My parents won't let me date a junior

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
I'm a freshman in high school. My boyfriend is a junior, and my parents won't EVER let me see him! I've tried reasoning with them, explaining that we truly do care about eachother, but they won't listen. I told them that he would never try to take advantage of me, and I know that he wouldn't because I know he respects me and I trust him. I'm too smart to let him take advantage of me anyway. They won't let me see him outside of school at all, not even to a public place or at my house with their supervision!

I don't know what to do. I know that our relationship is suffering because of this, but I don't know what I can do. I feel like I've tried everything! My parents say that the age difference is too much. My mom claims it's not that she doesn't trust me, she just thinks the age gap is too big. I've tried over and over to talk to them, but their decision won't budge! I really don't know what to do, and it's so unfair to both me and my boyfriend! I'm just lucky he loves me enough to understand the whole situation and not break up with me.I'VE RUN OUT OF IDEAS!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!! Advice
It's really hard for parents to let their kids grow up - you have to remember that for them, you were just a 'little kid' and doing silly things. It's hard for them to adjust to you being a 'teenager' and now being in with other very sexually active teenagers and subject to the hormones and everything else. I'm not saying he would pressure you or that you would give in. But your parents were in high school too, and had all their friends (and maybe themselves) in some pretty sexual situations. So they think about those things, and then think about their sweet little darling, and they're scared.

It's really strange that they won't let him come over and just spend time with you. Maybe they think that would be encouraging him, but to what? If you're just friends in the house, you could build your friendship without "harm". I suppose they might think it would mean that you'd get even closer and then start sneaking out of the house with him. But if you were going to do that, you could do that with a guy that's a freshman too. And the freshman could be much less considerate than this guy is.

In any case, a lot of this comes down to you proving to your parents that you are ready to handle the responsibility of dating, and your parents coming to terms with the fact that you're not a little girl any more. It's not something you can force them to see. But it's something you can *show* them. Many parents are nervous about freshmen dating. But most realize their sophmores can date, at some point in there it's cruel to make your daughter not date when every other kid in the school is able to date. So now it's a matter of proving to your parents that you are mature and ready for this responsibility.

So instead of *telling* them you're ready, *show* them they are ready. You probably know all the things they're worried about - that you'll be too easily led by him into bad things, that your grades will suffer, etc. So work on your grades, and do things that prove you're not a crowd-follower. Do things that show your responsibility. Take babysitting jobs, do volunteer work, talk about drugs and alcohol in a way that lets them know you think about these things and have a good outlook on them. The more you show them that you are level-headed, responsible and handle your grades even with other things in your life, the more they will feel you capable of handling a *boy* because you've already proven your abilities.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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