There are representative studies for that? My relationship with my wife lasted 16 years and produced 3 lovely children. My 2 cents. Pete Pete 2 2. But if not, I think the above will put both you and your daughter in a better position to navigate any troubles that might come up, together.
A 17 year old, dating a 26 year old. How would you guys react?
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If that's the case, they will be more compatible over the long term than either with other, more "random," people closer to their own age. So maybe soften it with clarification, like "don't take this the wrong way, I'm just asking so that I understand what you're thinking and feeling, because I've decided that since this relationship seems to be important to you, I want to fully understand where that's coming from". If anyone is thinking it's just dating, it isn't.