Lean Green Mommy Machine

Thoughts on health, wellness, living green and motherhood

Dating My Daughter: Unexpected Casualties

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Holding handsTo say I had concerns at the thought of my daughter dating would be an understatement. We put it off for a while (though I can’t say she fully adhered to the rule). Initially we had a NO dating policy with no end in sight. However, my husband and I are not unreasonable people and we have always told our children they can approach us with questions, concerns or perceived unfairness as long as it is with respect.
After many conversations we landed on a specified “D Day”. She would be allowed to date at the beginning of her Sophomore year in High School (this post isn’t about whether that is too early, too late or any of that – so save it). There were further rules about us meeting boys, allowable activities and riding in cars, etc.
We had no problem sticking to this rule until she and a wonderful young man from church became interested in each other at the end of her Freshman year. We have known this young man and his family for many years and adore them all. We allowed “D Day” to arrive a bit sooner, just for this fellow.
I admit it. I was smitten. I had a mom crush like you wouldn’t believe. He was everything you want in your daughter’s boyfriend. But he is two years older (the only one we’ve allowed to break that dating rule as well) and they were in completely different places mentally, emotionally, maturity wise, etc.
It ended peacefully and I was broken-hearted.
There it is. the thing no one tells you about your kids dating.
That YOU may feel that loss too.
We warned our daughter of the certain heartbreak she would feel as she entered the dating world. No one warned me about mine.
She began hanging out with another boy who was sweet and kind and I really liked. But he just wasn’t right for her. They hadn’t dated but he had come over a couple of times. I was disappointed to see him go.
A third boy she dated was one I liked quite a bit. But things just didn’t work out there either.
I could have maybe predicted how sad I would be at the loss of the first boyfriend since he was one we already loved (and maybe I was planning weddings in my head, don’t judge). But I didn’t expect to keep getting attached to these young men.
She has picked a couple of…less than ideal boys. We’ll just call them that and leave it there. But they were short-lived and I certainly was happy to see them go.
Now, for some this may paint my daughter in a poor light. She is simply trying to figure out who she is and who fits in with that and that’s a tough place in life. I’m sure we can all relate on some level.
My husband has been wise to guard himself against becoming too attached to any of these young men. It may be a bit easier for him as he views them all as a bit shady and after his baby girl. I’m sure all you dads can relate.
But I’m very emotional and intuitive and I keep finding myself disappointed to see someone go. I want what is best for my daughter and I am certainly not trying to mentally marry her off (anymore).
I just had no clue. No one tells you that this will happen. I thought I would always hate the idea of her dating (parts still scare me) and would always be giving any boy who liked her the stink eye. But it turns out some boys are actually pretty great.
So my goal now is to get to know them, engage and be kind with them but NOT get attached. I have to get the hang of this because I have 3 more daughters to work through this with.
Have you had to deal with this? How have you handled getting to know your teen’s significant other without becoming too attached?

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Author: leangreenmommy

Hi, I'm Sonia! I'm the mom of 4 wonderful daughters and wife to one amazing man, trying to live a healthier life, care for the earth and just survive the day. When I'm not cooking up new recipes in the kitchen or shuttling kids to soccer, volleyball and lacrosse I run an in-home daycare and am a freelance writer.

2 thoughts on “Dating My Daughter: Unexpected Casualties

  1. We haven’t faced this yet. My daughter is a sophomore, but she’s a year behind her classmates. Boys haven’t been an issue yet. She isn’t allowed to date currently, but it’s an on-going discussion.

  2. Forbidding dating sounds risky – are your kids especially obedient? I know when I was young, I wasn’t allowed to date so I would always be sneaking around and lying. That got me into a number of situations that I was then afraid to discuss with my parents (nothing too serious in retrospect, fortunately). As a parent, I decided that my kids’ friends would always be welcome at our house whenever I was home, and I would go way out of my way to drive my kid to and from supervised events.

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