Ask Sam letter


To Sam

He's older than me

I'm thirteen years old and I've been dating a boy for over a month. We started dating on the third of may. He's seventeen. I know this sounds messed up. I know it's against the law, but no one understands. We care deeply for one another. He's promised to never pressure me into anything and he promised never to take advantage of me. Recently, some teachers at school found out about our relationship and told me to break up with him. The only problem is... I can't. It sounds silly to hear a thirteen year old girl talk about being in love, but I think I am. He's not four full years older than me. Three years and ten months, give or take a few weeks to be exact. We understand that it is against the law, but we're taking the risk for one another. The teachers didn't even ask if he makes me happy, or if he treats me right. He does make me happy. A lot. And he treats me how you would expect a boyfriend to treat a girlfriend. I think that because he's older, they automatically presume that he's going to take advantage of me. He's not going to, though. Yes, he has hugged me. Yes, we have kissed, but that's as far as it will go. He knows I don't want to have sex until I'm at least eighteen, and he's okay with that. When my life was falling apart, he was there to help me out and make me feel better. If he makes me happy, treats me right, won't pressure me and won't take advantage, then what's the problem? Our parents are fine with it. Our friends are fine with it. They support the relationship. Why do the teachers invade my personal life? Why must they insist on telling me to break up with him, when they know I won't? I in love with him, Sam. Truly, madly and deeply. What would your advice be about the teachers?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for writing in to get some support.

It sounds like you’ve made some clear decisions about what you feel comfortable with in a relationship right now. You've said you don’t feel ready for more than hugs and kisses yet. You've done really well to think that through and be clear where you stand about it.

I wonder whether you’ve been able to talk to your teachers about how you feel about this and whether they’ve been able to explain to you what their worries are too. Sometimes talking things through calmly and listening to what each other has to say can help to find a way to make things easier between you all.

It can be a bit difficult to talk to adults about things sometimes. However, you've been able to explain what is going on for you really well in your letter. It might be a good idea to write the teachers a letter in the same way. This might help make your relationship with your boyfriend more clear to the teachers.

You also said that you feel that your parents are fine with it and maybe they could also be involved if you did decide to try and talk things through with your teachers.

I’m pleased to hear that you don’t feel that your boyfriend will pressure you into anything that you’re not ready for. It’s really important that nobody pressures you. While it is not against the law to have a boyfriend that’s older than you, it is against the law for anyone over 16 to have sex with someone your age. You could look at our Sex and relationships page for more information.

Whatever decisions you make you’re always welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about how you’re feeling or what’s going on for you. You can do that by calling on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill), emailing or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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