Is it wrong for me to be attracted to my girlfriend?

I'm 15 and my girlfriend is 14. Am I a pedophile because I'm attracted to her and she's under 18?

Frank Walker
Frank Walker
I help couples manage the bumpy road called marriage. Whether your marriage needs a tune up, a major overhaul or just a flat tire changed. I can help.

You are not a pedophile. You are both under 18 and your age is appropriate for a relationship. There would be a possible problem if she was 10 or younger. 

Pedophelia, is a whole other problem that you probably should not be worried about. I would be happy to talk with you in more detail about this.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Liana Nelson
Liana Nelson
Psychotherapist

It is very natural for you to be attracted to someone that you find an interest in building a romantic relationship with.  These feelings are an emotional response toward adulthood.  You are at a healthy age to start the development of attraction and intimate bonds with those around you.  Pedophilia is a disorder in which adults or older adolescents find themselves continuously sexually attracted to children and minors.  At the age of 15, you are still considered a child/minor yourself that is growing into his own adulthood.  This is healthy for you to seek the elements of attraction and intimacy.  There may be a lot of confusion during this time due to the effects of puberty and all the changes you may be experiencing during your adolescence phase.  In this case, see if you are able to reach out to your parents, caregivers, and/or trusted adults to seek an understanding of those elements to help with any confusion with age, attraction, and underage dating.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

A pedophile by definition is anyone who is sexually attracted to children.  This is applicable to children to are pre-pubescent.  So I'm repeating others here, but you are not a pedophile!

The fact that you worry about this means that you wouldn't be OK with being a pedophile.  

Sounds like you have a healthy reaction to your girlfriend!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Brandon Coussens
Brandon Coussens
Couples Counseling, Premarital Counseling and Sex Therapy

The short answer is, NO! It is not wrong for you to be attracted to your girlfriend. You are a perfectly healthy person. When puberty hits, hormones start changing and it is a natural to be interested and attracted to others. It may feel wrong, especially if you are a Christian and have grown up in that home due to the messages that are sometimes sent your way. But as a Christian myself and a counselor, I remind people that every human is made with a very similar biological make-up. If humans did not have an innate attraction to others, then the human race would not survive because we would not marry or have children. 

You are not a pedophile!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic, LGBT-Affirmative Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

Nope! In fact you are NOT a pedophile. That term is reserved for older adolescents attracted to children, or adults who are attracted to children. I see an age difference as being one key factor in determining pedophilia if the older person is still in adolescence. You being only a year older than your girlfriend doesn't qualify, so go right ahead and be attracted to your girlfriend without shame!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

You wrote that each of you is under the age of 18.   A 15 year old cannot be a pedophile because you're not an adult.

Also, if you mean "girlfriend" in a romantic way then this makes sense bc romantic relationships include physical attraction to the other person.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Earl Lewis
Earl Lewis
Relationship Expert

No. You are not a pedophile. You are both under the appropriate age where it would be seen so. Your both only a year a part so this shouldn't a worry to you. Like Frank said below, Pedophelia is a problem that won't apply to this situation. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

No, that's perfectly normal. You're under 18, too. You're only a year older than she is. This is absolutely normal. What would be wrong is if you did anything to her against her will. Always remember that NO means NO, respect her, respect yourself, and be a normal teenager! Have a healthy relationship. Holding hands, kissing, and more should only be done when both are comfortable with it and agree to it. Although it is frowned upon by a lot of people, it's no secret that teenagers do have sex (even if their parents and perhaps religion would definitely not want them to do it). Only you can make the choice that is right for you. Just be responsible in the choices you make. Some states have laws on what age is old enough for consensual sex. You'd be surprised how young those ages are. A 14 year old having sex with a 20 year old would be against the law, but someone the same age as her, or just one year older is not. "Wrong" can be defined in a lot of different ways, though. Is it against the law? No. Is it against your religion? I can't answer that for you. 

You can, however, have a relationship that is not physical in any way. It's okay to just be with her and enjoy her company. You can hang out, watch movies together, go on dates, do whatever it is that both of you enjoy doing. Your relationship can be anything you want it to be. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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