Confused Asks: So, I’m not allowed to date. However, I didn’t listen and I am dating my current boyfriend. My dad said that it’s okay that we like each other, but nothing serious can happen until I’m 17. I’m about to be 15. He makes me happy, and just makes me a better person in general. However, because I’m not allowed to date, I can’t hang out with him alone; we have to hang out with friends. The problem is, I’m not friends with any guys that he knows. We both came from the same middle school, so it was easy to hang out; some of my friends would go, and some of his friends would go. We all knew each other. However, now that we’re in different high schools, things have changed. He doesn’t want to meet up if it’s just my friends and me (because he would be the only guy). And my dad wouldn’t like me to hang out with just him and his friends. The thing that’s so hard about this is that my dad barely knows my boyfriend. I previously went to a catholic school from Kindergarten all the way until 8th grade, but we moved to a different building in the 6th grade. Because of this, my parents aren’t really familiar with any of my friends that I made past the 6th grade. My boyfriend came in 7th grade. I feel like if he had been in the school longer, my parents would be okay with me hanging out with him and his friends. Also, I take school very seriously, and I put it before anything. I’m on the swim team and I’m in a lot of different clubs/programs, so it’s really hard to balance school with family and with him. I haven’t been giving him as much attention as I used to; we barely get to talk now. When we do talk, 70% of the time we’re arguing. Recently, he told me that he doesn’t want to be together anymore because I’m not giving him enough attention. (I used to text him 27/4, but recently my schoolwork and clubs haven’t been giving me enough time to spend all day texting him. We also used to hang out before we went to high school, but now our circles of friends are different. Now we barely hang out, too. I also never get to FaceTime/call him nowadays. So now he feels like I stopped giving him attention.) I told him that I can change and find a way to give him more attention. But the truth is, I’m not sure how. I was going to try to talk to my mom and get her to let my dad let me hang out with him alone, but I highly doubt that would work. I don’t want to lose my boyfriend. What should I do?
Hi Confused –
So I’m seeing one solution to both your problems. At least a bit of one. Now maybe this idea is awful, but just in case…
Why not set up a time for your parents and your boyfriend and you to get together? Why not all four of you hang out?
Your family could have him over for dinner, or the four of you could meet at a restaurant. This would give your boyfriend a chance to show himself to your parents at his best, give them a chance to see him as a person (and not just as some ghostly figure their wonderful beloved daughter runs off with into the night!), and give you a chance to show your boyfriend how important he is to you!
Maybe this needs to happen more than once.
Then, if it goes well, your dad will have a better sense of this guy. And if your boyfriend did his job and made a good impression, your dad will likely relax a little about the time you two spend together.
But don’t expect too much! Handsome loves to tell about his girlfriend from high school, whose father was always trying to get in the way of their relationship. Once, at a big family dinner, she blew up at her dad, making him admit that Handsome “is a nice boy!” “Well yes,” he grumbled, “he is. But he’s still a boy!” And your dad is almost certain to feel the same about this fellow.
But maybe it’ll be enough. Maybe your dad can allow you two to see each other some more. And maybe that’ll be enough for your boyfriend to feel you’re there for him, even though you can’t text and FaceTime all day long (it’s so funny, those things only matter to those who have gotten used to them. People ten years older than you never had the chance to connect those ways; most people twenty years older than you didn’t have cell phones when they were in school, people ten years older than them didn’t even have pagers or voicemail, so didn’t even have a way to know if anyone had phoned them; and we dogs don’t get ANY of these things! If our human is away from us, we have no way of communicating with them at all!).
Now maybe it won’t be enough for your boyfriend. Maybe he needs someone who’s in touch with him every hour. But if so, maybe you two aren’t right for each other. You have a great work ethic – you care a lot about devoting yourself to your schoolwork and your activities and your swim team. So if that’s the person he likes, then he needs to let you be her! And if he needs something else, then maybe, painful as it is, you have to let each other go.
And believe me, if so, there will be guys out there who are also really busy, who will just love the idea of having a girlfriend who’s busy enough to let them be themselves too!
So see if you can get a dinner going. Maybe go to a movie together too. And let me know what happens!
Best of Luck!