Age Gaps


Tina Ngo, Editor of Shark Story and Publicist

An age gap in relationships between people who are 18 years of age and older seems normal even if it’s 5 or more years, but when touching on the subject of a senior and freshmen in high school in a relationship together it may seem as weird, or even disgusting to most people. Why are extreme age gaps strange in high school, but normal once you hit 18? That’s because a 14-year-old person does not have the maturity level of an 18-year-old. Some may believe that maturity comes with age, but it does not, maturity comes with experience and when someone is 14, they have barely gone through any major experiences. Now, this does not go to say the small percentage of people who are 14 who have gone through more than enough, it’s just when 18-year-olds automatically go for people in that age category, it can come off as strange to most people. 

couple sitting on the field facing the city

When I was 14, I wanted the attention of the 16 or 17-year-olds, but now that I’m 16 and almost 17, it’s weird to even go for someone that’s a few years younger than me. Mainly it isn’t about the age gap, it’s about the lack of maturity that 14-year-olds have nowadays. Most of them, do not know where to start or where to begin with their lives, but juniors and seniors have to think about what they want to do with their lives or at least for college. Fresh out of middle school and about to be in college are two different categories and should not be associated with one another. 

I am not the only one that shares the same thoughts. Numerous seniors and juniors cannot fathom getting into a romantic relationship with someone that lacks their knowledge and experience. Also, it is essential to acknowledge that it’s illegal to have sexual relationships with a 14-year-old person while the other is 18, some may have said it ties back to how a lot of people are intrigued with the innocence of freshmen and sophomores which is predatorial

Although it is pretty common for let’s say a 24-year-old and a 30-year-old to date, that’s because there is no power struggle between one another. They are both in the real world whereas when it’s a 4 year age gap in high school, there is still a power struggle between the grades which is why I believe it’s weird and predatorial and many have too. 

Here is what some have said about the age gaps in relationships with high school students:

“I think it’s weird just because when I was a 14-year-old and these 17-year-olds were trying to gain my attention, I felt like they were targeting me because I’m young and immature and shouldn’t know any better. It made me feel like I was just an object”

“I don’t think it’s weird if it’s a 1-year age gap, but sometimes it feels off hearing that these seniors are dating freshmen and most of the time it’s a senior boy dating a freshmen girl. It feels like they are taking advantage of them.”

High school age gaps can be seen as normal, but if taken a look under the microscope it’s a power struggle between two people in different grades.