Dear Coleen: Will my boyfriend get a bad name for dating me because I’m 15?


Dear Coleen

Last month, me and my cousin dropped off a friend at her boyfriend’s flat. I was in the car using my phone and her boyfriend knocked on the window and told me to come out because he wanted to introduce me to his friend. I got out and met this guy, but I’d recently split with my boyfriend, so I didn’t take much interest in him.

After a few weeks of talking, though, I stopped obsessing over my ex and I began to really like this other boy.

He asked me out a couple of weeks ago and I said yes. He has never mentioned sex or tried to touch me inappropriately. In fact, he’s very respectful.

On the other hand, I know my friend’s boyfriend hits her and the guy I’m seeing is always telling him how wrong it is.

I really like this guy. He seems genuine and always finds a way to make me smile, and constantly tells me I’m beautiful, even when I’m feeling the opposite. My dilemma is, I’m only 15 but he’s 19. I’m not worried about the ‘what happens if I get pregnant?’ scenario because I’m not planning on having sex with him anytime soon. But I worry about what others will think. I don’t want him to get a bad name because he’s dating a 15-year-old.

My parents have met him and seem to like him and accept things, but I’m still worried that it’ll look bad for him. What do you think?

Coleen says

Well, hats off to you. You sound like a very sensible girl and I hope you can stick to your principles and not feel pressured into having sex because you’re worried you’ll lose him.

And I’m sure he knows that he could get into trouble by having sex with someone who is under the age of consent. Your parents clearly trust you and have an inkling to trust him, so my advice at the moment is to build on that. Invite him over to your house so they can get to know him better and build a relationship.

It’s nice that you care about what other people will think of him, but I would focus on what you feel and whether you’re comfortable with the age gap and the direction the relationship is going in.

If you get to a point where it doesn’t feel right, then go with your instincts. Maybe the age gap doesn’t feel comfortable right now but in a few years it’ll seem like nothing. Right now you’re underage, so it probably feels huge.

I think you’re a sensible girl, so I believe you’ll do the right thing. However, I’m concerned about your friend, who’s clearly in an abusive relationship. You need to take a stand on that. You don’t want to alienate her so she stops confiding in you, but tell her you know he hits her. Then help her to see that she deserves better and build her confidence so that she can dump him.

He’s a loser.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems


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