Originally created 01/03/06

Friends' opinions are out of concern

THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: I'm a junior in high school and enjoying life as a teenager. I'm currently talking to a wonderful girl, whom I like very much. I care for her tremendously. I think that our relationship is very valuable, although my friends think she is too young for me. She is 14, only a few years younger than me. Her parents approve of us, as do mine. What should I do?

Xtreme REPORTER KAMILLE BOSTiCK SAYS: It's good that you and this younger girl have your parents' approval to be in a relationship. The fact that you are being open and honest with the adults in your life should be commended.

At the same time, parental approval, or anyone's approval, doesn't mean that others can't disapprove. Your friends have every right to think this girl is too young for you. It's their opinion. Just as you don't have to think their point of view makes sense, they don't have to think it doesn't.

You asked what you can do: I suggest to just be careful. You and your girlfriend's ages do present a legal problem with consent and maturity, but if the two of you remain aware of these things and how they can affect your relationship, then you should be OK.

Also, don't overthink your friends' objections. They are just being concerned about you. The sign of good friends is that they won't be afraid to warn you about the potential pitfalls you face, even when it concerns a "wonderful girl, whom (you) like very much."

Truly, you don't have to listen to your friends or be swayed by their thoughts, but think about why these people would want to let you know these things. Given the way things are, I think you will find they are not being malicious or trying to rain on your parade as much as they are trying to make sure you don't end up in a situation that you will wish someone had cautioned you about.

Consider their thoughts duly noted and tell them you've heard their take on the situation. After that, leave the rest for time to work out.


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