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Lied about my age

i'm 16 and i met a guy online and told him I was 18 and he is 19. At first i didn't think it was a big deal because i didn't think anything was going to come of it but we've been texting for like three weeks and i really like him and he wants to go on a date and has been talking about being in a relationship. I want to tell him the truth but I feel like he won't want to keep talking and he spoke about a 17 year old guy who was talking to him and said he thought of him as a child, so I freaked out and didn't say anything. I also said I was out and I'm not but I would be willing to for this guy but I don't think I am ready to do it on my own and I don't want to come out only for him to stop talking to me. what should i do?

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Sam

Hi there,

Meeting someone online can be exciting, but it can also be dangerous. In the same way that this guy doesn’t know you are a little younger than you've told him, you can’t really be sure he's not a lot older than he's suggested. We can never really know when we meet a stranger online and it's really important to stay safe online.

I can see you have started to like this guy, and they want the relationship to go further and meet up with you in person, but it sounds as if you are worried he won't want anything to do with you if he finds out your real age.

It might help to think about how you'd feel if you told tell him your real age and everything was in the open. At some point you would have to tell him the truth, and it could be a good idea to do this before meeting.

If you decide to meet this guy, or anyone else online, it’s always a good idea to meet in a public place. It could be a really good idea to have someone else with you, or tell someone you trust who you're meeting and where. Make sure you take your phone with you so you can contact someone if you feel in danger.

Lots of people find it easier to get to know someone online. Talking to someone online can sometimes feel like less pressure and it might be easier to be more open about who you are. If you feel unsure about coming out, it might be a good idea to give you self some time and space to do this. No one should put any pressure on something that’s really important to you.

Making decisions on what do next can sometimes be really tough, and often it's difficult to make these decisions alone. You can always speak to Childline for more support. The counsellors are always there to listen and won't judge you for anything you say. Thinkuknow also has lots of information about online relationships for people age 14+.

Take care,

Sam

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