When Angela, a 19-year-old college student, starts dating Carson, a man almost eight years her senior, her mother—the Original Poster (OP)—is far from thrilled. Concerns about the age gap and parental responsibility heighten the tension between mother and daughter, culminating in a house divided. As each party takes to the internet for validation, who will emerge justified?
The Summer Friendship Begins
Angela, a 19-year-old college student, befriends a group of classmates, including a young man named Carson. They bond over lunches and study sessions. Angela keeps her mom, OP, in the loop about her social circle.
A Budding Romance
OP starts to notice Angela hanging out more often with Carson than the rest of their mutual friends. A few weeks later, Carson asks Angela out on a date. Angela is excited and admits to having had a crush on him.
Come late February, Angela begins planning for Carson’s birthday, organizing gifts, and making lunch reservations. In a casual conversation about birthday candles, Angela mentions Carson’s upcoming age. OP is shocked to learn that he is turning 26.
The Age Gap Revelation
OP is startled by the age difference, nearly an 8-year gap between Angela and Carson. She immediately voices her concerns to Angela, stating that the relationship is not appropriate given their age disparity.
Angela becomes defensive, arguing that their meeting was innocent and their feelings for each other developed before either knew the other’s age. She insists that age had never naturally come up in their conversations.
A Mother’s Assumptions
OP admits that she assumed Angela’s college friends were close in age to her daughter. She rationalizes her assumptions by noting that none of Angela’s friends looked particularly older, so she didn’t ask Carson’s age in the beginning.
Setting House Rules
OP tells Angela that as long as she lives under her parents’ roof, she is not allowed to date Carson. OP lays down the rule that Angela must cease all interactions with him outside of college.
The Daily Pickup
OP picks Angela up from college every day, which allows her to monitor who she meets after class. OP further establishes her ability to control Angela’s movements during weekends, reinforcing her expectation that she will not see Carson during this time.
Angela accuses OP of being unnecessarily cruel and controlling. She insists that her mother’s interference is beyond the scope of parental concern and enters the realm of excessive control. After all, she is an adult.
The Discussion Goes Online
Angela stumbles upon a post discussing a 7-year age gap between a 20-year-old male and a 27-year-old female. She presents it to OP as evidence against her mother’s views on age differences in relationships.
OP argues that she is merely being a vigilant parent, looking out for Angela’s best interests, even though it means imposing certain restrictions on her social life. OP believes it’s fair to have these sorts of rules if her daughter is still dependent on her.
Romance vs. Concern
Caught in the middle of her mother’s concern and her own romantic interest, Angela grapples with the limitations imposed by living under her parents’ roof. She considers ways she could afford to move out to live independently.
A House Divided
The relationship between Angela and OP grows increasingly tense, with each believing they have valid reasons for their stance on the controversial issue. Angela feels judged and restricted, while OP remains steadfast in her belief that she is safeguarding her daughter.
Was The Mother’s Behavior Appropriate?
Despite all the pushback from her daughter, OP thinks she is still right to protect her daughter. She posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “As someone who is in a wonderful relationship with an age gap larger than that, I’m not sure what your reasoning is. The only reason that you listed is that he is seven years her senior. What’s wrong with dating someone more mature?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Other than his age, is there anything you don’t like about him? Is he putting your daughter in uncomfortable situations?”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “She is old enough to make her own decisions about her love life. I assume any other possible red flags would have been in the post since you’re against it, yet none were mentioned, so I think you are being overly controlling.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “My wife and I are seven years apart, and we’ve been together 22 years. It’s not a big deal. It works well for us.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.