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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Affection, Depth of Relationship, and Parents

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Author Topic: Affection, Depth of Relationship, and Parents
Britster
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I am going to talk to my brother and sister-in-law who went through the same thing with my parents, but I also would like some outside feedback.

I'm in a serious relationship with a young man (as a note, I'm 20 and he is 22), and we are hoping to get married in a few years once we graduate from college and are in stable situations. My parents like him and approved of the relationship when he asked permission to date me (which was early this year). However, they seem to take issue with how serious the relationship is- my mum was alarmed when he mentioned marriage when he asked to date me- which is incongruous as they don't approve of casual relationships. They do not like it and make that fact well-known if we express affection around them (e.g. sitting close, leaning, holding hands, hugging- we don't kiss around them) or spend a lot of time together. They did the same thing to my brother and his now wife, so this wasn't a huge surprise. It's a bit tiring having to always monitor our behavior when around them, but more than that, I'm worried how this all will affect future plans.

As part of my major, I have to spend at least three months abroad, and my boyfriend is hoping that I spend next summer in China with him so that I can meet his parents. I really would like to meet them and I think it is important that I do, but I am worried of how my parents will react. I don't want them to veto the plan. They are aware of the major requirement (which they aren't fans of), but I haven't really talked to them about my options or my desires on the subject.

I just don't know how to handle the situation.

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coralee
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I think it would be a good idea to tell your parents about your plan of spending time in China with your bf and his parents well in advance, and discuss it in a calm and mature manner. If you are willing to consider marrying this man, even though your parents might not fully approve, I'm not sure why you are worried about a much smaller decision-- meeting his parents. You will be faced with times when your family, or his family, or both, don't approve of your choices. But if you are ready to commit to him, the best thing you can do is explain your choices as respectfully as possible, because you are an adult now, and these are your choices to make.

It sounds like your parents are pretty conservative when it comes to sexual/romantic relationships. It makes perfect sense that, even though they don't approve of what might be called "casual" relationships, they still feel nervous when they think about you marrying this man. A child planning a marriage is just one of those things that can be hard for a parent to handle, because it forces them to see you as a adult.

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Britster
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You're right- I do need to talk to my parents. I'm just worried about being vetoed and not being able to bring up the subject again. So I'm hesitant when it comes to something that is important to me.

I know meeting the parents of a significant other does not seem so drastic, but for me, it means traveling abroad (I haven't been out of the USA before) and to a place which my parents consider unsafe, and I would be there for three months and would be living with my boyfriend and his parents. And you are correct, my parents are really conservative, and because of this they weren't at all happy when my brother and his then girlfriend traveled together to Chicago and New York City to visit siblings, and that was probably for a week.

And to be honest, they have their own ideas of what I ought to do. My dad wants me to go to Switzerland so I can stay with relatives. The only thing though, is that I wouldn't be comfortable with that as I have never met these people. Whereas I am comfortable with and trust my boyfriend and have "met" his parents (through skype) and to some extent feel I know them vicariously. But I know that my parents would not see it that way.

And I think you are very right when you wrote that it is difficult for parents to see their children as grown-up. I think that is exactly why they aren't taking my relationship so seriously.

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coralee
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Well good luck with your conversation with them. I hope it works out!
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Britster
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Thank you very much!
Posts: 89 | From: United States | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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