Monday, October 15, 2012

My 16 year old son is dating a 23 year old woman

Dear Kay:

My son, Joe, age 16 and a half, is dating a 23 year old woman. He is involved in theater and met her at the beginning of the summer while performing in a Shakespeare play. She was the leading lady and at first we just thought it was a casual, friendly relationship, but quickly realized that he is totally head over heels, in love with her. So far, we have not forbid the relationship, but we don't know how far to let this go.

My son has lied about being with her and lost our trust. He has always been a great kid; loving, responsible and trustworthy. We have tried to keep communicating with him and explaining our concerns. We told him, once the play ended that he could talk to her, text her or e-mail her and that was it. He was not satisfied with that, so we said they could see each other, but only if she comes over here. Much to our surprise she comes here all the time!

I treat her coolly and they both noticed. If she was 16 or 17, I would really like her. She is a college graduate, working in her field, living at home and contemplating graduate school. She comes from a traditional family, (dad's a cop, Mom's a teacher). My son is mature for his age and looks older, but I just don't get it! Why does she want to hang out with him? I know they have kissed and cuddled...I'm not sure how much farther they have gone, but I'm not going to be naive.

The last thing that happened is he invited her to our lake house for the day. Of course it got late and so we invited her to spend the night on the couch. The next morning she woke up sooner than Joe,so my husband and I had a talk with her. We told her our concerns. We just want him to be a regular 16 year old, about to start his Junior year of high school and we don't see where she fits in. He has already turned down other social activities with his peers to be with her. She seemed surprise by that and when we asked her to cool things off, she quickly agreed. We told her that this conversation was not a secret, and that we told everything to Joe in previous exchanges. When she talked to Joe, after he got up and they took a walk, he became furious.

School has started and he is respectful to us, but barely talks to us. I miss our outgoing, happy kid. When he asked if Kristen could come over for an hour tonight, I said no, it is a school night. He finally exploded and said that he was so angry at us for going behind his back and telling Kristen to lay off. He says it's his life and he doesn't understand why this is so wrong.

Please advise, we're sick over this situation.
Thanks,

Laura

Dear Laura:

What part of him being underage is someone not getting here? Are you trying to be his parent or his friend. What kind of a college student at the age of 23 wants to date a 16 year old teen?

NOT okay! He can date her when he is 18 if they are still interested in each other in the meantime why are YOU having an issue being the parent. What part of being a grandparent to a grandchild are you going to be okay with if this keeps up? Let him get mad that is just part of being a responsible parent. She sounds like a predator. She needs to be dating college age boys and laying off your teen age, high school student. If you have to get him into family counseling do so quickly. Go with him and figure out how to set the boundaries for his best interest.

Best Wishes!
M Kay Keller