Teenage/Adult friendship

A man in his 40’s is friends with his daughter’s friend (both girls are 15). They are friends on many social network sites that his daughter isn’t a part of. The man and girl do have a lot in common and have chats and discussions that his daughter is left out of. They communicate through private messages and a weekly game night they attend (that includes her mother but not his daughter). He loves her like a daughter and treats her as such, with hugs, cuddles, “I love you”, “I miss you”, etc. His wife has expressed that she is uncomfortable with this, she feels it is inappropriate because of their ages, she feels their friendship has progressed too far and crossed boundaries that shouldn’t have been crossed. Examples: “I love you”, “I miss you”, “I hope we can see each other tomorrow” through private messaging, sitting close on the couch with her leaning on him or in the backseat of the car while on the way to game night(her mother driving).
First, what is your opinion on the friendship? Appropriate or not?
Second, what if any would be the negative or positive consequences to this girls future (emotionally, mentally, socially) in relationships if her friends dad has become a ‘best friend’?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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4 Responses to Teenage/Adult friendship

  1. Mommy Psychologist says:

    In my opinion, this relationship is completely inappropriate. Unless this man is her father or stepfather, there is not any reason that they should be spending so much time engaging in private messages and social networking sites together. Frankly, a 40 year old man does not have anything in common with a 15 year old even if they may have similar interests. If this was my child, I would put an end to the relationship immediately.

    Where is the child’s own father or father figure? Does she have one? In the majority of these instances, young girls are attracted to older men because they are missing a father figure in their life or there are significant issues with the one they have. Girls need a positive father figure in their life and if this need is not met in their own home, they will find it elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are many predators who exist out there who are eagerly waiting for girls like this to take advantage of. Part of the grooming process for sexual exploitation is to engage in making the child feel very special and loved. I would be concerned for this girl’s emotional well-being. Most likely, she really cares about this man and will defend the relationship. I would suggest getting her into counseling or connecting her with someone whom she can really trust to be able to talk about this situation.

    Also, where is her mother? Has anyone tried to talk to the mother about this relationship?

    • B says:

      In response to questions:
      Her father is not in the picture at all. He has not been a consistent part of her life since she was around 2. This man has said he feels a connection because they have similar life backgrounds. He was also abandoned by his father as a child and feels if he steps in as a father figure for this girl it will help her. They also both had problems fitting in and making friends and are ‘geeky’. She insists she feels nothing more for him than as if he is a father, he also insists he feels she is like a daughter.

      This girls mother is a part of the friendship. She supports and encourages their interaction saying she watches and knows about all of the messages sent. The game night they attend weekly includes the mother and the man’s younger son. When talked to about this friendship and his wife’s concerns she said she doesn’t believe anything is wrong and that the girl just loves him as a father figure.

      I would like to approach the man with specific possible problems that might arise because of this friendship. Whether it is misguided interest in older men or whatever.

      Thank You for answering.

      • Mommy Psychologist says:

        Hmmm….I still would view it as inappropriate, but that’s just me. I think it’s a good idea to approach the man with your concerns. You might want to let him know that it could be very confusing for the girl.

  2. Alice L says:

    I agree with Mommy Psychologist. I think the relationship is inappropriate. Even if this man is not trying to seduce the girl or create a potentially sexual relationship in the future, it is inappropriate simply on the basis that he has his OWN 15-year-old daughter who he is neglecting in order to spend time with her. I would have concerns about his own daughter as well, simply because it can be very hard to share and a father’s love and support needs to be a strong presence in the life of teenage girls especially. If this girl feels abandoned by her own father, is he really doing any good by spending time with the other girl whose real father abandoned her?

    It sounds like this man is possibly trying to ‘fix’ his past hurts by being there for this girl who has no father figure, but he’s abandoning his own relationship with his daughter in the process.

    And they can defend the relationship all they want, but fathers and father figures act inappropriately with their daughters all the time. It’s terrible and sad and this girl should not have to deal with that. They may be thinking its just father-daughter, but I would be extremely cautious and watch to see if the relationship between the girl is the same as the relationship with his own daughter. If he doesn’t say the same things, interact the same ways and overall treat her like a ‘daughter’ then I would conclude that the relationship is more than that and I would end it.

    Sorry for that novel of a comment! I find teenage relationships fascinating and I am studying them in my degree right now. (BA in Child and Family Development, my minor is psychology).

    ~ Alice

    P.S. I’m so glad I found this blog! The information you provide on here is so great and I really like that you are trying to make the world a better place in your life as well as online… though I’m sure those two feel like one and the same.

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