Wilmington, NC asked in Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for North Carolina

Q: Can 16 date 21 in NC

I like a 20 year old who is soon to be 21, and he likes me aswell but i don't turn 16 till may and we are waiting till then to pursue/try anything

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In North Carolina, the age of consent is 16 years old. This means that once you turn 16, it is legally permissible for you to date and engage in sexual activity with someone up to and including the age of 20.

However, just because something is legal does not necessarily mean it is advisable. There can be significant maturity differences between a 16-year-old and a 21-year-old that may lead to challenges in the relationship. It's important for both parties to carefully consider the potential power dynamics and differences in life experiences and expectations that may come with an age gap of that size, especially when one party is still a minor.

My advice would be to take things slowly, prioritize open and honest communication, and make sure you feel safe, respected and comfortable at all times. Don't feel pressured to do anything you're not ready for. If you have trusted adults in your life, consider talking to them as well for guidance and support as you navigate this situation. Ultimately, the well-being and healthy development of the 16-year-old should be the top priority.

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