Opinions on age gaps and teacher-student relationships?

Hi guys, currently on the road to making my own story, and wanted to know your opinions on age gaps between an MC and an RO, and a teacher-student relationship. It would be a romantic relationship with the MC as the student but it’s not meant to be a sexual thing, I don’t want it to be weird in that way. For some more context the MC would be 18 but they’re coming from a previous world/life where they were in their 20s. The teacher might be late 20s, early 30s?

How would you feel about it? Any and all opinions are welcome!


Extremely not a fan, particularly of the power dynamic inherent to a student/teacher relationship. I’m in my 30s and tbh an 18 year old does not seem old enough for me to be in a relationship with. Playing the reverse would give me the heebie jeebies about the teacher.


I have got to agree with that


I mean… my first question is, does the reader get a choice whether or not they consent to this relationship in the first place or is this a mandated plot point?

I don’t know what you mean by “previous world/life”. This is where I would need context as to why they suddenly lost 2 or more years of their life and became 18 again.

Echoing @bobsmyuncle. Not a fan of this idea because of the power difference between the two individuals.


It would be optional, they would be one of a few ROs and it would take time for the RO before they agree to go for it, a bit of a slow burn thing. As for context, it’s one of those ‘person gets transported to another world’ plot types.


I’d be cautious about it. If it was something like a teacher in their late 20’s and a former student in their early 20’s who bumped into each other a year or two after they stopped being teacher and student, I could buy it. 18YO with someone 30+ though, especially with that dynamic will put off a lot of people.


The problem many have with such a relationship is the position of the teacher and that of the student.

A student is by definition, in a subordinate position to the teacher, who often has power over that student.

With an unequal relationship already established, the question then is: is this relationship actually consensual, or is it in one that the person in power (teacher) is forcing upon the other.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of landmines waiting to explode on the author when trying to establish a teacher-student relationship, and even good writers fail to successfully execute these at times.

If you do decide to do this, I suggest getting a lot of different readers to test read this romance, because you most likely will find that readers see aspects of the relationship problematic that either you failed to see yourself, or that you did not think would matter.

Edit: Please also review this thread:

This has a lot of people’s opinions already recorded on the age gap issue.


Any circular arguing or personal attacks in this thread will be grounds for moderation … if a person posts something that upsets you, flag and do not engage with that person.


I guess my big question is:

Why does the MC have to be 18 at all if they were already in their mid-20s? Is the age reversion really necessary?

Would the plot change much if, instead of RO being a teacher, they were more of a mentor? There is still that separation of experience (and you could still fit in an age gap if you wish), but the power-imblance is less severe as they wouldn’t necessarily hold any systemic/institutionalized power over the MC.

I think we (or at least I) need more info on the type of world the MC is entering, as a modern teacher-student relationship is certainly one fraught with controversy.


@Eiwynn has already summed it up the big points on this better than I could. Especially about the student-teacher dynamic. That’s a very tricky thing to write.

But to add my personal opinion on age gap romances: They don’t bother me–as long as the characters involved are consenting adults. It’s actually one of my favorite tropes in romance novels. That said, it’s difficult to find books that 1) realistically explore the issues involved, 2) and aren’t disturbingly unethical or unequal.

Basically, tread carefully.


That’s fair! It’s because I’ve planned the story to be a high school slice-of-life (I thought about making it university, but decided on high school because I wanted to cover that whole thing of like ‘feeling uncertain about the future’ and ‘if you had the chance to live life differently what would you do’), and if they were already in uni they’d have to have chosen a course of study etc. already.

There will also be fantasy elements though, which is where this RO ties in (I’d say more but I’m still puzzling out the details)


I’m all for it, sounds like an interesting situation and as a manga reader, this trope is pretty common.

Of course it still needs to be good, but I’ll definitely try the route out.


I am not a fan of it. I see this happening in real life so much that it makes me cringe—it happened to an acquaintance, and it did not end well. But then again, it just needs to be handled with taste. I’m generally open to anything (except you know, the obvious themes that are just poor taste like racism or whatnot). And some stories feels like it’s just fetishizing it which is weird…

I think for a college scenario, it could be better. I remember this story where the MC can choose to have a crush on their professor, but their route is just the MC pining over them but controlling themselves lest they want the professor to be fired. It doesn’t happen until after he graduated. It sounds iffy, but it really was handled with taste.

So uh, sure. If it’s handled well, then I’d be open to it.


Can I just say I’m not a fan of general teacher-student relationships? Not only does it fall on borderline pedophilia in some cases, but, like it’s your teacher, man. They’re like your parents. Sometimes they’re your parents, all but in name. It kind of feels wrong to me.

That being said, if it’s portrayed really well, then sure, I’ll give it a go. Probably.

One thing you can do is that you can have the relationship start after the MC graduates. It would be a bit iffy with some people, but that could work.

As @rose-court suggested, you could change it to a mentor-disciple dynamic? Most of us would be okay with that, I think. It would reduce the amount of potential complaints you could get from readers.

I’m more open to romances between characters of different ages though, if the characters in question are of proper age. It could be an interesting thing to read, if tackled properly. Just…no extreme cases, please.

All of this is just my personal view on the matter though.


I’m a BIG fan of both!
Age gaps are severely needed as only young hotties usually are RO’s which is… Boring, to say the least.
The student-teacher is also something I would very like (But most CoG fans might not, as most (that I’ve seen) seem to think that what is okay in a game, is okay in real life). Of course, the relationship shouldn’t be forced because nobody likes that, but having the option would be awesome!
I have a lot of fantasies, ideas, etc that I know is only meant for games, novels, etc and not real life, which is exactly why the SHOULD be in games, novels, etc :slight_smile:


like what other people have said… tread very carefully, especially if you’re planning to make the MC a high schooler.
i’m not super knowledgable about the american school system but a senior is just 18 right? that’s practically still a child, and if your teacher character is in their late 20s early 30s, that looks…iffy :sweat_smile: bordering a bit too much on the “barely legal” thing you see in a lot of media. just… be careful, if it’s possible to change the dynamic without sacrificing your visions, like other people have already suggested, i would probably recommend that :slight_smile:


I don’t mind. It’s something that shouldn’t happen in real life, so fiction is a great place to explore it. I mean, people love games about war and killing, even though I doubt they’d want that in real life, so why is a student-teacher relationship in a game such a no-no?


It’s not my fictional trope of choice and not a path I would explore, but it’s not necessarily a deal breaker (when optional) in the same way that plenty of IF games give the option to kill people, rob places, etc.

This explains the moral issue of student/teacher relationships perfectly. Statutory rape/sexual abuse of a minor, student/teacher relationships, and age-gap relationships are all separate issues that people tend to conflate in these discussions because they often overlap. I say this because it means you will never be able to scrub out the problems with a student/teacher relationship and quite frankly I recommend you don’t try to do so.

The people who do like forbidden relationship tropes in fiction usually like them because they get a thrill out of the relationship being a problem so over-sanitizing it tends to not only come off as egregious romanticization but is also likely to alienate the audience you wrote the RO for to begin with.

If you do decide to go ahead with this I’ve got a couple of notes for the sake of being respectful of survivors:

  1. Put that content warning up front in your game, and consider having a toggle option for it that will just hide all options for you to flirt with the teacher

  2. Have the player initiate any and all romantic interactions with the teacher. If the teacher flirts with the student it automatically becomes non-optional content.


I’m a fan of age gap romance (especially if it’s older woman and younger guy compare to the usual older guy-younger woman) but teacher-student thrope is not my fav. Especially since the student is a highschooler who is barely legal. Too much power on one party of the relationship is never a good idea. College student and professor might be less iffy since the student should be mature enough to understand the risk and reason behind the attraction.


Thanks for all the replies! A lot of people have mentioned the power-imbalance can be a problem with the teacher-student relationship - just out of curiosity, would your opinions change if the student was the dominant one in the relationship? (As in they’re the one initiating it and dynamic-wise they’re the one with the ‘control’ so to speak)