Mwaise's feeling very conflicted, she has been getting a lot of attention from an older man, but isn't sure whether or not she wants to go out with him. Find out more about her dilemma by watching the animation above. What do you think she should do?
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Fast facts: Dating older people
Going out with an older man – or woman – might mean you get presents and taken out to nice places, but remember:
- They may expect, or demand, things in return that you don’t want to give, like sex.
- They’re likely to want to be in control, so it may be hard to have your say on using condoms.
- It’s more likely that they could be living with HIV. If you can’t agree on protection like condoms you could be putting yourself at risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infectios (STIs).
- They may be dating/having sex with other people your age at the same time, increasing the risk of passing on STIs.
- You may feel you’re ready, but their expectations could be very different to yours.
- Just because some of your friends are dating older men or women, you should still decide what’s right for you.
- ‘Blessers’ and ‘Ben 10s’ are examples of names used to talk about older men in relationships with younger women (blessers), and younger men in relationships with older women (Ben 10s). Do you have the same or similar words where you live? When you hear people being called these names, does it feel positive or negative to you?
- What do you think are some of the reasons that younger women/men might think about dating someone much older?
- If you were dating someone older than you who gave you presents and financial support, how do you think this would affect your relationship? Think about both the positive and negative things that might be a result.
- Did you know older men and women are more likely to have HIV and other STIs than younger men and women, because they have been sexually active for longer? Would this change your feelings about dating someone much older than you?
- Most age-disparate relationships, where one person is older than the other, are between people who are not married to each other. What do you think might happen to the younger person in the relationship as a result of this?