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How to tell your 19-year-old daughter that you disapprove of her boyfriend

Updated on September 16, 2012
My crazy and over-concerned mother and I
My crazy and over-concerned mother and I

...from the perspective of a 20-year-old

Bottom line: my parents hated my ex.

I started dating him right after I turned 18 and continued to go out with him until a bit before my 20th birthday. I thought he was the most perfect person (especially for me).

The only thing that would change my mind was, well, time.

Unfortunately my mother didn't realize this. From the first fight I had with my ex my mother disliked him, and as time went on she came to hate him.

Whenever he made me upset, I would tell my mother, which was probably not the best idea (at least under the circumstances of our relationship). And every time she heard of what he had done to me, she grew more angry and disgusted.

My mother always felt the need to have a good amount of control over me, which didn't work well because I have been considerably independent from an early age and have always yearned to live and work for myself. My mother's unwanted advice only fueled my efforts to stray further from my mother's guidance.

As a result, I disobeyed her. I snuck out, let him visit me at work... I basically tried to see him a lot, away from my mother. And that is something a mother does not want, something that isn't good: losing contact and the respect of your daughter.

I believe that a mother should only subtly tell her 19-year-old (or near that age) daughter of her disapproval. Forcing her ideas on a girl that age, when one is trying to discover who they are and what they want by themselves for the most part, can likely backfire.

My father wasn't terribly fond of my ex, either, but I appreciated his opinion because he let me know once and then only if I asked. He didn't force it on me but told me, "It's your life. Do whatever makes you happy." ... Golden words to a teenager.

I knew that my mom had the best of intentions, but I couldn't help but feel annoyed and angered every time she brought up her dislike. I didn't feel that she was being reasonable and didn't trust her judgment or advice.

Just try to respect your daughter and understand that when she is 19, there is little a mother can do to convince her daughter to dump her boyfriend. This is a difficult task, but do you best to treat your pre-adult like you would like to be treated yourself.


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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

      That is awful. My sibling was also dating someone who didn't have a job and my mom really disliked that person, but she did keep silent and my sibling ended up breaking up with that person because my mom taught is what we needed to make the right choices. In time your daughter may realize that this is not right for her, and you can maintain your relationship with her, but I can see that it would be very difficult, and if she makes the wrong choices, she will have to take responsibility for them.

    • profile image

      Bill 3 years ago

      My nineteen year old daughter is dating a twenty seven year old guy ...I am fully supporting her ,paying for college classes out of pocket just to get her started in a direction and house and feed her .I pay for her health benefits while her mother gives no financial help while I have to pay $650.00 a month to her for my sixteen year old son . My daughters boyfriend has no job , no skills and has a felony on his record and spent a year in jail for stealing a pair of sunglasses ....I am at the end of my rope with it all !

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      Amy 4 years ago

      Do you dislike the person your child is dating? Would you like to prove once and for all that parents know best? VPEtalent is seeking concerned and dynamic parents who think their teen or 20something is dating the wrong person for a new docu-reality show for MTV's international channels. Contact with your story to apply.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      I can totally relate to your mom. My teenager (son) makes some pretty dumb decisions that could have lasting, harmful consequences for not only him, but for the girls he gets involved with too.

      But a 19 year old is a different story. I can't fault your mom for wanting to protect you, but you were an adult. And parents gotta learn to let their kids grow up and make their own decisions.

      Great hub. Voted Interesting, Useful and Voted Up.

    • profile image

      Viola 5 years ago

      My 22 year old disobeyed me by giving my car keys to her dad when I asked her not too.Now she won't speak to me. The reason because she said when he fixed his car she wouldn't have to bother me.

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      life2b 6 years ago

      It's wonderful you have such patience for your mother, and never lost your temper do to her concern over your choice in a boyfriend. I think moms are the most protective member in a person's family and life. Which is a wonderful thing, and sometimes frustrating too. And then to think you could have saved yourself two years if you had listened to her. What other things could you have spent your time on in those two years instead of this guy. Just saying.

    • IdeaMorphist profile image

      IdeaMorphist 8 years ago from Chicagoland

      Great points! Well developed. You've obviously looked at this situation with a perspective view and formed some very logical conclusions!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments. decee, I am sorry for your situation... It is certainly a difficult one that I feel unqualified to sufficiently answer. To me, it seems like it's something you can't convince your daughter about, especially since it's her first boyfriend. Something must happen so she can see it for herself, but I'm not sure what. Does anyone else have any input?

    • profile image

      decee 8 years ago

      my daughters 1st boyfriend is a college freshman from wabash college. Its not only him that I disgust but his entire family. They have purposely degraded my husband and I therefore isolating her from us. I have heard him call her horrible names emotionally degrading her. His mother thinks her son should be number one in her life. The mother got herself pregnant and now has seven kids of her own. My husband and I are both professionals. However his family are low lifes. My daughter felt sorry for the boy and ended up buying him a coat for christmas. They make her feel guilty for the material things that have been given to her. How do I show my daughter that she is not responsible to this jerk. He is very disrespectal but she thinks he has high morals! His family has brainwashed her through their fundamental church. The boy has even told me that my daughter has chosen him over us. I'm concerned that he will purposely get her pregnant just like his father did to his mother. The boy calls her constantly while she is at school and it is interefering with her grades. I'm in control of all her finances. Should I block her calls from him. I am so concerned about his emotional abuse. Please respond

    • profile image

      bpapa 8 years ago

      Great hub as a parent it is hard not to put in your 2 cents but we know we should keep our mouths shut its just not easy.

    • CiscoPixie profile image

      CiscoPixie 8 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

      I completely agree with you! I am 19 and although i'm single, i used to hate it when my mother wold interfere in my relationships! Excellent hub :)