How old is old enough?

Post length: 280 words, just over 1 minute.

How old is old enough to let your daughter have a boyfriend? I mean a real boyfriend, not just a silly little thing but a proper relationship.

I know you can’t control it like that, but at what age would you feel happy knowing they were spending so much time with a boy in that way? When I have children I want girls and I started wondering while on the bus (rail replacement service in fact) when I saw a young couple where the girl couldn’t have been any more than about 15.  I think when it comes down to it it’s the person who they are seeing which matters more than anything, but that aside, I can’t say I’d be really happy until older than that.

Maybe that sounds like I’m being too protective, and I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen that way, but ideally I want her to really know herself before committing to someone in that way (when I say commit I don’t mean just in the sense of forever, but when you’re that age you think you’re going to anyway, don’t you?). I think this has also been prompted a little by my trip back to Lancaster — especially going out to the student union’s nightclub (more about that later) — this weekend. The girls there aren’t really that much younger than me and 5 years really wouldn’t be a problem for me if I was dating someone, but I think if I were their father, I’d only just be able to cope even at 18.

Maybe this all actually boils down to the thing most fathers struggle with — I’d never want to let my little girl go.

Posted on Sunday 30th November, 2008 at 6:09 pm in Obiter dicta.
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