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My parents disapproval to my personal life and growing up


So recently I’ve gotten back in the dating game and my friends set me up with one of their childhood friends. He’s really sweet, nice, kind, and exactly my type and has the same personality as me and I feel like we have a real connection. A few days ago I told my parents about who he was and they asked me “how old is he?” I said 21 and they automatically just reply “no” (bear in mind I’m 18 and it’s legal). So this turned into a big argument of how I’m “too immature to date a 21 year old and i can’t handle my emotions enough to date him” and many more terms that subjected me to a child or someone that’s immature (all coming from my parents). This really hurt me inside and at the end of the argument my dad said “I can’t stop you but I’m going to meet him” and my mom stayed ever so rudely “don’t expect to be having any one on one time with him any time soon” which made me even more upset.

Part 2:

A couple of days later I brought the topic up again with my dad and he at this point was just pulling fake reasons out of his butt. I brought up how we both didn’t really consider age to be an issue to begin with since a 3 year gap isn’t that big. In his response he stated “it’s not the norm. Something has to be mentally wrong with him for a 21 year old to be dating an 18 year old. Why can’t he date someone around his age or older. There must be something mentally wrong with him” and all this made me extremely upset but I tried to hold my ground. The argument went on and on again to the ending line which was my dad saying “I’m going to ask him exactly like that, ‘what is mentally wrong with you to be dating an 18 year old’. Once again I retreated away and started prepping the guy for basically a hard bashing to come.

Part 3:

In the last part, basically these past few days my parents have been acting extremely weird. They’ve been way too nice to me and they kind of start shoving family time down my throat. For example they brought me out to dinner twice and alone for that matter. And one time my dad kept listing burger places left and right and when I asked him why he was suggesting so many when I already agreed to one he stated “just keeping my options open. I like to keep an open mind about things” (yes I saw past that you ain’t slick) and then yesterday my family made us do a stupid last minute egg hunt and a really dumb game of monopoly. I don’t understand what’s going on. And later I invited my friends over because I was feeling down and my parents sounded so salty about it. I was also upset because my guy who I want to date, invited me out for a walk but I had to decline because I wouldn’t be able to leave the house. I feel like a bird whose trapped in a cage and having its wings cut off. I can’t move out because I’m 30 minutes from campus and there’s no point. I’m reaching the point of depression knowing my dad is going to bash him and my family is going to give him a hard time. I’m so afraid to lose this guy who I feel a real connection with and makes me happy just because of something as stupid as age. I don’t know what to do but it feels like I can’t breathe anymore.


Hi friend,
this sounds like a tough situation. I’m sorry you feel this way and your parents aren’t on the same page as you.
Can you move out? You’re 18, so if you feel like you could do it and if you have a good job and feel comfortable with the idea, maybe look into getting your own place?
I think they really do love you and have the best intentions for you, but are scared. It’s not a big age gap, but maybe they don’t want to see you grow up. Maybe they regret not spending as much time with you and they see you maturing, so they’re trying to get as much time with you in. Maybe it’s not that they’re acting out of the normal, but they feel bad for not devoting enough time to you. I would spend time with them. Trying to push away from them just makes them feel like you haven’t grown up and maybe it’ll make them even MORE against the idea of you dating this guy, if that makes sense. Maybe if you spend more time with them, they’ll see that you have matured and you’re capable of going out with this guy.
I would also encourage you to talk to your parents more about this guy and have them hang out with him more. Maybe he could come over to dinner just so they could see what this guy is like? maybe they’d feel more comfortable around him after a while and be more okay with the idea.
Whatever happens, we’ll be here for you. We love you so much. Stay strong