My Boyfriend is 36, and I’m 18: Is Our Relationship Wrong?

Julia has been dating her mom’s ex-boyfriend for 2 years, starting when she was 16 and he was 34.

She's Dating Her Mom's Ex-Boyfriend

JULIA'S QUESTION:

Julia: I am currently seeing my mom’s ex-boyfriend. And he is 36 and I’m 18.

Dawson: This has been going on for 2 years?

Julia: Yep.

Dawson: So, it started when you were 16?

Julia: Yeah, and he was seeing my mom for six years before that.

Dawson: Oh my gosh, good thing they didn't catch up with you when you were 16. So, how can I help you?

Julia: I obviously can't talk to anyone about this. I don't think I should be proud of it. But I want to know if what I'm doing is wrong? If I'm happy seeing him and he loves me, and I love him. I was wondering what you were thinking about it. Do you think this is wrong?

Dawson: I would question the integrity of a 34-year-old man having a relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

Julia: Yes, that's what I thought too, but I feel like there comes a time where age doesn't matter.

DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:

Dawson: I'm wondering what kind of man he was at 34 when you were 16, and there wasn't a level playing field and he was messing with you. I don't know this man, but I don't feel good about him.

Julia: And that's why I've always been hesitant towards the whole situation only because he's been a part of my life. He was a father figure to me.

Dawson: Did he have sex with you?

Julia: I wouldn't until I was 17.

Dawson: So, at 17 you were legal?

Julia: Yep.

Dawson: He could have been grooming you for a year, just waiting for you to turn legal.

Julia: Yeah.

Dawson: Okay, so I have pause about him, and so do you. You were so young, and he just shaped, well, he groomed you is the cruel phrase. He prepared you. He manipulated you. And now you're still at 18, which isn't all that far from 16, but you're still trying to figure out – does he love me? Is he a father figure? There’s confusion here.

Julia: Yeah.

Dawson: Let me ask you this. How would your mother feel if she found out about this?

Julia: My mom is my best friend. And that's why I'm scared to death about the whole situation.

Dawson: It wouldn't appear to be true. I'm not saying you're a liar. But what you're saying does not ring true to me because…

Julia: What you're going to say is, if my mom was my best friend, how could I do this to her?

Dawson: That's what I was going to say. Yeah.

Julia: I know. And you don't think I thought about that every day too?

Dawson: I think you have. When I'm saying direct things, it's not that I'm mad at you. I'm just trying…this is hard for me to sort through. So, I'm taking it slow and making sure I've sorted through the issues here. Because your actions, as my mama used to say, speak louder than your words. Now, if you were your mom, would you want to know?

Julia: I would want to know, and I would have the man arrested. I would do something - I would not allow my daughter to do this.

Dawson: So, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, said Jesus. If you would want to know, then don't you think you would treat your mom the same way and tell her?

Julia: Would you think it'd be better for me to just enjoy my college life and find someone closer in age? Or do you think I should just tell my mom?

Dawson: I think both. Good talking to you, Julia. Thanks for your call.

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