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Mom of Teens: The dating problem

Posted October 18, 2011

My 16-year-old has begun her venture into approved preliminary dating.

You might be wondering what that is. For our family that means he has the “privilege” of being interviewed by my mom, my husband and myself. He's allowed to come hang out at our house sometimes. Finally, we are willing to include him in our monthly family dinner outings. We're not yet ready for letting her ride off somewhere with a boy in a car by herself, unless it's prom. Maybe prom. The jury is still out on that one.

Anyway, this dating thing is proving hard for momma bear. Once you've had someone hang out at your house, eat your food, ask you for advice and play video games with your husband, you get a little attached. He gets comfortable around you and you get comfortable having him around. He seems nice, otherwise we'd most likely never let him come back. You think everything is going well. And then one day your daughter says those words that you don't want to hear: “We broke up.”

I wonder if I should try to find out if the relationship is repairable or just let it go. I'm going to offer my support and comfort to her if she needs or wants it. But there is this part of me that's not so sure I want to start all over with another guy. What was wrong with this one? Man, this feels almost like dating all over again.

I've been with my husband for 20 years. I don't want to date again. But I feel like I am. The only thing is, I don't have full control over if the person stays or goes.

I now understand why sometimes my mom would still accept a phone or two from an old boyfriend of mine. She had encouraged them in their schoolwork or given advice about something. She had cooked many meals for this guy. There was a bond there. Just because I had severed my relationship with them, didn't make it easy for them to sever theirs.

I'll have to apologize for losing my cool over that so many years ago. Now I get it. I don't like the feeling, but I get it. While I'm apologizing, I think I'll hit mom up for some advice on how she dealt with my own fickle ways with guys way back when. I'll let you know what she says.

Marietta Taylor is the mom of two teen girls and has been married for 17 years. The family moved from Chicago to Raleigh in 2003. The first few years were a wild ride and were the inspiration for her first book, "Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go!" Read more about Mari on her blog and website. And find her here monthly on Wednesday on Go Ask Mom.

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  • ProudBlackSingleMother Oct 25, 2011

    I really don't understand why women go to college if their ultimate goal is to be a stay at home mom... that is selfish to all of the other kids who want to but can't go to college.

  • bjones2 Oct 19, 2011

    I agree Marietta, I have two boys but its the same in many ways. I just get where I love those little girls and then they break up and I may never see them again not even to say goodbye. Well thats just the way it goes I guess. I see them later in life and they hug me and miss me too. LOL