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Teen Dating Issues/Should my parents let me go on vacation with my boyfriend?


Hi. My boyfriend has invited me to go to Kentucky with him over our upcoming spring break. I will be 18 at the time and he is 18 now. His grandma lives there and we will be staying at her house with her while we are there. It's about 4 hours from where we live. So it's not that far away. I have gone on vacation with his family before. I went to Florida with them last summer, but his parents were with us. My parents aren't sure if they should let me go because his parents won't be there. I really don't think it's very unreasonable to want to go, we have been together for over 2 years and my parents love him. They know he is a gentleman and wouldn't put me in any bad situations because he never has. I'm not a bad kid. I have straight A's and I never get in trouble. What do you think about it? Should I be allowed to go and if so how can I convince my parents? Thanks!

Trust is the foundation of all relationships, and it sounds like you have earned your parents' trust. So that should be the bottom line of all your negotiations.

Yes, I think you should be allowed to go. Make a list of all the reasons YOU have earned their trust. Don't focus on other people (You let my brother travel with his girlfriend when he was my age), only on YOU. If "appropriateness" is one of their reasons, explain that you and he will honor any sleeping arrangements that they request.

Another reason I mention trust is the issue of sex, obviously, but let me explain. A lot of parents trust their teens but do not know where their teens stand on sex. Therefore, there is an area of concern, but very, VERY few of them are willing to open up and talk to their teens about that area. It's uncomfortable and even embarrassing, so rather than opening up about it and learning the truth about how their kids feel about sex, they instead just want to say, "No sex," and then close their eyes and hope their kids listen.

TALK TO YOUR PARENTS ABOUT SEX. I think this is important regardless of how you feel. If you believe in premarital sex, tell your parents, "I plan to have sex before I am married and want you to know where I stand. I also plan to be smart about it and use protection. I will always respect your home and your beliefs, but blah, blah, blah..." You get it, right? OR, "I don't believe in premarital sex and plan to wait until marriage. My boyfriend honors my beliefs and will not pressure me. You can trust me to keep my personal promise." Either way, opening up to your parents lets them know what to expect. If they know you are (or are not) having sex, that secretive area of concern is gone. When there are no secrets, there is trust.

Now, some parents may be shocked to learn their 18 year old plans to have sex, and they may be adamantly opposed. I don't know your family's dynamics. If you DO plan to do this and know your parents would be shocked or hurt or against it, THAT is where I can't help you. I don't ever condone secrets or lying, so if your values go against your parents' values, maybe traveling with your boyfriend would ONLY cause grief for all of you. If your parents can't trust you and him, your relationship will only suffer. It is best to get on the same page, and the only way to do that is to establish strong, open communication about the one thing that frightens them.

In a nutshell, make a list of why you can be trusted, and talk to them. Focus on YOU, and do not keep secrets. If you aren't in agreement, continue the dialogue so that they can eventually realize that even though you don't share the same values, you CAN BE TRUSTED.

Good 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.


Today 1 in 5 sexually active people has HPV (linked to cancer and genital warts) and 1 in 4 has Herpes. 90% of girls who do NOT use condoms become pregnant each year, and AIDS cases are on the rise. Those who do not have sex will not have to deal with these issues, nor will 99% of those who use condoms correctly and consistently. In short, abstain from sex or use condoms - and use them correctly. Parents of adolescent and teen girls should research Gardasil, a vaccine against many forms of HPV. You may not think your daughter will be sexually active, but this will also offer her certain health protection in the event of rape - or should she become sexually active.

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