Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

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Hel
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Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

Unread postby Hel » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:47 pm

In the past, I've always been reluctant to talk to my parents about romance, crushes, etc. I'm open with them about almost everything else, but for some reason, I hesitate to ask them for advice on dating/relationships. I think it's because they always make jokes about not wanting me to date anyone. (Even though I have dated someone in the past, they continue to make these jokes.) I've told them I don't like when they make these harmful jokes, and they've mostly stopped, but I'm still nervous to talk to them about anything romantic.

How can I bring up dating? I'd like to have a significant other in the future. I feel like it would be problematic if I kept my love-life a secret, because I did that in the past, and it complicated things.

If anyone has advice, it would be very welcome. Thank you!

Mo
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Re: Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

Unread postby Mo » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:34 pm

I can definitely understand your frustrating with the jokes your parents make about not wanting you to date someone! Have you been able to talk to them about why you find those jokes frustrating or upsetting? Maybe you could say something like "these jokes and comments make me feel like I don't want to be open with you about relationships or romantic feelings at all," and see if that can spark a conversation. Sometimes hearing about the specific impact of their comments can get people to change their behaviors more than a simple request can (although of course one would hope that just asking them to stop would be enough).

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

Unread postby Hel » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:11 pm

A few weeks ago one of my parents made an annoying 'joke' about not wanting me to date for pretty much forever. I told her it was hurtful, because it made me feel like I wasn't allowed to date or have crushes. I suppose it was pretty affective, and she hasn't made comments like that since, but it still makes me nervous to speak about relationships.

These sorts of jokes have been going on for years, and though I recently put my foot down, I am still a little scarred. I know my parents mean well, but even the idea of discussing something as lighthearted as cute celebrities with them makes me shudder. How can I overcome this feeling?

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1952
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

Unread postby Mo » Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:26 pm

I don't know that overcoming the feeling is something that's going to come just from yourself; it sounds like what you'd need to feel safe and comfortable discussing things like crushes or relationships with them is for them to stop making jokes or comments about not wanting you to date anyone, and that's a choice they have to make. I wonder if there's something that feels pretty lighthearted and removed from your daily life (such as a cute celebrity, or even a celebrity couple you think is cute together so it's even farther removed) that you could bring up to see what the reaction is, and test the waters slowly that way? Ultimately, though, I don't think there's a way for you to feel comfortable talking about these things if you know they'll react in a way you find upsetting. I hope that your mom can really take your comments to heart and stop with the jokes and comments.

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Anyone have advice on talking to parents about relationships?

Unread postby Hel » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:03 pm

Thank you for the advice. Perhaps I'll gradually bring up crushes over the next few months or so.


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