ASK COOG: Boyfriend wary of young girlfriend’s parents
I am an 18-year-old freshman guy, and I have a girlfriend who is almost 16 years old and still in high school. I am concerned about my relationship because I found out that my girlfriend was not honest with her parents about my age from the start, and they just found out how old I am.
We have been "dating" for about a year, and her parents had no problem with it. We don’t really go out on dates because she isn’t allowed yet, but now her parents don’t even want me hanging out with her because of the age thing. I have tried explaining to them that I had no idea she had not been truthful and that I care a great deal for their daughter. My girlfriend thinks it would just be easier to see each other behind their backs. I know this is wrong, but I think they are being unfair. What should I do?
Dear Banned Boyfriend,
As an 18-year-old male, you should know that the dating and age difference rules change the moment you turned 18. It was unfair for your girlfriend to put you in this situation, but now that you are, you have a couple of options. You can lie and sneak around to see your girlfriend, risking a tremendous amount of respect and even your own personal freedom, or you can honor her parents’ wishes.
The best thing for you to do is go to them again, perhaps bringing your own parents this time. Talk to them openly, explaining how much you care for their daughter. Reiterate the fact that you were unaware that she had not told them your real age and apologize. Let them know that you understand the legalities behind the age difference. Ask if they want you to stop all contact or if there are guidelines they would like to be followed.
Because you are older than your girlfriend, it would be smart for you to explain these things to her now. She is most likely unaware of the legal consequences you face as an adult. If she respects you enough, she will try to understand.
I know this may sound ridiculous to you, but if the relationship is worth it, neither of you should have a problem abiding by their wishes. The girl’s parents will most likely ease up as their daughter gets older. Just as things changed for you after turning 18, things change for girls after they turn 17. At that age, her parents will start seeing her as a young woman more capable of handling a relationship with an older guy.
If you can show them that you are mature enough to handle their rules, then it might give you an advantage when they do allow you to date their daughter.
Now you have something even more important to figure out: Is this relationship strong enough to withstand the test of time, and is it worth it?
I hope this helps, good luck!
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