Some people become interested in having a boyfriend or girlfriend at an early age, others are not interested until they are well into being an adult.  There is no magical age that tells you when you can and cannot start dating.   

However, parents and carers’ rules about relationships play a part here too.  If your parents have told you that you must be a certain age to date and you keep a relationship secret from them, it will be difficult for them to help if you need support and advice.  Relationships can be tricky, and you may need the support from your family at some stage. 

In any case,  regardless of age, it is important that if you do decide that you want to start dating someone, that you ask for their consent and communicate this with them. You both must also be mature enough to follow basic relationship rights and responsibilities, such as respecting one another as an equal, giving yourself and them space to spend time with other friends and family, and ensuring you both are free to express yourselves respectfully without any pressure or threats. 

If you feel you and the person you are interested in understand how to be a respectful partner and will not pressure each other to do anything that you are not ready for, that is more important than any particular age. 

~ Bonnie

If you are sent a nude picture, there are a few things you can do, and a few different issues depending on the age of the person in the photo and your relationship.  

If the person in the nude photo is under 18 years, it is a criminal offence for you to possess child exploitation material which is what this photo is catogorised as. In this case it's important you talk to a trusted adult who can help deal with the situation. Delete the photo and do not send it to anyone else as this is considered distributing child exploitation material which is a very serious offence.  

If it is your boyfriend or someone you are dating our advice is to discourage any sharing of nude photos, not only because it is against the law if you are under 18, but also because the photo is out of your control once it has been shared and you are relying on the trust of someone else to keep the photo confidential. It is a good idea to talk to your current boyfriend about this and don’t send any nudes in return.  

If you are both over 18 years old and you receive this photo, unsolicited, you might like to let him know how inappropriate it is to force a nude photo onto someone. You can also block him and report him within the app as this is a violation of the standards of the code in which most messaging applications fall under. It can be good to let him know you are reporting him to show him there are consequences for his actions and to deter him from sending this pic to others. 

  • Christie  

Before you look at how you get a girlfriend, a good thing is to work out why you would like a girlfriend.  Is there someone you have romantic feelings for? Is it because some of your friends have girlfriends? 

If there is someone you are interested in, there are many ways you could go about asking them out.  You could start off building a friendship, seeing if you have common interests, morals and values that are similar.  If this goes well and you feel like you and this person would work well in a romantic relationship, then you could ask the person out on a date.  

You can do this in a few ways, if you feel too nervous to do it face to face, you could send them a message asking them if they would like to go out with you.  If you would prefer to do it in person, its important to choose your time well. Maybe somewhere away from your peers, where you can both talk respectfully and honestly about it.  

Something to consider before this is that you may not always get the answer you are hoping for.   Be prepared for this and remember how important it is to be respectful no matter what. If the person you like tells you they would not like to date you, respectfully accept their answer and remember, you deserve to date someone who feels as excited about the relationship as you, so their honesty is a good thing.  Using respect and being prepared when asking someone out makes room for a healthy friendship If the feelings are not mutual.  And if they are mutual, congratulations! You and your girlfriend can enter into a relationship that started with respect. 

 

~ Christie 

We know that boys and girls can both do lots of the same things - boys and girls are both smart, sporty, creative, adventurous, kind etc. So we know that in reality boys are not more than girls, or better than girls. I am interpreting your question as, “even though boys and girls can do lots of the same things equally as well, why are girls thought to be less than boys? 

 

This is known as gender inequality, and it started many years ago when things were very different in society. To give you a very brief snapshot; historically, females were considered the nurturers, the bearers of children, and the ‘homemakers’, and men were the providers, considered the head of the family.  Over time as technology and science evolved, so did society and gender roles.  Along with the advancements, such as the contraception pill for women, childcare, and education, women entered the workforce and began challenging traditional gender roles which meant that men were doing things that only women used to do, and women were doing things that only men used to do. 
 

Our society today recognises that girls and boys are both very capable and can do lots of the same things equally as well, however because our society had made decisions about how girls and boys should be, for example “boys are more sporty and never cry” and “girls should wear dresses and always present themselves nicely” sometimes boys and girls are not considered equal, even though they are. When this happens sometimes boys and girls are not given the same opportunities.  

 

It's important that you know that as a girl, or a boy you should be given the same opportunities and that you should not be left out or discriminated against because you are a girl/boy. If you are in this situation, its important you talk to your parents or teachers about it to see if you can be included in the activity.