Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Age difference:
“I'm 13 and this 17 year old guy keeps asking me out.”

Hey Terra,

I have a crush that is 17 years old and I am only 13. My mom really likes him and his family. And his family really gets along with mine. I think he likes me and I really like him. He asked me out maybe 3 times but I didn't say yes... I wanna go out with him but I don't! I really love him! Why do you think?


Dear Baby-G,

Even though your mom "really likes him and his family" is your mom really comfortable with the idea of this young man becoming your boyfriend? Does she know he has asked you out? You should tell her if you haven't already.

When a 17 year old boy is asking a 13 year old girl to go out, that's a warning sign that you need to pay attention to. And so does your mom (because it's her job to protect you).

A 17 year old boy is too old for a 13 year old girl and you must believe that too otherwise you wouldn't have written to me with this question.

Here's why this is not a good idea: at 17 he is at a much different place than you are in terms of sexual feelings.

If you went out with him you would very likely find yourself in sexual situations that you would not feel comfortable with. I'm not saying that the boy would want to hurt you in any way, but you have to face the facts here. He's a 17 year old guy. He likes you. You are only 13. You are flattered by his attention. It is very likely that if you went out with him and spent time alone with him that you would start hugging and kissing and all of that. It is also very likely that the kissing would lead quickly to other things (I'm talking about having sex which you are not ready for!) That would put you in an uncomfortable position where you would have to choose between how much you like him and not wanting to have sex. A guy that you like who wants to have sex with you and who is older can be difficult to say "no" to.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

I have a feeling that you are not eager to get into this situation because you know you aren't ready for this. I respect you for knowing yourself so well. That's why you haven't said "yes" each time he asked you out. That's why you write "I wanna go out with him but I don't!"

The part of you that doesn't want to go out with him is the part that knows this could be a bad situation for you. That part of you is trying to protect you from making a mistake.

Listen to that part of yourself.


Write back and we'll talk some more.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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