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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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My 20 year old daughter has been in an on again/off again

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My 20 year old daughter has been in an on again/off again relationship for a year and a half. The guy she is dating is two years younger than she is. At first they dated for five months and did seem to enjoy each other and have good memories of that. When she left for college he got to where he was unsure about it and they broke up temporarily. When they got back together she decided to move to the city where he lived. A month after she moved there he never broke up with her, but spent very little time with her because he wanted to be with his friends. She went into depression and after some more of their "on again/off again" stuff she finally decided to move home. All summer, even though she did have a lot of social contact and fun she refused to date anyone else. She didn't have any contact until shortly before she was leaving home to go to school five hours away this fall, when they were at the same party and they decided they "still have feelings for each other". Once she got to school they started texting alot and got together a few times and he gave her the "promise ring" back. Last weekend she got really down on herself because she "kissed another guy" and now she thinks she's a cheater and told him right away trying to get his forgiveness and now he won't have anything to do with her. My guess is she will not date anyone and wait on him to come back to her because they are "in love". Give me your thoughts....

Unfortunately in the romance department a person has to learn on their own that a relationship is not going to work. It is great that you tried to give her your advice but we really do learn about love through ups and downs such as this. We don't know whether he will come back or not and she will deal with that in due time. You have to let her find her own reasons for every decision regarding this relationship. She will eventually find closure on her own when she is ready. Give her a chance to heal before worrying about another relationship. If she wants to be with him it won't change by replacing it with another relationship. Give her support but let her come to her own conclusions. She will then heal faster. If she isn't dating she may just be trying to get over him. Time heals everything.

psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience: Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think as a parent I would be less involved with her relationship problems (I see you are trying to tell me it would be best to ignore it), but she calls me often and in the middle of the night crying and crying about it. What do I tell her? I am at a loss....and I have always thought I am a good parent and she could always lean on me...but it just goes on and on.

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear Claudia,

I believe that psychlady has given you good advice. Your daughter, I'm sure you will agree, is very immature, and has been dating someone who has been, until recently, a minor child. She is not looking up to or benefiting from someone who is her age peer or older, and has to keep coming to your for support.

Of course you will continue to love her unconditionally, but you will need to be frank with her about learning to deal with her own issues. As long as she holds on to this young boy to the exclusion of others, they will be bound together in this less than functional relationship.

As she deals with her own pain, she will mature. Perhaps this boy will mature with her, but her suffering is part of her learning process and she will have to have pain to earn the gain.

I wish you and her best luck in enduring the growing up and maturing process from both sides of the fence: mother and daughter.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC