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Do relationships with age differences work out? Advise needed. Watch

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    First I'd like to point out that I'm a nerd, a part-time application developer and an extremely busy highschool student. All my efforts are dedicated each and everyday to studies and my job.
    With this in mind, I will explain the issue I'm facing. In simplest terms, a girl who is 5 years older than me, confessed to me.
    This happened at my workplace. I am one of those people who prefer isolation over socializing, so I have been labelled as one of the mysterious ones in the crew.
    I really don't mind her feelings for me, in fact she's really a good person. She doesn't do drugs/get drunk/is a virgin etc. The issue is the age difference and this is where things get a little bumpy, our religions.
    I am a strong catholic, she is an Islamist/Muslim. I'm pretty sure you are aware of the Islam practices when it comes to marriage. My parents too, dislike Muslims, mostly because of the current ISIS fiasco that's going around. In fact if I were to tell about this to my parents, they'd make sure I wouldn't see her nor goto the same workplace anymore.
    She's really one of the best girls I've met, I wouldn't mind getting into a relationship with her. After she confessed, I responded with 'Give me some time', she said that she'd wait. She's been through tons upon tons of troubles, she's broken but she said she'd be strong for me even.
    I've indirectly questioned her if she'd be willing to change her beliefs/religion so that she can marry me, her answer was always vague. But she did tell me 'The woman should follow the man', so I guess she's sort of willing but has second thoughts?
    I need some opinions/advise. What should I do? Should I tell her that I can't be with her? If so, how should I approach it?
    I am fully aware that some of the individuals have a repulsive opinion towards religion or find it stupid, but this is what I live by, sooo when you are typing your response count this little thing in it.
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    Firstly take a deep breath and calm yourself a little. I think you have over analysed this to such an extent, before you have dated the girl you are worrying about marriage! Put marriage and the distant future to one side and tackle the initial problem: you are 2 people from widely different cultures who would like to date each other.

    Your troubles are 2 fold: the religious divide and the age gap. I presume you are 16 or 17? She is 21/22?

    At those ages 5 years is quite a bit in terms of adult experience, but if she has been very sheltered from the world then perhaps not so much as you would expect between 2 people with western cultures.

    It depends entirely on how strict her parents are about dating and whether you are able to have a calm adult conversation with your parents about dating her.

    If you can get around the dating issue then just take it slowly with cinema type dates and stress to her that you have a high school life with all the stress that entails plus the part time job so you keep it very casual and perhaps go out once or twice a week. None of you are then “committed”to anything else or going any deeper when you are this young.

    I don’t know your entire circs of course, but a slow casual approach to dating is the way to go.
 
 
 
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