This post is for older women dating or planning to date a young girl.
(By “older women” I mean usually around 25 or older, and by “young girl” I mean usually around 21 or younger – although it’s entirely possible for someone above 21 to still think and act immaturely and thus could be called an adolescent.)
The most sensible advice would be to not date an adolescent, of course, but this relationship dynamic is so captivating and exciting that I doubt you’d be able to help yourself if it happened to you. To mitigate the damage, I have some ideas.
edit: To be more specific, this post is for older women who are being pursued by younger girls. In other words, you’re attracted, but it’s her idea. If it was your idea, what’s wrong with you? Stop it.
also, obviously there’s a natural filter for the type of girl that pursues older women. I can’t say exactly what kind of girl this would be, but definitely different and more intense than others her own age.
As a culture, we have some pretty hard-and-fast rules about what you should and shouldn’t do with adults and children. It’s mostly to do with precluding the possibility of abuse, because actions that are abusive for a child may not be abusive for an adult, and actions that are abusive for an adult may not be abusive for a child.
For example, if you lived with an adult and you told her that she is never to leave the house without your permission, that’s abuse. However, if you lived with a child and you told her that she can go out and stay out whenever she damn well pleases, including the middle of the night, that’s abuse.
The difference is that an adult knows how to take care of herself and should be allowed to do what she wants. A child does not know how to take care of herself, and thus needs to be controlled. “Don’t cut class. Eat your vegetables. Put that whiskey down.”
The trouble with adolescents is that they’re neither child nor adult, and it becomes hard to know what is and isn’t abuse. Should you let your adolescent girlfriend cut class to have sex with you? Should you force her to drink her meds when she doesn’t want to? Should you make her stop hanging out with those creeps that clearly just want to take advantage of her? For an adult to date an adolescent is much more difficult than for adults to date each other, or adolescents to date each other.
The first step is to maybe not date an adolescent, which I already said and you haven’t stopped reading, so you probably want to know my advice. Fine. Okay. Let’s see. This is really hard.
Since you insist on dating an adolescent, the real first step now is to assess your own identity. Do you know what you can and can’t compromise about? Do you know the limits of how much you can allow this relationship to influence your life? Take stock of your current situation, especially concerning family and your professional life: is there a specific career track that you’re on? To what extent can you allow this relationship to derail your progress? If the answer is that there isn’t any room for deviation from your plans, see the other first step again: Don’t date an adolescent.
Why? Because to an adolescent, everything is immediate. They’re wired that way. Everything is new, everything has massive importance. Every slight needs to be addressed NOW. They’re like newborn babies who don’t understand that you have a big presentation on which rests your next promotion, and needs a nappy change / bottle / hug and burp NOW. Except what they need is emotional reassurance. They won’t do it on purpose to make you miserable, it’s the way they are.
To a newborn baby who hasn’t yet learned to go to the toilet or mix up some formula for itself, being left alone makes it feel like it’s going to DIE. An adolescent who hasn’t yet learned to give herself emotional reassurance (or hasn’t yet become so emotionally closed off as to never need reassurance) feels like she’s going to DIE if you don’t give her the reassurance she needs. There is absolutely no way to make a baby / adolescent understand that you not being able to meet their needs immediately doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. They’re literally incapable of understanding that even if you say the words to them over and over again.
“Hmm, Trinity, I don’t think all adolescents are as emotionally labile as you say.” True. But an adolescent madly in love with a sexy, older woman such as yourself is experiencing an upheaval of identity. It’s like a newborn baby being suddenly thrust into a completely new environment. New sights, new sounds, new smells – everything is unfamiliar now. (By sights and sounds and smells, of course I mean your wonderful trysts in bed together.) The baby / adolescent is going to need much more reassurance than normal.
Okay, so you’ve assessed your identity and think it’s totally fine that you get fired from your position as the executive next in line to the head of your department, because she’s really just so smart and pretty and you’ve never met anyone like her. Fine. Suit yourself.
The second step is to assess the mental health of your adolescent girlfriend. Does she have a history of depression, mania, suicidal tendencies? Is she getting help for them? If everything’s going shipshape, keep watch for signs of mental disturbance. Just Google them, don’t make me spoon-feed you everything.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to know what behavior you should and shouldn’t control when it comes to adolescents. Obviously it’s going to be different depending on your relationship dynamic, but caring for your adolescent girlfriend’s mental health is one aspect of her behavior where you should probably take control. If she’s been prescribed medication, make sure she takes it. If she says the meds suck, make sure the doctor reassesses the prescription. If she starts talking all the time about killing herself, force her to see a psychiatrist, and tell the other people who are close to her, even if she doesn’t want you to.
So now you know what to do: Be ready to endanger all other aspects of your life, and be ready to face terrifying mental health problems. And these are only the two most common – you may have a fun festival of other issues plaguing adult-adolescent relationships, such as social disapproval, alienation from your partner’s peers, disconnect of cultural tastes, unequal sex drive, etc., etc.
It almost definitely won’t last, but you’ll also almost definitely never forget this girl, and this girl will absolutely never forget you.