Looking back at your teen years might not be the most uplifting thing to do. But every time I do, the second thing that makes me cringe the most is older dudes preying on me and talking about things that they certainly shouldn’t, to a non-consenting teenager. Mount Everest-high front hair puffs still remain the first. I’m glad that the adults around me cared about one of the two things at least.
That being said, younger boys and girls reading this, let me tell you how you will feel about dating older people with half a mind when you grow up. The experience will feel like a sneeze that won’t come out or a foot that has fallen asleep or food crumbs on the bed that never get cleaned. I’m all about “love is love” and I’m not an ageist and I do not hold anything against “adults” dating “adults” much younger or older to them. But you know when you are a teenager, your young, naive mind really likes to play around with you and the whole concept of getting involved with an older person just feels like a cheat code or a gateway to adulthood, because all of us wanted to grow up real bad.
And trust me the concept of growing up doesn’t turn out to be as fascinating either. If you are up for sacrificing your favorite snacks because you fear you’ll develop acidity the next day if you eat them now, then go play around with your little imagination.
I’m not criticising you or your choices and you are allowed to make your own mistakes and cringe about them in the future, but dating adults while you are a teenager is just not right, you know. I get where the idea of coolness associated with dating older people comes from – the romanticisation of abusive power dynamics and the idea of older people being more mature than the people of your own age.
Speaking about maturity, if that really were the case, why do you think they would prey on someone who’s significantly younger to them? I mean it can be because people of their age do not entertain them or something? Maybe, maybe not?
Listen up my wild, experimenting, fun loving, and shit-posting babies: child grooming is real. Paedophilia is real. Their personality, no matter how charming they are would never alter the fact that they are in fact doing something which violates the law. There’s a law setup in the first place against dating or preying on minors because it is wrong. Lawfully, morally and humanly.
It doesn’t matter if they are not involved sexually with you or if you don’t see them as often as you should, emotional and mental exploitation is still exploitation. It hits you when you are in a much physically developed state of mind or have some control over your otherwise enraged hormones, you realize that you were targeted because you were easily exploitable or you either satiated their physical or mental needs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Your insecurities and unresolved trauma gradually start to grow on you and develop a pattern where they destroy your relationships in adulthood and land you in an utter mess of self doubt. The mistakes from the past always creep their way into the future.
If an older person is trying to connect with you in a way they shouldn’t or if you feel slightly uncomfortable in the vicinity of them, reach out to someone. There’s nothing that you can’t do to stop the exploitation.