Dear Annie: I have three wonderful young adult children. The oldest two girls both recently graduated from college and are living at home, working and saving money.
The girls were not particularly interested in dating until recently. Our oldest met a guy at work and has fallen hard. She’s always been family oriented, but for the past three months, all she wants to do is be with this guy 24/7. She spends most nights at his place, and we don’t see her at all on the weekends.
This behavior does not sit well with me. I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend the night with your boyfriend so early in the relationship. I also don’t like that she disregards her family, especially her younger sister, with whom she had a close relationship. My position is, if she’s still living at home, she should come home to sleep. She can fool around with this guy the rest of the day.
I understand I may have some old-fashioned values, but allowing my daughter to live with her boyfriend on a part-time basis shows no respect for my position and is hard for me to swallow.
I’m concerned that if I ask her to have dinner with us more often and spend some time with family on the weekends, she will resent it and it will make matters worse. Am I out of line? – Concerned Dad
Dear Dad: Be careful, Dad. Your daughter is now a grown woman. The lack of prior dating could be one reason why she is so over the moon for the new boyfriend.
It’s OK for you to say you don’t wish to subsidize her living with the boyfriend, but we hope you will do so in a loving way, letting her know you miss her at dinnertime. But we also recommend you invite the boyfriend to join you for meals and weekend activities. This will not only encourage your daughter’s participation, but it will allow you to get to know the man who may become your son-in-law.