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There are several reasons that people choose to go out with somebody younger than them. But if you're considering it, you should know about the potential problems as well as the possible benefits...

Make sure they've got the same dating ideas as you

The Benefits

If you're limiting your options to older people, you could be missing out. Younger models have a lot going for them too. They tend to look up to you and give you the kind of respect you sometimes don't get from an older partner.

Pash without the perv?

Going out with someone younger can take the pressure off sex-wise, especially if you're a girl. While an older lad may dedicate a lot of time trying to get into your pants, a younger boy may let you set the pace.

For boys, it's important to understand that a younger girl might not be ready to get more physical.

However, don't assume that because they're younger they won't be as up-for-it as your last boyfriend or girlfriend. We all develop at different rates, and if they've got the confidence to date someone older they could be brave enough to try it on. Just make sure you're both comfortable with whatever happens, espiecially when it comes to any kind of sexual activity. They may not be emotionally mature enough to make those decisions. And remember, if an adult has sex with a girl or boy under 16 they're breaking the law.

Trophy lover

Boys have got a bit of a thing about "older women" so girls should consider their motives. Make sure they like you for who you are, and not just because you're a sexy elder.

Potential problems

Not every hot young thing makes for good relationship material. As well as a mature personality, make sure they've got the same dating ideas as you. You might be dreaming of snogs at the cinema, or going out to bars and clubs, while they can't because they're not over 18.

And although it's flattering to have someone hanging onto your every word, it can get annoying after a while. Ditto having to make all the decisions in a relationship.

If it works for you, then that's great. But be aware of potential issues that may arise.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.