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Is it okay for a just turned 16 year old girl to date a just turned 19 year old?

good evening

I’ve been talking to a guy i know through another friend of mine, and currently I am still 15 and he is 18. I turn 16 in a few months and he turns 19, 15 days after my birthday. We have been talking almost every day for the past month and we would like to meet (I’m bringing my friend and her boyfriend with me to meet him to be safe). So far he has been really good to me, he’s very intelligent, no pressure whatsoever and we can relate a lot about things. I understand the fact that he is legally an adult and I am still a child but I firmly believe that I’m very mature for a 15 year old (and I’ve been told this by a lot of other people that have met me) and also if I’m old enough to have sexual intercourse at 16 then what difference will dating someone just under 3 years older than me make? I know my parents may not necessarily think it‘s correct, but I would like to show them that I am old enough and they should give him a chance, and have other opinions from people as well. As far as I am concerned he is not manipulative, nor the scheming type.

What do you think?

Thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

Age differences can be a big problem for lots of young people - especially in their late teens. There can be a lot of anxiety around what is okay and what's not when it comes to one person being older than the other. There is no set answer for all situations and although there are some laws that are about sex and consent, these don't always cover everything. As long as you are aware of the risks, the best judge is you.

There aren't any laws around being in a non-sexual relationship where one person is under 18 and the other over. Once you turn 16 it's not illegal for someone to have sex with you no matter how old they are. This is true only as long as you give your consent and as long as they are not in a position of power over you, such as your teacher.

Parents might be cautious about someone who is a few years older wanting to date their son or daughter. There is a danger that someone older is trying to take advantage of a young person and parents will be aware of this. The best thing to do is to check with the person you're hoping to date if they are okay with your parents knowing about it. Someone with good intentions should have no problem with your parents being aware.

Something else to think about would be how the relationship is going to work. Whilst three years isn't a big difference when someone is 28 and 25, it is quite a big difference when someone is 19 and 16 years old. There are a lot of big life changes between 16 and 21 and you will be experiencing them at different times. This doesn't mean it can't work between you but you should talk about this difference and what effect it might have on your relationship.

I hope this has been useful but if you want to talk more then you can chat to a counsellor anytime you need to.

Take care,

Sam

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