Annie's Mailbox: Is my girlfriend too old for me?

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Dear Annie: I've been dating "Hannah" for three months. It hasn't been easy because my parents don't approve of her, even as a friend, because she's 19 and I'm 15.

Until now, we've been great together. We talked at least three times a day, hardly ever fought and just had a great relationship. But my parents have tightened up and officially suspended me from seeing her. Mom refuses to back down. I told Hannah, and now she tells me she can't handle the distance between us and thinks we should break up. It makes me so mad because just the other day she was talking about how much she was in love with me.

Am I tying her down? Should I break up with her so she can be free? I'm sure she misses being able to flirt with anyone she wants. A 15-year-old probably is holding her back, right?

- Ball and Chain

Dear Ball and Chain: You sound pretty levelheaded for a 15-year-old, so we'll be straight with you. Hannah needs to spread her wings a bit and, more importantly, so do you. She is probably your first significant girlfriend, but everyone should have the opportunity to do some comparison shopping before settling down.

At 19, Hannah is ready for things you shouldn't have to think about for a few years, and it's unfair to both of you to be in a serious relationship at this stage. And if the relationship includes sex, there are laws that could get Hannah into serious trouble. If, in a few years, you'd like to reconnect, by all means give it a go.

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