My teen has started dating and it’s freaking me out

Our favourite blog from last week’s iBlog Friday has been chosen.

Louisa Simmonds of My Midlife Mayhem is the winner with her post called Teenager relationships and emotions. Congratulations Louisa. Your prize is in the mail!

My teenager is finally ‘seeing’ someone.

Relationships have always been complex for her.

You see she analyses every step of the dating process and usually comes to the conclusion that it’s not worth the effort.

In reality, relationships don’t involve cute little tweeting blue birds, hyperactive mice, pink ribbons and hearts, and for my daughter they are a challenge. Relationships involve tapping into emotions that don’t come naturally to her, to the point where she feels threatened by the intensity and helplessness created by ‘feelings’.

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Obviously, because she is a teenager I am not allowed to pry ask questions about what’s going on and if I do, I get shut down quicker than an over-heated nuclear core. Instead I have to bide my time and wait like a dog for that precious morsel of food to be dropped under the table, to receive what paltry allowance of information I warrant as her mother.

She KNOWS I live vicariously through her, yet she still insists on ‘playing’ me.

I still don’t understand why she can’t just ‘share’ like I over-share with her?

But this ‘friendship’ is obviously more special than the others, so maybe it has the makings of a relationship. My daughter is trying to work out the ramifications of whether she can fit this boy into her in-depth rock studies, while I’ve secretly been perfecting my roast dinners and bread and butter pudding in preparation for long-awaited extended family dinners and Christmas with our new in-laws.

I have tried the tactic of feigning disinterest, but to be honest, I’m crap at it. I am as open as a book. She is a far better control freak than me – and why wouldn’t she be when she learnt from the master?

While I am the panting puppy, eager for over-stimulation, my daughter is Cruella de Ville.

But the poor kid is struggling not only with alien emotions that challenge her control but also with the concept of wasting sharing precious learning time with boy germs.

She is learning the strategy of ‘give and take’, something her father still struggles with.

The concept of a relationship is hard for a girl like her. No matter how scientifically she examines each stage and tries to salvage her emotions, like a science experiment she can’t actually control the outcome of her investment and that frustrates her. She detests weakness and the vulnerability these new emotions have brought to the surface.

My daughter thinks in black and white, she is a ‘cause and effect’ girl, who has managed to control her emotions from a young age.

When I tentatively asked her how she felt about ‘seeing someone special’, this was her response.

"It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be," (sigh).

"In what way?" I asked (trying to appear nonchalant, praying that she won’t shut me down, lock me out or look at me in that superior ‘why so needy?’ way)

"It’s just so time-consuming (sigh). I spend so much time preparing to see him. I have to shave my legs every day now AND take showers; I have to think about what to wear and what to say to sound interesting, and worst of all, I have to plan my workload around HIM. It was so easy before when I only had myself to think about."

"But what about the good stuff?" I dared.

"Well obviously it’s great that he can help me with my maths assignments and I do like the mini excavator he bought me for my birthday, but I find his theories on social coding in the modern relationship a little perplexing."

Imagine a relationship with Spock.

Have you ever been blown away by the wisdom of a child?

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