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Dating & family.. please help!!

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  • Dating & family.. please help!!

    I’m a 22yo female, currently living at home with my mum and sister. I’ve recently joined a dating site and want to meet someone but don’t know how to bring this up. Sorry in advance as I know this is a long one!

    Background story..
    My family are really overprotective and as a result, I’ve never really had a proper boyfriend because it’s always been easier to hide the relationship than to deal with the hassle my family would cause over me being close to/seeing a guy. When it comes to talking to anyone online, my family believe everyone is a psycho or a stalker and that you certainly should never entertain even the thought of speaking back to them.

    From the age of 17+ most of my social interactions were online because I had a secluded life due to my family being quite strict - I didn’t really have many friends and never went out. When I was 17yo, I met a guy online who was the same age as me. I kept this a secret because I knew what my parents views were. They eventually found out, went mental and made me stop talking to him. I was made to feel awkward/uncomfortable indoors if I tried to go against this, even after turning 18yo. About 1yr later, I met someone else online and met up with them. I had terrible arguments with my family because they disagreed and again, I was made to stop contact. At this point, at the age of 19yo, I had had enough so continued seeing this person behind their back for quite some time but things didn’t work out in the end. Fast forward to now.. I’ve not dated once since I was 19 because I’m too scared of what my parents will say/how they will act. It seems whenever I mention a guy or going on a date with someone, I’m made to feel guilty about it and then pushed to just give up - no matter how I met the person.

    I’m now 22yo and really would like a proper relationship. Due to my job, I hardly get out to socialise at all and when I do, I never have guys approach me so joining a dating site seemed like a good option for me to go on some dates and at least get out there.

    I’ve been speaking with a guy; we get on well so far, have a lot in common and he’s asked me on a date. I’d love to go but am holding back because I feel too nervous/worried to tell my mum and sister about this. I can’t lie and say I’m meeting someone else because I only have 1 or 2 friends (but I don’t get to see them often) so they would know I’m lying. I also don’t want to lie because I shouldn’t have to. I feel torn because I know they will flip out and push me into a corner where I will give in and not go/come off the site, but this is also my life, surely I should be able to live it how I choose.

    I’m not in a financial position to move out and I currently pay around 70% of the rent at home so don’t feel I should be controlled so much by them either as I certainly pay my keep. My family have no religious backgrounds or beliefs that contribute to their opinions either.

    Any ideas on what I should do or how I should approach this with them, if at all?

  • It sounds to me like you should figure out some way to socialize more as a first step. Even such things as going to the library and reading books and magazines there should help. From that become in person friends with more people even if they are all women. Friends your age are good but a friend or two significantly older can also help to get another perspective. Have you gone to university? That may be a way to find people who will become friends. Maybe in classes that have class discussions as part of the requirements. Sometimes asking someone in the class for help is a way to break the ice.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


    • I'm in total agreement with jns here. I think you're jumping the gun.

      First step, find ways to get out of the house more that have nothing to do with dating. Coffee shops, gyms, social meet-ups, and other things were you can eventually meet some good folks to be friends with. In creating friendships, you'll open yourself up to meeting other people, too. A new friend may want to "fix you up" with a friend of theirs. Through friends, you will meet new friends, and more new friends, etc.

      Don't look for a guy online to fill a social void. Create a social life for yourself FIRST, then let the rest come naturally.

      You are right that you cannot allow yourself to be under the complete control of your family. You are a grown woman. But, I don't blame them for being concerned with you meeting guys online, considering your inexperience in dating.

      Get out there and live life. Don't let your family hold you back, but also don't use them as an excuse.

      "Be what you're looking for."


      • I think that eventually, you're going to have to break the hold your family has on you. Starting by developing a life for yourself is great, as suggested above.

        If you're already paying 70% of the rent, have you considered moving into a small apartment, or perhaps finding a room mate to share a small place with?
        Why are you continuing to stay when they have this desire to control you? You're allowing them to control your life, by responding this way, whenever they throw their fit over your choices.

        Are you in college? What do you do for work-are there additional programs you can be involved in there, that would provide opportunities to expand your professional and personal network?


        • I think you are being controlled way too much. You are a grown woman: not a naughty child. I can understand them feeling concern and wanting to protect you, but they should also "allow" you to have your own life. I do not agree with how controlling they are over you. Sure: the world can be a dangerous place, but even strict parents and family have to let their children/siblings go out into the world. No one can be protected forever like that.

          If you could find a way, I would advise you move out and increase your social circle. You need your independence and need your own life and relationships. You are being bound by their rules and it is not right.

          I do hope I have helped. Of course I don't know the full situation, but I feel I am right.


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