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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Illegal but normal relationship (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Illegal but normal relationship
hislittleprincess
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So basically it's exactly what it says. I'm in an illegal relationship, but it's not built on sex or infatuation. Him and I truly love eachother. We both treat eachother as equals, he's never forced me to do anything sexual, or even tried to preassure me to, we do have a few people we can be our selfs around, and all of that. He really loves me. Our age gap is 6 years, but oddly enough were in very similar positions in life. I'm almost a freshmen in high school and he's a sophomore in college. but before you give me crap about how it's illegal and it's gross, think about this. What if he truly is meant to be with me forever, but we found eachother at the wrong time? Why should he be punished for loving me? I just need people to talk to who understand me..

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September
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No one here is going to give you any crap, so you can put that thought to rest. We're not in the business of doing that.

As you probably already know, the age of consent in Texas is 17. And as much as those laws can suck, they ARE laws and there ARE consequences for breaking them.

This does not mean that your relationship is illegal. It DOES mean that, if you are engaging in sexual activity, your partner could potentially get in trouble in a lot of trouble for this.

How is your relationship? Are you pretty comfortable and honest with each other? Do you have interests or hobbies that you share? Do your families know about this relationship, and do they support it?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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hislittleprincess
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Our relationship is amazing. I tell him everything, and he tells me everything. We are very comfortable with eachother Nd everything. His parents know, but do not support it what do ever. My parents don't because I know how they would react, and it wouldn't be good Him and I have a lot in common, from the books we read to the languages were learning.

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Heather
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So, can we talk about some realistic issues?

If this relationship is sexual, given your age and his, he is breaking the law, laws which could result in him getting sex offender status, which is incredibly serious. However you, I or anyone else may feel about those laws, they exist and people are beholden to them.

Chances are your parents will find out eventually. And finding out about this relationship AND you not being honest makes it much more likely they'll get pretty upset. They also may well report this person: anyone can. Have you and he talked about that and what that can mean in terms of the rest of his life?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Our relationship isn't sexual at all. All we've done is hold hands and kiss. That's all.. I was going to talk to him about that soon, because you are right. It needs to be discussed

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Heather
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So, nothing illegal is happening. Just so you're both clear on the laws, you two dating and not engaging in genital sex is absolutely lawful. No one is breaking the law with that. I assumed it was sexual because you said it was illegal, but sounds like you both just may not be aware of what the laws actually are (and aren't).

Mind, if you're thinking or talking about your relationship becoming sexual soon, then we're talking about him breaking laws, as well as some other issues I think are important to talk about.

[ 02-14-2012, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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So, since he's never touched me even if someone called the cops on him they couldn't do anything?

We've talked about it, but he would like to wait till I'm ready and 17. To make sure I am ready.

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Heather
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Nope. There aren't laws about who can hang out with whom or date when sexual activity isn't involved.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Wow.. That makes me feel a lot better. Last night we found out his parents reported him and they went through him computer. I'm glad we haven't don't anything. I don't know what I would do if that happened to him

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Heather
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Reported him for what?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Because they were upset that I'm 14. His parents also have issues with him dating someone of another race, so they do anything to keep us apart

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Heather
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Sounds like he's in a pretty dysfunctional relationship with his parents, one that it would really stink to be in the middle of, especially if there's racism involved.

Also sounds to me like if they're doing things like that, it's probably in your best interest to talk to your own parents sooner rather than later. Maintaining trust is important in any relationship, for starters, but too, if they're doing things like this, them or the police contacting your folks seems very possible, and you talking to them first would be better for your relationship with them than if they found out from someone else, you know.

Plus, with stuff like this going on, seems like you're going to need some support no matter how this goes.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Yea. I have support from all if my friends, and they're like my second family. I guess I'm just scared to tell them

Him and his parents do have a dysfunctional relationship. He was always the ignored son, and te disappointment. It's hard to be stuck in the middle but I'm doing it because I love him

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Heather
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Well, I think the thing to think and talk about is to make sure that being in the spot you're in is really serving you both right now, and if it isn't, how to work it so it is. For instance, you two being involved if and when it's creating conflict with one or both of your families might not actually make either of you feel better. Or, if he has massive family badness, perhaps less of his energy should be going to a romance and more to him getting himself out on his own. Know what I mean?

That doesn't have to mean a split, it can also mean having everyone informed and involved, maybe helping each other, maybe him getting more separation from his parents (as he isn't 14, so he has autonomy to do that you don't), or chilling things out some more, etc.

Want to talk about why you feel scared about telling your parents? (I'm heading off, but we can pick this up tomorrow or you can keep talking with anyone else who's around if you like, too.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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I would really love to talk to you later. Your really nice and an amazing help. Well, they've always kept me very sheltered and I'm their "goody two shoes princess" but that's not who I am. I'm different from them in almost everything. They're racist, and homophobic (which is hard on me because I'm bisexual) and tell me I have to do what they say. I like to wear black, I listen to dark music and sure, I make good grades but they always yell at me. I love my parents but I'm sick of them. They still think I'm 5. So telling them would mean a downfall in ever talking to my boyfriend again till im 17

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Heather
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Okay, let's pick this up tomorrow then, okay?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Alright. [Smile] thank you heather

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Heather
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No trouble at all. Maybe tonight something you could do before we come back and talk more is write out for me who your support system is besides friends and your boyfriend, like any extended family, any teachers or counselors you like at school if you go to school, etc.

It might also be helpful for you to kind of think about if you realistically see this relationship as lasting more than the next few months. If you do, then letting your parents in on it is just going to be something that has to happen, and is probably something that's bound to happen whether it's you who tells them or someone else, in which case you telling them would be way better, no matter how you slice it.

If you do see it as lasting more than a few months, or it has already, letting me know what challenges you might face in approaching them would be helpful for me to help you best.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Happy to pick up our conversation today again whenever you're around. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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I sorta have a new problem. People keep telling him that im only with him because he's older. But that's not true. I'm with him because I love him. Even if he was my age I would still date him. Why do people keep telling him that

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Heather
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Hey, good to see you again.

I really can't know why people are telling him that. Who are the people telling him that? Do you know them? Do they know both of you well? Do they know him well?

(Also glad to pick up w/the other things we left hanging last night, too.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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They don't know me, and they're a few of his friends. They posted in his Facebook how im just using him. None of its true but it hurts to see it and hear it.

And last night? Well, it's really just my friends, and then some older adults im really close to. They support me. I mean, I wanna tell my parents but they just all about me being an innocent princess, but im nit

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Heather
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Seems like being a princess -- whether it's about your parent's perception of you, or how you see yourself in relationship to whoever the guy is in the "his" of your handle here -- is pretty pervasive for you. Want to fill me in on that?

With his friends, are they usually good friends to him, friends he values? Do they spend a good deal of time with you to even know you? Does what they're saying have anything to do with his relationship history? For instance, have any of his previous dating relationships been bad ones, or with people around the same age as you, or is your age radically different, etc?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Please fill in c:

He doesn't spend time with them much at all, and they don't even know me. He has had a really bad relationship history. Almost everyone else he's dated has used and abused him. Literally. I try to treat him as good as I can, and we both try hard. They were both distant age and close together age. They were all so mean to him.

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Heather
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Okay. So while it sounds like his friends are being pretty unfair to you, if almost every relationship he has ever had has been abusive or unhealthy, you can probably get why they're concerned, right?

Not saying the way they're making accusations is okay, but sounds like them having a concern is understandable.

That said, there certainly are things they could help him do to make sure he gets out of unhealthy patterns that would be more productive. For instance, has he ever had any kind of counseling around what sounds like a dysfunctional family and a history of abusive relationships?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Yea, I get what your saying now. I should have to prove my love for him either right? He's never had official counseling, but I try to be as good as a listener as one. I just want his friends to see like he does that I would never hurt him purposely like the others have. They aren't being fair, but I get where they're coming from

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Heather
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No one should have to "prove" their love. When we care about someone, it's great for us to demonstrate that in our words and actions, and that's part of being loving, but that's not about proving anything. That's simply about how we love people.

No one someone is dating is ever going to be able to be their counselor, and shouldn't try to be. That's not sound, even when someone is dating someone who is trained as a counselor. As well, a longtime pattern of unhealthy relationships is something people need help processing and breaking out of. All the love in the world from someone can't just fix that, and when people don't get help with that, they're not at all likely to be able to have or sustain healthy relationships, or even know what it means to have a relationship be healthy. So, it's really important.

I don't think you can prove anything to his friends with this. I think all you can do is being the caring person it clearly sounds like you are and see how things go. And you can certainly ask for limits around talk like this. If his friends are saying that to you, you get to ask them to please not talk about you that way. If he's telling you every time they say things like this, you can ask him to not overshare like that: that's just healthy boundaries, which every relationship needs.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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I know I love him and that's all that matters. Your right. He knows I love him too

So, should I ask him to try to get counseling? I can tell the effects its had on him. He always try's to keep his pain to himself, but I always try to tell him he can tell me anything he want. He does, but something's he just shuts down.

I did tell them to not talk about me like that. I try to be as kind and caring as can be. I would never hurt someone, and I try to understand him as much as i can. I should bring up boundaries like that, your right.

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Heather
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You know, you certainly can ask about that, but why I brought that up was as one way his friends could be truly helping him if they're -- validly, it sounds like -- concerned about his patterns in relationships to the point that they feel it's a given anyone he's dating is either going to abuse him or be part of an unhealthy relationship with him.

With boundaries, if he's bringing these things up to you they're saying a lot, know that boundaries aren't about anyone not being kind or caring. Healthy boundaries also don't get in the way of love. You having hurtful things his friends are saying about you reported to you isn't supportive or love or kind on his part, you know? Now, he might feel hurt by that, too and want to talk about it, or he might even report that to you to feel out how you feel because he's also concerned about that -- not because that's how you are, but because, with a history of unhealthy relationships, he's going to feel wary, you know? We feel wary of being hurt when we have been hurt: you know how that goes.

But I do think that for both of your sakes that if he's never had any kind of counseling or help around his family (and even why he's living there still) or a long history of unhealthy relationships, that'd be a really good idea. I'm not sure if that's the kind of thing you can suggest yet (I don't know how long you have been dating or anything about the history of your relationship), but if you feel comfortable talking about that with him, I do think it'd be a good thing. For him, big time, but probably also for you, since you are involved with this person -- so no help with healthy relationships is going to impact you -- and care about them.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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It makes sense. I guess that's why when we fight he reacts the way he does. He closes off and gets depressed, and says he's just gonna leave. But he never does because he wants to stay by me.

Him and I have been together 6 months, almost 7 and were really open with eachother c:

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Heather
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So, it sounds like there's already some stuff going on here that isn't healthy. Threatening to leave a partner, even if it's an empty threat, when there's conflict is actually an unhealthy behavior of HIS towards you.

Do you want some help addressing that dynamic should it happen again?

I'd also say fighting this early in a relationship -- not just minor disagreements, but big fights or conflicts -- is something else to just pay attention to. Usually the first few months of a relationship are when it's easiest and there's the least amount of conflict.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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Could you? I'd like that

Well it's not really fighting. It is just minor conflicts, and really when he says he's gonna leave its not saying leaving me, he means like calming down for a while by himself for a few days. We normally get over our little tiffs really quickly and are happy within a few minutes

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Heather
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Sure thing.

So, a couple things. For one, when he, or you, or anyone just wants to take or get some space, we can totally do that in a healthy way. And sometimes that's a really good thing. For instance, if we feel so upset or threatened or vulnerable that we think or know any talking with someone is going to result in hurt feelings or talk that just isn't healthy or productive, we can just say something like, "Hey, I need to get a breather for myself. I'm going to go take a walk and when I'm done, I'll call you/come back and see if I feel more able to talk, okay?" Or, we can ask to end a day or evening to have a night or more than that alone, making clear that again, that's just about us needing some space to process and deal before talking about things.

But if he isn't doing it like that, and is talking about leaving you, then you should talk about that, ideally not when it's actually happening, but just soon. You can talk about doing that in the kind of way I mentioned there, and make clear that saying he will or might leave you isn't the same as that. You can tel him that saying he might leave is hurtful and feels like a threat or a way to make space away that could be healthy for both of you scary for you.

Does that help?

Am I also getting that minor tussles are getting escalated a lot, to the point where he says he might leave like this? If so, can you maybe -- if you want to -- fill me in on what these are usually about and why you think minor conflicts aren't something one or both of you can't keep from becoming major dramas?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hislittleprincess
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They just happen. I have problems ignoring something that's wrong until its like eating at me, then I tell him. He just gets upset when I say im okay when I'm not. This is actually our first tiff in a month, so I've gotten better at it. I was being a little to dependent on him, and Fixed it. And other times its about his friends or mine badmouthing the other.

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Heather
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Well, it also sounds like in some core ways, both of you are pretty isolated when it comes to your family. Since both of you are living with your families (if I have that right about him), and since you're also a very young person, that's always going to amp the drama in relationships. It can tend to make people much more dependent on them, especially if and when they don't have other close, intimate relationships besides that one. But if both your friends are badmouthing each other or each of you, that's one more thing that isolates you both. You keeping this secret from your family is going to be one more, until, of course, it's not a secret anymore one way or another, in which case there will obviously be way more conflict.

Too, this is going to be one of those places where there is a HUGE divide between someone 14 and someone 20 most of the time. These relationships are brand new to you: they're not to him. There's no escaping that you have a lot of learning to do -- he probably does still, too, but he's got a serious head start. So, for a relationship between people -- of any kind, not just a romantic one -- with that kind of divide to really be fair to the younger person, the older person has to be very accepting of the younger person's learning curve and be able to manage their own stuff pretty well so they can be patient.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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