Views on serious relationships?(17 Posts)
Dd (16) is very in love with first boyfriend (18). They are making plans for uni and beyond and see themselves very much for the long term. How to handle as it's so different to the way I have lived my life. Maybe will all fizzle out I know but what if it doesn't? What would be the disadvantages she needs to be aware of? What are other people's experience of these serious relationships at a young age?
I've been with my DH since I was 16 and he was 18. He wasn't my first boyfriend but my parents never knew about any previous boyfriends so I guess they were in a similar position to you.
I wouldn't say there are any real downsides, I don't consider my lack of 'experience' as a downside.
The only thing I would say is that I was aware from the start that I was far too young to be thinking about getting married, etc. whereas my DH definitely had that on his mind, to the point that I turned down more than one proposal until I felt I was ready. It might be worth having a chat with her along the lines of you hope she'll be happy and everything will work out but she shouldn't ever feel pressured into any kind of commitment and she still has plenty of time to find someone else if she so chooses.
Thanks for sharing your story. I think dd does feel the same as him but I will take your advice and check in with her again if she is ok with how fast it is moving.
I struggle to understand it and empathise as I was much more into moving within relationships at her age and didn't settle down to my thirties. But I know my way isn't necessarily her way but want to try and understand her perspective as it is so different from mine.
Any insight welcome xx
I met my dp when I was 18. 9 years later we're still together. Although not my first boyfriend he was the first one my parents had met. I guess the difference with us was I don't think either of us imagined we would still be together so many years later.
Just make sure that if they are making plans together, make sure she's not sacrificing her dreams to suit his needs. Nothing will cause resentment quicker than her going to a uni she hates to please him. Make it clear that she doesn't need to 'follow' him to the same uni that he goes to - so if she wants to do a course that is better suited to one uni but doesn't exist at his uni than that's okay. They can still date, but that you have to put the effort in to see each other.
But just make sure that if it doesn't work you support her.
I have been with my husband since 17. I did have a boyfriend beforehand.
Good point about uni!
My parents met at high school, went to uni in different cities but have now been married 33 years so no reason for the boyfriend to affect your DDs life choices but equally doesn't necessarily mean them splitting up (if they're still together by that point obvs)
I suppose my concern is that neither of them have had any other relationship - can you really just meet the one first time of dating?
I know only time will tell and I may be overthinking this but it is not my experience of young single life so am struggling to empathise. I know I didn't particularly gain anything from short term relationships in my twenties but when I eventually met my dh in mid 20s I was a more mature and rounded person.
You can. I mean it's rare but many people on here will have success stories.
I think it's important she's aware that she can always make her own decisions and that she deserves and you hope she is happy, but that she shouldn't revolve her whole life around one person. I made this mistake before uni - my college boyfriend and I picked the same university, he lived with me and we got too serious too soon and it did ruin us. I'm not sad about it as I'm very happily in a relationship with a wonderful man and we're expecting a baby now, but at the time me and the ex did revolve everything in our lives around each other and made every decision checking it was okay with the other. I missed out on a lot of independence, travelling etc between 17 and 20 because of it.
Just wanted to give an alternative perspective - I know a lot of people stay with their first love or college/uni/teenage partners and it works out beautifully.
My cousin got together with her now husband when she was 16 and he was 21. They've been married since she was 17 and have two children. She's 40 this year.
Inspired - thanks for this input. I need to hear all sides to help her with this I know some would think I should just bit out and leave her to it but I do worry it is too serious too soon and it has not been my experience so struggle to empathise. I can see it could save you a lot of heartache to meet the one right away but equally have the potential to stop a lot of growth. At the moment dd is listening to me and open to my opinions which is a great thing so want to come in accepting but also with a sense of perspective
I would be concerned, although I know many stories where it's worked beautifully.
I would worry that my dd would be folding herself small/compromising on important things in the urge to 'be together'. However, I would have to repeatedly tell myself that my dd is not me - and just because I would see this kind of relationship as a limiting, hobbling thing, she hopefully feels the opposite and it might help her fly...
I had a teenage boyfriend .. .he & his baby brother would both trumpet they were going to marry each & every girlfriend. Only they didn't... they moved on eventually & never settled until in their 30s. So my strategy if DC felt very seriously, would be to Just listen & respect the sentiment that they feel strongly in the moment. I'd probably come up with a gentle message that it's good to take your time before making big commitments. Let the talk of plans wash over me, only actions matter, not dreams they like to live in advance before they figure out the dreams may be just that.
Good advice - will make sure she is clear about her own goals and what she wants.
I'm not sure how certain you can be at feelings at this age (although I take it very seriously and think they are genuinely felt). But it's such a rapid stage of change isn't it.
It is a period of change but nobody knows how they will change- to become more suited to one another or less so. My niece (nearly 30) is happily married to the boy she dated when she was 16 and he was 15. I am very happily married to my first boyfriend whom I met at 19, 35 years ago.
I don't think either I or my dn have had our development stopped- perhaps because the relationships we had with our respective boyfriends allowed all sorts of different other freedoms.
I didn't compromise and dh did not expect me to. During the time of our early relationship, I lived in a different country, I did a degree, and then a PhD, I travelled, both on my own and with him, I had lots of friends and a good social life. Meeting somebody when you are young doesn't have to mean you sit at home and darn his socks forever after. It is really only children that force compromise, and we both agreed to defer those until we were both ready. In our case, being from different countries (holiday romance) that meant one of us having to emigrate and feeling settled in their new country. In the event that turned out to be me, but more because I felt the UK would be better for my career than because I was a woman- dh would have been just as ready to take the plunge.
I'd say both dh and I have changed quite a bit over the years - certainly more mature than we were- but we have grown together rather than apart.
My dn and her bf did not go down the academic route, but they waited quite a while before having children so they could do the travelling they both wanted and generally enjoy a bit more freedom.
Thank you for sharing both of these paths - it is good to know young relationships can be successful.
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