• The thing that would be illegal is if they had sex. The 16-year-old is old enough, but the 12-year-old is not. In Alabama, both parties have to be at least 16 to have sex legally. But, if you're strictly referring to dating and not sex, it's not really illegal for a 16-year-old to date someone who's 12, but being 4 years apart is a lot bigger deal when you're a kid that when you're 30. Either the 16-year-old will get bored doing things that appeal to someone who's only 12, or the 12-year-old's going to be too young to fit in with the 16-year-old's group. It would just be awkward in a bunch of different ways.

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