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FunnyFelipa's avatar

How should I respond?

Asked by FunnyFelipa (66points) October 23rd, 2014

I’m 17 and my family is very conservative. I’ve always known that I’m not allowed to date, but before now I didn’t care too much because I’d never had anyone interested in me. I met up hung out with a very nice guy a couple of weeks ago. We share interests as well as political and religious views. We sat and talked about anything and everything for 2 hours the first time we met. Later he asked me out. I sat down and talked to my Dad about it that night, because I knew that if I went behind their back and they found out they’d have my head on a silver platter. He was ok with the idea but said it needed to be in a group context and not after dark. I was conflicted between trying to respect his rules and going on a date behind his back. I ending up going on a date with this guy. I’d never gone on a date before for very obvious reasons. It was everything I ever wanted in a first date and then some. We talked for 4 hours!

My hope was that if we kept dating I could slowly introduce my parents to the idea and we wouldn’t have to go out behind their back. It didn’t make any sense to me to try to get my parents to let me go on a first date, because it’s only a first date. It could be that one or both of is wasn’t even interested in seeing eachother again.

So he did ask my out again, and we have something scheduled for tomorrow evening.

The problem is, that apparently my Dad never told my Mom about the conversation the we had. I told her what happened (aside from the fact that we went on a date, obviously). She ended up telling me how disappointed she is in me, etc. I won’t bother to relate what she said. Just know she was pretty darn upset. Apparently she’s now going to keep me on a very short leash. I’m not really allowed to go anywhere now, except when I’m scheduled to be at school. (Not to mention the fact that I’m actually going to University….)

I’m obviously going to have to cancel tomorrow because I have to come home right after school now. (What I told her is that I was going to stay at school and study for awhile.)

While it is sad that I could be losing I potential relationship with a great guy, the biggest issue for me is knowing how to respond to me parents about this.
As great as he really does seem, most teen relationships don’t last, and I recognise that. Nevertheless, I don’t know how to emotionally deal with my parents’ attitude towards guys.
How do I accept this?

Being disappointed and angry with me for hanging out with a guy without permission and talking for a couple hours (not even a date mind you) doesn’t make sense to me. Is there something I’m missing here?

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

It might be helpful if we knew what country or culture you are from.

FunnyFelipa's avatar

I live in Minnesota and my parents are concervative evangelicals.

janbb's avatar

Oh thanks. It is such a different way of looking at things than I am used to, I don’t know how much I can help you. Could you talk to your Dad about talking it over with your Mom and giving you a little lee-way?.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

As a parent myself – of kids who are in and nearing their 30s – I’m not going to say that your mother is being ridiculous, but… maybe a bit over-protective.

Especially given your obvious desire to respect their rules and boundaries, and your demonstrated intelligence (thank you for writing that does not appear to have been pieced together from a shredder or ransom note), in addition to the fact that you are already in college / university, your mother’s reaction seems very over-the-top for me. And I say that as one who has passing familiarity with evangelicals and strict rules.

I suggest that you press your mother on this – respectfully, as I’m sure you already are! – but firmly. “Disappointed?” That you have found a respectable and pleasing young man who shares your values? That you have deliberately chosen a path that respects her (to me) overly controlling and rigid rules? That even now you are respecting those rules? She should be pleased beyond measure. Her work here is essentially done: She has raised you to be a fine young woman; she can relax and enjoy your final maturing now.

You might suggest a compromise: That he be invited to dinner at your house so that your parents can both get to know the young man, and so that they can see for themselves the kind of young man who attracts you, and thereby learn to respect your judgment in such matters.

No, I’m going to say it: Your mother is being frankly ridiculous. My rules for my kids were relatively more strict for them than their classmates, but nowhere near the attitude that your mother has. My kids have turned out perfectly fine in spite of my “lax” attitude. (Though I will say that their mother’s attitude was, like your mother’s, far more strict than mine. Even so, she was never “disappointed” that my daughter wanted to date. What an absurd notion.)

Coloma's avatar

It is not uncommon for people to choose to not remain of the same faith or any faith at all as they mature. This is your right. If your parents “love” is so conditional and structured upon you having to adhere to THEIR beliefs that are far from healthy “normal”, you may have to rebel and tell them out right that you disagree with their overly strict beliefs and that they either allow you to be your own person as a college aged ADULT or…..they risk a rift in the relationship. Tough love is a 2 way street and sometimes young people need to really assert themselves with their parents

chyna's avatar

How old was your mother when she dated? Are you ever going to be allowed to date?

FunnyFelipa's avatar

I don’t know exactly, but I know that she had boyfriends throughout highschool. That was before she “got saved.”
And probably not until I move out. Although I think my mom might be open to someone next year if they go to the same school that I do. It’d still be a weird version of dating.

jca's avatar

What grade are you in? I am guessing that since they are conservative evangelicals, their views on dating are not going to be changing any time soon. Take solace in the fact that you will soon be off to college, and then will be on your own to pretty much do as you please. They should realize, too, that keeping you on such a short leash will not be beneficial, as you should have some freedom now, so you don’t go totally in the opposite direction when you are away at school.

filmfann's avatar

Have the boy come over and talk to your parents. If he is polite and respectful, they should calm down.

and have him not wear the “hail Satan” shirt

tinyfaery's avatar

University? Oy. You are an adult. Act accordingly.

Pandora's avatar

How will they feel about you asking to bring a friend over for them to meet and then bring the young man to meet them. I knew a young lady in a similar situation and she bought the young man over to meet them. After a few dates (kind of at home) the parents relented to her going out with him on day dates and later it was a smooth transition to evening dates. Followed by years of dating a proposal a few years after college and marriage.
A few years into the dating they were already calling him son.
It could be just as simple, that mom doesn’t want you to date someone she doesn’t know. Explain that you would like her to meet him because he is a very nice person and you need to know that she puts faith in your judgement and faith that she raise you well enough to not do anything foolish. Also tell her you will be going off to college soon and it is better that you learn about courtship now when she will be easier to ask questions about relationships than to wait in college and not have her to advise you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Your parents have my sympathy. They can’t win, and it’s just as well because they aren’t supposed to win. Your situation is absolutely classic. You’re on the verge of adulthood, and you’re interested in a guy. It’s a powerful urge, and threats from your parents are not going to suppress it. If both your parents are aware that you’re interested in this boy, you should point out that they should thank the God they worship that you picked a decent boy, and the smart thing for all concerned is for them to meet him as soon as possible. Tell them they’ve reared you to have good sense, and that an introduction to your friend is one way to verify this.

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