Maturity slaughtered by American culture
by enlite
(568 views) - 5/4/05
(recorded 5/4/05 @ 5:57:42 PM)
This is the type of title that only gets 6 views, but do read, because I talk about gross people who date idiots.

I'm tolerant of most things, but there are some issues that even I cringe at. Here's one of them:

College graduates dating highschool students.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have no qualms with age differences. I don't care if you are a 36 year old dating a 29 year old or what have you. In fact, I'm even willing to accept those 80 year old richlings who marry 28 year old wives, because that's not gross, it's psychology. No really, look it up some time - it's what people do.

But there are definate stages in life, and when people from different stages try to date each other things get messy. Most of these stages occur during the first 20 or so years of living: infancy, toddler, youth, adolescant, adult, senior... these are just labels we use but they serve an important purpose, they help define levels of maturity.

Don't get my wrong (again) - I think telling people that they're "too immature" to drink before they turn 21 is bullshit, I really do. And this magic car-driving-ability that the tooth fairy brings when you turn 16... right. But science (our friend) has proof that physical changes of the brain occur at certain stages in life, and while these don't happen overnight on your birthday, they are directly corresponding to environmental stimuli.

If you have a few minutes, you could look up growth rates in third-world African countries, and you'll find that "children" become "adults" around the age of 12. Likewise, in the ancient days kings were appointed at 20, 16 or even 8 years of age. Some could argue that they weren't ready to be king, but look at the Pharoahs and Alexander the Great and tell me that they weren't "mature" enough to handle being the ruler of their known world.

In our American culture we keep children as stupid as possible for as long as we can. We "child-proof" everything to keep them vulnerable to threats, we don't let them play dodgeball becasue we don't want them to know how to overcome negative feelings like disappointment, anger, or jealousy. In fact, the children being raised these days don't have a clue how devastating and crippling the world really is, or what to do about it. So what are they going to do when they move out of their parent's fortress-of-a-house at the age of 25?

We keep people in school until they're 18, the age at which we assume they are "mature" enough to handle adult problems, but for their entire life we haven't even let them know what those problems are. "Oh here, you're 18, get out of my house, pay rent, pay bills, pay insurance, get a job, oh wait go to college first but still do all of these things. And guess what, love sucks unless you're "one in a million" and oops you have a baby and an STD, pay those doctors, and you're bankrupt. PS: here are drugs and alcohol when you're ready, and they'll fuck you over too. "

My point is simple: not everyone is ready for real things just because they're this-many-years old. Love is a big deal, and no matter how confident a highschooler may be, I doubt she has the slightest idea what she's getting herself into. High school does not teach how to survive in the real world.

I bring this up because a good friend of mine, David Alderman (26) is engaged to a senior in high school (17). I think it's terrible, and I wouldn't feel any better if he were 23 (ahem), that's not the point. We've spent her whole life trying to keep her away from the world and before she's even hopeful of joining it some selfish dumbass picks her up and is about to ruin her life. What happens when it doesn't work out? Will she move back home? She won't have money, or a job, or the resources to get either.

I want to know what you think about this. Is it okay for someone who has earned his place in life to give in to selfishness and ruin the chances for someone else?

But what if it does work out? Well, then she can live the rest of her life with three kids and a dog, spending the days cleaning and being the type of shallow woman we've been trying to prevent for the last thirty years. Don't stand in the way of progress because your dick is too strong for reason.
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no offense to your friend but is he unable to find a girl nearer to his age? she's still a minor. I'm about her age, but I still know that that situation is bad news. I don't think it's all right for your friend to take advantage of her. she's in high school, and she has a lot ahead of her that could be ruined.

   [sound affects (J) 5/4/05 7:56 PM]

It is kind of a difficult question. I do know of a couple where the girl is 18 and the guy is in his late 20s. But it doesn't seem strange because A, they do seem to love each other. and B, it doesn't seem to be based entirely on sex.

But that is a specific case. In general, yeah, kinda wierd.
Also, dating younger girls makes it harder for guys that age to get a date. Generally not cool.

but on the other side, as long as the guy isn't a dick, is it so wrong for her wanting to live that kind of life? Granted, only a more mature 18 year old should make that kind of decision.

and as a purely athetic critique. I believe that slaughtered would work better in the title. and "your dick is too strong for reason" but those are simply an artistic difference

   [Ziabatsu (J) 5/4/05 9:29 PM]

As people get older, age differences aren't that big a deal to me. However, the difference between a 17 year old and a 26 year old is A VERY LARGE GAP. I don't care how mature she is, he's got 9 years of life experience over her.

I don't personally agree with it at all. I mean, if he wants to date her... that's iffy, but getting freaking ENGAGED is a little too far out there for me.

I hope it doesn't fuck her up for life.

Carpe Diem
   [Wildfire (J:: M) 5/5/05 11:36 AM]

The age difference matters less and less as people get older and older. My parents for example, there is 7 years between them, but they did not meet until my mom was out of highschool and almost done with her first year of college.

I think its the timeframe that people are in. If there is a 16 year old who is working full time and supporting themselves then i think that they are mature enough to make their own choices on who they date, even if they are in their mid to late 20's. However, i hardly think that a highschool student has the maturity or life experience to date someone whos 6+ years older than them. This also brings into question the morality of the 24+ person. How mature can they be if they find "love" with somoene who obseses over the prom or about their highschool graduation.... If the person who is 24+ feels like they are on the same emotional level or the same maturity level as a senior in highschool then there is something wrong. Who takes pride in being on the same level as a senior in highschool?

I wonder how someone can justify it. whoopty doo, the church says its okay... but that doesnt make it legal. How can someone hold their head high and look people in the eye knowing that they are dating someone or is engaged to a senior in highschool.

I think your friend should stop being selfish and grow the fuck up. look for people his own age and if he is not interested in people his own age then maybe there is something wrong with him.

   [Sliced Ice (J) 5/5/05 11:54 AM]

I agree with Wildfire on this one (shocking, I know)

Dating is one thing. When I turned 18, I casually dated a 23 year old for a few months, but I don't really think maturity was involved in that decision, I was just looking for some fun. Would I ever consider ever being seriously involved with someone significantly older than me? Most likely not. Even though 5-9 years isn't that much when you are both in your 50s, that's a time filled with A LOT of expereince and learning. The older person has already been through most of it and wouldn't be missing as much. I would think that the younger person would get cheated on some general life experiences without even being aware of it. Additionally, its not the maturity needed to MAKE the choice so much as it is to live with the consequences. Of course there are plenty of examples where it works out.... but there are also a lot that don't.

Then again, I can't imagine being engaged at 17. Just my thoughts.

   [Starcrossed (J) 5/5/05 5:43 PM]

So this semester, I met this really fun, loud, goofy 23 year old. She reminds me of the girls I knew my sophomore year of high school. That is, exactly like them: same mental age and everything.

There's a simple reason for her infatuation with drinking parties and obsessing over who's the tougher professor for thermo: she's a divorce. She got married when she was nice and young, and hence, never grew up. So when her husband dumped her ass (or the other way around, this particular detail isn't that important in context), she said "oh shit, what am I going to do now?" and joined her much younger sister in college. So although she has 6 years on some of her classmates, she's hardly any different.

Except that I can't think of any normal 23 year old men --who by this point will have graduated, and will be tired of sophmoric gossip and weekends spent either trashed or sleeping it off-- that would want to date her. So in this situation, perhaps dating a 19 year old would be appropriate.

In that same way, I know an 18 year old who only knows how to demonstrate the maturity of a late twentysomething. Is he possibly missing out on a good time by forgoing the weekend partying? Maybe, but he's in a different place in his life.

The point is this: The date printed on your birth certificate does not validate dating/marrying someone, whether they're the love of your life or not. What this guy (and for that matter, this girl-- are we forgetting she, although likely naive, does have the ability to say "hang on a second?") needs to consider is where both of them are in their lives. She cannot possibly understand his career concerns, and he should be wanting to support any college or other such future plans she may be wanting to pursue. Getting married will, no matter what they both think, inhibit those dreams. (Many of us can look at our own/our friends' parents for examples.)

If he truly loves her, and she is really mature enough to handle being married, they should wait long enough until they are both on the same page in life. If they really think they're going to be together for the rest of their lives, 1, 3 or 5 years, whatever it takes, should be worth it. If it doesn't seem like it is, they (and the future groom in particular) need to re-evaluate their motives.

   [surrogate sonance (J) 5/5/05 10:40 PM]

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