Opinion: Grown men should not date teenagers — I said what I said
No excuses allowed. Men should not date literal children.
It's a tale as old as time, but still in 2021 we're still shouting: 'Hey, grown man. Leave that teenager alone!'
I remember being around 16 and knowing a lot of girls my age that were dating men several years older than them.
At the time I will admit I thought they were cool, but now looking back I realise how problematic relationships like that are.
I can not imagine wanting to date a teenager at my age. What would we talk about? How they did in the Junior Cert?
Teenagers are literally children, so why in the celebrity world and even in our own lives are grown men still getting a pass when they reveal they are dating girls under the age of 18?
A recent example of this is when the whole world watched as 24-year-old Tyga started a relationship with Kylie Jenner, who had just turned 16 at the time.
In fact, Tyga first met Kylie when she was only 14, when he was invited to her older sister's birthday.
We saw news of their relationship plastered all over the internet and in magazines, but more people were calling them 'couple goals' than pointing out she was a school child.
And let's not forget when a 39-year-old Jerry Seinfeld was dating 17-year-old Shoshanna Lonstein in the early 1990s.
Shoshanna was once again still attending school at the time. But still, this relationship was given a pass in the media.
Unfortunately, this kind of predatory dating behavior is not exclusive to Hollywood and it's important we teach our daughters that older men asking them out is not cool — it's creepy.
It shouldn't have to be said, but if she has a 'teen' at the end of her age and you don't, she's too young for you.
A slight age difference, if your daughter is 19 and her boyfriend is 20 is one thing, but if she's 16 and he's 29? Big red flag.
The only reason a grown man would want to date someone so much younger than them is so they can control and manipulate them and we must make our daughters aware of this.
With the advent of social media, chat rooms and dating apps, it's easier than ever for predators to groom young girls.
It's important that you keep up to date with who your child is talking to online and what apps they have on their phone.
Of course, if a teenager wants to use the internet without you knowing, they will find a way, so always keep the lines of communication open.
Let them know that if someone is ever making them uncomfortable in a conversation, or asking them to do things they feel uncomfortable with, that they can always confide in you.
As a society though, we need to stop giving these men and these kind of relationships a pass.
Teenage girls should only be dating people their own age. End of discussion.