Daughters and dating
3) Check your homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia at the door.I have had numerous students come out to me as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans in conversations in my office and on papers, and virtually all of them perceive and worry that their parents will have extremely negative and hostile reactions. 4) Check your own prejudice, bias, racism, and religious beliefs at the door.And then, should they choose to keep dating this person, they are much less likely to share with you if and when they encounter any problems and need your help and support.7) Your son or daughter may wind up in a study abroad program where s/he meets someone and falls in love and then wants to remain there for the summer or move back there after graduation.We stayed together for four years, and he joined me across the country when I pursued graduate school.I was in love with his spontaneous, playful, adventurous, irreverent ways, but ultimately I couldn’t get past the alcoholism and the irresponsibility that accompanied all that. I had to learn that what was so special and full of joy had a shadow side that I couldn’t bear for the long haul.I recall that my mom didn’t think much of it, probably because she sensed we would not wind up together forever, yet she conveyed to me my dad’s disapproval and concerns. In college, I dated a guy who had grown up on a dairy farm in Iowa, he joined the military, his mother lived in a trailer, and he was Lutheran.All of this was a far cry from the upper middle class suburb of Cleveland where I was raised.
As a college professor, it is amazing how often students sit in my office and tell me that they anticipate that their parents will not approve of whom they are dating or that they are already aware that their parents do not like who they are dating, often leaving them feeling increasingly isolated and torn between family and peers.So, she was hesitant to tell her mother anything and worried about needing health care and medication.I sat and listened, held space for her, and then gave her many resources and contacts so she could get help; but all the while I knew that her shame was a direct result of her perceptions of maternal judgment and that that would remain a big obstacle for her.I have had many students in interracial and/or interfaith relationships worry about introducing their parents to their boyfriends and girlfriends for fear of their parents’ attitudes about race and religion and the harsh comments and accusations they might receive.My first boyfriend in junior high and high school was black.