Maybe you’re a freshman girl, and you have a crush on a senior guy.
Or maybe you’re the senior guy, wondering if it’s ok to pursue a freshman girl who you’re pretty sure likes you.
Is it creepy for a college freshman to date a high school senior?
It’s commonly said that “age is just a number” when talking about relationships, and, to a large extent, that is true.
Look at all the celebrities dating and marrying partners who are several decades older or younger than them.
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Age isn’t necessarily an indicator of maturity or intelligence.
What it does mean, however, is that one party will have more life experience than the other will.
Does that mean that freshmen should not get involved with seniors because they have less life experience? Nope.
What it does mean is that there are several things to keep in mind, if you do end up pursuing such a relationship.
It’s OK to Feel Uncomfortable When Dating Someone Older or Younger
Whether you are an older or younger partner, it’s extremely important to be aware of this.
Being uncomfortable doesn’t mean that anyone has done anything wrong; it just means that you or he or she might not be ready for some aspect of dating yet, and that is fine.
When You are Dating a High School Senior
If you are the older person in the relationship, always be vigilant about how your partner is feeling.
If anything you are doing makes them uncomfortable, stop immediately.
They might tell you if there is something that they are uncomfortable with but you still have to look for unspoken cues as well and assure your partner that it’s ok if they want to stop or don’t want to do something.
Never, ever, pressure them into doing anything with you; anything that they haven’t done before should be done because both of you want it, not because you pushed them into it before they were ready.
They should be able to grow at their own pace.
An age disparity in a relationship can create a skewed power dynamic, where the younger partner always depends on the older one simply because they are older.
This is not loving, or healthy; a relationship is a partnership and is not one-sided in any way.
The best way to avoid this is simply to talk, to let them know that it’s ok for them to voice their concerns.
When You are Dating a Freshman
If you are the younger person in the relationship, know that it’s ok to voice your concerns, and it’s ok to say no.
No is not a rejection, it’s simply acknowledging that you aren’t ready for something, or don’t want something right now.
Saying no isn’t something you have to do beforehand, either; you can say no at any point if you’re feeling uncomfortable, or maybe you thought you were ready but you weren’t.
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Meet Their Parents
When you are young, spending time around your parents may seem like a drag, but it is a very important step if you’re still in high school.
After all, you both still live with them.
Introducing your new boyfriend/girlfriend to your parents, and meeting theirs, means that you won’t be sneaking behind your parents’ backs to meet up.
Relationships based on sneaking around are the ones that can devolve into drinking and partying and spiral your life out of control.
If you meet their parents, and they meet yours, then they can help you make safe boundaries.
Even in college, when you’re not living with them anymore, introducing your new beau to your parents can be important.
Just as the older party has more life experience, so do your parents have more experience than both of you do, and they might identify red flags that you have missed.
Check Your Local Laws About Dating Minors
This is one more thing that cannot be neglected – you must determine what the laws are in your state!
Most states have some sort of “Romeo and Juliet” law, which allows adolescents of a certain age to sleep together before their age of consent if the other party is within a certain age of them.
Some states are much less compromising, however.
Whether you and your partner think you’re ready for physical intimacy or not, make sure you understand the legality of the situation.