Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

i just got a boyfriend, last night but i dont know if we're going into it too fast.

i met a guy on ask.fm and ive known him for a few days now. i really like him and he really likes me. yesterday though, we talked for ages about how we feel about each other and i told him i love him. i asked him out and he said yes. just after that i felt really happy about it all and i had butterflies in my stomach.

now thinking about it, i think i shouldve waited a bit longer, got to know him more before going any further, i never met him in person, is that okay or should i have waited?

i told my friend about this and she said i should meet up with him. he lives about 30 minutes away so i guess that could be possible but also really scary for me as im shy.

what do you think is best for me to do?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. You did the right thing to ask for some advice. Falling for someone can be very exciting and it can sometimes scramble our brains a little bit. But it’s really good that you have been able to stop and think about what you are getting yourself in to.

Meeting someone online is very different to meeting someone in person. While someone may sound lovely talking to you online or on the phone, they might not be all they seem to be. When you know a person in real life (or have friends that know the person) they can tell you a bit more about what that person is really like. You can also see for yourself how they act around other people. Those things are all important parts of figuring out whether someone might or might not be right for you.

It’s always okay to take your time to decide what you want from each stage of a relationship. The fact that you are asking me these questions makes me think that part of you would like to wait a bit longer before meeting up with this guy.

ChildLine would never encourage you to meet up with someone you’ve only spoken to online. That isn’t because we want to stop you from being happy, it's because we want you to be safe. We know from experience that meeting online contacts can be risky. For example, sometimes dangerous adults will pretend to be young people to get children or teenagers to meet up with them face to face. Some people have even used photos and videos of someone younger to create a whole fake identity online.

Think about what might be best for you. If you do decide to meet this guy, however, you should  make sure that a trusted adult knows exactly where you are going, who you are meeting and what time you should be due back. Never meet someone for the first time in a private place like their house. It’s important to take someone else with you, to have your own money to get home and to meet in a very public place where you can get up and leave quickly if you want to. Trust your instincts and leave if you feel at all uncomfortable at any point. If the person you are meeting is a genuine young person who cares about you, then they shouldn’t mind doing anything that will keep you both feeling safe.

I hope you will give all of this some thought but if you want to talk about things a bit more we are here for you. You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor on 0800 1111, by sending an email or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat. You can also take a look at the Think U Know website for more information about how you can keep safe online.

Take care,

Sam

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