When you are in a relationship with someone older, it can be complicated. An older boyfriend or girlfriend might have access to things you don’t. They might live on their own, drive a nice car and have money to buy you nice things. All these may lead you to feel like you are expected to do some things to keep the relationship, like have sex with them.
Because of the age difference, your older partner may want to be in control of the relationship. For example, they may want to make all decisions for both of you, and may tell you what to wear and who to be friends with. You need to be able to fully express yourself and be heard in any relationship so be sure that you are in the relationship because you want to be in it, not because you’re forced to.
4 points to think about before getting into a relationship with an older man or woman.
- Do you know their HIV status?
- Do they respect you and listen if you say no to something?
- What do you want from this relationship?
- Do you trust them?
These can help you decide whether you want to continue being with your older partner.
It is very important to get tested for HIV together so you can be in control of your health. Research has shown that younger women often get HIV from older men. It is also important to use condoms every time you have sex and to be comfortable talking to your partner about this. If they care, they will respect your wishes because using condoms will keep both of you safe.
What does the law say?
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.
If you are struggling to get out of a relationship you no longer want, it is always wise to talk to an adult or someone you can trust.
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