Is it “Weird” or Wrong for a 35-Year-Old Man to Date an 18-Year-Old?

Age gaps in dating have always drawn attention in Hollywood and real life. Male celebrities have been criticized for dating girls half their age (we’re looking at you, Leo).

After hearing some disturbing news about his friend’s latest love interest, one social media user reached out online to get advice—and decide if it was time to cut ties.

The Concerned Post

“Is it weird that my thirty-five-year-old friend is waiting for a girl to turn eighteen so he can ask her out?” The original poster (OP) started off his post.

OP’s friend approached one day and confessed that he had taken an interest in someone new. When OP asked for details, his friend told him it was a coworker. The friend then admitted he was waiting for the girl to turn eighteen (and thus be considered a legal adult) because he wanted to ask her out.

“I was immediately grossed out,” OP shared. He told his friend how disgusted he felt and called the behavior out for being predatory.

OP did not expect the response that followed.

His friend merely laughed and said, “A true gentleman waits until they are eighteen.”

OP’s friend genuinely saw nothing wrong or weird about the situation. The next opportunity at work, his friend asked the girl for her number. She told him she would provide it once she turned eighteen.

He Fancied Her And Approached Her Before It Was Even Legal

“I’m stuck on the fact that he asked a seventeen-year-old for their number anyway. What if she wouldn’t have declined?”

OP also told readers that his friend found the girl’s Facebook profile. There, his friend downloaded and saved images of the seventeen-year-old to send to their social circle.

His Dating History Was Questionable

It was at this point that OP discovered that his friend had a relationship a few years back with a girl who was also “freshly eighteen”.

OP felt confused and disturbed by this information. “This all grosses me out, and I don’t want to be his friend anymore. But I also don’t know if I’m overreacting.”

Social Media Users Responded to The Post

Users immediately affirmed OP’s reaction. They, too, felt the behavior was abnormal, unhealthy, and a red flag.

“Have you ever been 35 [or older] and spent time around 17–18-year-olds?” One commenter asked. “It’s… exhausting. I can’t imagine any 35 [year old] being able to relate and date a 17–18-year-old unless they just wanted to have s*x with young women or because there was something so fundamentally wrong with them that women their age wanted nothing to do with them. Creepshow.”

Stay Away From Your Friend

A schoolteacher emphasized the lack of maturity at that age, “They are kids… They’re naïve and easy to manipulate,” adding that OP’s friend had “nothing to be proud of.”

One user in their thirties confirmed this stance, “I am 33 and view 18-year-olds as children. I don’t see how you could possibly have a romantic interest in someone fresh out of high school at this age. Yes, your friend is a creep, and I’d stop being friends with him.”

The Described His Actions as Creepy and Predatory

A different user speculated that OP’s friend would likely date even younger, comparing him to minimum-wage employers, “They’d be going lower if it were legal. Creepy and predatory. I think it would even classify as grooming since he’s approached her as a minor and made advances.”

Many agreed with this assessment, calling the “a true gentleman waits until they are eighteen” line particularly egregious.

One user mentioned the social media stalking, saying: “The saving her Facebook pictures to his phone? That is horrific. This man is a bad person, plain and simple.”

READ NEXT: He Asked About His Wife’s “Crazy” College Story and Got Very Upset When He Heard It. Who Was in the Wrong?

A commenter provided insight into the seventeen-year-old’s perspective. “I have a friend who was in the girl’s shoes… she was 17 and he was 30… They had s*x. They also dated for a bit. My friend, now much older, looks back at this as a sort of trauma. She feels completely taken advantage of. She was young and vulnerable, going through mental health problems, barely knew the real world, didn’t know how to deal with grown men yet, etc.”

A father expressed his disgust, telling OP “I’m 38 with a 14-year-old kid. This would be like me wanting to date his friends. It’s creepy and predatory. Besides that, what would I have in common with these kids? Not much. We can’t exactly discuss life experiences, and [I] refer to them as “kids” for a reason.” Other parents shared similar views. One parent added, “Agreed, creepy. I’m 38 as well, and my kid will be 18 in a few months. They don’t even know what they want in life at that point, and their [only] life experience is high school.”

As cultures shift and evolve, understanding of age gaps will continue to be debated—such as whether legal age makes a near-twenty-year gap okay or if it should be condemned regardless.

This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.


I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!

Leave a Comment