My 19-Year-Old Daughter Is Dating a Much Older Man, and Her Father and I Are Concerned

To put this into perspective, my daughter’s boyfriend is 42, making him 23 years older than her. For context, my husband and I are 47 and 46. They’ve been dating for over six months, having met just before she turned 19. We had our suspicions that she was seeing someone, but she’s always been very private about her relationships, so we gave her space.

She’s had four relationships with guys her age that we know of, but she never snuck out or lied about where she was going, so we suspect there were more that she didn’t tell us about. Apparently, he isn’t the first older man she’s dated, but she reassured us that she was 18 or older for all of them.

My husband and I are quite uncomfortable with this situation and are unsure how to proceed. We plan to have another conversation with her and are debating whether or not we should meet him. She’s a junior in college and still lives at home, but we understand she’s an adult. Above all, we want her to be safe.

What she’s told us about him (though we can’t be sure she’s telling the complete truth):

– He’s divorced but has no children.– They met online.– He appears not to be a bum. He’s a business owner and seems to do well financially. She has only given us his first name, so we can’t verify anything.– He has no criminal record.– He’s not interested in marriage and doesn’t want kids.

She claims she’s never felt creeped out or uncomfortable around him (I can’t say the same, and we haven’t even met him). According to her, he’s respectful and treats her well.

We are torn about whether to meet him. On one hand, it might be good to get a feel for what he’s like in person. On the other hand, it would certainly be uncomfortable and awkward for everyone involved. They have no plans to escalate the relationship (no moving in together and no marriage), but if they stay together for at least another year, they might meet at her graduation, making the meeting practically inevitable.

We’re not sure what else we should do or ask. Maybe the best route is to let it be while keeping an open, safe space for her if she needs it, hoping she will come to us if there’s an issue. We appreciate any advice, experiences, or further questions you might have.


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