I would not advise her, but as long as there in not any sexual interactions, It is okay. I do think she is at risk, But as long as he is "monitored" I think it is okay. I do recommend she waits until she is at least 18, though, so she is an adult.
The legal principle here is a 16 year girl is not capable of consenting to a sex act, so that would be statutory rape.
If she is only 16 she will not say yes to sex, the sex won't happen, what they are doing is none of your business. If you want to score on a date, choose someone who is older.
Obviously the question whether a sixteen year old girl should date a twenty-six year old man is important in our day. The main threats are abusive manipulation and sex abuse. Does this particular teenager possess thinking skills requisite to make such a risk assessment? Are her morals sound? Is she responsible and mature? If questions like these are answered in the affirmative, dating should be done at home and a background check, which the man should pay for, is necessary and nonnegotiable. If the teenager and young man want a relationship, then they should understand the risks present and respect strategies employed by the young girl's parents to secure her well being. A worthy young man would applaud this and welcome every chance he could obtain to prove his benevolent intentions.
To begin with, a 26 year-old man is not so old for a 16 year-old girl. As a matter of fact, female teens tend to develop their bodies quicker than their male counterparts, so a 16 year-old girl is not a child any more but a fully grown-up woman. In that sense, there shouldn't be any fear when seeing a couple like the one posted in this question.
Furthermore, people in the past understood this physical and psychological maturity of 16-year-old girls, so for that reason parents were used to encourage their little princesses to look for a mature and wealthy man in order to marry them. This tradition hasn't changed in so many parts of the world, including in modern cities.
Finally, we are in modern times, which is supposed to be liberal and open mind. What the heck are you complaining about, then?
You said date not marry or have sex with right? If a 16 year old wanted to marry a 26 year old then that is a problem, but for all anyone should care, you can date whoever you want. In Texas, you can drive at 16. At the point where you are learning "grown up" responsibilities, you should be able to make your own decisions about dating. I'm glad, jamesgreaves, that there are people like you who sincerely care about your friends, but I think this one should be ok. She's only dating not having sex or anything. If she does than yeah you need to step in but from the information you have given me, it doesn't seem like a problem, especially since you said he is a nice guy.
I have no idea of your location but from where I live, sexual consent is 16, and hence she would legally be considered an adult when it comes down to it. Is it acceptable? That depends on culture, how responsible/mature your friend is, and likewise with the guy that she is dating. Ultimately though it is her decision and you would not be able to fight her on this except by verbal persuasion. The ideal would be to advise her to wait until she's 18 perhaps(?)
My friend is the reason I've posed this question, as she's currently in this situation! While he seems like a great guy and I've learned to accept it, I still feel uneasy about his underlying motives. She's still basically a child, as am I, and I think she's got some growing up to do!
A 16-year-old is not old enough to consent with an adult, so it is absolutely unacceptable for them to date. I don't care if the guy is nice, he will just have to wait until she is AT LEAST 18 before dating her.
Also teenagers are pretty stupid (I should know, I am one) and make risky decisions all the time, so your friend needs to think this through before having any kind of relationship with someone ten years older than her.
If 16 and 26 is Ok. How about 12 and 22. Maybe 8 and 18. Anybody think 8 and 18 is OK. If anyone is thinking it's just dating, it isn't. There is an age when it's OK for a woman to be with an adult. It's at age 18.
Usually it's creepy, but sometimes it's fine, for instance, if you know that the person isn't a pedo or a creep. If you get what I mean. But, of course, it's situational. SO there isn't a straight answer for this one I guess. Great question for this, please do more!