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How to Work Out Arguments With a Loved One/How to convince my parents to let me go on a trip with my boyfriend?


My question is: How to convince my parents to let me go on a trip with my boyfriend?

I am in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend. He lives in our hometown in Texas and I attend school in Chicago. I am 19 and he is 20 and we have been together for about 3 years now. Since we don't get to spend a lot of time together, I thought it would be nice to spend 2 weeks of our vacation showing him where I live and the things I do. He's never been to Chicago or on a plane for that matter. I also thought it would be good for him to see Chicago and look at Universities since he is thinking about transferring. His parents, who are usually the over-protective ones, are being extremely supportive and understand that we have a right to go and are old enough to make our own decisions. My parents on the other hand aren't having it. My mom thinks we are too young and it is very inappropriate, and my dad is furious and has threatened to stop giving me money for college, which makes me very upset. I understand that I am their little girl and it's hard for them to see me grow up, but that doesn't change the fact that I am an adult and have my rights and freedom. I've tried to talk to them various times and they won't even listen to me. What can I do? Tickets are already paid for and the trip is in 3 days. Please help me!

Hi, Francia,

You're in a hard situation, because, of course what you're saying about your rights as an adult is correct, but you are also dependent on 2 people who are having strong moral feelings and fears that go beyond logic... and they're not afraid to threaten you.

The best I can tell you is to sit down with them and try to identify exactly what their fears are.  (Are you already having sex and they don't know?  If you're not, perhaps you can assure them you won't - at least not on this trip.)

Ask them to trust the daughter they raised.  You must be a hard worker and have some good sense, if they're paying for your college.  Ask them to trust that young woman.

You might try talking with your Mom first, as she isn't threatening you.  Let her know that you don't want to be in a position, now that you're not a child, of having to choose between yourself and them.  You love them and want them to support you as you find your own way in life.  You don't want anything to come between you, even if some of your choices are different than ones she'd make.  Ask her to trust you as you find your way.  And, if you two can work out something, ask for her support with your father.

Good luck!

How to Work Out Arguments With a Loved One

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Jan Harrell, PhD


I believe I can address any questions and concerns a person might have.


I have been a clinical psychologist for 32 years. I co-authored a book on relationships, Love Again ~ Creating Relationships Without Blame, with my husband of 40 years, who is also a psychologist. I have taught at UCLA and at Southern Oregon University.

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I have a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California.

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