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13 and dating a 15 year old

Hey Sam,

im 13 and I'm dating a boy at the age of 15 and I'm scared that I'm going to have to stop dating him after he turns 16 I really love him and he really loves me. I just think it's illegal to date a 16 if I'm going to be 14 because we both have the Same birthday. So my question is:

am I allowed to date a boy at the age of 16 if I'm 14???

Ask Sam


Hi there,

There can be a lot of confusion about what’s okay when it comes to age differences in relationships. The law doesn’t deal with whether or not two people can date, but instead focuses on what those people can do together. In the UK it is illegal to have sex before the age of 16, which might be what you’re thinking about. 

It doesn’t become illegal for you to date your boyfriend when he turns 16. The law doesn’t talk about dating at all, because dating can mean different things to different people. For some it doesn’t involve anything sexual, whereas for others it might be a big part of going out with someone. What’s important is being clear and open with your partner about what you want from your relationship and what you don’t want.

People can become ready for sex at different ages, but the law says that if someone is under 16 then it’s illegal to have sex with them. This law is there to protect young people from being abused and hurt by adults, rather than to try and punish two young people who have sex, but it’s important to remember that this is what it says and it is illegal.

Sex should be something that both people in the relationship decide they want when it is the right time. No one should pressure you or force you to have sex or do anything sexual.

A good relationship should be based on trust and communication. Sometimes if one person is older it may feel unbalanced and as if they have more of a say in what happens. But both people in the relationship are entitled to their views and feelings. They should both have an equal say.

Things aren’t going to magically change for your relationship the day your partner turns 16 – they’ll be very much the same as the way they were the day before. If you’re coping with the difference in age now, then that difference should still be the same when you are 14 and 16. You're going to be in different stages of life so it’s going to be important to talk with each other about what you want from the relationship and how you feel as this changes.

Remember that you can always talk to a counsellor if you need more advice.

I hope this helps,

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