I have been in a relationship with a very sweet girl for about two months now, she is 16 and I am 17 (although the grade difference is 10th-12th). I have never been in a fight with her, and she is very mature and intellectual, but as usual, a perfect find is dashed by a completely irrational mom. I do understand she might be worried that I am older and such, but she has told me since Day 1 that she thinks I am only looking for someone to have sex with, which is completely unfair to both of us. Its been really stressful on our relationship, since we hardly are able to hang outside of school. I feel terrible about splitting up, but would it not make sense to stop a unhealthy relationship early? It just feels ridiculous to have to leave someone you love a lot, but I have been fighting hard for months with no ground gained. Can you give me a fresh perspective?
Yes! By jove, man, you've got to fight this! Never surrender!
Oh, sorry. Auntie's internal switch just flipped from “advice columnist” to “Winston Churchill." But really, hearing about stuff like this really cheeses my cracker, because the idea that all boys are nothing but single-minded, sex-seeking beasts of hornitude is really problematic—not just for you, letter-writer, but for relationships in general. It's insulting to everyone, it sets up an unhealthy double standard, and for the record, it's not even true.
Unfortunately, getting your girlfriend's mom to see this will require drastic action. Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Buy three feet of heavy chain and a durable padlock.
2. Fasten these items securely to your underpants.
3. Hand the key to your girlfriend's mom when you pick your gf up for a date, and retrieve it from her at the end of the night.
4. Oh, and don't drink any liquids during or before your date. If you have to pee, you'll be in serious trouble. And watch out for chafing. And...
...yeah, all right, that won't work. Let's try something else.
You say you've been fighting hard, but when it comes to changing someone's opinion of you—no matter how crappy and unfounded it is—rational discussion is the way to go, and that goes double when the “someone” is an adult who believes you're nothing but a poorly-controlled ball of sexual impulses with no real feelings.
So, contact your girlfriend's mother directly and ask if you can come over and talk to her. Be polite, respectful, and level. If she's got a shred of maturity, she'll respond by allowing you to have a conversation. And then, when you arrive at the house...
Introduce the subject. Be rational and reasonable. Say something like: “Mrs. [x], we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot. I care about your daughter and I want to continue seeing her, and I hate to hear that you think I'm untrustworthy. What can I do to earn your trust?”
Listen to what she has to say. This woman's opinion of you may be unfounded, but it comes from somewhere—it could be from her own prior experience, or from something you said or did that was taken out of context. If there was a misunderstanding, clear it up.
Be ready to compromise. Many overprotective parents will be more okay with a relationship if it's happening where they can see it; if you care about this girl, you'll be willing to put in the effort of getting to know her family or spending time with her at her own house.
It may take a hard conversation, a few weeks, and a lot of patience, but if you can hang in there, it'll be worth it. Once she gets to know you, even Irrational Mom will have to grudgingly admit that you're a nice guy who likes her daughter—not just a walking wiener in search of a home.
Good luck, dude.
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