Communication with Parents
My boyfriend of four months has invited me on a trip across Canada this summer. We have already planned out most of the itinerary and have discussed the cost of the trip. All that I needed was a yes from my parents. When I brought it up, my mom was on board, initially, but asked me to speak to my father about it. She then told me that she was less comfortable with the trip because I haven’t been with my boyfriend for long enough. When I asked my dad about it, he was initially concerned with the distance and length of the trip, because I do get anxious at times and can have panic attacks. After speaking with my dad, he seemed to be okay with the trip except for not having known my boyfriend for long enough. While I agree that this is completely reasonable, I want them to be able to see it from my perspective.
My boyfriend and I are extremely similar and we get along so well and easily. I wanted to prove to them that we could handle a trip by us going away for a couple of days before hand, but the timeline is getting shorter and I don’t think we’d be able to do that. My boyfriend and I have been dating since early December and the trip would be at the end of July/ beginning of August. I just really want to be able to experience this. I am not going to be with my boyfriend, I am going to be able to visit my country. I want to go on hikes and camp in national parks. I just wish my parents could overlook the issue of it being my boyfriend and see the trip for what it really is about.
I understand that from a parent’s perspective they just want me to be safe, but I want to express to them that he is an extremely trustworthy person. How can I convey this without letting my anxiety get the best of me? Thank you. (From Canada)
A: Everyone sounds like they have the best of intentions and ideas. I would recommend that since you and your boyfriend have done all of the planning together that you both sit and talk to your parents. Perhaps some compromise — or check-in time, or something that would show you and your boyfriend’s planning and addressing their concerns. A joint meeting should help.
Tomasulo, D. (2017). Communication with Parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/05/15/communication-with-parents/