Just Friends


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Just Friends

Dear GZ Advisor,
I have a question. Does anyone have some advice for a mess I've gotten into? It started just yesterday. My father was doing laundry, and my mother had just gotten home from work, and the phone rang. It was my close friend from school that is a boy. My mother answered the phone, and my parents nearly went crazy, thinking I had boyfriends and was dating. That was not true at all.

I am now thoroughly embarrassed, because they think my friend is a boyfriend. HE IS NOT!

My parents refuse to accept any other way of thought than thinking that he is my boyfriend. How do I explain to them he is just a friend? When my parents grew up any small reaction from the opposite gender meant they were in love. They won't stop pestering me about it.
Signed, Livia

Dear Livia,
I can understand why you'd feel embarrassed and frustrated by your parents' reaction to the call from your male friend. Being wrongly accused isn't fair, and it isn't easy to defend your position. As you noted, your parents grew up in different environments. They were also exposed to different cultural and societal values. It would be surprising if they didn't disagree with you about many things.

It may help you to adopt the "agree to disagree" philosophy. By "agreeing to disagree," differences can be seen as a positive because there's respect for both opinions. You may want to convince your parents that their view is wrong, but it sounds like that may be impossible, so why try? Instead, acknowledge their viewpoint respectfully

This doesn't mean you agree, just that you understand where they're coming from.

Other things that might help include seeing if they'd be willing to meet your friend. Usually parents want to know their children's friends, and if they meet this boy and like him, they may be more willing to consider that he's just a friend.

Also, talk with your parents about how you honor their rules, and that you promise not to date unless they give you permission. Keep other promises as well. When your parents see that you are reliable, they may be more likely to trust you.
Best wishes, GZ Advisor