Leaving the High School "significant other" in Sept

<p>My D is wigging out re a guy, and it is difficult to get her to make her college decisions without "madly-&-newly-in-love" skewing everything; without her pre-experiencing next Fall's grief, and welling up at the very thought of parting... They have known each other about 12 weeks! But worse, he's older (too much older IMHO) so she thinks it's more "real." Fortunately he lives about 90 mins away and this has kept a lid on somewhat.</p>

<p>I remember at 17 feeling all the same first-love intensity... I sympathize but don't want the whole joy of going off to college wrecked and I don't want her deciding on collegs in function of "him." My D is not the "it'll blow over" type; she has had the same best friend since 4th grade. The guy also seems serious though I think its weird he's interested in someone so much younger. She is now wavering about her ED application, due the 15th, that has been decided for a while. </p>

<p>Moms, Dads, how has this situation been handled in your families? How old is too old for an innocent 17 1/2 year old? Can this be handled without creating a Romeo & Juliet situation or landing my husband in intensive care?</p>

<p>College students, how has this sort of thing worked out for you? Clean break, or long distance relationship? Does having a SO "take you out" of enthusiasm for college?</p>


<p>I would really think it could be risky to choose a college based on where your SO is going. 17, in my opinion, is a little young to be making life-defining choices. As her mother, I think you should guide her along to reason. If she was going to apply ED she should have significant reasons for changing her mind. College is an important part of a teenager's life, and it affects your life thereafter. Without being too melodramatic, I'd say she really needs to think about this carefully. Early relationships may not always last.</p>

<p>Amen, I completely agree with you-- but I am so worried about overreacting and making the whole love fantasy burn brighter.</p>

<p>I have been focusing on the fact that she needs to make these decisions without the SO in mind but of course easier said than done.</p>

<p>Bumping because I put this in late last night and sensible people were asleep! I need sensible advice!</p>

<p>Number one rule: don't attack or criticize the boyfriend. It will just make your D defend him.</p>

<p>Number two: Try to keep her focused on HER goals. Encourage her to make college choices based on what SHE wants in the way of education and career. And along the way tell her that if boyfriend is really Mr. Right, he will follow her, or keep it going long distance, or otherwise make it work out somehow.</p>

<p>I've seen it go both ways. I have a relative who in high school was very motivated to go to a certain selective out of state college. She moved heaven and earth to get admitted and succeeded. But the summer before college she met a guy who was working behind the counter in a store. She fell in love and promptly thew over her college plans and got married. In the years since she has been attending her local state U part-time. Husband is not college material, but he does stay employed and seems like a nice guy. This isn't really a failure, because she is still married, has a new baby, and as far as I can tell seems reasonably happy. But it still seems somewhat of a shame that her education has been so derailed. </p>

<p>In the second case, a local girl we know got admitted to her dream school: MIT. But she had a serious boyfriend who also tried but did not get into MIT. But she wasn't going to give up her big chance and went off to MIT anyway. Boyfriend followed her out and did manage to get into another Boston area college. But it was good thing she didn't give up MIT, because the relationship did not last out their freshman year.</p>

<p>So perhaps you can encourage your D to follow more the second example. Focus on her educational goals and dreams, and if it works out with the guy too, well great. If not, it will be good she didn't give up her opportunities.</p>

<p>This is such a difficult situation to deal with, with any sense of certainty that you're doing the right thing. In my experience, it's a mistake to focus on the boy in your discussions about her options. Focus on her and her plans. She obviously has a first choice school which she loves if she's been planning to apply E.D. Since he already lives 90 miles away, then the long distance thing should already be established in their short relationship. I'd tell her that it's fine to try to continue that but not to give up her plans entirely by changing her mind on her first choice school. </p>

<p>I was in a similar situation with D2. She was going to NYC and her b/f was going to school in Boston. She never really contemplated changing her choice of college but I also did not want her pining away for him and missing out on the fun of college life. We had a couple of conversations about it and she assured me that she was going to be fine with having a b/f so far away and that they were serious and longterm, blah blah blah. :) They'd been dating for the last two years of h/s so were sure they were in love and that the long distance thing would last. It didn't. There were ten kids on her floor in freshman year who were in long distance relationships. Hers lasted the longest, til spring break. The others were all over by Christmas.</p>

<p>I think what we'd like to say to our kids in this type of situation is that, in reality, most relationships don't last. It's a cynical way to look at things but it's realistic. Most don't. I'd never tell one of my Ds this but it's hard to see them giving up their dreams, or altering their choices, to accomodate a significant other at that young age. Good luck to you, and I hope your husband doesn't end up in intensive care. :)</p>

<p>If it were my own D in this situation, I think I might mention that "sacrificing" something that has meant a lot to her (i.e. her ED choice) is a dangerous foundation for a relationship. So I would work on the assumption that sure, it's a serious relationship and could last forever, but that it's more likely to--if that's what they want--if the girl won't have to spend the rest of her life or their time together begrudging what she gave up for the sake of the relationship. And even if she's not resentful of it now, it could surface as a resentment in the future.</p>

<p>As for "how old is too old"-- I see why you're nervous about that, but if the relationship seems to be a healthy one, it probably doesn't matter.</p>

<p>All good advice. </p>

<p>The problem I have with the age difference is that he's 23! I have qualms about a 23 year old who is focusing his attention on a HS senior, even though I think he's a nice guy-- it seems odd & immature on his part.</p>

<p>He actually offered to move & follow her to her college... nice of him, but AAAGGH! I just don't think that's the way to go to college.</p>

<p>The thing is if he were a college kid or a senior he'd be in the same "boat" she's in and would also have his dreams to pursue. As it is, he's just doing an internship and could conceiveably up and move.</p>

<p>:eek: I agree 5 years difference when you are less than 20 is a big age difference.
I remember a few people who were in their 20s hanging around with my "group", and they were fairly strange.
He may be perfectly fine just young for his age, but he isnt making matters any easier.</p>

<p>SBMom, seems like there are a few things going on.....not only is he not going to college, he's older - not to mention the 12 weeks thing. I agree with the previous suggestions....focus on talking to your D about what's best for her, not on what's not good about being with him. Based on the fact thay've only known each other 12 weeks AND he's older, the chances of this lasting much longer are pretty slim.</p>

<p>I became somewhat concerned when my son's GF of 1 year changed her ED school to match his ED school. I spoke with her mom recently and we talked about the various possible outcomes (they both get in and are so into each other that they don't explore; they both get in and break up while there; one of them gets in and the other doesn't, neither of them gets in and they continue to apply to the same schools). Through our converastion, we learned that they're looking at all of the same schools. We decided not to worry about it and let things shake out....but I worry about them being miserable instead of happy when the decisons are rendered in December. Luckily, this girl is very smart, very talented and very aggressive about the direction of her life......</p>

<p>Your situation is obviously different in that the guy isn't on his way to college. Your D should remember that it's probably her intelligence and bright future that's attractive to this guy.....it's what makes her different from other girls he knows. She has to stay the course in order to keep him interested. Of course, this is just the thought process that she needs to get her through the app period. I doubt this will last long enough to impact her after winter break. </p>

<p>I would just keep reminding her that her future and priomising life is what's attracting him to her.....since he's probably used to meeting girls who have already given up on their dreams.</p>

<p>Couple of points: I knew two girls who followed their boyfriends to out of state colleges. Both sets of parents allowed it because they wanted the girls to make the decisions. Both girls broke up with the boys and transferred schools. At least they couldn't blame the parents for the decision. I know two others (funnily enough, these were boys) who decided that if the relationship were to endure, it would in spite of the distance. One of these is a junior now and still with the girlfriend. The other graduated from college and married the girl. Totally irrelevant to a specific situation, but I firmly believe that if the relationship is meant to be nothing can stop it. Changing the plans for a SO is a big mistake, IMHO. At least at that age. </p>

<p>As for the age difference, that would also make me extremely worried and I'm the mother of boys! A friend once commented that if her daughter were interested in a "nice" boy the age difference wouldn't matter. My son said that no "nice" boy would date a girl that much younger. I have a 23 yr old and I can honestly say he would be extremely reluctant to date a 17 yr old high school senior.</p>

<p>Exactly; the good part is that he's not some predator, but the bad part is that he may be as convinced it is "true love" as my D is... In a way, if he <em>were</em> a predator, I'd be relieved-- because I'd be confident the whole thing would burn out of its own accord. </p>

<p>My Mother in law suggested my husband take him aside and appeal to the gentleman in him-- "We think you're great, but w're worried....my D needs to go through the same steps that you did to grow up, so please don't make it hard for her... don't rob her of the joyful college experience that you had... Let her find out who she is without the influence of someone who already knows who he is..." </p>

<p>But isn't 23 too darn old for 17? Something tells me a lot a parents would just say NO WAY to the age difference... I'd be tempted to do that if I weren't so worried it would backfire.</p>

<p>SBmom, is she wavering on her ED app because she's considering staying local? I think his offer to follow her is a good sign....she can feel ok about keeping her college plans...and I doubt the relationship will make it long enough for his move to materialize. Is he from your area originally or did he move there from some other place?</p>

<p>Mom's dream & boys mom:
my post crossed your posts...</p>

I love the angle of "that's probably exactly what he likes about you" BRILLIANT! I am going to use that one. Thank You!</p>

<p>Boysmom: Get this, I am told this guy is a virgin. My first though was that he might be gay. If not, he's clearly very very slow for his age. Either way he's odd and that's why I am not so sure it will burn itself out. As I said i'd prefer your garden variety cad who'd be predictable! As he lives 90 mins away, they don't have as much chance to get sick of each other. Though I think he could be a little needy and she might get sick of that even over the phone.</p>

<p>I think this guy is really into my D (she's a great person and attractive inside & out.) She seems mature, and is mature in certain areas but she is pretty sheltered, and has not had any SO before, so is very green in this area. She's the sort of 'Kate Moss' skinny type that boys in HS ignore. Unfortunately, grown men get it. She's getting attention from the wrong age population. In fact, last interested guy was 28!! She nixed him right off because that age difference even freaked <em>her</em> out.</p>

<p>His parents live in our town. He went to college on East Coast at a very highly regarded public Univ. He is not a dummy.</p>

<p>And yes, that is exactly why she is wavering. She was never gung ho to go far away but we encouraged her to look and she fell for an east coast school. It is a reach; she may not get in anyway.</p>

<p>You're right, we should cross the moving bridge if and when we get there...</p>

<p>Oh, I didin't realize that he went to college and is now out. And he's a virgin.....hmmmm. Well, he could be one of these socially inept kids who isn't comfortable in "live" situations. So many kids find lives on the internet these days....inventing themselves as cyber characters instead of real people. How did they meet? This might explain why he likes her...she lives 90 miles away and is only 17. They can't see each other much. Phone and internet are great for him......real life and a girl his own age may be too much for him. </p>

<p>This is all assuming that he's not just lying about the virginity thing to try to convince your daughter that "it" would be so special....</p>

<p>I hadn't thought that the virginity thing could be a lie...! Based on the guy in person, I doubt it though. </p>

<p>I think "inept" may be it. He seemed really young to me. He has a very traditional family, parents are foriegn born; he's dutiful son. Maybe he is even more sheltered than my D. She's really "safe," as a young for yer age inexperienced girl... won't push anything he isn't prepared for. </p>

<p>They met because he was here for the summer to be with his family and he worked or volunteered in some sort of theatre company; one of my D's close friend was in the play; there was a cast party they both attended... et voila. Pretty sure it was just "pals" at first and then he fell for her. At the beginning i told her, watch out, you are playing with fire; too big an age diff... but she went forward anyhow (at first somewhat covertly) and then she confessed she was "IN LOVE!"</p>

<p>SBmom, do you have any idea what he has to say about all this? Is he pressuring her to stay or is there a chance you might enlist his help in encouraging her to spread her wings? You might appeal to him as one who is more experienced and would surely want what's best for her...</p>

<p>sbmom, a question for you. Is there a reason you thought he might be gay? Was it just because he was a virgin, or did you suspect when you met him? The story of how they met, him working with a theatre company, traditional family, interested in a 'safe' girl, etc. all would be good indicators of this. I have two Ds who are very involved in theatre and I have seen this happen time and time again.</p>

<p>SB, you have my sincerest sympathy! Sure are a lot of "moms" in this thread!! As a Dad, if I had a 17yr old D with a 23 yr old SO I would get a shotgun and offer him the option of legal action or pump action. But we all know that doesn't work. It is still early in the game, both in their "relationship" and the college decision process. The best you can do now is encourage her to keep her options open by applying to schools without regard to geography. In a few months it could look a lot different. In the old days "long distance relationships" didn't work because the phone bills were prohibitive. Now with national plans, free long distance and no roaming charges!!!! it is much easier. (21 is "too old" ) Good luck!</p>