A: You are in a tough situation, and I’m certainly glad you waited to date until you were of legal age. An age difference this large at your age (and certainly younger) seems quite dramatic, however, the older you get, the less important it will seem to everyone else. Your parents, most likely, still view you as a child in some regard, even though you are an adult in college. This may be even more true because you still live at home. Although I generally support the notion of “our house, our rules,” there has to be some realistic compromises. The fact that your mother still has so much control of your whereabouts seems a little extreme to me. Does she go to class with you, too?
Your parents can disapprove of who you date, but they can no longer control these decisions for you. I would suggest giving your mom some time to adjust to the startling idea of how old your boyfriend is, but if her resistance doesn’t improve within a few months, it may be time for you to move out. It will cost more obviously, but it may be worth figuring out some solutions in return for your freedom.
In the meantime, you could appeal to your siblings (or your dad) to talk to your mom about her extreme position. She may be more open to what they have to say versus you right now. Although, you may need to prepare yourself for a long conflictual road if she won’t budge and you and your boyfriend continue to date. I hope it all works out for you.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts