Not allowed to date..?

I really would like a parent's perspective on this.

My parents are very strict. I'm not allowed to go out with friends, have a boyfriend, or even associate with boys. It's been this way my entire life, so I guess you can say I'm used to it. Even if it does frustrate me at times.

And no, I'm not a bad kid. I make excellent grades in school, I've never done drugs, and I haven't gotten into any serious trouble.

I've just given up on calmly talking to my parents about it. I know they're just trying to protect me, and they always bring this up. So I just don't bother anymore.

The thing is... there's this guy. Ha, isn't there always? I like him. I think he may like me. I really want to become more than friends, but I know my parents would go crazy at the idea. (My dad says I can't date until I'm 26. No joke.) And it'd probably be stupid to try and go behind their backs... as much as I want to. Plus, I think he deserves some who's actually allowed to date him. Someone he can go to the movies with, to prom with; someone who can go to his competitions to cheer him on.

So I guess you can say I've resigned myself with this guy. What I want to know is, how can I earn my parents' trust? What can I do so that they'll loosen up, so that the next time I really like a guy, I won't have to worry about their objections? How can I ease them into the realization that I'm not going to be a little kid forever?


Most Helpful Guy

  • WOW! You sound like a great young lady!

    1. I'm a dad.

    2. I have 4 daughters (no sons).

    3. I'm, well lets just say "a little" protective of them.

    Those 3 things (I hope) make me qualified to put in my 2 cents. So here goes.

    Parenting is hard, parenting girls in this world is really hard. As an example just today in the news a girl was found after 18 years of being abducted (that scares the CRAP out of me).

    To answer your question, figure out what you want. To date? To just hang out with guys and girls? To go out one on one with a guy? And be realistic! and keep the discussion about that. You say your under 18 (I don't need to know your age) but 15 or 16? Yes. 12? 13? Um...No. You don't even know your favourite color let alone what you'd like in a guy.

    You probably already have your parents trust (I trust my girls, I don't trust the guys or my daughters heart when they "think their in love" - girls do some stupid things to show they love a guy) You have to re-assure them you have your head on straight because they are raising you right.

    Which parent is easier to talk to? Maybe start by having a conversation with just that parent. Lay out all the things you feel you do to earn their trust, ask if there is anything else you can do. Plan to get to dating in stages. Be respectful the whole time, raise your voice? Roll your eyes? Sigh to much? And the conversation is probably over.

    One of the things we have done is have our girls "court" that starts with group dating - several guys and several girls (it takes the pressure off of everybody and you can still have a good time) this can be done with or without a parent floating around in the background. Maybe start by having the group over to your house so its in the safest possible setting for your parents.

    There is actually a really good book about Fathers "interviewing" their daughters dates. It is from a Christian perspective (I'm not sure how that works for you and your family) but it has a lot of really good stuff in it for Dads to think about.

    You are right about being realistic about your friend - he needs to know you probably won't date - but if your worth it (and I think you are) waiting isn't that hard to do. Dating isn't what everybody makes it out to be, its complicated, messy, full of drama ...but sometimes a lot of fun. So there is the good and the bad of it.

    Finally, DON'T go be hind your parents back, it is disrespectful, you will lose their trust and you almost always get caught (sooner or later). My oldest daughter (now married) tried to be sneaky all the time and nearly ever time it blew up in her face.

    Your parents care about you and are trying to protect you, that is a blessing, some parents suck at being parents. You need to let them know you've learned the lessons of being responsible from them and you won't forget them when you walk out the door to hang out with friends, because you've picked friends that are responsible as well.

    Good luck and God bless


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What Guys Said 8

  • My parents were pretty much hands off on a lot of this kind of stuff with me because I never got in trouble or gave them any reason to distrust me. But not all parents are the same.

    In my youth groups at church we were encouraged not to begin dating until 16 and to avoid serious steady relationships until we were a little older and more ready to deal with the consequences of a serious committed relationship--plus if you get into a steady relationship too young you restrict a lot of your dating opportunities and create some unnecessary social restrictions for yourself. Of course I was allowed to go to school dances, and I hung out with girls in friendly settings, usually with a group of friends. We were encouraged to date in groups and avoid alone time with the opposite sex. It was also strongly encouraged to not go into the bedroom of somebody of the opposite sex. For the most part I thought these rules were good and helpful.

    You might suggest to your parents setting up some ground rules together to help keep you out of trouble but also let you have some normal fun. Talk about issues like curfew, dating in groups, your parents get to meet the guys and girls you are hanging out with, talk about issues like kissing, hugging, holding hands, etc. and determine what is acceptable and what is not. I would post a link to a list of suggestions I put on another question, but the thread was deleted so I will repost the whole thing here.

  • So here are my list of practical recommendations if you would like to avoid crossing/getting too close to the line in the future until you are ready:

    1) Date in groups and try to avoid being alone too much.

    2) Make sure the groups you are with share your standards.

    3) Avoid having a steady relationship at this point. Date lots of boys. The longer you are paired off with just one, the more comfortable you will become and the stronger the physical attraction will become. I used to try to follow the rule about not going out with the same person more than twice in a row.

    4) Set up rules for yourself, and if you enter into a relationship set up rules together to avoid temptation. If you find your partner is regularly trying to get you to cross the line then you should break off the relationship because that would indicate you don't share similar goals and he doesn't respect your values. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your own standards you should consider stepping back a bit to evaluate your own weaknesses and how to avoid the situations that are difficult for you.

    5) Seek the help and advice of parents, church leaders, and close friends whom you admire and respect. They will understand because this is an issue that virtually every person has had to confront.

    Some rules I would suggest in addition to those I mentioned above include:

    --stick to a curfew. Whoever said nothing good happens after midnight was right.

    --always let your parents know where you are at and who you are with

    --let your parents meet the people you hang out with and bring them around the house often

    --in general, don't make a habit of hanging out at other people's houses when there are no adults around. Seeking to avoid adult supervision is usually a sign of trouble.

    --keep kisses short and respectful and limit the hand and body contact, especially with respect to private areas. Kisses show affection, but they can also be very sexually stimulatory. At this stage I think I think it wiser to stick to kisses that show affection and save the arousing kisses for later when you are ready to enter into a more intimate relationship.

    --never lie down together. Horizontal is hazardous if you want to keep yourself sexually pure.

    --never go into a bedroom together, especially if you are alone. Stay out of his and he should stay out of yours.

    • Sorry it's so long, but I felt these rules protected me from situations and decisions I would have regretted. Maybe setting up rules with your parents will help them to lighten up a bit.

    • Show All
    • Although I agree with 99 percent of what you said, not all couples of this age have such trouble controlling their urges. I met my boyfriend when I was 15 and he was 14 and we used to spend time in each other rooms all the time (where the video games were) and neither of us were tempted to have sex before we both turned 18 and we had been together for over 2 years. I know that's two of your rules we broke, and I'm not saying they are bad rules, they are great rules in general, But my point is that

    • Like you said, they are 'suggested' rules, and the question asker really has to negotiate a tailored list to suit her as an individual.

  • Bible belt, I suppose?

    Your parents are indeed trying to protect you, but in a old fashioned and clumsy "Readers Digest"-way. My late father in law had the same ideas as your parents, but his wife knew better and helped.

    My son was a bright student, started to date at 17. Got in a serious relationship at 18 (that's 14 years ago and they are still happy together) She was a bright student too*. They hadn't to hide from us we accepted it and added money for her birth control to his allowance when we thought they got more serious.(her mother hasn't much money)

    If we had had a daughter, I suppose we would have treated her in the same manner.

    I'm afraid your parents don't know if you're responsible and to what extend. Prove it to them, in any way they will accept. If that doesn't help, wait until you're adult.


    *PS, my son and his wife both have a PhD. degree, with greatest honors. *proud*:-D

  • this is why daugthers hide sh*t from their parents I know parenting its hard I got that but every girl needs friends and not just girl friends my girlfriend its jewish and they won't let her date me just because of that they didn't even met me we are going out if she listen to her parents she would be a depressed girl in her room bored out of her mind she actually thought of running away but if it wasn't for me she would have done it I get that they kill and kidnap girls and sh*t but you can't control that sh*t happens like that when ur 26 or 50 so using that as an excuse its bs it sucks because parents don't let her daughter have the life she wants to have its your life not theirs if I was you I would tell them talk to them and if they don't listen do it anyways unless ur under17 but every girl that I know that parents have tried controlling them like that like in ur case have done sh*t sooo much worse than if the parents allow her in the first place listen if your 17 going to 18 you better stand up and fight for ur right to do sh*t because dad want you to be single till like ur 30 and then get married they never realize the wrongs they do to their daugthers emotionally I would call that abused

  • Listen to regular guy, he may sound a bit "old" but he has a point :)

  • tell them you can't concentrate on anything anymore, and it's f***ing up your life, and that it just makes you feel like rebelling even more when they restrict you. put emotion into it.

  • I am a middle school boy the girl I like isn't allowed to date for another two months and she likes me to. Right now we have an agreement to start dating when she is allowed. I am definetly younger than you I say just hold out trooper and friends don't cause sexual assault and molesting

  • Agree to one of those purity-ball things were you promise not to have sex before marriage. It might make them trust you a little more


What Girls Said 8

  • You need to have a talk with them and show them how serious you are about this topic..That's the only way you have a chance at resolving your issues..If you just give up and stop trying to work this out, your parents will win and have it their way...I know for a fact that your parents were young once too, so they must understand...Do you think they waited until they were 26 to have their first bf/gf? I highly doubt it...The best way to make them understand is to patiently talk to them and put them in your shoes. Tell them how you feel, and how much it sucks to not be able to communicate with others your age. Remind them how great of a student you are and that they need to build trust with you. The only way to live life and learn is through personal experiences, so how will you ever learn about people if you're forced to be kept away from them? (especially about guys)... Let your parents know that if they don't ease up a bit then the relationship between you guys will go downhill because there will be no trust, less communication, more fights, because sooner or later you will be tempted to do things behind their back whether they like it or not...

  • same here

    my parents are like strict

    but just my mom

    my dad's not with us

    they actually are now pushing me to get married or get a bf

    i have been dating

    since after highschool

    but not until 26? wow. that's a little too much, or they're making generalizations about your maturity

  • I am not speaking form experience, but I am definitely going through your situation. I was born into a very conservative, strict, and religious family. When my dad sees me with boys, he automatically thinks I am dating them, doing bad stuff, lying, etc (which really makes no sense at all.) I know my parents trust me, but just know that your parents are just very protective of you (as are mine.) I can open up to my mom about my problems, which I am very thankful for. If both of your parents are very strict, I suggest you try to open up to at least one of them. Try not to raise your voice or fight back, instead, allow your parents to speak their mind before you speak yours. Make sure to tell them how you truly feel about dating. This is a very mature thing to do. I feel that if you open up to your parents, they feel a sense of comfort and trust, which helps them understand you. Try to bring your friends over. I know it may be hard for you (it was for me too), but this also shows them that you are comfortable with bringing your friends over to your own home, around your own parents (bring the boy you like over as well). If you are very serious about this boy, I suggest you make sure that he is just as serious with you. I know that teenage boys are stereotyped as sexual beings, but that doesn't necessarily apply to all. If your parents know this boy personally, this makes it easier for them to accept your choices. Be mature about this situation. They are only strict because they care about you (twisted logic). It is your job to prove to them that you are capable of acting responsibly. It's important to experience young love, but know your limits and expectations from your parents. Advice: Avoid, at all costs, going behind their backs. Not only is disrespectful, but you are only cheating this boy you like. Dating secretly is a hard thing to do, but if it's the only way, then get ready to face consequences in your relationship. (Trust me, my sister and her ex dated secret

  • Well, I'm not a parent, and I'm not sure if this helps but, my mother's point of veiw is that if she doesn't let me date, then I'm going to sneek around and do it anyways. I've NEVER snuck around, althoguh she thinks other wise. I know how hard it is to gain oyur parents trust, when oyu haven't done anything to lose it.

  • oh wow you sound just like me when I was about 15...

    how old are you by the way?

    trust me I hated the fact that I couldn't go out, they didn't care about the bf's but I just couldn't go out..

    i don't think you can really change their minds, and its not that they don't trust you, they don't trust all those other guys..most guys are only there for one thing, but I'm more then sure that your smarter then that..and I hope you are..

    also the sometimes think its for your own good, like they don't want you to get pregnant at a very young age, but if you realize it doesn't matter what age you are you can get pregnant at any time now and days..also lets say they don't let you go out when your young, when you to get older and your out of the house,your gonna go crazy because you've never had the chance to sometimes they are screwed either way...

    good luck though

    just have a talk with them and let them know how you feel

    • "its not that they don't trust you, they don't trust all those other guys"

      That's what my dad says!

      I'm actually 15.

    • And its true!

    • Boys are still dumb when you're fifteen, you aren't missing much.

  • Try compromising with them. See if you can invite him over to the house and hangout. This way they can get to know him. If they allow you to hangout maybe you can work to build their trust. I know it can be awkward with your parents around but that might be what its takes to get them to let you free. Try to hang out with him at school events, sometimes they make pretty fun dates.

    • School events sound like a great idea, thanks.

      I would love to invite him over and meet my parents. But I just don't see that happening. My parents have implied several times before that they don't want me to have guys even as friends. Having a guy randomly show up at our house one day would just be a disaster. Plus, I wouldn't know how to ask him. Seems like I'd be moving really fast.

    • Yeah. That's tough. I wasnt allowed to date until I was 16 and was so worried about my parents being to strict because they didn't want me to date. I have been really surprised how laid back they have been after I have started dating. I don't know your parents but maybe they will to. Also having a license is a great way to date because they don't have the ability to keep you. GOOD LUCK!!

  • omg my parents are the same way but I dated my first boyfriend behind there backs but it wasn't a good relationship we only texted we saw each other at school and parties it was ok but I would have liked a real date just show your parents ur ready you should be able to choose ur own decisions when ur 18

  • Sounds a lot like my parents. I was treated just like you. As soon as I became a senior in high school I applied for jobs, got a job and decided to move out. If I miss my family I can always move back in but I don't see why would I even do that unless money reasons. Other than that, I'd suggest getting away from your parents. I actually felt free and I could actually do things for myself for once.

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