Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Advice for a minor with a crush on a 22-year-old

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hello Carolyn:

I'm a 16-year-old who works at a coffee shop in a small town. Lately I've been working with the same guy a lot and I've started to notice my heartbeat rising before I walk in the door. He and I get along very well and have very similar ideologies. We like the same shows, games, and have similar hobbies. We end up closing a lot later than normal lately because we talk so much.

The problem is that he's 22. Normally I wouldn't be OK with such an age difference, but for some reason I really just want to ignore it. I'm really falling in love with him and I'm not so sure what to do anymore.

-- Crushing

Your "normally" impulse is the right one -- please don't ignore this age difference.


I should say specifically, don't act on these feelings, which themselves are normal and OK.

It's just that acting on them, and getting involved with Mr. 22 while you're still a minor, could land him in a statutory hellscape that no compatible tastes in shows and games could ever justify.

As the adult in this budding attraction, he is supposed to know this and keep the necessary distance, but humans being humans means it's better if both of you are respecting the invisible guardrail between you.

Bonus old-lady observations: (1) The heart palpitations and like-mindedness on shows and ideas create one of the best feelings in the whole world.


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