Your Daughters first Boyfriend

Seeing one’s daughter—and for that matter, one’s son—enter into a relationship can inspire mixed feelings. Of course, the impulses upon which the new relationship is based are the same impulses that have kept the human race going for millennia. Absence of these impulses to reach out and mingle with the opposite sex, in fact, would be rather disturbing. If one’s daughter has a boyfriend, then, one can at least breathe a sigh of relief that she does not have an odd, anti-social indifference to the opposite sex.

In short, a parent should be happy to see their daughter enjoying time spent with a significant other. It is the first hint of grandchildren on their way in the future. Yet, some trepidation and regret is understandable. One’s daughter’s interest in a boy is also the first hint that her childhood is over and she is beginning to break away from her parents in order to build a life of her own. A parent can become jealous as the daughter ceases to rely on her parents for support and instead draws strength from her infatuation with the boyfriend. Psychologists refer to these feelings with the term “separation anxiety.” This term is often applied to children, but it can equally apply to adults, whether in relation to their spouse or their child. It refers to a fear of losing someone to whom one is strongly attached.

Another complicating factor that may cloud the happiness one feels when one’s daughter is in a relationship is the fear that the boyfriend will not be kind to one’s daughter. Infatuation can make us vulnerable, and so one’s daughter is susceptible to being manipulated by the boyfriend. The boyfriend might use his power over his significant other to pressure her for sex, and one’s daughter may end up pregnant. Also, the boyfriend may not be interested in making a commitment to one’s daughter. In fact, the boyfriend may see a woman’s infatuation with him as an opportunity for a sexual adventure, which he will stop when he loses interest. In the end, one’s daughter may end up with a broken heart.

Especially for the young, pain resulting from a breakup can be devastating. Young people tend to lack perspective, and cannot draw the reasonable conclusion that other people will come along, and that their idealistic aspirations at the beginning of the relationship needed to be tempered with some realism. Powerful feelings of stress, grief, and uncertainty can lead a young woman, in extreme cases, to suicidal feelings. As a parent, one cannot help but feel nervous as a relationship begins, because there is always a chance that one’s daughter becomes disappointed, and that this precipitates a nervous breakdown.

The best course to take when one’s daughter has just gotten involved with someone, then, is to celebrate your daughter’s emerging adulthood and the dreams of love associated with this. At the same time, as a parent, one should always be ready to impart advice and offer support if the relationship turns sour. Parents should provide a source of unconditional love, so if the relationship with the boyfriend fails to provide this, then one’s daughter can always come back to her mother or father.