“Adult-youth Friendships 1”
Dear Bearded Confidant,
Hello I'm a 17 year old guy who has a question. In January I was really depressed cause I felt so alone and had no one to turn to. Well, I met this guy online and he started chatting with me through IMs. He seemed really cool and my depression states went away. Well, he just wanted to be friends at first, but by talking on the phone/on-line we both developed feelings for one another. He and I just met yesterday for the first time. We hit it off big time! One thing though, as I said, I'm 17, and he is much older than I. He's 29 soon to be 30. But, he is not into sex or anything like that. I was wondering. Should I tell my family about me liking him? Or not? I would like to know. My friend told me "Don't ask, don't tell." I'm thinking of doing that. What would you suggest?
Dear Too Young,
It is good that the man you met is not interested in having sex with you yet. He obviously knows how dangerous it would be to be involved with a minor. However, there is approximately a 100% chance that your family will not share your faith in this man's integrity. It is neither easy nor fun to keep relationships secret, especially when you want to share your happiness with loved ones. But until you are of legal age, it would be best not to involve others who might not understand that your friendship with this man is platonic. There is no need to worry your family unnecessarily, nor to put this man in a position of being wrongfully accused of molesting you. When you turn 18, whether your friendship with this man becomes one of love and intimacy or whether you simply remain buddies, then you might consider letting your family meet him.