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September 26, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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Love between people of very different ages


I am a woman, 37 years old. He is a man, 16 year old. We are in love.

Can we have a good relationship? It is legally and socially well seen? Can someone accuse me (the old women) of a crime?

Caro (37 year-old woman)


Dear Caro,

In my book, this is a difficult situation at best. Although biologically speaking a man reaches his sexual peak at 18 and a woman at 35, which would seem to make your combination a natural match, current society frowns on it.

You probably heard or read about the 35-year-old schoolteacher who had a love affair with her 16-year-old student, and even got pregnant by him twice! She's currently in jail, having been convicted of statutory rape, which means having sex with a minor, which is a crime in all states. The public's response was one of fascination and condemnation, with a main theme of: "what's wrong with a woman that age taking advantage of a kid?" Frankly, you're putting yourself at legal risk by getting involved with a 16-year-old boy. Although I don't doubt that two people of different generations can love each other, I wonder how long such a relationship could last.

Developmentally, these age groups differ vastly. A teen's job is to challenge the passive acceptance of parental rules that dominate the self of childhood, and experiment with all sorts of social roles, whereas the developmental focus of a 37-year-old includes advancing career, end-stage child-rearing, and furthering lifelong primary relationship commitments. These are very different tasks. So I wonder how much you and your younger partner are:

  1. developmentally on-track

  2. not just fascinated with each other in a way that may be a hindrance to normal progression.

I think you ought to get more counsel to help you evaluate your choice to get involved with this boy. My main contentions with your situation are twofold: that sex with a minor is illegal, and that the minor be hurt. Get more counseling, and let both wisdom and common sense be your guide.


Andy Bernay-Roman

This question was answered by Andy Bernay-Roman, RN, MS, LMHC, NCC, LMT. He is a nationally certified counselor in private psychotherapy practice in South Florida working with individuals, couples, and families with a deep-feeling therapy approach. Andy's medical background as an ICU nurse contributes to his success with clients with difficult medical diagnoses and/or chronic physical conditions. He also serves as head of the Psychological Support Department of West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute.

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