I have a friend, who is fifteen, and she has recently been hanging out with an eighteen-year-old. From what I’ve heard (she goes to a different school) this guy is not that great of an influence. Her best friend also told me that she has had sex with this guy. I am afraid that he is taking advantage of her, and I’m all for doing what you want with your body, but not when it could be mentally affecting my friend. This guy is an adult, and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to ruin our friendship, because it could’ve just been a rumor. But I’m scared for her. I guess my main question is, is an older guy always taking advantage of you?
While you’re right in thinking that everyone has a right to do whatever they want with their own body, that does have some qualifications. It’s nice to think that you can just sit back and not care at all, but as a good friend, you are right to intervene here, and there are a number of reasons why you should act fast.
First off, in almost every state, the fact that she is only fifteen means she is likely below the age of consent. This has very serious legal ramifications for this guy, and there may be additional laws in play since he is over eighteen years old. I get that you don’t want to go calling the cops or anything, but just know that if they are indeed having sex, it is almost assuredly illegal.
The bigger question here is whether or not this guy is using her, and I would have a very difficult time coming up with any answer other than “absolutely.” When you see that age difference at that age, it makes you wonder why this guy isn’t dating girls his own age. While a three year difference isn’t that big a deal once you’re older, the level of maturity between fifteen and eighteen is more than significant.
However, older guys are not always taking advantage of younger girls. Again, this has to do more with the actual ages than the question of older versus younger. Using the same age difference, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a twenty-five-year-old dating a twenty-two-year-old and so on. As I see it, once both people are over eighteen, the level of maturity (or at least judgment) sort of evens out, and age matters less as you get older.
That all being said, I would try to find some time to have a heart to heart talk with your friend. I would explain your concern over this older guy, and that you’re concerned he is just using her, and as a friend, you want to make sure someone is looking out for her best interests. She might not appreciate it now, but in the long run, she’ll thank you for being a solid friend.
Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.
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