Ask Sam letter


To Sam

13 year old girl and 17 year old girl

I'm a 17 year old girl and I'm getting close to this 13 year old girl and we've both got feelings for eachother. if we got into a relationship would this be against anything or get us into trouble?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be confusing knowing what’s allowed when it comes to age differences in relationships. The law doesn't say whether or not two people can date at different ages. Instead it focuses what those people can do together.

The age of consent in the UK is 16. This means it would be against the law to have a sexual relationship with the girl you mentioned. And it may also be seen to be wrong for you to be intimate, such as kissing or holding hands. It’s important to remember that the law is there to protect young people, not punish them.

Dating and relationships can mean different things to different people. For some it could mean being close with someone but nothing sexual, whereas for others sex might be a big part of going out with someone. What’s important is that you’re both clear and open about what you want from this relationship.

Sometimes people become concerned about big age differences. Their reasons might vary, but it could be because it’s not always possible for a younger person to have the same level as confidence and maturity as an older person in a relationship. This can mean that the relationship becomes unbalanced or unhealthy. And it might be that people around you or other adults in your life don’t approve of your relationship with this person.

Remember that it’s your decision whether you have a relationship or not, but it’s really important to think about whether it’s right for you and for the person you are thinking of having a relationship with.

I hope this helps for now. If you want to talk things through more, you can contact a counsellor who will listen and support you.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter