It can feel awkward to talk about your love life with your family, especially if you have strict parents. You may be tempted to start sneaking out on dates just to avoid discussing the matter completely, but it’s never a good idea to hide things from your parents. Apart from the obvious fact that getting caught will cause you more trouble, it’s also your responsibility as a teen to keep an open line of communication with your parents. So if you’re thinking about asking your crush out, don’t forget to keep your parents in the loop as you dip your toes into the dating pool.
Don’t know how to approach the subject? To help you out, we’ve listed down seven tips on how to tell your parents that you want to start dating:
1. Let them know why you want to date.
No matter how embarrassing it may seem, be honest with your parents about why you want to start dating in the first place. Tell them that your friends are starting to go out more and you’ve also been getting curious about socializing with different people. Explain that you’ve been doing well in school so you’re looking for a fun way to de-stress. Whatever your reasons may be, make your intentions as clear as possible so that they can understand you better.
2. Set reasonable rules.
When they propose to set rules, don’t say no right away. Listen to what they have to say and find a compromise from there. It’s important to set guidelines you’re both comfortable with so both sides can trust each other openly! For example, maybe you can agree to text your parents every hour during your date so that they know you’re still safe. If they’re worried about your studies, promise them that you’ll only go out on weekends. Once they realize how trustworthy you are, they can let go of those rules and be a lot more lenient.
3. Be detailed about your plans.
To show your parents that you’ve fully thought things through, give them the details of your date. Focus on the where, what, who, and when of your plans so that they know exactly how to reach you in case of emergencies. For bonus points, introduce your date to your parents before you leave the house!
4. Approach the nicer parent first.
Sometimes, one parent is more easy going than the other. In cases like those, feel free to talk to the ~chill~ parent first so that you can team up and think about how to approach the other parent together!
5. Listen to their concerns and offer solutions.
As much as possible, don’t get argumentative. Leave your preconceived ideas out the door and show your parents that you’re capable of having an honest, grown-up conversation. Instead of shutting down their points, try your best to comprehend their side so you can address their concerns properly. As mentioned above, you need to listen well in order to find a fair compromise!
6. Don’t rush things.
Don’t get disheartened if your parents don’t agree to your wishes right away. Give them a little time to sort out their thoughts—after all, they need more than just one night to process the idea that their children are growing up and seeking independence. Bring up the topic every once in a while so they can slowly (but surely!) adjust to the idea of you having a significant other.
7. Be prepared to get rejected.
If they do, don’t act out or defy their final verdict. When the time is right, they’ll change their minds and realize how mature you’ve grown for respecting their decision. Don’t lose hope, Candy reader!