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I would love some advice on how to be supportive and yet keep some distance for my own sanity re:my daughter's (experimental?) stage+++

Posted by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM
  • 13 Replies

Is a freshman in college and has become a vegan, came out to a few people, me include as bi, broke up with her really nice bf of almost 2 yrs. (first bf she slept with), joined an online dating site and met up with a girl she met on there. She is very bright academically.

She has had nonstop romantic relationships all through high school. She has never been single for more than 2 weeks if that. Each breakup involved much sadness and some self loathing. She want to therapy for a while,  but has since told me it doesn't really help. After this last breakup said she was lonely, sighed and also said "I guess I will have to deal with things on my own."

I don't really care if she's gay, straight, bi or whatever (might have to do some soul searching if she wanted to change genders), just expressed we want her to be successful, and get a good education (she needs to work to make this happen as we are of modest means) and have always said that her sex life is her own and is private. We don't let any bfs of gfs hang out here alone or encourage a lot of pdas within our home. No bf/gf sleepovers.

((We have a 14 yr old son as well. He is an all around different kid...plays in the band (jazz as well), plays amazing baseball, is funny, extremely bright and likeable, and negative things roll off his back. He has had a few very casual gfs for a couple months, but from what we can see, doesn't go for the drama. )) He doesn't let it bother him if a girl isn't interested in him, nd has no problem breaking it off if he feels he and a girl have nothing in common. Refreshing to us and in sharp contrast to our daughter!!

At this point, I find myself wanting to draw away from discussing dd's romantic relationships because I feel tapped out and exhausted at the mere thought of having to entertain one more love interest here at our house. I cannot count the times I have had boyfriends over for dinner, bbqs, for swimming, movie nights, game nights, taken them to movies, mall, park, hiking, for ice cream...you get the picture. I did it with the enthusiasm (mostly) of a parent that wants to stay involved and help establish boundaries for healthy relationships. 

Perhaps where she is now will also change and next year she will be dating men and eating everything...?? We have been going with "the flow" all along.

She is 18 now and will have her own car to commute next year, and to go out when and where she wants, as long as she works, pays car insurance and her for own fun stuff, and keeps her grades up. Is it unreasonable of me to discourage meeting and perhaps entertaining love interests (male or female) at this point without seeming as if I am unsupportive? I love her, but have my own concerns, about meeting people online, and taking a "dating break" which I lightly voiced ever so delicately...but she said  "I keep hearing you say 'my thought is'..."  OK, then let's not discuss!

Time to keep "my thoughts" to myself....?

I would love to hear your thoughts!


by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM
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nuts4scouts
by Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting dflygirl7:

She has had nonstop romantic relationships all through high school. She has never been single for more than 2 weeks if that. Each breakup involved much sadness and some self loathing. She want to therapy for a while,  but has since told me it doesn't really help. After this last breakup said she was lonely, sighed and also said "I guess I will have to deal with things on my own."


YAY for her!

That is EXACTLY what she needs to do - learn to deal with things ON HER OWN. Learn that being in a romantic relationship is NOT necessary. That SHE is a capable person, and can do things on her own.

She is NOT defined by who she dates, or if she dates.

She needs to work on HERSELF for a time. Learn to be confident in herself.

Let her know that you feel she needs to concentrate on herself for a while, without the distraction/drama of romance. Romantic partners will always be there for her, the "well" will not suddenly go dry. However, she needs to first work on liking herself. Learning to be confident in herself, and what she is capable of doing on her own.

Then let her know that you will always support her. That your ears, and shoulders, will always be there for her whenever she wants/needs them.

After that, do your best to only offer opinions when she asks you for them. Or if you feel that something might be dangerous (like online dating). Step back as much as you can, but encourage her to use you as a sounding board for ANYTHING she wants to talk about.

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by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I agree with this,
Just let her know you are there for her & support what she decides or who ..
And honestly some entertaining of her new bf/gf is nice I think.
As for the online meeting .. it is not as bad as you think.
Hugs to you .. good luck & please keep us updated on what's going on :)

Quoting nuts4scouts:


Quoting dflygirl7:

She has had nonstop romantic relationships all through high school. She has never been single for more than 2 weeks if that. Each breakup involved much sadness and some self loathing. She want to therapy for a while,  but has since told me it doesn't really help. After this last breakup said she was lonely, sighed and also said "I guess I will have to deal with things on my own."


YAY for her!

That is EXACTLY what she needs to do - learn to deal with things ON HER OWN. Learn that being in a romantic relationship is NOT necessary. That SHE is a capable person, and can do things on her own.

She is NOT defined by who she dates, or if she dates.

She needs to work on HERSELF for a time. Learn to be confident in herself.

Let her know that you feel she needs to concentrate on herself for a while, without the distraction/drama of romance. Romantic partners will always be there for her, the "well" will not suddenly go dry. However, she needs to first work on liking herself. Learning to be confident in herself, and what she is capable of doing on her own.

Then let her know that you will always support her. That your ears, and shoulders, will always be there for her whenever she wants/needs them.

After that, do your best to only offer opinions when she asks you for them. Or if you feel that something might be dangerous (like online dating). Step back as much as you can, but encourage her to use you as a sounding board for ANYTHING she wants to talk about.



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Bleacheddecay
by Gold Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Whew! When you said experimental I thought drugs. These experiments are much better. I see nothing wrong with going vegan or veggie. I've been veggie my entire life but she needs to NOT put the burden of her diet and cooking on you.

For that matter she should not put the burden of entertaining whoever she dates on you either. I have no issues with a child being straight, gay or bi. My girl is gay but started out saying she was bi.

Counseling could help her but if she won't go, it won't help. Perhaps her counselors before just weren't a good fit.

Overall as long as she is doing well in college and handling her issues that's all I'd want. I'd be very happy for that.

LadySaphira
by Lisa on Mar. 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Let her do what she feels she needs to do, it sounds like she is trying to define herself. She will figure it all out eventualy, untill then just be loving and supportive as you have been.

atlmom2
by Susie on Mar. 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM
She needs to learn she can do things without somebody. She doesn't need someone to survive. She shouldn't jump from one to another.
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momma-t42
by Gold Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 1:56 PM
2 moms liked this

I have 3 grown daughters and all but the youngest (who is 19) pulled in their own direction to 'find' themself and who they are.  It's honestly my least favorite stage they go through as I don't so much relate since I was a mom at age 18...but I'm sure I was 'finding' myself as well and just didn't realize it's drama.

With my oldest daughter, I have to admit, I flipped out as she went on this journey...as it was confusing to me.  Thankfully, she is my most forgiving child and I nearly shoved her away.  It wasn't until she got married at age 22 that we became extremely close.

My middle daughter is still on that journey and she is 21 and was my most difficult child as she is a complete "combo pack" of me and my husband and that is just scary at times.  I truly 'keep my mouth shut' and don't ask her too many questions.  I make sure ALL of my input is geared towards "Safety" and my daughter is very respectful as she appreciates that I care about her safety.  So when she went to Mardi Gra with friends (and she made that announcement in a whispered voice), all I asked of her is to please call me when she got there, and when they were about to leave to come home.  She respectfully did both.  Oh, and I jokingly posted on her wall to be 'wise' in the photo's she posted.... she appreciated my humor as I was showing support for her being a young adult, yet planting my own two cent seed that I did not want her exposing trashy pictures on facebook.  And she didn't as she understands it is not good to display inappropriate pics there or any public forum.

The more you tell yourself to respect her decisions as she discovers what she wants to do, who she wants to be, the more you will actually respect her exactly how she is, and the quicker she'll get through that stage.

My youngest daughter may be going through some of it as well, but I may have actually focused myself towards their safety first and just not noticed it like I did the other two.  

In reality, we as parents DO tend to have expectations of our children because we are the ones who worked our butts off to raise them.  But even when they become adults, they still want that bond with their parents...it's just up to the parents to continue on in setting that standard.

Good luck...you'll get through...and come vent here anytime..  It really does help :)

terri-553
by Silver Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM

She is who she is,Let her find her way,love her.Just warn her to be careful about all people/allhugs things.And love her for being her.

MamaSnaps
by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I understand your position and that it's not about the girlfriend change, but will she? you are running the risk of her feeling alienated because you are making a this pretty big change in your actions now that it's no longer a boyfriend. And I think with your daughter's sensitivity that is a really high risk. 

So what to do? I'd allow for her and her friend to come to any family dinners that you'd invite everyone to, but maybe not go out of your way to do extra things either. With ANY dates-not a female or a male. She's old enough now that needing a babysitter for dates or mom to drive you to the movies, etc is long past. So, let her go on her own dates and social activities. If she brings her friend around? Support her just like any other friend.  

kuntrylady56
by Gold Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 5:27 PM

It sounds like you and your daughter have a close relationship and she feels comfortable talking to you about these things in her life is a good thing. But I know how you feel when they feel the need to "dump" all their problems on you.

If shes talking of thing s you don't feel comfortable talking to her about,just tell her so.  I have to do that with mine sometimes.lol     Keep letting her know you're there but also let her know shes going to have to learn how to deal with these things on her own,its all part of growing up. 

sdbcoach
by Member on Mar. 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I'm a firm believer in "only answer a question if it's asked."  It keeps me out of trouble - giving advice they don't want. Maturity comes at different times in all our lives. Encourage her and explain that you are doing things differently and will answer anything she asks, but not unless she does. "I'm here for you whenever you need support."  My daughter said she felt I was "judging" her friends and that's why she didn't talk to me about them. I explained to her that she seemed to have me stuck in a certain age of our relationship. I explained that I ask about her friends now because I truly care, want the best for them & her. It (sorry, can't get rid of the Italics) seemed to clear things up for her & we speak more often now & without an edge. I liked the comment: she needs to love herself first. Doing it alone isn't a bad thing when you do and finding your own true balance will only set her up to attract a great partner when the time is right. Does my story help at all?

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