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To Sam

Is 4 years too big?

I met a boy on holiday (he's 17 I'm 13) and we got pretty close, although nothing sexual haappened. We still talk a lot now and he doesn't live too far away. He asked me if I wanted a relationship with him. Is this illegal In the UK? Even if we don't have sex? I really like him, please help.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for getting in touch with me.

It sounds like you like this boy that you’ve met but are wondering if you should have a relationship with him or not. It’s good that you’re thinking this through before deciding what to do next. Perhaps something to talk through with this boy is what you both would want and expect from any relationship to see if you both want the same thing.

The idea of a relationship can mean different things to different people. Sometimes when one person is older, it can seem like they have more of a say in what happens in a relationship, but it is important that both people get an equal say in how they want things to be and both are able to say no to things.

You ask about sex - the age of consent in the UK is 16. This means that if either person is under that age having any kind of sexual activity would be illegal. Even when you are over 16 it would be about what both people are happy and comfortable with.

It can sometimes help to talk things through with someone to help you decide what to do. Maybe there is an adult in your life you feel able to talk about things with. You’re always welcome to talk to a ChildLine Counsellor on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or by having a 1-2-1 chat.

You may also like to take a look at the sex and relationships page too.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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