Age dif­fer­ence com­pli­cates girl’s teenage crush on guy

The Progress-Index Weekend - - AMUSEMENTS - JEANNE PHILLIPS —Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 17-year-old girl and a ju­nior in high school. I have a crush on a guy who’s 14 and a fresh­man. I know age gaps don’t mat­ter as much later on, but the dif­fer­ence be­tween 17 and 14 can be dras­tic. ‘’Jake’’ is really sweet, and he’s as in­ter­ested in me as I am in him (un­like the boys in my grade).

I’m friends with Jake’s sis­ter ‘’Julie,’’ who’s a year older than me and a se­nior. Julie has made it clear she doesn’t like the idea of a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship be­tween Jake and me be­cause Jake is only 14.

What can I do? Should I ig­nore this crush? I have judged peo­ple who have dated de­spite age gaps. (For ex­am­ple, a se­nior boy dat­ing a sopho­more girl.) But now I un­der­stand it. If the girl is older, does that com­pli­cate things?

I don’t want to be seen as creepy or gross, but, to be hon­est, I’m not that ex­pe­ri­enced ro­man­ti­cally or so­cially my­self. (I have never even been to a real party.) Must I for­get my feel­ings and move on, or do I talk to Julie and try to pur­sue this? — TEEN CRUSH

DEAR TEEN CRUSH: Julie has al­ready given you her an­swer. As you have pointed out, there is a bias against dat­ing some­one so much younger, and it could cause you prob­lems not only with your peers, but also with the law if your re­la­tion­ship were to be­come sex­ual when you turn 18. That’s why I’m sug­gest­ing you turn your ro­man­tic in­ter­ests else­where. When you’re BOTH adults, if you’re still in­ter­ested, you can pur­sue a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship then.

DEAR ABBY: My fi­ance and I are be­ing mar­ried in a few days. We are ex­pect­ing our first child a few days af­ter that. The prob­lem is my mother. We de­cided on a small cer­e­mony, but my mother is op­posed to the mar­riage be­cause she doesn’t like the idea of me mar­ry­ing — not just my fi­ance, but any­one. She has al­ways told me a man will leave me des­ti­tute, preg­nant with too many kids, and I won’t be able to take care of my­self. She has re­peated it since I was about 10.

Be­cause she has threat­ened to ob­ject at the cer­e­mony, we de­cided not to in­vite her. We have in­vited his par­ents and my fa­ther and step­mother. Mom has said she will not al­low my child to see her grand­fa­ther be­cause ‘’he is a bad per­son.’’ She may have good in­ten­tions, but dic­tat­ing who can be around my child is not her choice, con­sid­er­ing she has had lit­tle to no con­tact with him in 25 years.

I wish she could be at our wed­ding, but she has now dis­tanced her­self from me and my fi­ance. Should I let her cool off and hope she comes around, or ac­cept that this is the path she has cho­sen? Please ad­vise, Abby. — PROB­LEM MOTHER IN KEN­TUCKY

DEAR PROB­LEM MOTHER: Your mother may be anti-mar­riage be­cause hers failed spec­tac­u­larly. She ap­pears to be a trou­bled woman. By all means, let her cool off, but do not al­low her to dic­tate your life. If she does, her anger and bit­ter­ness could neg­a­tively af­fect your mar­riage.

DEAR VET­ER­ANS: For your ser­vice to our na­tion, I salute you. My thanks to each of you, as well as to the brave men and women still on ac­tive duty, some of whom are in harm’s way. You are the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of pa­tri­o­tism and self-sac­ri­fice for your ded­i­ca­tion to our coun­try. I would also like to rec­og­nize your fam­i­lies for the sac­ri­fices they, too, have made. — Love, ABBY

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