Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

Explaining to parents

Question:
 
Throughout my middle and high school years you’ve always helped me out whenever I’ve had a problem. Now that I’m in college I’m hoping you can give me some advice. I’m currently dating a boy I met in high school and we’ve been together for almost two years. We’re in a long distance relationship so it’s very difficult for us to see each other besides summer and winter break. However, I have a couple days off from school coming up and I booked a plane ticket to go visit him. The problem is, my very religious parents think that it is incredibly distasteful and wrong for a girl to travel and visit her boyfriend. Apparently if I visit him, I will ruin my reputation (even though I’m staying at a friend’s apartment). They have no problem with him coming to visit me at my college, so I am very confused about why it isn’t the same way when it comes to me. I’m a junior in college, I bought the plane ticket with my personal money I made from working, and my grandma even approves of the trip. If you could give me any advice on talking to my parents about the upcoming trip I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much.
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I’m with you on this one, but the problem is reasoning with your parents.   Way back in the “olden” days, that might possibly have been true, but it’s so far out of date now that it makes me wonder just how old your parents are.  Whatever, if you feel you do have to have their permission or their understanding, ask them calmly just what it is they think will happen if you are staying at a friend’s house and visiting your boyfriend in his town, and how this is different from his coming to visit you.  My guess is that two things are involved here:  they feel that if he comes to you at your college, your college or roommate or resident dorm manager will look out for you, but if you go to his town and stay with a friend, he could come there and “anything could happen.”  The fact that in many colleges today men and women can room with each other and have friends overnight may be beyond their comprehension.  The second thing that may have a factor in their disapproval is not that they don’t trust you or your boyfriend, but that they might have to explain to relatives or friends what you are doing over your break, why you aren’t at home, and it’s this possible “reputation” they are concerned about.  You are a junior in college, you are learning to make your own decisions, and after listening and responding politely and lovingly to their feelings, I think you should thank them for their concern, tell them you don’t share their worries, nor can you imagine any of your friends or professors thinking less of you, give them the phone number where you will be staying, and have a a good time.

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