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March 22, 2018

Is it ok if I let my 13-year-old daughter date (non-sexually) a 30-year-old man?

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Dear AmoMama,

I am in a bit of a quandary over a very delicate situation involving my teenaged daughter. I am 37 and my husband passed away two years ago from pancreatic cancer, and I have been bringing up my daughter on my own.

A week ago my 13-year-old came to me and told me she is in love with a friend of the family, a man who had been friends with my late husband and his younger brother for years and has been very kind and supportive to us both.

I sat down and gently explained that it is natural for young girls to develop crushes on older men, but she told me that he loves her too and has told her so.

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I immediately phoned him, expecting him to explain everything as a mistake? Instead, he told me he loves my daughter and is prepared to wait until she is 18 to have an adult relationship with her.

He has asked that I continue allowing him to take her to the movies and to her sports practice as he has until now. He has promised that his intentions are pure and he will not touch her in an inappropriate way.

My daughter has assured me that nothing improper has ever passed between them, but she is a beautiful girl, and very mature looking for her age.

I don't know what to do. If I forbid the relationship I will be taking on a battle with my child that I cannot win, and may even make it all worse. Should I allow the relationship to continue under my supervision?

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I feel betrayed by this man, who has been so close to us, almost a father substitute for my child, and has been harboring these desires and feelings. 

What can I do? He has done nothing improper, and if I act like a tyrant I lose my child. Please, can someone help me to see this clearly? 

If you need help or advice, reach out to us, and thousands of women just like you who are struggling with the difficulties of life. You are not alone, we are here for you, and we listen; so write to us anonymously using this form.

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