Amy Dickinson is the advice column for the Chatham, Ontario, paper Chatham Daily News. The other day she received the following letter from a “divorced dad”
I’ve been divorced for four years. My daughter chose to stay with me. Her friends and her school were here; she is also closer to me than her mother. She is 18 now and away at college.
She has had a close friend for three years. This friend attends college here in town. Her friend and I enjoy each other’s company. The girl just turned 18 too. My daughter suggested that I ask her friend out and said that her friend would say yes.
I said, “You’re my daughter, and she’s your friend. Wouldn’t that be weird for you?” My daughter laughed and said that she can handle it. She is mature for her age.
I’m 44 years old. I like the girl, and I certainly find her attractive. Is she off-limits? — Divorced Dad
So what advice did Amy give?
Well first, here’s mine. Hi Divorced Dad. The answer is NO. No, no, no. You should not date your daughter’s friend, you unfettered narcissist. That’s really great that you like “the girl” but you know what’s not in any way appropriate or considerate? Dating an 18-year-old girl that your daughter is friends with. Of course, Amy said it in a nicer way, something to the effect of, “She is off-limits. Now that your daughter is in college, you and she should develop separate orbits where you can each grow and change and have differentiated private lives.”
Or, in other words, you shouldn’t date your daughter’s friend just because your daughter says it’s okay. What does your daughter know? She’s a teenager! A kid! Teenagers shouldn’t get to call the shots or decide what’s ethically or morally correct. They’re stupid, because they’re young. It sounds like this dude and his daughter have not established proper boundaries at all. Also, I really do think this is one of those “if you have to ask” kind of things. If you have to ask if your daughter’s 18-year-old friend is off-limits, well then, the answer is pretty obvious. Or, as Amy put it, “The extreme age difference isn’t necessarily morally wrong — it’s just terminally dumb.”
What do you think? [Chatham Daily News]
[Couple photo courtesy of Shutterstock]