Ask your parents why.,
Seek the help of a trusted adult.,
Understand your feelings.,
Think before you speak.,
Deliver the message.,
Be aware of timing.,
Ensure he understands your point of view.,
Don’t apologize or defend yourself.,
Suggest that you be friends instead.
You might be aware of your parents’ rule, but not fully aware of the reasons for why your parents have this rule. Understanding why your parents have created this rule will help you explore your feelings, as well as communicate to your guy why you cannot date.Parents create such rules because they are worried about your safety and well-being. They do not want to see you with a broken heart, or they might be worried about you being sexually active.
Or, perhaps they think dating will distract you from focusing on your schoolwork.;
, Listen to your parents’ reasons without interrupting them. Acknowledge their concerns, and tell them that you want to be safe, too.If your parents are worried about you being sexually active, show them that you are informed about safer sex. You can say, “I appreciate your concerns, mom and dad. But, a nurse from Planned Parenthood gave a talk at school about safer sex last month. Here are the pamphlets she gave us. I am well informed about issues of consent and how to practice safer sex.”
If you are not sexually active and have no desire be sexually active, tell them this, too. For example, “I know you are concerned, but I am not sexually active, and I do not plan on being sexually active any time soon. I am just interested in getting to know someone better.”
, If your parents are open to the idea, explore compromises that will make them feel more comfortable. You could suggest group dates instead of one-on-one dates, or they may be more open to chaperoned dances. Also, discuss being home at a certain time, or only going on dates with people they have met and know well.If negotiation is not an option, it is ok and common to feel angry and/or frustrated. At this point, you can seek out the advice and help of other adults in your life, for example older family members, teachers, or counselors.
, If you cannot, or your parents will not discuss dating with you, seek the help of other adults — for example, an older relative or sibling. An older adult might have a better understanding of your parent’s perspective, and they might be able to explain it to you. They may even be able to help you talk with your parents about the issue.Make sure you seek out someone you trust.
, After you have spoken with your parents or a trusted adult, take time to analyze your feelings. Work out how you feel about the situation, and what your needs are. By understanding your feelings, it will be easier to explain to your guy why you cannot date.For example, you may agree with your parents on some issues, but not on other issues. Or, you might not agree with them at all, or fully agree with them. The point is to take the time to understand where you stand on the issue.
It can be difficult sorting out your thoughts and feelings. If you need help, consult your school counselor or another trusted adult.
, Before you talk to your guy, come up with various explanations that communicate how you feel and why you cannot date in an effective way. By not planning out what you will say, you might end up saying something you regret or do not mean.Write down different explanations, and practice saying the best one in front of the mirror. Make sure your tone of voice is confident.
, When delivering the message, make it clear that the issue is not with him, but with your age or your parents’ rules. This way, you can avoid making him feel rejected or at fault. Make your feelings and opinions on the issue clear, as well.You can say, “Hey, John. I want to talk about what you asked me the other night—dating. I spoke with my parents, and they still think I am too young to date. I agree with some of their reasons, but at the same time, I feel that I am mature enough to date. But, I do still live under their roof, and I have to abide by their rules. I hope you understand.”
, When confronting him, make sure it is an appropriate time. You want to choose a time and place that ensures that you are being heard and understood. Try to choose a time when you are both relaxed and not preoccupied with something else.If he is busy with schoolwork, sports, or is hanging out with his friends, choose another time to tell him.
Avoid bringing up the issue during an intense moment, like an argument.
Also, don’t use your news as a weapon to gain an advantage or to hurt him.
, Before he begins to respond to what you have just said, make sure he understands what you said first. Ask him to repeat or summarize what you just said. By doing this, you can avoid any miscommunication.For example, “Before you respond, can you summarize what you heard me say so I can be sure that I communicated clearly and that you understood correctly.”
Provide any needed clarification, especially if he feels that he is at fault.
, His agreement with your message should not be an issue. At this point, your priority is to ensure that you were heard and understood correctly. Therefore, do not get hooked into apologizing or defending your message., Everyone has a different way of coping with something they do not want to hear. Therefore, he might be confused or angry. If he reacts negatively, such as anger or inappropriate comments, remain calm. Don’t yell back or return inappropriate comments. If he threatens you or makes you feel unsafe, stop the conversation and leave immediately.Try to remember that his reaction might be because he wasn’t prepared for the news.
You might need to reiterate and reinforce the idea that the issue is not with him. You can say, “I understand that you’re angry. But it isn’t about you, and the decision is not a reflection of you or your actions. It is about how my parents and I feel. ”
, If he does not have a problem with what you said, and understands your reasons, suggest that you guys remain good friends. Remaining friends will strengthen and add depth to your friendship. If you stay friends long enough, your chance to date him might become a reality.