I'm 18 and a senior at Miami Coral Park High. I have blonde hair and green eyes. My mom is Cuban and my dad is Iranian.
I'm talking to this guy and everything is great but there is one minor problem...he's 23 and I'm 18. it's only 5 years but I'm still in high school. I really, really, REALLY like him but I don't know what to do. What should I do?
Vicks (18 year-old woman) from Miami, FL
There is no general answer to your question: it depends on the individual. Given your racial background, you have probably matured faster than someone from a northern European heritage. Middle Eastern and Latin girls tend to become women at a younger age.
However, even from the few words you have written I sense that within your mind and emotions you are still very young. This is a GOOD thing. Cherish it.
I have had many clients, both men and women, who made a long term commitment to a marriage (or equivalent) when very young. I have a client right now who was fifteen when she married a man who was 32 at the time. She is now 35, and still married to him, but there are problems: he is very jealous, and she feels that she has missed out on a part of her life.
Other clients in this situation have still loved their partner, but just the same had an extra-marital affair that then threatened their family and happiness. They also said that the reason was that they gave in to an unfortunate impulse to have some fun, which they'd missed out on.
Your situation is different. You are not 15 or 16, but 18. At 23, your friend is also still young. That's not a big difference at all. The issue is, not how many years older he is, but whether you want to commit yourself to one person or not.
There is absolutely no reason against having fun with this young man. I don't know what your religious and moral attitudes are, whether sex before marriage is a possibility within your world.
If it is, just make sure you don't get pregnant. You can ensure that he knows that, whatever you do together, it is separate from a long-term commitment (which you may or may not want to get into).
If it isn't, you need to make up your mind: do you want to tie yourself to one man at this stage of your life? And if yes, this man? Remember, nowadays you can live in a long-term relationship (whether it has a marriage certificate or not) and delay children. You can still continue to study or get a job.
All this is general advice only. My guess is, if you were ready to settle down with this young man, you would have done so without questioning, without posting this request for help. If my guess is right, let him know that you are happy to enjoy his company, but your studies must come first, you can't devote more than your spare time to a romance.
Have a good life,