Would You Allow Your 15-Year-Old Daughter to Date a 20-Year-Old Guy?

If you are Billy Ray Cyrus not only do you give your daughter your blessing on the relationship, but you also pat yourself on the back for setting her up.

Fifteen-year-old tween sensation Miley Cyrus may be staying mum on the exact status of her relationship with 20-year-old “guy pal” Justin Gaston, but her self-proclaimed protective pop Billy Ray had no problem flapping his lips on TV’s “Access Hollywood” earlier this week.

The “Achy Breaky Heart” singer spoke to reporters at his daughter’s early Sweet 16 birthday blow out at Disneyland Sunday night (her actual birthday is November 23rd) and confirmed the link between Miley and Justin.

In fact, in a move that would make most teenage girls cringe Billy Ray announced to the world that he actually considered his daughter’s relationship with her 20-year-old beau “a good thing.”

You have to wonder if Billy Ray will be using those same words to describe the relationship when his daughter ends up like Jamie Lynn Spears.

I mean c’mon how many dads, moms, grandparents, or legal guardians do you know that would describe the relationship between a 15-year-old girl and a 20-year-old guy as a “good thing?”

I remember dating (if you can call seeing a movie with someone on two different occasions “dating”) an 18-year-old guy when I was 15. My father went through the roof. Said “boy” graduated valedictorian from my high school, was entering Stanford University, and by all accounts was an upstanding individual. Heck, his father was my mom’s obstetrician who had delivered my youngest brother. But I digress. The fact is the guy had a clean record and I was just thrilled to be “dating” someone who had a driver’s license and his own car. Alas, our summer romance lasted all of two weeks before my father had a “little talk” with that son-of-an-obstetrician and I never saw him or his Honda Accord again.

My point is that my dad would never consider allowing his 15-year-old daughter to roll solo with an 18-year-old male, let alone a 20-year-old one. Yet Billy Ray appears to have no problem doing so with his teen “angel.” In fact, as the singer tells it he was the one who set them up.

“Justin’s a good friend. A good friend of the family,” Billy Ray told reporters. “I met Justin as I was hosting Nashville Star and I introduced the two of them. He’s a good kid. Great heart. Lives for the light and he’s very talented.”

And Billy Ray’s praise for his future (maybe) son-in-law didn’t stop there. The crooner went on to blab about how much he and Justin have in common:

“He actually reminds me a lot of myself when I was 20 years old and I was living and searching for the dream,” Billy Ray dished. “He’s got a great heart and soul, and a lot of determination. I think that’s the true measure of a man, is when you measure his heart.”

Funny, I thought the true measure of a man was waiting for a girl to become of legal age before asking her out.

Others might disagree and try to rationalize the relationship by citing Miley’s “maturity” and how she is nothing like “other” girls her age because she grew up in the limelight and is a major star, yada, yada.

She’s 15, people. He’s 20. Enough said.

I should note that after the “Access Hollywood” interview aired all parties denied that Justin is currently romancing the underage star. We’ll have to see what transpires after November 23rd.

So, would you allow your 15-year-old daughter to date a 20-year-old guy?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.