Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dating - A Note on Age Barriers

I've been feeling a bit bold lately.  Sometimes I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.  But sometimes I think my big mouth can help someone, so here I go again.  A small lesson on an issue that's been bothering me lately.

Young girls dating older men.  I mean, YOUNG GIRLS.  I read articles online and see stories on the news of girls running away with older men that they're in love with.  People who say they can give them a better life, and get them away from their parents.  Sometimes promising alcohol, drugs, parties, etc.  All very enticing to a young teenage girl or even a girl in their early twenties...  Particularly if the man is attractive and/or has money to spoil them with.

I've recently been exposed to the issue of sex trafficking in Minnesota.  After a luncheon and a bit of reading, I was astounded at the issues right here in Minnesota.  Luckily, it is a hot-button issue for our local politicians and changes are being made.

Please check out:

Breaking Free - A local non-profit making changes in the lives of survivors and people currently being trafficked.

Saving Bobbi - A short (written) series that shows in depth how sex trafficking can being and continue.

Longest Ever Sentence - And a recent local sentencing, making history using the new laws in Minnesota.

Anarae Schunk -  The awful story of a young girl "falling in love" and getting mixed up with the wrong guy, and ending up murdered.

Although not every situation ends up with sex trafficking or prostitution, the fact is, it's just not right.  There is no reason for someone under the age of twenty to be dating someone more than a few years older than themselves.  Only one end of that sort of relationship is seeing a benefit!

I know, and I learned my lesson.  When I was 16, I dated a guy who was 22 years old.  I thought he was great and we partied and had a grand ol' time.  At the age of 16, what more could I have wanted than an older guy to spoil me, party with me, and show off to?  But my friends hated him.  They knew he was not a good guy, and told me so.  I should have listened, but I was happy to have an "older guy" and didn't really care what I got myself into.

Looking back, I say, "what the hell was I thinking?!"  Thankfully, my situation did not end horribly, but I did do things I shouldn't have, things I regret, and certainly missed about on a fantastic summer of being 16 years old with my friends.

If you are a younger reader; learn from my experience.  When you're young, an older guy doesn't want to date you for the reasons you think they do.  Enjoy your time being YOUNG!  Do not be wooed by money, drugs/alcohol, or time away from your parents.  The truth is, you need your parents and your friends at that time in your life, and some "older guy" only has one person's best interest on their mind, and it's not yours.

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