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Scarleteen Confidential: When You Don't Like Their Partner

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at

It's a perennial cliché in nearly every coming of age movie, book, and sitcom. An adolescent or emerging adult character brings home a new boyfriend or girlfriend, who is met with dismay or disapproval by parents. Perhaps there is a joke (because threats of violence are apparently hilarious) made about shotguns if the daughter has brought home a boyfriend. Often, the scenario is played for laughs, or for soap opera levels of drama.

In real life, it's not unusual for parents to not immediately like the partner of their teen, or to feel wary or cautious when it comes to supporting their romantic or sexual relationship. But that situation


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