughter to spend long hours with college students.


I personally don’t see a problem with the age difference, since you said you are both practicing Catholics, so i’m assuming that means no inappropriate behavior before marriage.

My advice would be, be friends with her. Hang out, get to know her, get to know her family, and if in a few months you both still want to date, I’d ask her father (who you have hopefully gotten to know) if he would object to you dating his daughter.

If after those few months of friendship, you realize you no longer want to date, then you’ve gained a good friend and didn’t have to go through the heart break of a relationship that wasn’t meant to be.


If it is okay with her parents, I see no problem. As it was pointed out, this would be just for dating and anything long term would need to be long term. I would say just be careful about getting too close too soon. It is difficult to dial back a relationship, especially one that may span years. Enjoy friendship and slowly go from there. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. In other words, the closer you are to God in your prayer life, the more confidence you can have that you follow His will in other areas.


I’m Hispanic and being so every guy I wanted to date or wanted to date me had to ask permission from my father…Now that I am an adult it’s different…but when I was under 18 oh yeah they had to be approved by father first! LOL So I will assume her father might have some say in her relationships as well…??? :shrug:

So anyhow, just give yourself the time needed to be friends and go from there…you know? I think friendships that turn into relationships are some of the best ways to make relationships last! And yes I believe that if you can answer the questions after you get to know her better about if this person is someone whom you’d consider for marriage that would be an even bigger plus for you because then you know what you are looking for and looking for the long haul! :smiley: Not just a whatever thing…

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