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To Sam

I'm 15, he's 23

For the past 3 years I have been going to a drama group in my area. This is the place that I am at my happiest. I love performing and the people there are the best people I have ever met, in particularly one guy. He joined a year after me as his best friend has been at the group for a long time. This past year, he and I have become very close. As a group we had to travel a lot last year to various places and he always gave me a lift since my parents couldn't, plus I was strong enough to help him carry the set around once we got there. One night after an awards ceremony, it was 2 o'clock in the morning and we were going down the motorway along side the sea, singing to every song that came on the radio together, it was the best moment of my life and I had never felt that happy before. He had enough confidence to tell me all about his life when he was younger and how his mum died and the mental illnesses he got from that which he then said that he's only ever spoken the his best friend about. A year later and we still share lifts together and sing to our favourite songs on the radio. I'm developing a strong attraction for him and the one person i've spoken to about it thinks there is something between us. I hate the 7 year age gap and I know that it would be completely frowned upon if anything happened between us but nobody has ever made me feel the way that he has. My mum doesnt know that I like him but we're very close and she understands me better than I understand myself and tells me to go for older guys because she says that I'm so mature. She said that it wouldnt surprise her if I was 17 or 18 and with a 24, 25 year old but I feel that she wouldn't be happy if I told her what I thought of the guy in my drama group as he is 23 and I am 15. What is your view on it?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

When you spend lots of time with someone and have lots in common, it can be natural to start to feel close to them. This guy sounds as though he’s become an important part of your life and it seems like he’s trusted you with some important things that he’s been through in life. I can hear that it felt good for you to talk with him about these things. It sounds as though you share special moments together.

It’s okay for people of different ages to have friendships with each other, but it wouldn’t okay for this guy to have a relationship with you because he’s an adult and you’re a young person. He could get in to a lot of trouble if he took things beyond friendship.

From what you explained, you’re mature for your age and this is something that your mum has recognised. From what you’ve described, she thinks that perhaps in the future, this might mean that you would have partners who are older than you. At the same time, it seems like part of you already knows that your mum would be worried if she thought that you were thinking of having a relationship with a 23 year old. 

The age of consent for sexual activity is 16. Sexual activity doesn’t just mean sex, it also includes kissing and touching and things that people in a relationship might do together.  

There are lots of reasons why adults aren’t allowed to have romantic or sexual relationships with young people. These reasons are generally to keep young people safe. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong for developing feelings for this guy and it’s important when something like this does not feel right that you talk to someone and ask questions.

It’s alright to carry on as friends and enjoying time together as long as it feels okay for you. You mentioned that you’d talked to one person about this and they think there might be something between you. It sounds as though perhaps this has made you feel hopeful about what could happen between you and the guy. It might help to talk to a ChildLine counsellor some more about the strong feelings you have and what it’s like for you. 

It seems like a lot to cope with on your own. You might also find it useful to get some support from other young people on the message boards. You can find out more about the law on sex on the Family Planning Association website.

I hope that you get the support you need to work through these powerful emotions. 

Take care,

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