Sweetchocolatechip asks: I’m 15 years old and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I used to think this was cool — you know, saving myself for the ‘right one’ — but now when everyone asks this mean question, “Do you have a boyfriend?!” and I say no, I feel like they believe I’m undesirable. All my life, whenever a guy has asked me to be his girlfriend, I’ve always said “thanks but no thanks.” But now I’ve met someone who has loved/liked me since primary school, and I think I’m ready to say yes! The only problem is that my aunt [whom I live with] is afraid of me having a boyfriend, and so is my mom. I’m recently baptized, so I don’t want to lie to anyone, but I feel its time now for me to have a boyfriend. What should I do?
Hi Sweetchocolatechip –
Thanks for your question about a first boyfriend.
I would first recommend you check out my earlier post about when it’s right to start dating. But you have a very tough situation besides that. I think it’s totally great that you’ve waited till you knew what you wanted, and it’s absolutely splendid (and sooooo romantic!) that this boy has wanted you for years, and you think you’d like to go out with him! But now you have to deal with your aunt and your mom.
This is such a tough problem. I know they mean well. But you and I both know what they’re really frightened of – and that is the key to the solution!
You know, the way things used to be, boys had to impress the girl’s parents first, and then all dates were chaperoned, and only after months of this would the daters be allowed to spend any time alone together. Now while that sounds weird to modern ears, it had a lot going for it! What you, and this boy, need to do is to sort of replicate that system.
Here’s what I’d suggest. First, sit down with your aunt and have a very open and sober discussion about dating. Tell her your views about boys, religion, sex, etc. And ask her about her experiences, and her feelings about things. And when you two are really, fully, understanding each other, tell her about this boy. And suggest that she either meet him, or talk to some of the other parents at your school to find out what he’s like. In other words, I suggest that you ask her permission.
(You’re very right not to want to lie. Even if you hadn’t just been baptized, people love talking about romance more than just about anything else, so it’s a guarantee she’d hear about it eventually!)
I don’t know if your mom’s close enough to be part of this conversation, but if so, that would be fantastic.
Your goal is twofold – first, to argue your case well enough that your aunt relents, but second, to impress her with what an adult you are. It’s then that you’ll find her to be most inclined to agree with you pursuing, not just this boy, but whatever else interests you in your years living with her.