Teen Dating Issues/What to do


Hi Suzi,
I am not very sure how to say all of what I'm going to say but I am going through a hard time right now while dating my boyfriend, we are both 16 and like each other very much. I'm from Puerto Rico and he's Arabic. I guess dating him is not the problem at all because we are very happy together. However, the problem here is my mom not wanting me to date him because he is Arabic and also because I am moving. She says not to get attached to him because we are moving but I am already was past attachment. It's not attachment what I feel, is more like this deep affection for him. It is very hard to explain how I feel everytime I hug him or hold his hand(we haven't kissed yet) We have been going out for 2 months now and quite frankly they have been the most amazing 2 months filled with many hardships partly contributed from my mom. She has this belief that she is gonna choose the guy I'm going to be with my whole life. She doesn't like him or any of my girl friends. I guess my question is, how can I deal with my mom ? How can I keep our relationship going for the 1 year we will be apart ? And how can I be able to see him without my mom becoming suspicious? Thank you so much. Take care.

Delilah, first, I would never advise you how to have a relationship without your mom getting suspicious.  Honesty is the foundation of ALL relationships, including you and the boy and you and your mother.  If this boy allowed you to sneak behind your mother's back, that would make him a sneak, which is the same as a liar, and instantly, that's a mate I would discourage.

I'm going to be brief and very honest.  Sixteen is the beginning, not the end.  You have to let life takes its course.  If your mother opposes this boy, whether I agree with her reasons or not (and I do not), you live under her roof, so you must do as she wishes.  I would tell you differently if you were 20 and lived alone.

Therefore, the ONLY course of action I can recommend is reasoning with your mother.  What is wrong with an Arabic boy?  They are probably much more devoted to their values than most American boys.  Does she expect you to date a Puerto Rican boy?  In the US?  They aren't exactly numerous.  Or does she expect you to date a white/American boy?  If so, isn't it hypocritical to allow you to date one race but not another?  Or is it his religion?  Is he Muslim or Christian?  Does it matter?  Are you Christian, and if so, how much?  How would your mother feel if a boy's parents wouldn't allow the boy to date you because you were Puerto Rican?

I'm not giving you these questions so you can argue.  I'm giving them to you so that you and your mother can talk.  You need to understand her, and she needs to understand you.  And both of you need to understand the boy, his heritage, and his religion (because not all Arabics are Muslim or even religious).

I don't promote long-distance relationships, especially secretive ones.  My feeling on LD relationships is this: put them on hold and live your lives single.  If you don't find someone else, great!  If you do, fine.  But at 16, you are too young to put your early dating years on hold for someone (A) you may never see again and (B) who isn't exactly fitting into your family like a round peg in a round hole.  If it's meant to be, it WILL BE without the two of you retarding your social growth by taking yourselves off the dating grid at a time when it's important to be learning HOW TO DATE!  It's a process, and you have, by no means, mastered it.  If you had, I would not be answering this question.

So I hate to sound abrupt, but consider this one bump in a road that will have many.  Either reason with your mom, or do as she says and keep it "not serious."  Don't sneak, and don't commit to a LD relationship!

Best of luck!!


Teen Dating Issues

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Suzi Zimmerman


I am a teacher and I write books on teen dating, self-esteem, and values. I can answer questions on making healthy choices, self-improvement, liking yourself, relationships and friendships, goal-setting, values, and how to handle making difficult choices.


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