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Daughter not making friends because of boyfriend

(4 Posts)
Countryhousewife Thu 15-Sep-11 10:55:54

My DD 16, has just started at college and her bf of several months has attended a different one. He is only home once a month and they are adjusting to the separation but it is early days and they are both quite miserable at being apart. The relationship is very intense and she has had some past self esteem problems after dumping friends to focus full time on this relationship and spend every minute possible together. We like him very much and have no problem with them dating, but my DH and I were pinning all our hopes on this fresh start for her but I have just found a letter in her room to bf saying that she is not enjoying college and has made no friends and does not wish too and does not fit into any of the friendship groups, but does not care as all she wants to do is be with and think about him! My heart sank when I read this as it seems like she is making no effort at all to integrate into her new surroundings. She really desperately needs some girlfriends in her life, to keep a balance and have some fun socially, but she seems quite wooden with girls, and more at home with the boys (most of her past friends have been boys,but they have all gone separate ways now). I am terrified she is putting all her eggs in one basket and if this relationship ends at some point, she will be alone which could lead to her old self esteem problems resurfacing and there are past self harming issues too, pre this relationship.

How can we encourage her to try to branch out and meet new girlfriends and get a social life at college apart from the bf, without a) letting her know we saw the letter and b) sounding like we are interfering in her life and telling her what to do, which she hates.

She seems very happy in herself and I would not have detected this lack of friends without finding evidence, (but she is a very good lier) so not sure if she is just telling him she is friendless to make him feel better because he is not here. Please help.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Fri 16-Sep-11 12:04:52

Who was the letter to? Do you think she intended you to find it? Did she have any professional help with the self harm? How long is the college course for?

Maryz Sat 17-Sep-11 20:16:07

I think that rather than encourage her to "make friends" which she won't want to do atm, you should encourage her to do new activities, to join clubs, to widen her experience (voluntary work, unpaid work experience, clubs related to her college, join a gym, go swimming, anything really).

This will have two benefits - it will get her to come "out of herself a bit" and a side-effect might be that she accidentally meets new people.

You can't force her to "make friends" and so I wouldn't mention either the letter or the possible lack of friends to her. But you can encourage her to improve her life a bit and to widen her interests.

Countryhousewife Sun 18-Sep-11 16:10:35

in reply to your questions the letter was to her boyfriend, and I don't think she intended for me to find it, it was left at home one day by mistake. She did have counselling for the self harming and that has ended and her college course is for two years. She is now on the verge of getting a part time job but is reluctant. She is afraid that a job will interfere with her seeing her boyfriend on the weekends that he is home.

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