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34 yr old brother dating an 18 yr old girl?


Kris

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Just found out my younger brother who is almost 34 has recently been dating an 18 year old high school drop out who he works with.  (He makes very little money and she works part time there).  He has shitty self esteem (like me) and has not had serious relationships in the past and not dated in a long time.  I told him yesterday I was happy he was back to dating, but there were many serious red flags going off in my head.  He is giddy about this but I just see trouble...I am trying my hardest to do the ole "it's not my problem" kinda thing and back off, etc. but I swear it's all I thought of trying to get (unsuccessfully) to sleep last night. He seems to be becoming very serious about this.

What do you all think?  Is it disturbing to anyone else?

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They are two consenting, legal adults, so it is their own business, and if they are happy, I say, more power to 'em.

I don't blame you for feeling some concern, but it is not likely you will be able to accomplish anything by chalking up his new love interest to low self-esteem, except for aggravating him and frustrating yourself.  ;)

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Kris:

Your concern is justified:  he's getting serious about a young woman who didn't finish high school, is working part-time and is (I assume) still living with her folks.  At his age, most men would want a woman with the same skills/maturity/experiences that he has had.  He sounds like a little bit of arrested development.

Let's hope they're using effective birth control. 

But you're right, also, in that you can't do anything about it.  It's out of your control.  He's a grown man and she's of legal age.  I'm surprised that her parents are okay with it.

olga

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Most men of any age would want an attractive 18 year-old, and if low self-esteem on her part helps facilitate this, why not? The only problem is, most men older than their early 20s don't want 18 year-olds for actual relationships involving commitment, mutual understanding, and realistic expectations about how to forge a lasting relationship. For instance, understanding that without a high school diploma you are not economically viable in the US (generally speaking -- is she exceptionally gifted in some way that negates the need for an education?).

I don't agree that if something is legal it's none of your business. That statement sums up a lot of what is wrong with American culture. Of course it's your business. He's your family. The law is just the law of society.

All that said, sometimes big age differences work in a relationship. I wouldn't say this is always a bad idea, but when the two people involved don't have a lot of options for supporting themselves, much less each other, and their self-esteem may limit their perspectives on what options they may have in the future, I would say it is. Since you're asking for opinions.

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While I really don't think that this is a long term thing, one must somewhat turn a blind eye.

I for one, would never date someone that is that much younger, I mean what really do they have in common? A generation difference.

What is most important is whether they are happy. Not our happiness in the relationship, but theirs. He/she are the ones that have to pay the price, to enjoy the success, feel the pains.

Kris,just try and be patient with him and keep communications up. Try not to judge her on her past failures, but on her present. Who knows maybe this is the match made in heaven, not hell like so many of us have had.

later

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I don't agree that if something is legal it's none of your business. That statement sums up a lot of what is wrong with American culture.

Props to you, Jem. couldn't have said it better.

Back to the specifics:

Of course you have no power over the situation, what with the legality of it all, but it is, in all likelihood, not only a doomed situation (not so bad, maybe good) but potentially a personally dangerous one for both of them (that birth control is very, very important!).

Worse case, it is BOTH doomed and dangerous.

Problem is, people with low self esteem - as we are sure your brother has and can safely assume that the girl has as well (dropout part-time low-wager, chooses relationship with low-wage older guy with low self- esteem) are more likely to do the hare-brained premature leap to baby-making, because who will love you more unconditionally than a baby? It's a great but temprary and fragile shot to the ego, lasting only up to toddlerhood in it's purity.

I've seen this happen many times, usually to girls but sometimes the idea belongs to the man-boy, sometimes both. Sadly, I've never seen this kind of scenario play out to a good end result. I'm sure it happens, but the likelihood is slight.

In every case I've witnessed (cousins and a girl I knew in HS), the too-young and/or otherwise ill-prepared parents create yet more low-self-esteemed offspring, who continue the legacy generationally in the worst case (cousins - should talk about them sometime in the Springer Thread, approapriately) - and in the "best" case, a stressed out young single mother, struggling to bear the responsibility, the bitterness, and the premature loss of her own chance to live life and grow up naturally.

the girl I knew in HS was such a case. She was smart, pretty, petite - energetic and smiled a lot, college material- but deep down just lonely and felt unloved, I think. In tenth grade, she started talking about having a baby and getting her own place. By the next year, she was pregnant.

I lost track of her for a while but ran into her maybe 2 - 2.5 years later. she had an enormous blonde two year old boy on her hip - and no trace of that lovely smile could be found. She never smiled once while we talked - even though we used to laugh and have decent conversations at least every few days. Even the little boy did not smile so much - and if we assume that children are mirrors (I do - works with my kid), then he has probably ynever learned to smile a lot in his life. He must be about 21-22, by now - maybe already or right on the verge of repeating family history. Hope not.

She did tell me that the father, a senior at the time she got pregnant, had moved to another city with his family. I don't know if he helped her financially or not (this was back in the days where support laws were not much and rarely enforced), but it would not have mattered much in terms of her general happiness.

I still think about her sometimes, even though I haven't seen her for more than twenty years. It always makes me sad to remember the last time I saw her.

If nothing else, share this story with your brother - so that he can at least consider what he may cause for the girl - if not himself - should he either initiate or indulge such a thought as having a babay with his young girlfriend.

pigs

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"I mean what really do they have in common?"

They are intellectually compatible and have the same maturity level.

Doesn't speak well for the brother though....

When teeny-bopper girlfried DOES start to mature and grow up, she will drop him like a hot rock.

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You are all correct.  And I'm hoping that she will drop him like a hot potato.  I also pray there is no baby mistakes that happen.  This happened to my older sister who thought it was the best thing that ever happened cause she'd finally have someone to love.  Well she did, got back with the asshole who got her pregnant in the first place, the baby died (we believe shaken baby syndrome from the dad but never proven) and here she is 2 kids and 20 years later w/the same asshole guy.  Oh how wonderful life is.....I pray he learns from our mistakes even tho I know he's gotta make some himself. 

Thanks again all!

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  • 1 month later...

There are well grounded people on this site. I have to agree with all of the statements against this situation.

If the man has no serious emotional problems, but is hard up for sex, I\'d say that\'s what its about. I can\'t imagine what the 18 year old girl is thinking, but I\'ll bet her plan will not be a good thing for either of them.

These are \"off the top of my head\" statements, made without having the full picture or knowing either of these people. Might be the best thing for both of them, might be the worst. On the surface, it does not look good.

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Kris,

My sister was 19 or 20 and her husband was 33 when they started dating, but don't base any opinions on that because I hate him.  oh, did I say that out loud??  He was already married with 3 kids when he started going after my sister.  They are still married and my sis is now 38, has 3 kids of her own and he's still an asshole.

First of all, remind him about birth control!!

If I were you, I'd take a close look at what kind of person she is.  Does she treat him right?  Does she have a direction she'd like her life to take?  Plans to get her GED?  College after, maybe?  Is her goal in life to catch a man that will take care of her and give her lots of babies to love?  What does your brother want to do with the rest of his life?

Just found out my younger brother who is almost 34 has recently been dating an 18 year old high school drop out who he works with.
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Thank's Donna, he has no direction in his life - just lonliness, insecurity and is the baby of the family and imature to a degree.  All I know of this girl is that it sounds like she has absolutely no direction and apparently her family is not there for her i.e., dropping out of high school w/no attempts to get her GED/college or full time job.  At this point I try to talk very little about it (get my mom all shaken up - that's funny  :) ) and I talk to him often but not about his relationship.  My brother is a wonderful man who would make a great father - perhaps she sees this "father figure" in him, so I can defend him there - he's never married and no kids, cept for the 18 yr old he's dating  ;) Again thanks for your reply and I'll just keep sweeping this all under the carpet.  Kris.

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I think it really depends on the maturity level of the individuals.  my bf is 10 years younger than me.  My last bf of 3 years was 14 years younger. 

I am a 38 year old woman who feels, looks and acts 25.  I generally cannot relate to men my own age.

18 is an adult.  Your brother sounds immature (I don't mean it in a bad way, so am I).  It may be a good match.

Dee

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Yeah, it could be a good match.  A good baby-less match, let's hope.

If they're happy, then more power to 'em.  The situation could implode... but really, what relationship couldn't? 

I guess we have a really good graduation rate in Oregon- even the homeless people mostly have high school diplomas.  That's a random comment and not meant in any sort of judgement. 

Your brother sounds like a basically decent guy... so maybe this is a girl who sees that special part of him.  I'd try to give him the benefit of the doubt....

At the same time, though, one of my friends was 18 when she started dating a 27 year-old guy that.... well, I guess I don't hate him but I kind of do.  I have very mixed feelings about him.  Anyway, she has an abuse history and an eating disorder and low self-esteem blah blah.  And I feel like this guy has picked her out and kind of groomed her into some Stepford wife.  I really do think he cares about her and wants to take care of her.... but he is strange and does things like talk her out of counseling, etc.

But... it could be good.  Just... try to give the benefit of the doubt, but keep an eye out.  Some sort of awful balance.

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Erm.

:embarassed:

When I was 18? My boyfriend was 34. Although, admittedly, I was not a dropout. And continued on to college. And did NOT get knocked up. And was not stooopid. We were together 2 1/2 years.

We are still very close friends, David and I, in fact, we have trouble with what to call ourselves, because "friends" does little justice to our deep relationship of some 16 years and counting. The closest I've come is the jewish term "Bashert", which is something akin to "soulmate", without the western sexual connotations.

When he's cut, I bleed. That sums it up.

So in other words, the problem I think, is not age.

It's not the heat. It's the stupidity.

Drag her by force to planned parenthood and get her a Depo shot, and then let them be as stupid as they please, since the consequences will then be short term.

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Please don't tell me your name is Sarah...just a coincidence my brother's name is David.  What eventually happend to your relationship?  I really just pray (when/if they become intimate), that they are careful.  Found out last night her mom was 18 when she got married to her dad case she was preg.  Hmm, apple doesn't fall to far from the tree - which is why I'm totally screwed up cause of my mom.

Great thanks to everyone who responded!  Certainly helps to get many different perspectives!!

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Nope, not Sarah...besides, as I write this, I myself am 34.

And as I said, we did eventually break up (painful, but mostly amicable), and remian very close friends to this day.

It's not the age, its the people involved.

It's likely she's an idiot. I was at that age. So were you. But it's not neccesarily fatal.

Like I said. Buy her a depo shot. By force, if needed.

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Yes you are right - I was an idiot myself at 18.  Actually I was still an idiot at 21 and 23 when I married my husband.  18 years later I don't regret what I did, but constantly question my decision and know I could have done much better.  I really do appreciate your expertice.  Hopefully it won't be a long lasting relationship and God forbid she chooses the path her mom took and gets herself preg.  Kris.

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  • 1 month later...

While my parents did NOT approve, my first true boyfriend was 34 and I was 16. Kinda illegal. Anyway, I dumped him because he was getting controlling and I feared violence. Let's hope they're both safe from harm and unwanted pregnancy.

I'm 27 and in my dating career have gone out with guys ranging (in my adult life) from 20-51. My last boyfriend was 48 and my new one is 23.

What can I say? They all have their charms. Older men and younger ones- I just love guys.

Perhaps she is in this same catagory, where she just finds hotness in older men. And what guy wouldn't want to date a cute younger girl, even one with a crappy start in adult life? He probably is thinking with one head and not the other, or the rush of infatuation is so strong he can't help it.

Look at it as a kind of MI on his part. The MI of infatuation can be all it takes.

Loony for you

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Loony, you're funny.  Thanks for the resp.  He's still dating her and I'm almost "over it".  I haven't met her yet but know it will be soon, guess I'll just have to treat her like one of my kids since my oldest is 16, almost 17 and my brother's gf won't be 19 til aft. that.  Ewwwww.  They bought a puppy together recently, aww, isen't that nice.  My Mom still can't let it go, has pretty much rejected him (a trait she does to all of us - it's part of my MI), and goes with the theory that he has brought "shame" to the family. 

Thanks for fucking us up some more Mom!  Family.....

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