Notes to Self

Thoughts on psychology, spirituality and soft skill development for personal improvement


My girlfriends parents hate me!

"Well I was at my girlfriend's parents' house, we were in her room and she was just in her underwear and I had my top off. We weren't actually doing anything but her mum and dad jumped to conclusions I had to leave straight away. And they said "We used the think you were decent" but I am decent because I do well at school, I have never done drugs and I am a very active person. How can I sort this out because her mum and dad are refusing to talk to me and my parents. My mum and dad had nothing to do with it. Anyone got any ideas?" - a query on Yahoo! Answers

Teen Love

The picture is clear (sorry, just couldn't resist!) - a dicey situation indeed.

It's good that you recognize that you need to talk to them. But the fact they are ignoring you (and your parents) suggests that perhaps they are more in shock and denial, and more angry towards themselves then you or their daughter.

So give them time to get over the shock first (some time off with no contacts with them and their daughter will help).

Secondly, both of you have to acknowledge your irresponsibility - while you may not have had sex, it doesn't explain why you were in her presence without your top on while she was in her underwear.

The point is, while you may not have had sex yet, the fact that you are comfortable around each other when one or both of you are nude is certainly a cause of concern for any parent. It suggests that you might be close to giving in to temptation - think about it, both of you might have begin by awkwardly touching each other, then got comfortable with that, then moved on to hugs and kisses before you got comfortable with that too. Who knows how or when you may succumb and go the whole way - especially if you hang around nude or naked around each other! So while you may claim that nothing is going on, realize how serious it is and how it looks to her parents.

Thirdly, the fact that you feel upset and guilty over the fact that her parents don't think that you are a decent person, reveals your decency. It shows that you respect her parents opinion and care for it - and that's decency. (Kudos to your parents - they should rightly feel proud for raising you right).

However, you aren't completely in the right (and you know that a little, hence the guilt).

Yes, respecting elders by caring for their opinion, doing well in school, not taking drugs and leading an active life are all indications of a loving, fun, decent teenager. But as you get older, the bounds of decency change too.

Being irresponsible is indecent. Not respecting women is indecent.

You might be a bit surprised at the second point - that perhaps you were disrespectful towards your girl friend.

The thing is, by not thinking of the consequences of a sexual relationship, you were being disrespectful towards your girl friend simply because she has more to lose. Sex is not the same for men and women.

A woman's body actually undergoes physical changes when she becomes sexually active. So unlike guys, who just feel emotionally changed after having sex, woman change both emotionally and physically. Second - her reputation will change when others become aware of her 'indiscretion' with you. (Think about it this way - How do you & your friends perceive a girl who is a virgin and very socially friendly and has a boy friend to a girl who is similar but sexually active with one or multiple partners? Most likely, you will respect the first, and may or not have that same respect for the second). Third, you risk pregnancy (and you do know how much more of a stress, emotionally and physically, it is for the woman then the man).

Anyway, not preaching abstinence (well, maybe a little). Just pointing out that the more self control you have over your urges and feelings, the more mindful you will be of the consequences of your action. And the more mindful you are, the more responsibly you will behave. And becoming more responsible as you get older is very important to develop a decent character.

Coming back to what you should do -
Send them a small note saying you are sorry. Then wait for a week or two (or maybe even a month) with no contact with them (and their daughter; of course after discussing it with her), and then slowly try to talk to her parents. I would suggest by approaching her mother first (women are generally more smarter then men when it comes to relationship).

You could then send her a letter explaining how sorry you are over the incident and ashamed that you lost their respect. Go on to explain that while you do understand where you were in the wrong and how you might have hurt their feelings, explain how some things are still not clear and you would truly appreciate it if she clarify her concerns and advice you out of this mess.

After that, It would also help if you and your girlfriend both pursue this matter with them.

(P.S: Not being a westerner and from a very different culture, perhaps the approach / advice here might be socially inappropriate for your culture and society. So before following the advice here, show this note to your parents and ask them for further inputs.)

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