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Parental Expectations

Community Member

My mother criticised me yesterday for not having a girlfriend. I am 18 years old and she said that she expected me to be taking out girls at my age. She then went on to tell me that all of my siblings had boyfriends/girlfriends when they were at school. I feel very aggrieved about this. Was my mother out of line?

I can see it in my parents' eyes that they think I am a failure, and there are a lot of reasons for this (the girlfriend incident just triggered this post). Is it normal to not love your parents at all when you are a disappointment? I mean they didnt abuse me as a child, I feel as if my lack of love for them is not legitimate or justified. To be perfectly honest, it wouldn't bother me if they died. What makes it worse is that people would resent me greatly if they found out about this because they see my parents as loving and me as spoilt. My mind is a mess.

1 Reply 1

Community Member

Hi eloquentia. Don't freak out about not having a gf. You are young and there are many years ahead of you to work out all of that stuff. Some people are made to be part of a couple. Some are happier on their own. Some have children. Some do not. I would guess that it will probably take another ten years at least before you work all of these issues out.

I guess when people have found a lifestyle that leaves them feeling satisfied and/or happy then that is something they want for their children. For example, if my children came to me one day and said that they didn't want children of their own I would probably feel sad because I know how happy having my children in my life has made me.

It sounds as though you might not have anyone in your life that you would feel comfortable talking to about these feelings because you feel they might judge you. I think forums like this can be very helpful when you feel like that.

Don't be too hard on yourself for feeling that your life is a mess etc. I'm 40 years old and I said to someone only yesterday I'm still trying to figure out what the heck I am doing! I think a lot of us question these things every day of our lives. It never ends and (I know this will sound corny) it is a lifelong journey.

I think we need to look at the positives - who wants to have their life and their choices set in stone at the age of 18. We go along, we meet new people, learn new things and change our minds all through life. My opinion is that is a good thing because we take the good as we go along and add it onto ourselves. It is a constant evolution and we should welcome that. I reckon someone who doesn't change from the age of 18 might be a bit stunted in their emotional growth.

Can I suggest that you also have a look at the threads in the social part of the forum? I find that really useful. People are on their talking about favourite books, music and the like. When I'm chatting in those threads it always picks up my mood.