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If we don't have sex, is underage dating OK?


Dear Jailbait – I mean Sparky:

You ask a very difficult but very important question. I'm sure that there are many other girls who are in the same or similar situation right now.

A Teen Year Is Like a Decade

Here is the bottom line:

Charlie I disagree – it depends on the 19 year old.

The distance between age 15 and 19 is much greater than only four years. In other words, when you are 25, it will not seem as significant to date someone four years older that yourself. But in the teen years, each year is like a decade, or so it seems. I know that this is probably difficult for you to see and accept right now and I appreciate that.

The stretch from 15 to 19 does not seem like a lot of time to you, but in many ways it is.

My 19-Year Old Boyfriend

When I was 15, I dated someone who was 19 and it didn't seem to be a big deal to me. Now I can see that it was a VERY big deal. Why? Well, his needs were very different than mine due to the age difference and our life experiences. I couldn't see it at the time, but I saw it many years later and saw it very clearly.

Jeans and Hormones

Naturally, you can have a caring relationship at your age. The feelings you are having are very real and very powerful. However, boys at 19 are being run by a flood of hormones and it may be difficult for Jean to keep his desires, well -- in his jeans. Even with good intentions, you are proposing a difficult set of rules for him to abide by.

His Needs

If Jean is not comfortable seeing you on a romantic playing field only, try to accept his position on this and realize he is looking out for your own good as well as his own needs. It doesn't mean he doesn't care and this doesn't mean you can stop your feelings for him at will.

It's Legal With Your Parents' Permission

Reader Tigger I disagree – not everyone can tell their parents.

If he DOES want to continue to see you, consider the following very carefully. It is not illegal for you two to see each other with your parent's permission, but Jean will have to be very mature where you two are concerned. I urge you to sit down and talk about this with him and try (although I know its difficult sometimes) to talk to your parents about this dilemma. If you can't talk to one of your parents, try to seek out the counsel of a teacher at school.

Never Sneak Around

If there are some reasonable ground rules, perhaps there is a solution to you two seeing each other. It is never a good idea to sneak around. Someone is going to get hurt, and it is probably going to be you and/or your parents. It is not worth the risk. Keep everything out in the open and "talk amongst yourselves" as they say on Saturday Night Live. You'll be glad you did.

Keep us posted on how things transpire.

Miss Kitty


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