If someone is much older than you, it can get complicated! An older boyfriend or girlfriend might have access to things you don’t — they might live on their own, drive a car and have money to buy you nice things. But having an older boyfriend or girlfriend might also make you feel like going out with them comes with expectations — like the expectation that you will have sex with them.
Because of the age difference, it may be harder for you to express your feelings about whether, when, where and how you have sex. You may feel like they have all the control and they may make all the decisions about sex which is not healthy. You should both have an equal voice in all decisions. Another red flag can be an older boyfriend or girlfriend telling you what to wear or who you can and cannot spend time with or checking up on you all the time. A controlling relationship is not a healthy relationship. Research has also shown that younger women often get HIV from older men. In general, it’s just safer for you to date people close to your own age.
If you are in a relationship with someone much older or younger, remember that it could be against the law. In South Africa, if you are under the age of 16 it is illegal to date anyone over the age of 18. Also, if you have sex with someone under the age of 16 when you are older, then you are breaking the law.
Dating someone older can leave you feeling unsafe, especially if they are controlling. Find out what red flags to keep a look out for in this article.
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It is important that you and your partner agree to all sexual activities before they happen. Find out more about consent in this article