my boyfriend has a son and my parents disapprove

dear heather,
I am 17 years old, I will be 18 in less than a month. My parents (and the rest of my
family for that matter) hate my boyfriend. We have been dating for about 2 months.
The reason my  mom doesn’t think I should be dating him is because he has a son. she
doesn’t even know my boyfriend, but yet she is judging him just because he has a
child. She won’t even take the time to meet him/get to know him, and every time I
try to talk to her about him she completely shuts down and starts yelling at me. My
mom thinks that he only wants sex from me, which is not the case, both of us have
agreed not to have sex. He is a really sweet guy–I think I may even love him–but I
am very stressed out about this whole situation and I don’t really know what to do.
Please help me. I don’t want to keep fighting with my mom, but I also don’t want to
lose what could be a first love.

It’s obvious that you feel really strongly for this guy! Let’s just say you are 18 — you practically are — to make the scenario a bit clearer. You can date who you want to date regardless of what your parents think. Legally, of course. But they do have your best interests in mind. And that goes for 7, 17, 18, or 82 years old…

It sounds like your mom is being extreme in her response — often parents do this because they feel like a situation is so clear, so black and white to them, that they have to “put their foot down” and lecture you like there’s no tomorrow. Your mom is valid in having those feelings. Here’s why: she cares so much about you, her mind goes to the worst possible place — a place where you don’t get to achieve your goals and dreams because of pregnancy, or his obligation to his child affects you and your decisions. It’s understandable because you’ve probably thought about that too, right?

So sit her down and acknowledge your feelings about him. Tell her you understand why she’s so upset. Tell her you know how it looks. Tell her you get that it’s not the perfect situation. Acknowledge that you are aware of her fears.

But then, you have to tell her why you don’t share those fears. And be honest. This is a great opportunity to prove to her that you are a thoughtful adult who can make good decisions about her future and the boys she chooses to date. Tell her that you’ve made a pledge to each other to not have sex and that your relationship is fulfilling without it. Explain how the child affects his life. Explain how the child affects your life. And finally, let her know that you’re going to date him because he’s a respectable, great guy who treats you like a total princess with the maturity of a guy beyond his years (he’s a dad, right? he should be).

But first, make sure you believe it.

take care,
heather

send in your questions for heather to heather@gurl.com. and if you’ve ever dated someone with a kid (or you have a child and are navigating the dating scene), let other gURLs know how by sharing your advice in the comments below.

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Posted in: Dating, Family, Help Me Heather, Love Advice
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  • Kelly

    maybe she whent throu the same thing when she was your age, somone her family hated but she was headover heels for and got hurt as a result try looking at it from both sides otherwise all you can see is 'he respects me and cares about me beyond my body why cant she give him the same?'