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Ela's avatar

How do I help my fifteen year old son get through his first heartbreak?

Asked by Ela (6203 points ) February 15th, 2012

He really likes this girl and has been talking about her for awhile. He asked her out last Thursday. She said yes (for this Friday) and then said she couldn’t on Monday. He was excited all weekend and now is naturally bummed. (This is the first time he’s asked a girl out.)

We talked about it some and he seems to be doing better today. I’m sure there will be more and this is comparably mild to what may happen in the future… What do I say/do when the first big heartbreak happens?

I’m wondering if any guys (or moms who have been through this with their son) remember the first crush and heartbreak and if there was something someone did or said that really helped you through it.

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44 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Awww. Maybe can you share a dissappointment you had when you were a teen. Let him know he is not alone in these matters. I think probably he will recover quickly from this, hopefully he has an opportunity soon to flirt with a girl and get an ego boost.

chyna's avatar

Girls suck. How about taking him out on the night the date was supposed to have happened to help him get his mind off of what he would be doing if she hadn’t been such a jerk.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Just tell him the truth… “Women are BAD”.

Ela's avatar

He was going to take her to the movies. I asked but he doesn’t want to go.
I don’t have a lot of experience with dating and what I do have isn’t that positive. I’m trying to keep it positive and not give him an easy-come easy-go mentality about it. I don’t want to implant the idea that people and relationship are dismissible or replaceable even though they may not always work out.
I did tell him I thought the best thing to do is to say okay and walk away. That keeping his self-respect is important.

Ela's avatar

LOL @RealEyesRealizeRealLies Not all women are bad! When he was 5 I could have told him girls have cooties but he won’t believe that now.

sliceswiththings's avatar

You’re doing the right thing by talking about it! Some parents (not mine, luckily) don’t even address those issues, or jump right to the “no dating!” part of the conversation, and don’t take the time to listen and advise. Good for you!

I had a similar heartbreak in high school. In this case, I DID get a date with the guy, then he avoided me for three days then said he wanted to just be friends. I had practically picked up my wedding gown. I told my parents right away, and they just kept the sympathy and hot cocoa coming. Even just making a big deal of finding something non-romantic on TV showed me how much they cared, which made me feel better. Trying to make jokes (I don’t remember what). Nothing cliche, no “there are other fish in the sea” or “you’re too good for him” bullshit. It was HIM I wanted! Just coddle coddle coddle!

Zomblue's avatar

You have the insight and the ability to reflect on your own past. You know how sad your son feels and he doesn’t want to hear the it’s all fine “mom” words to make him feel better.

Emotions are raw at his age. You remember that. The best thing to do is share your own raw experiences. Those things that make you cringe now, but let you relate to your son. You know it will all be alright soon, but right now, he’s in the pits. Let him know that you know those pits.
Say: “I can’t make you feel better about (girl) but I’m here. Want to watch your fave movie and eat junk food with mom?”

Vincentt's avatar

@chyna I don’t think there are many boys who would like to be able to tell they went out with their mom because a girl they fancy didn’t want to go…

blueknight73's avatar

Just let him be! He will figure it out.

Bellatrix's avatar

Don’t minimise his pain. The fact that you are asking this here says you will not do this but some people do throw out lines like “you’ll get over it”, “plenty more fish in the sea”. He is genuinely hurting, so acknowledge that he is. Perhaps spoil him a little (not too much). Take him out to the movies or whatever it is he loves to do? Encourage him to get out with his friends and do other things.

I just read up and saw @Zomblue said something similar… And welcome to Fluther @Zomblue.

chyna's avatar

@Vincentt Obviously he wouldn’t tell anyone. The point is to get him out of the house and focus on something else the evening they would’ve had a date.

Sunny2's avatar

Be patient. This is part of growing up. Listen if he talks, but don’t push him to talk.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’d let him work it out on his own. This is part of growing up. If he asks talk with him. He needs to learn how to handle all aspects of relationships. I worked through all of my stuff on my own and I’m not too horribly scared. Just don’t dig too deep in the yard at my childhood home.

blueiiznh's avatar

This is sooooo difficult. It makes it especially hard if he is of the caring kind of person he seems to sound like.

Be there to comfort when he needs to have a shoulder. He will learn from it, but hopefully in a good way. These are the kinds of limps that can help him grow inside and learn about his feelings.

Embrace his feelings and ensure he has a safe place to share them.

I wish him and you all the best through this.

Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.

Zomblue's avatar

Yes, we all have to work this through on our own. It’s a devastation/heartbreak that we’ve all had.

It does get easier to bear, but it’s easier still if your parent is there to say, “Man! I remember.”

Not “You’ll get over it.”

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I’m not a parent, but I feel like it would be best for you to stay out of it unless he brings up his romantic interests first. I may not be a guy, but I am young still (not as young as your son, but still young, and I remember what I was like at 15), and I don’t want my parents to have anything to do with my love life without me bringing it up first… I was the same way at 15. Maybe he’s different… and maybe your family is different, so just go with what feels right for you and for your son. Better yet, you may even be able to ask him a question like “Is there anything I can do for you?” You could also tell him “If you need anyone to listen and to understand you, I’m here.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@AnonymousGirl I’m a guy. I don’t want my mother anywhere near my love life. You’re spot on.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^^ Okay, phew. Yeah, mothers can make things really awkward. So can fathers.

chyna's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe You are slightly older than 15.~

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna I still remember my first dumping. :)

AshLeigh's avatar

There’s not really much you can do. Just let him know you’re there if he needs you.
See if he wants to do something else that night. Rent a movie. Go out for pizza. Or whatever it is teenage boys like.
And if he does want to talk listen. Offer advice if he asks for it, but don’t push the subject.

Fluthyou's avatar

50% of the worlds population can’t suck…. maybe we all do. In any case, maybe she just got nervous and he’ll find out soon enough if she was worth his time.

Ela's avatar

Thanks for all your replies : ) Staying out of it isn’t an option for me : (
I asked him tonight how he was and he’s doing much, much better. He knows I am here for him. I will keep a close on him and his behavior for a bit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

he’ll end up with a girl that’s just like momma… that’s not necessarily a bad thing

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@EnchantingEla Well, why don’t you just make him his favourite food for supper? =]

(PS- You’re welcome, I’m sure, from all of us. ^_^)

AshLeigh's avatar

Making his favorite food is a good idea. Boys love food.

Ela's avatar

Thanks but I’d rather talk through his feelings and offer random hugs. I don’t want him finding comfort through food.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

If it’s healthy, I don’t see the big deal…?

Bellatrix's avatar

It makes eating food a response to feeling better. Many people comfort eat. They feel bad, they eat. I think @EnchantingEla is saying (and I agree with her) that she does not want to use food in that way and potentially set up such a response in her son.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I suggested it because that’s the kind of thing that would make my brothers happy. They wouldn’t want my mother being the way @EnchantingEla is with her son. I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s normal for a 15-year-old boy to not want to talk much about his personal feelings about girls he is interested in with his Mom. Even when I was 15, my then boyfriend (who was also 15 at the time) was pretty embarrassed to even tell his parents he had a girlfriend… and then he was pretty embarrassed by his Dad’s reaction… when he found out, which was something along the lines of “You got a girlfriend! Congrats, son!” ... Uh… lol. Anyways… @EnchantingEla can do whatever she wants… and of course, it’s her family, and she knows her son better than we do. And maybe her son is different and will be more receptive to her hugs and emotional reassurances. :)

AshLeigh's avatar

Why don’t you ask him if there’s anything you can do? He knows better than we do.
I was kidding about the food. Haha. Comfort eating is unhealthy.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

food and feelings… man what a cycle. just thinking about it makes me feel lousy, and hungry.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Ela's avatar

As @Bellatrix stated, many people comfort eat. It makes no difference that he is a boy. The big deal to me @AnonymousGirl, is that I don’t think it is in any way healthy (emotionally or physically). It does not deal with the emotions being experienced and it instills the mentality that if you are sad, food will make you feel better when all it does is avoid the feelings, eventually makes you feel worse and fosters much larger issues to deal with.

All of my sons have been taught respect for feeling, their own and others. I have never told them to get over things or just to suck it up. I always try my best to respect their feelings and never dismiss them as irrelevant or unimportant. Nor would I ever intentionally embarrass them. If I am embarrassing them or not helping them, if they don’t want to talk about something or they just want to stop, they tell me so and I respect that.

Apparently my kids are not normal @AnonymousGirl because he came to me first. He was very comfortable coming to me when he first took interest in her… telling me about her, what he thought and how he felt. I told him if he wanted to ask her out, I would support him and offered him help (cash, ride, ect). His dad knew nothing about this girl until my son told him he had a date.

He knows I am here for him. We had talked Monday night and not much since then. I have asked a couple of times how he is doing and when he says “good” I believe him and say “okay”. That doesn’t mean I am dismissing it. I think it would be foolish to not keep an eye on his behavior, especially in today’s teenage world.

He’s not devastated by this and is pretty much over it already. I apologize if I gave the wrong impression in my original question. It’s kind of hard to explain… I think teenage boys and girls process things differently so therefore my question was meant to be directed toward personal experiences (either as a male teenager or the mother of one) and things/deeds that really helped to get through young crushes and heartbreaks.

ps. Random hugs can say much more than words, imo, and he is very receptive to them as he has been receiving them all his life : ) (He also gives them!)

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I appreciate you explaining all that to me, but I was in no way suggesting he form a habit of “comfort eating”. It was more like a treat to say “I care about you.” I didn’t really think of it turning into comfort eating… ‘cause if my parents did that for me, I doubt it would turn into me having an unhealthy eating habit. Like I said, it is up to you what you decide to do… and you know your son better than we do. :)

mattbrowne's avatar

Acknowledge the pain.

Ela's avatar

@AnonymousGirl He is a young 15,in another 2–3 months he will probably be exactly as you say. He is going through so many changes. He’s fine about the girl but now other things are happening and we’ve been arguing. It’s hard for me not having anyone to talk to and help me understand what he’s going through so I seem to irritate him a lot lately. I think that’s hard on us both because we have always gotten along.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@EnchantingEla :( :(

I hope things work out. <3

Avangelo's avatar

For me I was one of those pseudo popular kids that everyone liked, girls thought I was cute, yet I was a stoner so those are the people I hung out with. I was also weird and loved drawing a crowd. Those preppy girls were too good for me I guess so I just went through school with frequent crushes. I’d leave him be. At they age the is such an imbalance in hormones that he will have a crush on someone else again and again.

AshLeigh's avatar

@EnchantingEla, is everything okay now? :)

Avangelo's avatar

I’m married with two kids. It’s insane.

Ela's avatar

About the same @AshLeigh, thank you for asking.

Inspired_2write's avatar

These things happen.
Don’t take it to heart..there are reasons probably not related to your son at all.( emergency etc).
When the girl is ready she will contact him.
If not he could ask her why? He is owed that much at least.

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