Yanni asks: I’m only 14 and I really like this guy and he likes me too and he is courting me. But my problem is, I want to be his girlfriend but my parents told me that I could only have a boyfriend if I’m already 18. But I really like him and he puts a lot of effort on his courting. Should I be his girlfriend and keep it a secret or obey my parents even if it hurts me and him?
Hi Yanni –
Oh I’m of two minds here! On one hand, how romantic it is, to meet behind your parents’ backs like Romeo and Juliet! But on the other, four years is a big difference when you’re only 14 (can you imagine dating someone who’s 10?!), and even R&J only tried to hide from their parents for a few days – you’re talking about trying to keep a secret for four years, if you wait till you’re 18.
And that’s where my thought really comes in: You can’t. There’s just no way.
It’s like when I climb up on the counter and take a piece of dinner from Handsome. He might not notice it right away. Maybe it’ll take him five minutes, and I can manage to sneak it outside and eat it all before then. But I know that, at some point, he WILL find out. And when he does, I’m going to have to suffer some major yelling.
Now I might decide that that’s worth it! But again, I know it’ll only be temporary. And my concern with your situation, Yanni, is that it is also temporary. Parents are brilliant at knowing what’s going on in their kids’ lives, no matter how good a job of concealment the kids do. Now if you were 17 and considering this, I might say it’s worth a try. But at 14, I really think there’s no point.
Instead, I think this is a great opportunity for you to talk with your parents about how impossible their wishes are. And to explain to them that, whether they’re okay with this current boy or not, there will be others later. And that you really want to be able to do some fun stuff with boys in your teenage years, however that can be arranged. So maybe you can use this for ‘leverage,’ to get a compromise from them.
What sort of compromise? Hmmm… like… maybe when you’re 15 they’ll let you go out with a boy as long as you two are always with a group of friends, never alone. And then when you’re 17 you can go out with a boy, but they want to meet him and know everything about him first. Now is that exactly what you want? Probably not. But it’s a lot better than waiting till you’re 18 to go out at all. And it’s hugely better than going out with this guy now and getting caught… since then they won’t trust anything you offer in any negotiations.
So, I’m sorry to say it, but I think this is the time for talking, not for dating just yet.