Your Child’s First Out of the Nest Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Saying No to Your Young Adult’s New Beau…Don’t Bother!

So, you are finally going to meet their first out of nest boyfriend or girlfriend.  Be nice! 

Unless they are the absolute worst nightmare, showing indications of a tendency towards verbal or physical abuse, there may be very little you can do. It will be hard to convince your young adult that focusing on their studies or career at this time may be a better option than hanging out with someone you don’t think is right for them.

Hopefully, sooner rather than later your child will figure out if this relationship is the best thing for them. That is the key, as it is not about you, or your likes and dislikes.  It is about exploring a part of what makes us human, the ability to bond with another human being.  An emotional and physical relationship is part of growing up. It is something that we as parents, could only show by example, so what was experienced at home may or may not be the ideal for your child. Remember, we have the benefit of years of experience in matters of the heart.  Even we can get it wrong.  When you think of your ex., don’t you ever wonder: What was I thinking?

Saying no to the Beau/girlfriend, may have the opposite effect of making him or her more attractive, especially when the young one is asserting their new found independence. There must be qualities in this person that endeared your child to them.  You may not see it yet, and some parents never figure it out.

Interfering is Futile

Interfering in love’s young dream may only cause the following:

Alienation – May not want to communicate with you about this or any other relationship,  in case the result is the same.

Secrecy – Future relationships will go under cover. You will not hear about another potential beau/girlfriend again until the engagement.

Hostility – will not be very nice.  They may get the feeling that you don’t trust their judgement and conversations in the area will quickly become negative.

Drama – This should only happen at the theatre.  Life is too short, and as we are looking for the best in the empty nest years we don’t want to encourage, or be a part of unnecessary drama.


 Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing ?

Let the relationship run its course. Only time will tell if it will be happy talk, or take a walk for the new mate. Roll your eyes and carry on. Be there if, or when it all falls apart.  Resist the temptation to say I told you so, because they really do remember that you did.

Chillax as young people say.  Pop the cork on some good vino, and curl up on the sofa.  Watch some movies and see how Hollywood deals with the subject of these first meetings. I recommend a classic one:  Guess who is Coming to Dinner and a funny one: Meet the Fockers.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts.  Have you been in this situation and how did you handle it?


J. L. James
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J. L. James

Writer at EmptyBesters
Social Commentator, Original EmptyBester.
J. L. James
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3 thoughts on “Your Child’s First Out of the Nest Boyfriend/Girlfriend

  1. Thank you, Judith, for your words of wisdom. It sounds like your new role as a caregiver sure was a gear shift in a different direction for both of your lives. Maybe there is a silver lining there for both of you. I will read your other posts later this morning. And yes, as you say, life is a funny thing because we cannot control anything. We think we can but we can’t; us being loving, honest, sincere and helpful to our loved ones is really what life is all about whether we are raising babies, teenagers, helping friends recover from surgeries (that was my summer) or nursing loved ones physically or emotionally to get back on their feet. I hope others will be there for us if we ever need help – I like to think they will help us along this road of life, too.
    Re my daughter, her Dad and I are dropping her off to UCI next Friday for her first quarter. We are “almost” ready and she is VERY ready!! Yes, I was just thinking about this issue the other day how these young people think they are so invincible and don’t need anything except WIFI, their fancy cell phones and their boyfriends and girlfriends for their daily happiness. They have sooo much to learn. Life teaches us new lessons everyday if we are listening. Take care, Judith.

  2. Thank you, Judith, for this article on this maddening subject that I am going through as we speak with my 18 yo only child daughter who is leaving for college this September. I am divorced and have not remarried and have focused the last 12 years on my job, my daughter, my elderly Mom’s health issues and just trying to raise my D as best I could by giving her good examples, values and morals. I know our kids need to break away from us and spread their wings to mature into young adults from 18 on, but we Moms and Dads are still loving, caring, worried parents even as our kids say to us “Now that I’m 18 I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and with whomever I want” or some such comment as their new boyfriend is waiting outside our door to carry your only daughter off somewhere for the evening…..big sigh. My mind immediately races to “Is he a good driver? does he drink? who are his parents? I need his cell number. Where are you actually going tonight? What is his family life like? Why is he almost 22 and has changed colleges three times since he graduated from high school? Hmmm…..these are just a few questions I have on my mind as this new boyfriend that my daughter met just 10 weeks ago through friends is all of a sudden the center of her young, free-spirited, independent universe. On their first date he came to my door, which I had told my D earlier I was going to answer, with flowers for me and a small bouquet for her, too, which was a sweet gesture on his part, and I was gracious but very skeptical as I accepted the pretty flowers. She came back three hours later from their first Sunday luncheon date and sat on the edge of our couch telling me how great he was and she felt like she met her new best friend. I just sat there shocked that flowers could work so fast. She was smitten – I sure wasn’t, not in the least. Fast forward 10 weeks and now she is telling me – not asking me as she lives under my roof – “Hey, Mom, we are going water skiing and jet skiing with his family over the 4th of July for a four-day trip”…… I then started searching Facebook for clues on his mother, brother, estranged Dad situation that is remarried with two young boys……. blah, blah. You get the pic. I am very good at research, and suffice it to say these folks were not impressive online to say the least. It is interesting to analyze the photos and comments that folks find important enough to “post” on social media to their friends and family. I won’t get into detail on why I came to that conclusion – it was just a gut instinct that has always been right my whole life. So Judith, wish me luck on this new Empty Nester phase I am entering. I know come September no young man will be coming to my front door handing me a bouquet of anything. I will be lucky to get a “Hi Mom” text from my daughter once or twice a week in between classes, tests, research, essays, parties and socializing.
    Empty Besters might just become my new best friend 🙂 hugs to all of you

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I heard the same words from my daughter when she went off to university. Sorry I did not reply before. My empty nest changed quite suddenly last year, and I have taken a more infrequent approach to posting updates. See my last few posts. I became a caregiver to the same young woman who thought she had the world at her feet. Life is a funny old thing. I wish you all the luck in the world in this Empty Nester phase and hope it will not be as dramatic for you as it has been for me. One thing it did teach me and I want to share with you is: You are stronger than you know.

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