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To Sam

Long distance ?

Hi Sam, you see I met this guy on an Anime chat site 7 a while ago sometime last year and well hes 16 now and im 14 we skyped a few times then and something happened and now were going out, and its nearly been 6 months, since we started going out we skype Everyday is it okay to be in this long distance relationship i mean i really love him and he loves me and our parents both know about it now and were arranging for him to come stay over easter hollidays... the thing is i wanna add we sext like quite alot.. kinda hormones arent helping with it... is that illegal is out age and long distance okay? im just confused by it all
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter and well done for getting in touch when you feel so confused by everything. It sounds like you have two different concerns - one that you are in a long distance relationship and the other that you have been sexting each other. 

There is no problem with being in a long distance/online relationship with someone as long as you are happy and comfortable, provided you are aware of the ways of keeping yourself safe online. No matter how long you have been in a relationship with someone and how strongly you feel for each other, it’s always okay to say 'no' to anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. It's okay to say 'no' even if it’s something you have said 'yes' to in the past.

I can hear that you’re mostly worried about whether it’s legal for you to be sexting with this person as he’s 16 and you’re 14. The answer to that depends on what your sexting involves. Sometimes sexting can involve 'talking dirty' or flirting. This is something that lots of young people experiment with and what’s most important is that you are only saying as much as you are comfortable with.

Sexting might also mean sending naked pictures or pictures of you in your underwear. When you send an image of yourself, you automatically lose control of it so it’s important to think about the possible consequences to sexting. What if one of you lost their phone, tablet or laptop and these images got into the wrong hands? Even if you use an app like snap chat or a webcam someone can take a screen shot. No matter how much you trust someone you never really know what might happen to that image or video. We have a video called Exposed which looks at what can go wrong with sexting.

It is against the law for someone to have naked or sexual pictures of anyone under 18. So if you’ve both been sending these to each other then you would be breaking the law. This law is there to protect young people, rather than get them into trouble so if the police ever knew about this it’s likely they would treat it differently than if an adult had naked pictures of a young person.

You can find out a lot more about sexting here and we also have an app you can download called Zipit. The Zipit app gives some good ideas around how to deal with a sexting crisis and there are some fun come-backs you can use if anyone asks you to send them pictures that you don’t want to send.

It’s really important in any relationship to be able to be open with each other and discuss anything that’s making you worry or feel confused and uncomfortable. You might want to consider talking to your boyfriend about these things.

I’m glad to hear that both of your parents are aware of the relationship. It’s always good to let people around you know who are you are talking to and spending time with even when it’s online. You might want to consider to talking to an adult who you trust about the things that are confusing you.

You’re welcome to have a conversation with a counsellor at any time. You can have a 1-2-1 chat via the website which is a bit like instant messenger or call free (even from a mobile and it won’t show up on the bill) on 0800 1111.

I hope some of this helps.

Take care,


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