MICHELLE: A 22-year-old dude says he is in love with his 15-year-old neighbor. He is working but obviously she is not. Should he tell her about his feelings?

Dude, I strongly suggest not. While a seven-year age gap is not an issue these days, it is clearly a concern when the other party is a minor. I suggest that he leave the 15-year-old alone and set his sights on someone of legal age. That way, he will not encounter any problems, legal or otherwise. The legal aspect I will not discuss except to say that his actuations might later be a cause for a case of seduction. If he is really in love with her, he can wait for three more years, because if he tells her now, I think the girl will surely be flattered with the attention from an older guy but will not really understand what she is getting into.

DJ: It happens but he needs to be realistic about it. Every relationship has at least a 50-50 chance of working. But with the variables in this case, I can say with 100 percent certainty that it will fail badly if he pursues it at this time. There are too many obstacles.

This is not even about persistence. She’s under-aged. And just because a person reaches a certain age does not even mean that she’s ready for it. It is not the right time for him to do anything about his feelings for her. He needs to wait when she’s ready. She’s still young. She’s going through big changes in her life. It’s very likely that she’s still trying to figure what she wants from herself, from her life. Why complicate it even more? I suggest he leaves her alone for now.

M: This is not to say that 15-year-old girls are irresponsible, immature or ignorant about life and love but since they are young and sometimes reckless because they put too much emphasis on their feelings and emotions, they are easily swayed or influenced and are not probably concerned or aware of the consequences of their acts. It is no secret that adolescents are now sexually active. And if 22-year-old guy has a relationship with a 15-year-old, it is not impossible that they will become intimate. This may yield positive results—the girl can get pregnant. Or have a negative effect—the relationship can adversely impact the girl’s studies. At 15, the girl is just grade 10. That’s a long way to go before college.

DJ: Dating is not something to try just for fun. It serves the purpose of helping a person know the individual he or she is considering of potentially spending the rest of his or her life with. If this dude’s 15-year-old neighbor is not yet in that stage of her life, then there is no good reason to date her at this time. So why tell her? If he loves her truly, he will put her interest ahead of his. He’s the one who knows better.

M: There is a case involving a teacher who fell in love with her student, 14 years her junior. Though we will not discuss the case and its merits, the Supreme Court in its ruling had this to say: “If the two eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in their ages and academic levels, this only lends substance to the truism that the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know. But, definitely, yielding to this gentle and universal emotion is not to be so casually equated with immorality.

“The deviation of the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal pattern cannot be considered as a defiance of contemporary social mores.” There is nothing yet in this current situation with a 22-year-old dude being in love with a 15-year-old girl that is cause for alarm especially since the dude has not manifested his intentions to her. But what I’m saying is that it is better to think ahead to prevent major, major problems that may crop up with involving oneself with a minor. Court her when she is 18 and you are 25. By then, both of you will have a better grasp of life and love.

DJ: Who knows, this might be a case of having the right love at a wrong time. There is a time for everything. I’m sure things will eventually fall into place if it’s true love. I suggest that he give it a few more years and take it from there. By then it will be the right love at the right time with the right person. So keep calm, stay cool and chill!