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Do I say something?

(17 Posts)
Margot21 Mon 25-Jan-16 21:29:00

Hello,
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post. I'm quite concerned about my adult son and wanted to get some opinions about how best to help.

My son is mid 20s, he's been talking to this girl online for a little while and has just told me that he wants to go and meet with her. She lives in Singapore, we are in UK. Now I usually don't get involved in his relationships but this has thrown up a few red flags for me. Firstly he isn't working at the moment, left school without many qualifications so it has been a struggle for him, he's also maybe a bit depressed about not having work. When he told me his plans I asked what his plans were for work etc and he just said he'd move over there if things went well and sort something out. I've had a quick look at visas doing a bit of research, and it seems like for Singapore you either need quite a few years of good work experience or a degree to even stand a chance of being considered for a job, neither of which he has got. I wouldn't be concerned if it was somewhere like Australia where they do working holiday visas for example but to go to Singpore seems near impossible for him in his current situation. I don't know whether to broach this with him further or just let him go and see how he feels about her? I'm worried if he gets too involved with her and then finds out he can't get work or live there it will end up making him feel more depressed.

My second issue is he's told me he wants to go and stay with her for 3 months (max travel visa length). Does that seem like a normal thing for someone to do, considering he's never met her in person or spent any time with her? I can't help worrying that it seems really desperate and not like a normal course of action to take. Would anyone else agree with me or am I being overly concerned? I've tried suggesting he goes for a few weeks to see how he feels then go back for longer next time but he's not interested. Now I know with his age I can't tell him not to go but should I try talking to him more, get him to see that his actions are quite reckless and find him help with looking for work etc or just hold my tongue and leave him to get on with him?

I'm struggling a bit with understanding where he is coming from to be honest, he's not a teenager where that kind of behaviour could be expected to some extent, I'd hope at his age he'd consider consequences and realise that other responsibilities should come first, get himself settled in a job first at least. Am I expecting too much or not considering something in all this?

Thank you for any advice.

BramblePie Mon 25-Jan-16 21:32:47

How will he afford the plane tickets?

Epilepsyhelp Mon 25-Jan-16 21:38:25

I sympathise OP but not sure what you can do. As you say he's an adult and he can make his own choices. I'm sure he'll probably be home long before the three months is up.

Margot21 Mon 25-Jan-16 22:10:17

Thank you for the replies.

BramblePie he has £1000 in a savings account, money his nanna (my mum) gave him for his 21st which he says he's going to use. I know my mum won't be too happy, she'd hoped he'd put it towards a car or rent deposit. I'm not happy either, it seems like a waste and I know it was a lot for my mum to get together for him. I feel a bit ashamed of telling people in my family if I'm honest, they know he's not working and I feel I should have done a better job of raising him. I don't know what he's told this girl either because I don't see why she'd want to be involved with someone who lives so far away, has no job and couldn't move to be with her. From what he's told me she wouldn't leave her family to move for him.

uglyflowers Mon 25-Jan-16 23:02:00

Could you offer to pay for her to visit and stay with you? At least you could check her out and protect him a little.

pallasathena Tue 26-Jan-16 09:45:37

Is he the sort who would think that if he had a relationship with this girl, she would 'sort him out', ? you know the type of thinking where you hand over personal responsibility to someone else who will look after you?
The reason I mention this is its a trend I'm noticing with some young men who haven't 'launched' themselves into society. They are subconsciously looking for someone to take care of them.

eyebrowse Tue 26-Jan-16 10:00:02

It sounds like he is drifting at home he is at the right age and stage to go out and explore the world. Even if it turns out badly it will give him some life experience. This is just the age to take a few risks

ImperialBlether Tue 26-Jan-16 10:04:49

Can he get an open return ticket? Ask him what the requirements are if you live there permanently. Tell him to look it up. Don't say "You'd need a degree" but let him find it out for himself. I met a young woman in her 20s from Singapore recently and she said that accommodation is incredibly expensive and people live at home with their parents until they marry. Her aunt is unmarried and 50 and still lives with her parents (unwillingly!) because she can't get state accommodation and private accommodation is ridiculously expensive. Where would he live? If he lived with her/her family he would HAVE to make a financial contribution - how could he do that on £1,000?

FinallyHere Tue 26-Jan-16 10:09:59

Sorry, but i understand that marriage partners with British passports are very prized properties out there.

What is the worst that could happen?

BramblePie Tue 26-Jan-16 10:12:11

I agree with eyebrowse.

It may, and probably, not turn out how he hopes but it will open his eyes a bit. A learning curve if you will.
But if it doesn't work out don't bend over backwards to fix it.

I am sure he will be fine though!

WickedWax Tue 26-Jan-16 10:15:27

Well he's not going to get far on just £1000, that won't cover too much more than his flight grin.

I'd be worried and probably angry, but he's an adult and you've got to let him try it.

Maybe venturing out into the real world where you don't live with mum and spend your day chatting to girls on the internet and actually have to fund your own lifestyle will be the wake up call he needs.

KatharinaRosalie Tue 26-Jan-16 10:17:12

£1000 to fly to Singapore and live there for 3 months? That will be a little challenging. I would direct him to the work visa sites, to check out if and how he could possibly work, and what the penalties for working without permits are - but other than than, I think you need to let him make his own mistakes.

RiceCrispieTreats Tue 26-Jan-16 10:40:45

He's going to land himself in financial and emotional difficulties, not to mention legal ones if he overstays.

Financial: prepare yourself to pay for an early return flight for him for him when it all goes pear-shaped

Emotional: he's looking to a relationship as a cure to his feelings of low self-worth. Guaranteed to be a car-crash.

Legal: god help him if he crosses Singaporean justice... it's notoriously strict.

You have to let him make his own mistakes, though. Looks like he's heading for a few big ones.

While you can't stop him if he chooses to go along this route, I think the key here is really his sense of self-worth. Is there anything he could be steered towards now that could boost his ego? Eg. Teaching or mentoring a younger person, a constructive volunteer project, a project at home that uses a skill he's good at... ? I think he needs more ways to feel good about himself, so that he doesn't have to go reaching for futile dreams halfway around the world.

Optimist1 Tue 26-Jan-16 10:40:49

Re-reading your OP it sounds as though he's not a complete novice in regard to relationships, which is a relief, but I agree that he's over-optimistic seeing the £1000 as funding for a 3 month trip. Imperial's right, you need to prompt him to investigate the requirements for staying long-term and to figure out how long his money will last him - even though he's adult he needs to be aware of the logistics before proceeding with his plans. As to the fact that your mum would be disappointed in how he's spending her gift - I think the fact he hasn't blown it since his 21st is to his credit and surely "travel experience" is in a par with "car or rent deposit"?

Margot21 Tue 26-Jan-16 13:40:55

Thank you all for the replies, you've given me a lot to think about.

Yes, that's where my concern mostly lies, that he's using this to feel better about himself and maybe as a bit of escapism rather than facing up the realities. I haven't said you can't go because of ... , I've asked him to think about how he'd manage to afford it, how it'd work long term and to look up working criteria etc but he just seems in complete denial and that it'd just somehow work out.

Maybe just the experience in itself will boost his confidence a bit though and push him to start trying harder with things when he got back home? I'm just hoping he doesn't end up feeling worse about himself or end up thinking of it as a "failure". I'm not sure what to suggest about helping with gat though because he doesn't want to seem to acknowledge it.

DespicableBee Tue 26-Jan-16 13:46:13

If it was me I'd say fine go if you want, but grandma says that money is for a rent or house deposit, so you will have to get a job and save up for the flights
At least it will take him a while to get a job, save up, he might change his mind etc, and you are still agreeing he can go
He's an adult, so he can fund any trips, or holidays

redfox2015 Tue 26-Jan-16 17:27:52

If he's serious then try and help him get it right. Check out student travel sites and student/backpacking hostels usually these are pretty cheap though quality varies - I've not been to Singapore so not first had experience. Make sure he understands the consequences of getting into trouble with the law, especially drug related, it's not like here.
Have a secret fund to get him home if all goes wrong, but it probably wont

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