I met someone in an online server and developed feelings for them. I even think that they might feel the same way. We talk every day and support each other and they make me happy in ways Ive never felt before. I thought for a while wed make a really nice long distance couple. The problem comes in that sometime after I realized I fell for them I found out theyre only 17. Im 22. I know its only a year off from the age of consent and my thoughts arent sexual at all just romantic but I feel so disgusted with myself for having those feelings for a minor. I feel like im a terrible person. I feel worse because feeling horrible hasnt stopped me from having those feelings towards them. Should I cut off contact with them because of my feelings? Would it be inappropriate or predatory of me to wait the year and then tell them how I feel? I dont want to seem like im grooming them or something.
You could try just keeping it digital until she turns 18. Personally, I would just walk away though. Less risk.
There's always this issue when it comes online dating and if you're both not consenting adults by law, then you need to get away real quick. If you're concerned about being labelled predatory and worried about being seen as a groomer, then listen to your gut and act on it.