The young lady my 20-year-old has been dating for three months away at University, visited us this summer.
I’d pre-arranged a party for that weekend, so had little time to get to know her.
Late into the party, a friend asked me what I thought of her. Sadly, the young lady overheard my response.
It was along the lines of how they’re not getting married or anything like that.
I said that my son has ambition and years of schooling left to attain his goals, so I didn't think the relationship would be, or should be, too serious.
I said I didn't think it would last past Thanksgiving.
After she left, my son told me my comments made her cry. I feel horrible about that, but, in my defence, I’d thought I was having a private conversation.
I’m taking my son back to school, and the young lady will be meeting us. My son wants me to apologize to her.
I say let bygones be bygones, let us get to know each other better over lunch.
After six weeks, it’s water under the bridge.
My son still wants me to apologize, though she refuses to tell him exactly what I said that upset her.
Apologize. There are no “bygones” here until you do.
Here’s why: Your prediction, “it won’t last past Thanksgiving” implies private knowledge from your son that he’s just leading her on.
No wonder she cried.
He’s likely reassured her otherwise, and needs you to back down from your unsubstantiated line.
A straightforward apology that you were caught unprepared for the question when you’d hardly gotten to know her, should suffice.
It’s needed, for your son to restore trust in you around people who matter to him.
I'm 20 and started seeing a guy, 25, two months before my school semester ended.
I pushed him to do long distance over the summer when I’d be living back home (two and a half hours away).
Although he resisted because he’d be busy with farming work, and wasn't sure how often we'd be able to get together, he agreed.
Over the summer we were only able to get together a few times. Over time, it wasn't as comfortable being with him as before.
We periodically had fights because he has trust issues with me being gone, although I'm faithful to him.
He recently told me - weeks before I’m back for school - that he doesn't want to be with me.
Yet he’s still constantly texting me as if nothing’s changed.
He says he likes me as a person and wants to remain in my life. He agreed to help move my stuff.
I don't know if his feelings have changed due to our limited time for four months.
I'm tired of trying to figure things out through text and arguing about it.
Should I see if we can try to make things work again, or just cut ties and move on?
He already told you what he plans, which is to just be friends.
His texting and offer to help are consistent with what he thinks he should do as a friend.
Given your age and the demands of school, you’d be wise to accept what he said.
Cutting ties completely isn’t necessary, but if the new connection keeps you confused, just say you need time for a friendship break.
Meanwhile, if you meet anyone else you want to date, you’re free to do so.
I dated my college boyfriend a short time until he met his future wife.
Several years back, we (including spouses) started corresponding by social media. It was above board, friendly, and limited.
I’m happily married. I heard this year that the couple split up.
Then I heard that my ex had attempted suicide.
I sympathized but as he recuperated, I feared he was becoming interested in me again. I kindly but clearly asserted that our contact was as friends only. He concurred.
Now, he’s hinting by text of another suicide attempt. I encouraged him to return for professional help.
I felt anything more than this could be misleading to him, but feel he may be a train wreck waiting to happen. Have I done enough?
Living With Consequences
Alert someone who’s closer to him (family/friends). Keep encouraging continued counselling help. If alarmed, ask your husband to join you in contacting police and mental health authorities.
Tip of the day:
Parents: What you say socially and casually about your adult children’s choices, can come back to bite you.