Our son’s home from university for the holidays, and has brought his girlfriend. He asked ahead, so we knew she was coming and that they’d expect to stay together in his bedroom. My wife and I are fine with that.
They’ve been dating exclusively for three years, and both are 22. They travelled together last summer, so we had no illusions about their having a sexual relationship.
The problem is that our daughter heard about this and asked how we’d respond if she brought her new boyfriend home.
They’re both 19, away at college, and they started dating about two months ago. We haven’t met him yet.
We know she’s on birth control; so again, we don’t expect that she’s a virgin. But this relationship’s newer, so we’re less comfortable with accepting them as a sexual couple.
Thoughts from you and your readers would be appreciated.
Instead of coming to a conclusion or debating the “double standard” of how you treat sons vs. daughters, recognize that she’s testing you.
If she were certain herself of what she wants, she’d say something like, “Hope you know that applies to me too.”
Also, she may be reflecting the common feelings/resentment of a second child that the firstborn gets “privileges” sooner.
Turn it around and ask what she thinks.
Let the discussion go on till you clue into whether they’re already a committed couple, and whether she’s planning to bring him home soon.
Also, whether she’s comfortable with the idea of their sleeping together in her bedroom with parents at home.
It’s an opportunity for getting insight into what’s really going on in her life, and for thoughtful parental input.
I’m a senior who’s known two sisters most of my life. Our group always celebrated life events, like birthdays, together.
I married later in life, had no kids, while these friends had children who are now late-20s.
I’m now unable to attend events for these friends because of their children's behaviour.
They carry on like adolescents - loud and stupid, with their parents' full approval, presumably because they’re not, after all, taking drugs or getting drunk.
Some of them still live at home and won't take full-time, well-paying jobs because their parents don't want them to leave or because they can't be bothered (my opinion).
They gorge on Disney movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and other inanities, and discuss it endlessly when I'm there.
I have ADD and cannot take loud behaviour without losing control of myself. I’m increasingly annoyed as it carries on, and then do or say something I regret later.
I’ve explained this to the parents as my reason for not going to their homes, and they continue to harass me to attend. I’ve managed to opt out for some years now, and wonder if there's a definitive way that, once and for all, I can stop them bugging me.
If you express what you’ve detailed here, your friends will be insulted. Their adult children certainly sound indulged in their rudeness, but the parents aren’t going to appreciate your view on this.
So stick to your own valid health issue: You cannot handle the noise level or the crowd scene.
Cast no blame, thank them all for wanting to get together, and don’t close the door on friendship. Instead, invite the parents only to your house for a quiet annual gathering, or if that’s too much effort, to lunch at a restaurant.
I’m a gay man whose husband and longtime partner sadly died a year ago and I’m still trying to heal from the loss.
At a recent dinner party, a married, straight man whom I’ve met before and liked as a person, made an inadvertent gay slur. I know he’s not homophobic. It was just one of those things people say without thinking.
Yet it bothered me. I almost felt it denigrated my past wonderful relationship to not say anything.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s natural that your grief will be triggered occasionally by other people’s carelessness.
But you knew the man wasn’t a hard-core bigot you needed to upbraid publicly. And you acted appropriately by not challenging him then.
Unfortunately, even fairly decent people sometimes use offensive words casually.
If there’s ever a chance to speak privately, mention that the comment, which he didn’t use to be hurtful, still does promote prejudice.
Tip of the day:
When young adults ask provocative questions, open discussion is better than instant answers.