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To Sam

Im not allowed a boyfriend

Soryy to bother you, but this is something that bothers me every day; its always stuck in my head. Im 13 and i really like this boy in my school. Hes in my year and I recently moved into his tutor. Everybody found out that I like him, and he knows it too. I think that he kind of likes me; i mean he drops really subtle hints, but im not sure. but i cant date, im not allowed too. my family wont allow it and it is out of question to talk to my mum or dad about it. Like, out of question. But if he asked me out i would say yes. and also, my cousins who are married have all been arranged marriage, heres the thing, its all with cousins. so my dads brothers daughter married my dads other brothers son. its an afghan tradition, unfortuntely; i find it  outrageous. im gonna be 14 next year, so i am screwedddddddd because thats wen they plan it out. if it does happen i am dead. like this is unfair and cruel in my opinion :( i just wanted to say, my parents would disown me if they  found out; its that type of situaation. :( hopefully i will have a choice in it however. ill see. but should i now?? please reply,

thank you for your time :)

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter.

You’re certainly not bothering me by writing to me. I’m glad you feel able to talk to me about what’s on your mind and it seems like this is very important to you. 

You have told me about liking a boy in your tutor group and it sounds like it's difficult for you to know that you are not allowed to date people. You said that if he asked you out you would say yes and it could be worth thinking about how you see that working. Perhaps you could try talking to your friends about what you would like to happen with this boy.  

It sounds like you are worried that your parents might arrange for you to marry someone from your extended family after you turn 14. I can hear that you don’t really agree with arranged marriages within families. I’m wondering whether your family are aware of those feelings.

It’s important to remember that you have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all. Nobody is allowed to force you to get married when you don’t want to. I know that you are not suggesting that this is going to happen but you might still find information around this useful as your consent to an arranged marriage is really important. Arranged marriages can only go ahead if both of the people involved agree.

There is help and support available to anyone who is involved with or knows about a forced marriage from the government's Forced Marriage Unit.

You’ve shown a lot of courage to start talking to me and I hope you will think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor about what’s going on for you. They are open all the time and can help you to think about your options. You can phone free on 0800 1111, send an email or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.  You can talk to them confidentially about how you feel and what you can do to help yourself.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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