General Question

CynthiaLC's avatar

Should I push my daughter to see and date guys?

Asked by CynthiaLC (124points) September 8th, 2010

My daughter has been depressed since her good friend passed away a few months ago. She’s on and off about liking guys because she feels like she’s ‘betraying’ her friend and her heart. She did date a guy for about a week and then broke it off suddenly without any warning. I thought he was a super nice guy and I honestly don’t know what happened. I want her to get out and meet and interact with guys. She’s living a very unhealthy lifestyle and it’s actually causing some concerns. She doesn’t like hanging out with friends, she spends all her time talking to people online and I’m not very happy about it. The last thing I want to see is my daughter alone. I mean it’s been almost eight months since her friend passed away. Is this a normal grieving process, or no? Also, she has very, very high standards. If a guy doesn’t meet all of her standards, she basically shuts down and doesn’t like them anymore. Do you have any suggestions? She’s 17.

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21 Answers

loser's avatar

Don’t push her. She’ll find her way when she’s ready. Just let her know that you love her and are there to support her.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Absolutely not. Let her find her own way out. Just be there for her and be a good mother and friend to her.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

She needs time.Her friend died and she is coming to grips with it.
I wouldn’t push her to date at all.If anything, watch for signs of depression,then maybe get her some help.

tranquilsea's avatar

At 17 I wouldn’t push her at all. If her depression continues then I would encourage her to seek grief counselling. She has to be in the right place to extend herself in a relationship. Give her time.

Even if her friend had not passed away I wouldn’t push a 17 year old daughter. There is nothing wrong with being single at that age (or any other for that matter). Your daughter will know when she is ready.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

There is nothing wrong with being single at that age (or any other for that matter). What @tranquilsea said.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

No, do not push her to date guys. She may have been even closer to her friend that passed than you realize, and everyone grieves differently. She is definitely showing signs of depression, but honestly, that’s to be expected. Pushing her to do things right now, especially when it comes to dating guys, is only going to widen the gap between the two of you at the moment. Offer to spend quality time with her, rather than making it obvious that you’re trying to “fix” things.

Although I’m older than your daughter, I lost my best friend to suicide last December (9 months ago), I will tell you that today is barely better than the first day he was gone, and when people tell me I have to move on, there are some days that it absolutely pisses me off beyond belief. I know they’re only trying to help me, but he was my best friend, so I feel like “How dare they tell me to get over it?!”

Right now, especially if her friend was a great guy, she is going to compare every single guy to him – and none of them will measure up, probably no matter how nice they are. So when she actively tries to date, it’s going to be even more painful for her than it would be if she just didn’t date at all right now. She’s only 17 – and she suffered a major loss. If things get really bad, and they might, because they did and still are for me, ask if she would like to talk to a grief counselor. You’re her mother and you love her, but sometimes it takes a professional. Just love her. Seriously… That’s all you can do right now.

MrItty's avatar

IMO, you should be staying the heck out of your daughter’s love life under even the best of circumstances. Under these circumstances? It shouldn’t even be a question in your mind.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Do not push her in any regard. With the way she seems to be acting, I wouldn’t even push her to eat her vegetables. Just support her, be a shoulder to cry on. She needs time and love and to be treated tenderly. Death is traumatic enough for adults, even more so for teenagers. She needs to sort through her emotions and her memories, without feeling pressure from anyone.

Marva's avatar

No. you shouldn’t push her into doing anything.
If she behaves this way, she has a reason, she is hurt. you should treat that pain, and not the symptom, which is not socialising. She has entangled herself in some way and the best thing you can do is help her untangle. If you explain to her that “she shouldn’t feel this way” you only alienate her, because she is not understood.

counselling would be best, if you can get her to go. Try the direct and honest approach “sweetie, I see you have been having a hard time, and that I am not helpful to you, maybe you would want to see someone who could help?”
If she won’t go, seek counselling yourself, have a proffessional teach you how to help her out of it.

CynthiaLC's avatar

She loved this guy and she reminds me every day. If I suggest putting his photos away, she snaps and gets very protective. She crys every day and I feel horrible because I can’t fix it and I want to see her happy. I know I should stay out of her love life, but this is her life in general I’m worried about. She says she’s going to end up alone and with no one. She wants to drop out of university, she wants to kill herself and that’s what needs to be fixed. I know he meant a lot to her, but he wouldn’t want her being this way.

her words a few months ago before he died: “Mom, I love him a lot. I want to marry him, is that crazy? He’s the sweetest and smartest guy I’ve ever met. I really think this guy is my soulmate. I want to be his forever and to just be there for him through anything. I honestly love this guy.”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well that should be your big light bulb right there. She loved him and wanted to marry him. Now he’s gone. She’s distraught and probably feels like half of her is missing. If you know how strongly she felt about him, and you see how torn up she is over losing him, you should be ashamed for even thinking about parading other guys in front of her. I loved my husband almost from the moment I met him. My feelings were so strong for him, even very early in the relationship, that if something had happened to him and my mother suggested putting away his pictures and moving on, I would have slapped her.

Marva's avatar

@CynthiaLC In the ligth of your last response, it seems like your daughter has taken his death as a message that she doesn’t deserve to have a love so great. Like a message from god or something similar.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

Just give her time.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, and just FYI, I was in a very similar situation when I was 18. I got a prescription for Zoloft, I poured my soul into a journal, I told everyone to leave me the f*** alone and I drowned myself in a tequila bottle for a while. It passed. Everyone deals with grief differently. It’s not your job to pull her out of the funk; it’s your job to wait silently in the wings until she’s ready to live again.

Cruiser's avatar

No offense but at that age, the loss of a good friend is as if not more traumatic than a family member or even a parent. She may have invested or shared all her hopes and dreams with that person and they are now gone and she is feeling abandoned and alone at the least. Be a parent and be there for her and do not push her towards anything! She should find her way out of her abyss on her own. A hug or kind words from you now and then will reassure her things will be OK.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Definitely don’t push her into dating or getting rid of his stuff before she is ready. She has to grieve his loss in her own way. Rushing it could cause more harm. If she not already talking to a counselor, perhaps that would be good for her. Just be there to support her and be a shoulder to cry on when she needs it. The more you try to push her to move on, the more she is going to fight you on it.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I sat here and thought how I would feel if I lost my best friend….my very, very, very best friend my confidante, my buddy, my person-at-the-end-of-the-phone-at-three-in-the-morning, my rock and my sounding board.

I would feel as if my world had ended and very abruptly. That’s really intense and painful.

Would I want to date? No. Would I want to cheer up? No. Would I want my friend’s pix taken out of my room or put away? No, no, no!

I would just want to grieve and grieve until I could grieve no more. Just let the cycle play itself out.

Okay, I just read your response——this was not just a “friend”....this was a boy she truly, truly loved and wanted to marry.No wonder she is grieving! That’s a whole different situation. This was someone she wanted to be with for life! Honestly, I would take her to someone who does NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) to help her deal with her grief. They have a way of working so that you can move out of the pain and into healing.

It helps, too, to let her know that you support her and that might mean just saying, “No matter what you do, I’m here for you…if you stay in bed for a whole year, I’m here for you…” Sometimes children just have to know that they are loved no matter what and when there has been a loss like that it is doubly important.

(PS. I also recommend that you find “Star of Bethlehem” Bach Flower Remedy in drops and give this to her every day. They are all natural. This particular remedy works on deep grief. It helps to calm a person down and just deal with the acceptance of what has happened. They are online for ordering or also at most health food shops.)

CMaz's avatar

Help her find a hobby. Something to get her motivated.

Pushing her on dates or to see guys is a very bad thing.
It’s great she has high standards. Because men are asses.

Ivan's avatar

You can’t think that she’s going to snap out of depression as soon as she finds a boyfriend. If anything, she needs to learn how to be happy while single. Her happiness can’t be dependent on having a significant other. She can’t just replace her deceased friend. She has to come to terms with the loss and find her own happiness. Only then should she start dating other guys.

Jeffinohio's avatar

I will read what others say normally, but I do have an opinion.

The loss of a good friend at such an early age is gonna have some kind of impact. Tragic as it my be, reality still exists, and life goes on. If you can define how long the grieving process is, you would be proven wrong, simply put, we’re all different, and time frames mean nothing until it means something. In other words, there is no set time frame for grieving a loss, it is up to the individual.

This may have had an impact on your daughters social availability or willingness to be social. If that’s nothing more than normal, I don’t know what is. But understand, don’t push.
She’s still young, hormonal (pardon me for saying it), and grieving. Give her some space, but reassure her that you are still there for her, no matter what.

I fathered 5 children and am still active in their lives. 3 girls, 2 boys. My baby is older. Personally, what I’ve espoused to my children was a simple plan, and maybe you may see some wisdom in what i’m gonna tell you…I asked my kids for just a few things. Get an education and if I pushed, it was their school work. Go to college, get your education, establish a career, establish you base (home), and when you wanna screw up your life, add a spouse. I tried to add the twist at the end only to make my kids think, I wanted them to do it right the first time, no do-overs.

So in my opinion, your ok. Just be patient, you will see the rewards so long as you continue to guide her along the way.

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