Daughter entering online relationship? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-13-2014, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello, so I'm not actually a mom, but I wanted to get the perspective of parents on this issue before I consulted my own parents. 


So, in this day and age, connecting with people via the internet has become fairly common. Two months ago, I started talking to this man I met online. He is 20 and I am 17 (turning 18 in 5 months). We've grown very close and we text and skype often. Due to the distance between us, we can't really be in a real relationship however we have talked a lot about how we feel towards each other and a few days ago we started to say "I love you". 

I would like for this man to become very significant within my life and I have become very emotionally connected to him so I feel like as things progress, I should probably tell my parents about him. I'm not really sure how to go about doing it or how they will feel. So, how would you feel if your daughter told you she was talking to a guy she met online? What do you think is the best way I can tell my parents?
I realize that the 3 year age gap between us may be problematic as well.
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#2 of 6 Old 05-13-2014, 06:49 PM
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You sound very smart and thoughtful. You don't say what your relationship is like with your parents, but it seems like you really respect them and want to keep them in your life in a real way, which I think is really wonderful. My oldest is only 7, so it isn't a situation I'm dealing with yet (I'm 26) but I hope that she feels that way towards me when she is older. It is hard for me to say, you know, what to expect from your parents or anything, but there are some questions/concerns that come to mind for me that you might consider...


How, if at all, does this change your future plans regarding college or career after high school?

What is his life like - is he going to school or working, etc?

I don't know if they would be concerned about you being a "legal" age. For me personally it wouldn't be a concern the way maturity and safety were.

How, or in what capacity, you met (like gaming, dating sites, tumblr, etc)

You might talk with them about possibilities for meeting up with this person and brainstorm ways they would feel comfortable with you meeting for the first time?


I met my husband online, and it was amazing. I know several other people who have met partners online, either through gaming or dating sites. I honestly can't imagine having found someone so uniquely understanding of myself on a deep level in my day to day life. So I say go forward with caution, obviously, but I agree that it cane be a really wonderful way to meet people. And it seems like a really wonderful idea to involve your parents in what is going on. 

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#3 of 6 Old 05-14-2014, 04:59 AM
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You do sound very mature and I personally think online relationships can work with the right two people.  I have 3 teens all in relationships (although not online) and as a mom what was important to me is how their bf's treated my girls and did I like the bf.  Is there any chance you could get him to come and visit you and have him spend some time with your family so they can get to know him?  I would advise you to be cautious since it's online however he could really be "the one" for you and you will never know until you allow the relationship to go forward and hopefully with your parent's blessing.  And as far as the age difference, I do not see that as an issue.  I believe that girls mature a lot faster than boys do and a 3 year difference is nothing that I would be concerned with.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.  Kathy.

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#4 of 6 Old 05-14-2014, 09:46 AM
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Chances are, your parents will be very concerned and it's not unreasonable for them to feel this way. Certainly, many people meet online these days but there are just enough awful stories for a parent with a minor daughter to be nervous about a 20-year-old man talking intimately with their child. How they respond will also depend on what your relationship experience has been like to date. If you've had no experience or the experiences you've had were negative (poor choice in partners) they might be extra nervous. Absolutely, you should tell them but be prepared for them to be upset and to understand their concern.


I agree with above that you should be cautious about thinking of this person as "the one" or considering yourself fully in love. He may very well be fantastic but remember that you are only getting his best right now. He can pick and choose what to show you. You are an online girlfriend who doesn't interfere with what he wants to do in life. He doesn't have to deal with your own quirks and irritating behavior (because we all have them.) He doesn't have to sacrifice anything for you right now. You don't really know him and vice versa. 


The age? Well, 3 years to 21+ aged people is no big deal. Prior to that, it's problematic. Soon, he'll have the power to go to clubs and bars and you will be 3 years from doing that with him. Might not be his scene now but I've seen a lot of break-ups happen when one party turns 21 and the partner isn't close behind. 


I just have to say it.... please be careful. No matter what you feel about this person of 2 months, you really don't know him yet. You don't know the life he leads outside of your interaction. You don't know how he handles anger and disappointment. If you choose to meet up, be smart... no matter what your heart is saying, use your head. Make sure you meet-up in public. Make sure he meets your parents and spends time with them before you go anywhere alone with him. Don't fly to a city to meet him alone. Like I said, he could be fantastic but there are just enough jerks out there to make this sort of interaction dangerous. Just because you've talked for months, doesn't mean you shouldn't use the exact caution you'd use with anyone you first start dating.

Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
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#5 of 6 Old 05-15-2014, 05:32 AM
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I agree with 'whatsnextmom'.  Her words to you reflect mine as well.  So, I'll say it again as well-- please be careful.


You don't really know anyone until you spend physical time with them.  Even then, you are learning new and different things about their personality and behavior.  Love grows not in the  secret online world, but rather in the light of public display and validation.  You learn a lot about someone by the company they keep and they family they are from.  Take the time to learn about this young man.


Unfortunately, the world is filled with ugliness and predators  who use online forums for their evil ways.  My friend's 16-year old son met someone online--took a bus to meet who he thought was an 18-year old female 3 hours away, only to meet a 56 year old man who wanted something else.  What saved my friend's son was a random passerby who saw the initial meeting, 'felt' something was wrong and intervened.


Open up to your parents.  If your relationship is strained or not the best with them, seek the guidance of an adult you trust.  Be careful.

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#6 of 6 Old 05-15-2014, 04:57 PM
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Were I your mom I'd want myself and your dad to be there when you two got together in person, until you and we knew what kind of person he was pretty well. That age difference only is a legal issue if you're having sex...if you were my daughter I would strongly advise against that for now. There are predators that sound really great at a distance and then kidnap girls (it happened to a 13 y.o. girl I know 2 months ago, police got her back quickly though). There are also older(or same age) guys who you fall in love with at a distance and turn out to be well meaning but losers when you get to know them for real (happened to me at age 16, and my cousin at 17, my cousin got pregnant with her guy). But the internet opens up the chance to meet a wide variety of people, some of them are great and would make a very good match. I met my husband in person one summer, and kept in touch at a distance for a year before we got together again, got married 3 months later and that was 10 years ago and he is wonderful. Keep friends and family close and in the loop about this just to be safe.

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