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A Dad needs some help here

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    A Dad needs some help here

    My son just graduated and is heading off to college in a couple months. Meanwhile, a beautiful, precious girl at school is showing interest in him and I am infatuated with her. NOT for me obviously but for him. I want my son to find and marry a sweet girl like this.

    I’ve been coaching him a little - unsolicited advice. I sense he’s afraid of rejection - he’s been rejected several times with potential “girlfriends”. I do think he likes this girl. She gave him two very thoughtful gifts for his graduation and wrote that she loved him.

    we are on vacation currently and i asked him if he was buying her a small gift. He said “yes she’s my friend” and I said “then don’t buy her a gift as I think she sees it a little more than friends”. So he did but her a small gift.

    i have a few questions:

    is what I am feeling as a Dad unnatural?

    am I wrong to encourage him to pursue this relationship?

    am I wrong to coach him ? (I would have given anything to have some help from my dad)


    Some of this is I am still emotional about his graduating and leaving, some of it is because I could never keep a girlfriend at that age and had my heart broken many times.

    any thoughts are appreciated.



    #2
    What you want for him and what you're doing seems completely normal and typical of a parent. You want to guide him, and believe that he's getting involved with a good partner. Seems like a concerned parent to me.

    Normal and typical however, doesn't mean it's the best thing to do. If they're already friends, allow it to develop on it's own. That's not to say you're doing something wrong, but be selective about the advice and guidance you give. He's an adult now. Be cautious about how involved you get and the personal boundaries you cross.

    Also, her telling him she loves him, isn't necessarily a romantic interest. I love my friends too. Be sure you aren't encouraging him to pursue a romantic relationship where there is none.

    Finally, keep in the forefront of your mind that he will do what he wants. And he should. Be careful that you are not influencing something that maybe he doesn't necessarily want, that he isn't doing something just to please you.
    He may end up with someone else, and they may be a great girl too. His happiness is the important thing. A lot changes during these early years of adulthood.

    Sounds like you're a great Dad, trying to be the positive role model and help him in ways you didn't have. I hope my advice doesn't discourage you to be an active parent well into adulthood.
    Just with discretion

    Congratulations on raising a young man that's even discussing this with you at all. That in itself is pretty amazing.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by TXguy View Post
      My son just graduated and is heading off to college in a couple months.
      this is a difficult time for you as it sounds like you are close with your son!
      of course, parents do want the best for their kids

      since he's heading off to college soon, he'll most likely meet someone in college or after college when he's working
      hopefully, you can visit him at college and he'll come home from breaks

      and one day, he'll bring a woman home to meet you, the woman he wants to marry

      Comment


        #4
        Is it possible there is a part of you that wants him to find a sweet girl at home and stay at home, therefore.....not leaving your immediate area?

        It's definitely not unnatural to want a good relationship for your son, but it's probably not the best timing to coerce him or encourage him into one if he's not pursuing it on his own. College age is a tough time to be committed to one partner. Maybe he needs to "sow some wild oats" for a while? This is a fresh start for him. A time to meet new people. How do you know there isn't a girl hiding away at his future college that he will meet and fall madly for?

        Let him grow as he will, in his own natural state. Settle down, dad.
        "Be what you're looking for."

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          #5
          I think definitely me wanting to tie him here to his hometown with someone may definitely play a big part. Another thing is I want him to find someone that I am delighted with too.

          Also factoring in, I came from a very screwed up, broken home, and couldn’t keep a relationship with any girl growing up. Heartache after heartache, and it profoundly affected me. To see a cute tart desiring him has me replaying all those butterflies myself.

          im advising both my kids to be cautious marrying someone from a divorced home. The kids from these are permanently broken. Not character-wise, but they have any of all sorts of problems with relationships, permanence fear, fear of abandonment, weird views of the opposite sex - you name it.

          Ive been married for near 30 years to a stunningly beautiful wife, but the vast majority of it just so-so because i brought such brokenness into the marriage. My wife agrees actually. We won’t divorce as we are committed to breaking the cycle, but divorce screws up folks in ways that counseling can only band aid.

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            #6
            I think it's normal for a dad to want his son to be in a happy relationship. It does seem she is a sweet girl, but only your son can make that move. I would certainly talk to your son and maybe encourage him to pursue her. This may sound odd, but he just may need a little nudge in the right direction. I wouldn't force him into a relationship with her, though. I do hope they get together. But talk to your son: tell him about your experiences and how you learnt to not be afraid of rejection. I also think your son is very lucky to have you as his dad: this girl could well be the one for him.

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              #7
              Originally posted by TXguy View Post
              I think definitely me wanting to tie him here to his hometown with someone may definitely play a big part. Another thing is I want him to find someone that I am delighted with too.

              Also factoring in, I came from a very screwed up, broken home, and couldn’t keep a relationship with any girl growing up. Heartache after heartache, and it profoundly affected me. To see a cute tart desiring him has me replaying all those butterflies myself.

              im advising both my kids to be cautious marrying someone from a divorced home. The kids from these are permanently broken. Not character-wise, but they have any of all sorts of problems with relationships, permanence fear, fear of abandonment, weird views of the opposite sex - you name it.

              Ive been married for near 30 years to a stunningly beautiful wife, but the vast majority of it just so-so because i brought such brokenness into the marriage. My wife agrees actually. We won’t divorce as we are committed to breaking the cycle, but divorce screws up folks in ways that counseling can only band aid.
              I would like to caution against blanket categorization that all children from broken homes end messed up significantly. I too come from a **********ked up family situation and it left me quite badly scarred. I'm 35 and never been in real relationship, definitely have weird views of the opposite sex (and just weird views of sex, period), but I wouldn't say that everyone does. We are all different.

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                #8
                Well well, it's all settled. I asked my son about his potential summer love, and he said "I'm not attracted to her that way, Dad." To which I replied "I understand...you don't think you'd just like to date her a little over the summer?" To which he replied "no."

                I'm dumbfounded, as this girl is so sweet and gorgeous to top it all off.

                But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

                I suppose I should be happy that my son is so secure in himself that he doesn't feel compelled to go out with someone just because they like him. Self confidence has been an issue for him until his senior year.
                Last edited by TXguy; 06-05-2018, 11:11 PM.

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                  #9
                  Hey, as one Texas dad to another, and with a son in college, I think I know exactly what you're feeling. They only reason i don't come from a divorced home is that i got out before the divorce occurred, just not before all the yelling matches... And I'm staying married until my son leaves the nest, but probably not 15 minutes longer.
                  So I understand your wanting to point out to your boy, as I may have done, "Hey, see that girl there? She's pretty, she's smart, and she comes from a good family!" Lots of folks around here that I know who've been married a long time, married people they grew up with, not necessarily married young, but someone they knew well. And there's no harm in pointing out things like this. My father never told me anything useful about dealing with women, probably because he didnt know anything useful, but it would have been been nice if he had.
                  So, you're not wrong, and you're not alone.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Texasred View Post
                    Hey, as one Texas dad to another, and with a son in college, I think I know exactly what you're feeling. They only reason i don't come from a divorced home is that i got out before the divorce occurred, just not before all the yelling matches... And I'm staying married until my son leaves the nest, but probably not 15 minutes longer.
                    So I understand your wanting to point out to your boy, as I may have done, "Hey, see that girl there? She's pretty, she's smart, and she comes from a good family!" Lots of folks around here that I know who've been married a long time, married people they grew up with, not necessarily married young, but someone they knew well. And there's no harm in pointing out things like this. My father never told me anything useful about dealing with women, probably because he didnt know anything useful, but it would have been been nice if he had.
                    So, you're not wrong, and you're not alone.

                    Great info! I am actually writing my son a "book" of sorts to take to college in the fall in case he ever wants to read it. Topics include personal finance, investing, being a high value man, etiquette, manners, what a woman really wants in a man (and it's not what pop culture currently says), "gamesmanship" in courtship and marriage (game should never go away - women thrive on it), how to be a good father, buying a used car, and stuff like that. He might never open it, but I'm going to have it ready for him.

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                      #11
                      Mystery solved. His mother talked to him tonight and he confessed that while he likes the girl, he's going off to college in 8 weeks and doesn't want a summer romance with imminent break-up. Can't say that I blame him really. I sure liked that kid though - she's a sweetie!

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                        #12
                        You never know all of the future even though you may know parts of it. I hope he doesn't regret his decision. This made me think of Bob Seger's Night Moves.
                        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

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jns View Post
                          You never know all of the future even though you may know parts of it. I hope he doesn't regret his decision. This made me think of Bob Seger's Night Moves.
                          Yeah I think we get ourselves into deep doo-doo when we take advice from sappy love songs. He's only 18 and she's barely 17. Their relationship hasn't even budded into a romance, he's going to college, she's going to be in high school. They are kids. In the off-chance that they are a fit for each other, I'm sure they will find a way to keep in touch and make it happen.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TXguy View Post

                            Yeah I think we get ourselves into deep doo-doo when we take advice from sappy love songs. He's only 18 and she's barely 17. Their relationship hasn't even budded into a romance, he's going to college, she's going to be in high school. They are kids. In the off-chance that they are a fit for each other, I'm sure they will find a way to keep in touch and make it happen.
                            If it is meant to be, a relationship will find a way. Still, it's best in life if you don't let good opportunities pass you by. Work hard to create them, recognize them for what they are and live life without regrets.
                            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

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'd hardly call Night Moves a sappy love song...lol

                              I had been curious about your own background and how much more your own experience was influencing this, besides what you said at first.

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