Liking a younger girl

Okay here’s what is happening right now. I am in high school and in 11th grade. I am very close to a girl in 8th grade in middle school. I met her and her family when I began converting to Catholicism. She has 4 younger brothers who I view just as my brothers. Her mom has taken me under her wing and she became like a mom to me. And her father really likes me too. I love everyone in that family with all of my heart. Now the girl. We both have feeling for each other and they have been growing for about a year. We are both strong in our faith. She has a lot of personality characteristics that I desire in a woman. One thing I desire a lot is for the girl to be a faithful Catholic. I like this in her a lot. She is everything I’ve ever wanted. We have both agreed that we should not date now . Next year I will be in 12 grade in high school and she will be in 9th. I We will be going to the same school. I see other 9th and 12th graders dating all the time I was wondering what your thoughts on all this are. I am open to ideas. Oh and I must add I have not had any sinful thoughts towards her at all. I would never dream of hurting her. Any relationship I am in will be clean up until marriage. God bless!

I appreciate your backstory but you should wait a few years. She’s still a child and you are just beginning to figure out what adulthood is all about. At this point, find someone your age. Down the road some, age matters less.

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I could not have stated it any better!:thumbsup:

The age is not a thing we should focus on. Now it may look like a big gap, but when both of you are twenty, well, it is no longer a problem.

I do understand that you got the advice to wait, and in some situations I would give that too, but when I see a question like this I look back at my own life, my mistakes and my shortcomings in understand what other may feel, and sadly I must say that if I would have struggle hard enough the only girl I ever have really loved would possibly be my wife, now I have only a x-wife and a longing for someone I can’t get anymore. So I say: go easy on this one, but if your feelings, both of you, are what I can imagine they are, for heavens sake don’t wait. Life is sometime shorter then we can think, and I do miss my first (and as it seem) and only true love. I look at her picture every day, thinking what it could have been to be married with her, and we had only two years between us. Sometimes it is the best thing in the world to throw away sense and let your heart guide you. And if this fail, well, at least you did try, so I say son, go for it, but don’t be stupid, date, and wait. (But you seem to be a responsible and good Catholic so I reckon you know what you are doing.)

For those of us who arent in the usa and arent familiar with grades …what ages are kids in 8th grade and 11th grade?

My wife and I started dating the day I graduated highschool. She had just finished 9th grade. We dated through the next 3 years and married in the fall after she graduated (she had just turned 19 and I was 21). Almost 20 years and 6 kids later we are still happily married. I mention this because so many will tell you its a bad idea and to show it is not an immediate recipe for disaster.

Yes you will likely be at different stages, but that is not insurmountable. Its only been in the past 40 years that people would say a 3 year age difference in teens was a huge obstacle. Look back through the whole of human history and I’d say its more likely the norm.

To be honest it matters less your age and more about maturity and goals. Many girls are more emotionally mature then boys at that age so a two to three year span is not that big of a stretch. In my wife’s and my case we knew we wanted to marry young. Neither of us bought in to the psychobabble that you “need to know yourself” before committing to a long term relationship. Really all it means is being emotionally mature. Some people are at 16 while others are in the twenties, thirties, or sometimes never.

Long and short is it will depend on you and the girl. It also depends of the families. My kids don’t have an age that they are allowed to date. We just teach them at an early age that dating is decernment for marriage. If they can’t imagine they want to marry in the next 3-5 years then serious dating might not be the best idea. Depending on how you were both raised then dating might have different purposes in each of your minds.


And one can hopefully remain “friends” – just as friends.

One need not “find another” though.

Time will continue.

Friendship is important even more later if time brings a different relationship.

The 11th grader would be 16 or 17 depending on when his birthday is but I turned 17 during my 11th grade year. The 8th grader would be 13 or 14 once again depending on the birthday.

8th would normally be 13-14
11th would be 16-17

Unfortunately I don’t think up until now you are really getting any seriously good advice.

The question is…what is the purpose of dating?
The answer is—discernment of marriage.

What is the purpose of marriage?

        The answer- 
  1. The rearing and education of children
  2. Quieting of concupiscence
  3. The mutual help offered the spouses
    (According to the Encyclical “Castii Connubi”)

You seem to think that the only quality needed in a woman is that she be a “good Catholic”. That’s a big part of it, but not all of it.

Most Catholic authors (I can provide at least 5 books online if you want) recommend that you don’t even start dating until you could get married with in a year or two, are stable in a career, have a good amount of savings. I didn’t even start dating till I was 25 and even then I think I shouldn’t have because I was not established enough.

She has 4.5 years of schooling to go. You have 1.5 years of schooling to go. Most likely you will both go to college, because there are almost no jobs in the USA that you can get without some form of college/higher education/trade school. You might go to different colleges, at which point you will be far away from each other and be meeting other people you will become interested in.

Additionally, Once you turn 18 and she is still in high school, you will be a legal adult and she will be a MINOR. You don’t want to be dating a minor, you can be accused of things and go to jail.

Anyway, it’s unlikely that a relationship could last 4.5 years and it is not recommended to date someone for 5 years without marrying them, that can lead to many occasions of sin.
When you fall in love with someone and they fall in love with you, if that relationship cannot logically end in marriage within a reasonable amount of time- temptations to have sex before married DO COME- even to “good Catholics”.

Please listen to these two audios on the purpose of marriage and the Catholic view of dating and you will see that ***you should not date at this point in your life: ***

Another question: Have you mentioned this to your parents, or more importantly, HER parents? My guess is NO. If I was a father I wouldn’t want a high schooler being interested in my 8th grader. This isn’t the 1930’s, you can’t get married right out of high school any more and get a factory job.

Once it’s your time you can join a Catholic dating site, and you will see that there are many good Catholic women out there. No need to fixate on this one.

Yes, but what year were you married? And what types of jobs were available to you? Also, the maturity level of someone nowadays at 18 is much different that the maturity level of someone at 18 in the 1940’s.

Also the economy was a lot better.

The divorce rate nowadays is 50 percent and the rate is not lower among Catholics. Just look at the number of people in the USA asking for annulments. *** You can’t base marriage on only “emotional love” or affection.*** When someone says they are “in love” really what they mean is they are “in affection”. I have no doubt that 100 percent of the people getting divorces today were “in love” when they got married.

I agree that you cannot base marriage only on emotional love and or affection, but what other criteria would be necessary?

I would say at least the following (especially when being a Christian)

  • having the same moral standards
  • that one person can bring out the best in the other

What I think counts most, are the reasons why you love someone, this can be very broad, I would say. You can also love someone because of trying to be a good Catholic.
Liking someones outside appearance, obviously isn’t enough.

We married in 1994 (hence my statement that we’ve been married almost 20 years ;)) I was working at Pizza Hut and she worked at a coffee shop. I did move into an entry level IT position shortly later, but it would have been the equivalent of 25-30k in today’s market. In other word we were not financially stable until 3 years and 2 kids later.

If you look back at my orriginal post you will see that I had already made many of the same points you do. They only one I don’t is the point about being a certain age.

Too many people have marriage on the end of a checklist of things to do in their late 20s or early 30s. If God puts someone in your life should you really say, “thanks but I still need to do x, y, z before I can even think about marrying you”?

I agree that being financially secure makes things easier, but waiting also has disadvantages. People can become stubborn and inflexible which lead to as many problems as those around finances. My father inlaw had a good job and was 27 when he married my wife’s mom. He has now been married and divorced 4 times. Generally his reason for divorce is “she doesn’t make me happy”. Both my oldest sister and I married relatively young (early 20s) with almost no money and we are both still married 20+ years later. So he did it right and we did it wrong yet we are still the ones married.:shrug:

I would agree that many (if not most) kids today are less mature at 18 now adays. That is a dirrect result of their parents caudling them and treating them like they are children way too long. My two oldest are teenagers and from the time they are 14 or so we talk to them about what it takes to live on their own, ways they can make money, etc. They are also expected to work for stuff. I pay part of my oldest daughter’s tuition, but she works and pays for some of it also. We are trying to teacher them that their are no free rides and you want something better then work for it.

My whole point is we all have different experiences. He could pass on this girl, wait 10 years to date until he has a good job and never find someone to marry. He could also date and marry her when she is 18 and be dirt poor and be as happy as can be. No one here can say that their experiences are the norm. I am just trying to provide an alternate view that following what God expects of us is more important than listening to the experts.


When I was in 8th grade, my husband was in 11th.

We didn’t know each other at the time. But that is what our age difference would turn out to be. We didn’t meet until I was 23, and didn’t marry until I was just shy of 26. (We have been married for over 20 years.)

That said, an 11th grader shouldn’t be trolling the middle school for a date.

Now is the time for you to spend time praying for your future spouse, whomever that might be.

Now is when you should be thinking about your future. Do you plan to attend college? Trade school? Work at your father’s business? Be a farmer? Now is the time to work toward that.

There is a great talk called, “How to date your soul mate,” given by Jason Evert. I suggest you listen to it.

First welcome home :slight_smile:

I would wait a few until she is a little older but it is good that you love her. Trust me when I say this if your love is true then the test of time will not stop your love

13-14 for 8th grade; 16-17 for 11th.

I think you’re in a delicate situation. Here are the things to consider:

  1. I know you are testifying to being a faithful Catholic, but at the risk of sounding trite, things happen I’ve dated girls who one would think would be Catholic, but I soon found out they were willing to go, well, far.

This is a critical point here because if you two do something and it violates your state’s statutory rape laws, you could see jail time have to register as a sex offender.

I know that sounds scary, but one thing you HAVE to know about living in America—once you turn 18 legally everything changes.

If I were you, I’d familiarize myself with these laws.

  1. You say her father likes you. Would he still like you if you knew how you two felt about each other? Even if he did, I would be scratching my head. I knew of a 16 yo girl who dated a 23 year old, and her parents were fine, but I wondered too what they were thinking. I’m saying this just because they don’t always get it right either and you have to use your own head. So if they’re fine with it, but you’re not comfortable, probably not a good idea.

But you really shouldn’t be dating behind any parent’s backs, and I would strongly suggest talking to your parents and her parents before considering this. If they allow it, don’t expect to be out late and they may expect you to be hanging out at home or in very public places. That would be more than reasonable.

  1. You’re right: kids in high school date between the grades. But you have consider what I said about being 18.

These are the kinds of things you’ll need to consider.

  1. I’m concerned that you think it’s okay to date someone that younger just because the other kids are. If you really want a good Catholic relationship, you’ll have to find better reasons.

  2. Don’t let your feelings get carried away. Be rational and level-headed at all times no matter who you date. :thumbsup:

this is no to create controversy but i think it might be helpful to answer this.

there are many post about not dating until you could get married, but now I assume have heard that dating when unable to marry is just a preparation for dating seriously later, and realy I sometimes get the idea that you start with a disadvantage, since you will be unexperienced.

so can you tell me and maybe others who have the same doubts why that is false, and youll have no problems when dating someone.

Ok I understand your point, however the original poster (and others that think its a good idea that he date this girl and that it’s actually viable that she will be his wife one day) are already treating this girl as if she could possibly be “the one” or his “soulmate”- there is no talk even of dating “to get experience”—it’s being treated as this girl is already the one for him.

Ok so it’s been pointed out that there have been cases where people got married right out of high school and it has worked out. Remember the saying “It’s the exception that PROVES the rule.” These are such interesting cases because generally it doesn’t work out when people approach marriage in this way. Marriage is a lifelong Covenant, it’s not to be taken lightly or flippantly. People nowadays can live till 80 years old. If someone is married at 20 they could be with this person for the next SIXTY years.

There has to be some balance between “trusting in God” and presumption.

Also read this interesting article from an Antiochian Orthodox website that talks about the neuropsychology of “falling in love” and what must be guarded against.

Oh and…SUPERLUIGI, we are totally on the same page…a big high-five to you.:thumbsup:

When you are young (both under 25), a few years is huge difference. When you are older, 3 or 4 years is not a big a concern. A senior in HS is usually much more experienced in dating than any freshman, and a college student has much different experiences than kids in HS. Same goes for someone who is working while the other is still in school, although working age and college students are much closer in independence than in prior ages.

Part of the problem too, is IF both of you commit to only seeing and dating one another, you will not experience the company of anyone else. You will not see what other folks are like. BUT if you allow each other to date others, there will be some jealousy stirred up even if you both agree that it is okay.

Part of dating is learning how to deal and talk with folks of the opposite sex. It is a learning experience. You learn what to do, what to say, and what not to do, or not say. I would think there would be a lot of problems with the age difference, but things have worked out with some folks before, There’s no telling what the future holds. Good luck.

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