28 Year Old Woman Dating 17 Year Old Guy

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Singlescoach: I am a 28 yr old woman and I am dating a 17 year old guy. He will be 18 in 5 months. And amazingly this has been the best relationship I have ever been in. However, there are a few problems…

His parents don’t approve (especially his mother) and my sister thinks I’m making a mistake and being foolish. Age of consent in the state we live in is 17, so that’s not a problem. But the town we live in is small and the gossip has gotten so bad about us. People are talking about it like it is terrible. But the fact is that we really love and care for each other. Sex is not what our relationship is about; we haven’t even had sex yet, and we have been together for two months. We get each other; we make each other laugh, we have similar interests, and we are so happy together.

I want to know what you think about this. How should I handle parents? How should I handle my family’s reactions? How do I stand up for me and my man?

– Patrice

Dear Patrice: The biggest cure for your issue is going to be time. If you and your guy are smart, you’ll play it low-key until he’s 18. Going into rebellion mode with all of your family members won’t help – that’s an adolescent attitude and only proves their point. Instead, I recommend that you agree with them – that’s right, agree with them. Simply by acknowledging that they’re right about one thing – this could be a mistake – you disarm them. And they are right – like any new relationship, this one could be a mistake. But it won’t be a serious mistake as long as you give it time to develop one way or the other and you don’t bring a child into the picture for a long, long time.

I think you have a bigger issue, and that is the issue of maturity. The likelihood of a guy at the age of 17 choosing the woman he will spend the rest of his life with is slim. I’m not saying it can’t happen – I know people who met in their teens and are still married 30 years later. I’m saying the odds are against it. Most guys at that age have no clue about themselves or how they want to live life, and their relationships reflect that. They simply haven’t matured enough yet to choose something for a lifetime.

If you’re smart, you will play this low key for yourself. Don’t build too many castles in the sky yet. You have a huge hurdle ahead of you and that is education. Is he going to college? If not, what kind of living can he make? If he is the one, are you willing to put off marriage until he completes his education? Can you handle the reality that he will meet tons of cute girls close to his age while attending college?

Once you get past the enchantment stage of the relationship, which you are definitely in, there are many real-world practical questions to answer as you move forward. Mature couples address these questions through open, honest communication over time (not just one conversation). Mature couples put off sex until they address the bigger issues and feel secure in their bond and common life path. That’s your real issue – letting him and letting this relationship mature before you give away your entire heart.

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  • 1. Melissa  |  February 25th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Wow. I thought I was the only one in the world going through this! I, too, am 28, dating a 17 year old. I’m not saying it’s forever, and there are definite age gaps at times, but we talk about it, laugh about it, accept our differences. It is the healthiest relationship I’ve ever experienced. We communicate, are honest, connect on intellectual and emotional levels. It’s amazing. I am willing to overlook his 17 year old tendencies, as he is willing to overlook my “superior wisdom”, but the hardest part has been the cold, cold reception to our union. It makes ALL of our friends and family uncomfortable, which breaks our hearts. I’ve already been married, didn’t like it, and recently went back to school, so by the time I’m finishing my Master’s he’ll be graduating college. And yes, I think about him meeting cute girls his own age, but I have never experienced such compatibility! Even if he does leave for someone younger, I am grateful for the time I’ve had with him. I finally know how I am supposed to be treated.

  • 2. Yelli  |  March 26th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    LOL! I am shocked to see that there are other women going through the same thing as me. I am 28 and my boyfriend just recently turned 18. We have been dating for almost a year. I totally understand what the two of you mean by “being treated” a certain way. He is alot younger than me but as far as wisdom, he has good advice to give me alot of the time. He has two kids, and dealing with his immature underage ex is a handfull in itself. I know they are closer in age but I really cant understand how he was dating someone so immature and just down right ignorant! I too struggle with the thoughts that he will be 21 and just getting out into the party scene, or when I turn 40 he will still be 29! Thats a hard one to swallow. Either way I love this man so much so I’m willing to take the chance. I can honestly say that I have never felt this way about anyone in my life. As far as the parents go, his mother and father love me. My family is unaware of the relationship at this time. I just dont feel like being scrutinized and hearing all of their negative feedback.

    I love him, he loves me and I guess thats all that matters…

  • 3. april  |  May 7th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Wow this all sounds so firmiliar to me I started dating a 17 yr old when I was 29 it really started as a sexual relationship and has progressed he is 18 now and I’m 30 we caught alot of slack from both sides I tried to keep it low key but my family was all up in our business from the get go problem here is I have 3 kids from a previous marriage and it is really awkward sometimes we have had alot of issues due to the age difference but somehow we are still at it I’m not really sure where this is going at all he talks about the future but I don’t want to becuz I’m just not confident what he thinks he wants now is what he will want then

  • 4. Maria  |  May 8th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I can’t believe we are all going though the exact situation. But from what I can tell the one thing that stands out the most is that we all feel we have never been treated and loved as much as this 17 year old does. That is exactly how I feel. I feel this is the most loving, most honest, caring, mature relationship I have ever been in. He too has made me realise I shouldn;t settle for the way others treat me but the way I DESERVE to be treated. He is everything I always dreamed in a man, and everything i always thought I would never find.
    We met in Colombia a month ago.. we have been so close since then. There are 2 problems to our relationship. 1) I live in London, UK and he lives in Florida, USA, and 2) my parents totally disapprove and his setp mom is making our lives a living hell!
    I recently flew to florida to be with him for a long weekend. His step mm found out and she even considered sending the cops, she called my moms cousin and told her about what was happening. Now my mom found out I am seeing him and she is not even talking to me.
    I know it is hard to understand this kind of relationships, but I believe you cant judge unless you are in our shoes. No one has ever made me this happy.. and I am so afraid of loosing him beause we have all the odds against us.
    I don’t know what to do.. because above all I dont want to hurt him. And he has already begged me not to leave him just because his step mom is making our lives a misery.
    Please help…

  • 5. Nina Atwood  |  May 11th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I would be irresonsible if I did not point out the folllowing: Love does not trump the law. Depending on your age, if your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is 17 years of age or younger, you could be committing statutory rape. This is a serious offense, punishable by law and including prison time. Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that anyone under the age of 18 is not yet mature enough to make an adult decision about sex. The laws were created to protect minors, and when you are a parent, this becomes very important to you. The laws vary from state to state, so do your own research to determine whether or not you are at risk for prosecution. A simple Google search on “statutory rape laws” will yield loads of information.

  • 6. Maria  |  May 12th, 2008 at 4:00 am

    I totally understand and agree. That is why we have decided not to have sex until the time is right. He is turning 18 next month, but even then we will probably take it slowly. This relationship is more than just sex. This is about the way we both make eachother feel. He is the most respectful, loving person I have ever met.

    My problem is dealing with my family and his, regarding us being together. I know this is still quite early on in the relationship, but I dont want to have to hide our feelings forever.
    Its so hard to accept that something so perfect could actually be so wrong for so many people.

  • 7. Amee  |  May 20th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I appreciate all the comments ladies… I’m 28 and I met a 17 year old recently online and I’m very interested in getting to know him better…it’s all the same circumstances: he is very sweet to me and we have the same wacky sense of humor. He is currently in another state than I so I’m not worried at the moment about things getting too serious. But the possibility is always there and I wondered if it would be best to take things as slowly as possible. It’s odd that it doesn’t become such a big deal as you get older…my friend at work is 10 years older than her husband and nobody gives it a second thought. But it’s that fine line of teenager/adulthood that makes it seem so difficult.
    Good luck and be careful with your heart and your life.

  • 8. May  |  July 17th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Reading all these comments brought tears to my eyes. I am 23 and dating a 17 year old. I dont care so much of his age now but i met him when I was 22 and he was 16 so i had to keep it under wraps for a long time. My parents adore him and i dont see a problem anymore as 17 is the legal age etc where i am. We have been together 7 months and I am the happiest and luckies girl alive. To all those older women out there worried of age. Stuff it. If you are happy thats all that matters and if you keep it low key until you feel its right then go for it. You only live once and as far as I am concerned age doesnt matter. If its ok for a 17 year old girl to go out with a 23 year old man then its ok the other way around as far as i can see. Its judgemental if ppl see it any other way. It doesnt matter what age the person you date there are chances and risks in life you have to take. Nothing is guaranteed… no matter what you may always end up hurt no matter the age….

    Good luck with it all ladies – the toy boys are there to keep us young 🙂

  • 9. Danie  |  July 18th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Whoa..I never thought that this could ever happen to me. I’m 22 and I’m really starting to become more attracted to this 17 year old guy who works at my job. I wanted to talk about this for a long time and there’s only been two other people that I’ve really talked about this with. One disapproves and the other understands. We both have very similar interests and in certain ways we both compliment each other. I used to scorn almost illegal relationships of older women with teenage guys, especially those shown on the news. However, I never really thought about the possibility that maybe these people were really in love although it could be just an infatuation. I probably will start dating this guy, but sex will not be an option because of his age. Also, I know that it might not be a long lasting relationship because I’m in college and when I transfer I know that it might not last. Even though we have very similar career interests, I feel that we might get separated along the way because of our age difference. Also, it’s really hard to talk about because I don’t want people to label me as a pedophile. But, I look younger than my age, so if we do go out, I could pass for 17.

  • 10. May  |  July 20th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Makes you feel better when you know there are other people out there in the same situation.
    here is my address if you want to chat Danie

    there is a love story on

    hope that link works

    Love has no limit

  • 11. Trish  |  August 13th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    OMG! I really did think I was the only person in the world going through this, I met this guy when he was 16 (I thought he was 18) on the internet, at that time I was only on there to chat with people because I was a stay at home mom and would get kinda bored and lonley when the kids were at school, I was 28 at the time now I’m a few months from being 30, One of the problems is that he lives 4 hours away from me, and the second problem is that I am still with my boyfriend of 14 years, he doesn’t want to get married he has been unfaithful (once) that I know of, sometimes I am happy with him but most of the time I am very unhappy, this guy I met on the net makes me happier than I have ever been in my whole life, we have never had sex of course but it just feels right when he tells me that he loves me, I am sad without him and all I think about is being with him, I wish there was someway for me to just get to see him even one time, I love him so much. If anyone would like to talk about this please email me at ivynicole97@yahoo.com

  • 12. Danyell  |  October 13th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Amazed, im sitting here reading everyone’s comments while laying next to my 17yr old boyfriend. Im 24yrs old and I am a single mother. When I met him he told me he was 20, bcuz I would have never gave him the time of day. He looks nothing close to 17 which made me not have a clue. When I met his mom 3months into our relationship I found out the Truth. It was too late by then. We were already in Love and had already had sex. His family excepts me as well as mine. Life is so crazy, bcuz I’ve never dated someone my age let alone younger than me. He’s in his last year of high school and im becoming jealous by the day. He is a fine young man, respectful, intelligent and he want so much out of life. Honestly I feel insecure at times bcuz he is so much younger than me. He always reassures me that he is happy where he’s at. We have fun, we go out, we talk about everything. I just have problems with trust. Is this natrual ladies? I go through his cell phone find nothing, when I do he calls the girls and they tell me there just friends and they all know about “me” his girlfriend. I take hime 2 school, and pick him up. I’ve even started meeting him 4 lunch. I don’t know why im so worried the whole school knows im his girl, all of his friends know when they see me not to even play. He’s so honest he even tells me when there girlfriends try and set him up. He always tells me he loves me and he always shows me so much affection no matter who is around. So glad to know im not the only one!!!!!!!!!!


  • 13. Mia  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I was so glad I found this!!

    I’m 21 (three months shy of 22) and I’ve recently just met a guy who is just turning 17. I’m incredibly attracted to him but I’ve been kinda freaking about the whole age thing. If it was right or not. I’ve never had a problem when I’ve heard other people in age-difference relationships, but when it was about me its a completely different story.

    I’m in Canada so everything is legal, I was just wondering about the morality of it all. After reading all the comments here as well as spending more time with him I think I will let the chips fall where they may and see what happens.

    Thanks everyone here. And good luck to you all!

  • 14. BlueMoon  |  December 14th, 2008 at 3:39 am

    I too am glad I found this, you so rarely see the female being the older one in the relationship. I’m 28 and am in love with an 18 year old and I’ve known him for so long and he’s been the only one for me. He’s actually been my first and only boyfriend because I’ve been shy my whole life, so the way I see it, eventhough I’m older, I’m still in the same place he is in terms of experience. There are a lot of things that suck about being in love with him, if I had my choice, he would be my age and I constantly think about how I’m going to be in my 30s when he’s in his 20s.. and I do worry about how our familes would react to it. Only my sister knows about it in my family and I’m pretty sure nobody in his family does. I can’t help that he’s the only guy I’ve met that really makes me happy.

  • 15. BlueMoon  |  December 14th, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Maria, I’m so sorry to read about your situation, that’s awful, people can be so judgmental sometimes til something actually happens to them. We can’t choose who we fall in love with, it just happens. I hope you guys can stay together and prove them all wrong.

  • 16. SKYRIM  |  May 5th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    uhhh…. you drop him off and pick him up from school, thats cute. why you could pass as his mother you know.
    As for the rest of you WOMEN, and ill speak for those who have dated a TEENAGE BOY who goes to SCHOOL or LIVES WITH THEIR PARENTS instead of a REAL MAN their age or older who completely grew out of it [or better yet any teenage boy under 20 or 21].
    Those are the losers that are perhaps suffering from a personal issue, in which they feel so lonely, they become so desperate for relation and would accept any man [OR BOY] who propose to them a relationship, despite their age.Unless they are either cougars or pedophiles who have a taste for young looking [and most babyfaced] teenage BOYS, instead of GROWN MEN. And nothing would change my perspective towards that.


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