I’m a 17-year-old girl with a part-time job at a grocery store. One of my co-workers is a 30-year-old lesbian. She recently asked me out. I admit, I’ve had a huge crush on her ever since we first met. I guess she noticed. Part of me wants to take her up on her offer. Seventeen is the age of consent in this state, so that’s not a problem. But, part of me is having doubts. I guess I just don’t understand what she could see in me, since I’m so much younger. Should I go for it and take her up on her offer? Should I listen to that nagging little voice saying no instead? I really don’t know what to do.
- Thank you so much for reaching out to TeenCentral.com! This seems like a really challenging situation and it’s always good to really think through it, and ask for advice before jumping in. So good for you!
- TeenCentral has several resources for you to consider and maybe even put in your phone on the HELP section of the website. I would highly recommend taking a look at that tab and see which hotlines might apply to you, especially if you decide to say yes to this dating situation. That way if you end up in a scary situation you always have a number to call.
- Age differences often make navigating romantic feelings turn prickly and confusing (as if relationships aren’t complicated enough!). It is normal to feel torn in this situation. Being on the younger end of the age gap can often put you in a difficult situation. You may be more prone to being manipulated into unwanted situations because of the feelings of authority when looking up to people who are older than you. Sometimes, younger people don’t even realize this is happening.
- Don’t think of the situation as something being wrong with you – you are young, and that’s okay! Many times, these situations require an examination of the older person – what compels them to want to date so much younger (many times, the motives are not great, even dangerous). That being said, not everyone has ill intentions, and sometimes these are revealed by getting to know that person (whether simply over time at work or through dating).
- In any case, your only duty is to protect yourself – your emotional, mental, and physical well-being and safety. Gut feelings are so incredibly important – listen to them.
- Remember, it is okay to say no to a date. This person is much older, and if she is mature, she will understand without any drama. You can always change your mind later, knowing now that she has already expressed interest.
- If you are really interested in going on a date now, remember that you have the power to leave the situation at any point if anything occurs that you don’t feel comfortable with. Make sure you tell people where you are before going, or you may even consider hanging out with a group.
- Is there anyone you can talk to for another perspective on the situation (it may be helpful to get insight from people who know the both of you or an adult that you trust who knows your personality)?
- This is a great time to work out your decision through a pro-con list, or even just through journaling. Are you someone who likes to write? Do you keep a journal? If so, maybe consider some of the following questions:
- Does this individual have any concerning behaviors?
- Why were you originally interested in this person?
- What are some red flags to look out for when dating much older? What should you do if you encounter these warning signs?
- What measures can you take to make sure that you are safe?