19 year dd's dating.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
19 year dd's dating.....
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 3:44pm
Post deleted

Edited 11/23/2003 6:52:01 PM ET by vbac96
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 5:03pm

Hi and welcome to the board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 7:32pm
Welcome to the board :-)

I have a 19.5 yo dd and if she met a man who was 28, the age isn't what I'd be looking at. If he was lazy, aimless, had no interests outside of her, working at a dead end job and not doing anything about it; if he was controlling (sometimes someone much older wants someone much younger because they are easier to control) or manipulative, a liar, drug user, drank too much - then I'd be objecting. All things I'd worry about at any age, but these are the specific kinds of things I'd look at with an age gap.

If, however, he was a decent young man, held a good job, seemed 'settled', treated my dd well and with respect, I would not raise issues. I'd likely point out that over time they are going to notice the age differences if they are in two very different places in their lives. However, my dd has always seemed mature for her age and adults or people several years older than her have always felt comfortable around her and enjoyed her company. She doesn't chit chat about silly things; she has goals and loves to travel; she is financially savvy beyond her years. Even when she was 14, and went with our church youth group out east for 10 days for a youth convention, our group consisted of one kid her age, the youth leader, a guy 21 and another guy, 19. The two who were 19 and 21 both preferred to team up with my dd over even each other. They liked her as a *person*. If she were to break up with her long-time bf (7 mos older than her) and met someone who was 28, at this stage, I'd trust her choices. She has a level head and knows what she wants and what she doesn't want. My closest friend married a man who was 28 when she was 19; just be glad your dd isn't talking *marriage* right now, lol. My friend's marriage didn't last but it was because HE changed dramatically; not her.

So, if your dd is basically level headed, and the guy finds something in common with her, and respects her and is worthy of respect himself (think: what would you think of him if he wasn't possibly itnerested in your daughter? - it'll help to separate the issues), don't let the *age* cause a problem between the two of you. Evaluate all of what is involved before you decide how to handle this.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Fri, 11-14-2003 - 8:44am
Hi Michelle and welcome to the board. We're actually in very much the same boat as far as our 19 y/os - I have a 19 y/o DS S that I've known for 13 years because he has been best buddies with my 19 y/o birth DS J since kindergarden, but I've only had the pleasure of calling him DS for 2 years. Nothing formal or legal in place other than when he was 17 he was kicked out of the house (LONG story) and his social worker needed to find a placement for him *that he would accept* and eventually the court placed him with us as an informal foster care situation - I always tell him he's been *heart adopted* though, and he's treated me like mom for years, even before he lived here. Love him like I gave birth to him though. It IS hard when you start parenting them that old, because so much of their moral and value system is in place by then, and like you, DS was raised in a very different way than we raise our kids, and he had to get used to having some pretty high expectations after years of living with essentially no expectations and a lot of criticism and verbal abuse. (That isn't just his story, the social worker will back it, and I've taken more than my share of abuse from his family over the years too.)

Now back to your original question....at 19 they're adults and have to make their own way, as much as it hurts us as parents sometimes. (That's a lesson I'm still learning, as you'll see if you go over my posts from the past 4-5 months!) Even when your DD is living in your house (as my 19 y/os do), what she chooses to do away from home is essentially her business. We do maintian house rules for our older boys, i.e., you're not letting your g/f sleep over in your room, if you have guests over after 1030 on weeknights or 1130 on weekends you have to keep it quiet coz the rest of the household has to sleep, pick up after yourself, etc. But as far as what they do away from home, they're adults and have to answer for themselves. As far as the age difference with your DD and the man, I agree with kkiana...if he's a good man that treats your DD with kindess and respect, the age difference may not be an issue. If he's no good, he'd still be no good if he were 20 or 21. One of my employees is 21 and living with a man who's 30...he's had a very stabilizing and maturing influence on her, she's become much more responsible since she started that relationship at 19...but he's also a good, kind, hardworking man who treats her with a lot of love and respect.

When I have concerns (OK, heartaches!) over something my 19 y/os are doing, I find that I have the most success dealing with them by sitting down and having an adult conversation about my concerns. And I work very hard to keep it a two sided conversation, because they are adults and have the right to make their own decisions as well as have their own opinions. With S especially, because he was raised in such a different household, I often tell him that if I didn't love him so much this issue wouldn't cause me so much concern, and I encourage him to just think about what I've had to say and take it into consideration when he's choosing his course of action. There is only a couple of things that we have hard and fast rules about for the older boys: 1. NO drinking and driving, no questions asked. Either stay where you are or call us for a ride. 2. If you aren't coming home at night, CALL because mom worries alot about things like car accidents. 3. If you're having problems with something, please don't wait until you're in over your head to ask for help - we're more than happy to provide help and guidance but it's so much easier if things aren't completely out of hand when you ask for help.

I hope this has been helpful. Let us know how things go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sun, 11-16-2003 - 3:58am
Nope at 19 they do not have to listen to their parents...and no I don't think her dating a 28 year old is "weird" When I was 19 I was seeing a 35 year old man. Yes while she is in YOUR home she should abide by certain rules but you have no right to choose who she dates or to pick out her friends...unless you want her leaving. According to the law she is now an adult, in the U.S. they can vote, go to war, own a home, cars, credit cards, get a loan, drive a car get married without parental permission. There is nothing wrong with her wanting to see an older man, they're alot more interesting than guys of 19 years old. That's why I was seeing a 35 year old man. I was out in the workforce at 19, working fulltime, I had more in common with the man than I had with 19 year old boys. There was an 11 year differnce in age between my parents. My sister is married to a man who is 10 years older than herslef. She's not a baby. She's an adult.