I’m 16 and live at home with my mother and father. My four older sisters have all left home. Some are married and some should be.
My problem is that my parents refuse to allow me to date until I’m 16 and a half years old. That’s three months away, but it seems like an eternity. The reason I’m upset is that a super guy has asked me out to a school dance and I had to tell him no. My parents refused to budge. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I wasn’t old enough to go out with him, but that in 90 days I would be.
My parents had the same rule for my sisters. Two are happily married, one is divorced and the other is in college. None of them could date until they were exactly 16 and a half, and not a minute sooner.
I’m a very good student, attend Sunday school and don’t do drugs, alcohol or tobacco. I’m also responsible, mature and very dependable. I know you can’t help me, but I’d like your comments, please.
— Nameless, Orlando, Fla.
Nameless: I’m on your side! I’ve always believed that parents should allow a child to date based on his or her maturity and trustworthiness, not age. Since you have those qualities in abundance, I would urge Mom and Dad to show some flexibility and let you go to the dance.
I say this with all due respect. Your parents have raised five daughters, which is no small accomplishment, and they deserve our applause. Indeed, by trusting you to start dating now, they will be acknowledging a great job in raising you.
Dr. Wallace: I’ve been reading your column for quite some time and I know you encourage young girls not to date older guys. Because of this, I hesitated to write to you because I’m almost positive of your reply. But curiosity got the best of me.
I’m 20 and have always dated younger girls. I met Julie a year ago at a basketball game. She was with her parents, but she was sitting next to me. I was immediately attracted to her, so just before the game ended I asked her for her telephone number and she gave it to me. I called her and asked her out, but was surprised when she said that her parents didn’t allow her to date yet. I was afraid to ask her how old she was, but I got the courage to do it. She said she was 13. I was 19 at the time.
Last week I called her again and she said she was allowed to date now (she’s 14). I asked her out and she said yes. She then asked me my age and, to make sure she went out with me, I said 17. She said that I had to meet her parents before the date. Now I’m starting to get a bit concerned. I eventually intend to tell her that I’m 20, but not until I get to know her better.
I know you disapprove of 25-year-olds dating 13-year-olds, but how about a 20-year-old dating a 14-year-old?
— Nameless, Henderson, Nev.
Nameless: Sorry, but this girl is too young for you. The fact that you had to lie about your age proves that you know this. Do you think you can get away with the lie both to her and her parents?
Dishonesty is a terrible foundation for a relationship, even one that lasts only a single date. I urge you to start dating young women in your own age group. That is if they would go out with you. Is it possible that they will not, and that’s why you are trying to impress younger girls?
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