Hi everyone, this might get quite lengthy as there are back stories to the issues. Bear with me!
First of all, I’m 20 years old in my 2nd year of university and I come from a Chinese family. And yes, the typical stereotypes of asian households applies here. So the problem lies there. When I turned 18, I started to realise that I was getting older and that I should take control of my life in terms of academics, social life and so on. I did do that. In fact, I managed to do more than I thought I could. I maintained my grades in uni, my exam results came back far better than I would’ve expected. I also noticed that I began to really speak up more about my feelings and opinions to my parents. And of course I was never rude about them. Just like adults, raising an opinion. But the thing is, almost all my life, I’ve always done what my parents say which is normal of course. But at 18 I wanted to really make my own decisions but obviously I would run it by them first as well. However, the problem lies in the fact that my parents have a mindset where they take the “authority” position and are like “whatever I say is right and what do you know? You’re just a kid” mindset. I don’t mean to sound rude or anything but shouldn’t I get some say about my life? Even before entering uni, they were the ones that pushed me to go to this uni which I’m not a huge fan of but I listened anyway because they’re parents. Ive found a way to look passed this matter but sometimes it does bother me and I blame myself for not standing up for myself. The issue also began when an old friend of mine (we knew each other since we were around 10 or 11) and we kept in touch since the time we met. And we somehow started talking more through WhatsApp and met up later on (this happened nov 2017). Time went on we talked more and just clicked. After meeting up for a meal with him in feb 2018, everything was fine. But the second meeting, my parents started to drop hints of their disapproval of me dating. I didn’t say anything because we weren’t there yet and I wasn’t going to assume anything just yet (thats just my nature.) However, by 3rd meeting, I knew my parents were gonna flip out so I decided to be ready and be diplomatic about the situation and allow them to talk and I wanted to talk about it too. However, when I started the conversation with them, I literally said ONE sentence (not exaggerating, I swear) they literally started scolding me and said all types of things to stop me from dating him. [A bit of back story: my parents know that he’s a good person, like a guy who knows that studies come first and family is always important which is literally every Chinese parent dream son. ] And so, I started to tell them like I’m old enough and its nothing out of the ordinary for a person my age to start dating and all. And I told them I know where my responsibilities are, I know studies are the top of everything but this is me growing up and let me decide if I want to carry forward with a relationship. And they continued to yell at me. At that point, I was already upset with how they don’t even want to talk about it and so I left it at that. For some reason, my dad got on the phone with my aunt who lives in the UK, she’s pretty liberal and has adopted the way of life in the UK and still maintains the morals of a Chinese culture. And my dad mentioned to her my scenario and somehow she told him, its so normal for a girl my age to see people and date and said that the fact that my girl friends have boyfriends and their parents are definitely equally as protective of their child as any other parent would be, but they still allow them to date and she asked him how do you think she feels when she sees other girls free to date? And somehow it convinced my dad to loosen up a bit. And they gave me this long lecture about how studies come first. I told them like in all honesty, I know that my main focus is studies but it is not like my whole life. They went on to say stuff like “oh a guy could stop you from continuing your education” and I was shocked they actually thought so little of me. One thing that I’ve made SO CLEAR to the world, my parents/relatives/friends and I promised myself this as well that education is literally everything. Ive even told them I pursue education hard because I don’t wanna rely on anyone to support me. And I honestly wished that they had the confidence in me to see that nothing is this world will ever make me stop pursuing what I wanna be. sigh. After a long convo, they say fine you can see him as friends. And I did. However, each time I went out with him, I can just see my parents’ faces of like unwillingness and how unaccepting they are towards it and to the guy. Even he felt the tensed atmosphere and asked me about it and I explained. He said that he still wants to see me and hope that I do find a way to get my parents to be more unaccepting of the fact that I am growing up. My mum has been like shoving this idea where ‘oh you can date when you’ve finished studying and established your career.’ Firstly she expects me to get a phd which I will BUT by the time I get it, I’ll be pretty old and rather inexperienced in the world of dating and I am aware that the first guy you date doesn’t necessarily end up as your spouse. So it takes time as well. And I think by the time I do find the one, I’ll be old and being Chinese parents, they expect me to be married around the age of 26-30. (Note: I only get my phd at 25/26 years old and it takes awhile to establish a career too.) They’re sort of the kind where they’ll be like STUDY STUDY STUDY and after that they expect a husband to fall out of the sky. ( as odd as it sounds, its true). And its just with them, my cousins (my parents siblings kids) they all date around my age. The point is, I would like it if they gave me the option/choice to date and willing accept it. Like at least I have the choice, if I don’t date, fine, if I do, be opened minded. I know I sound demanding but really Im being really honest here, I promised them that I will go far FOR them because my brother was an utter failure at life. But I think the fact that my bro turned out like that, that they’re trying to prevent me from absolutely everything including the inevitable like death. They didn’t allow me to drive to my weekend job until I fought for it and it wasn’t a pretty argument. But I had to do something about it. Now that I’ve spoken up for myself, somehow I got labelled as being rude. Sigh. I honestly feel like no matter what I do, I can never be good enough for them and it sucks feeling like that. They always made me feel like I’m doing something wrong when it’s not something that they approve of me doing. Like the dating situation, they took every chance they had to make me feel like I’m doing something odd. My juniors in school are dating and their parents accept it. Im sitting here like wondering whattt??? There’s more. My brother recently got married to a girl who is younger than me! My brother’s 31 and she’s 18. (It’s legal here with consent from her parents, don’t worry). And they were dating for less than a year and he got her pregnant too. And I’m just thinking, if you can support my brother who can’t finance himself and doesn’t take his job seriously and relies on my parents to give him money to use, and they’re about to finance his kid as well and they can’t even be in my corner if I did want to date a guy? I want my parents to be aware of my dating and that if they did have concerns, they can say something. But I just want them to see that I am growing up and this is something that is normal. I’m not getting involved with some bad guy, he’s a 4.0 GPA student and works part time to earn money for his rent and food and he was forced to grow up because he lost his dad at 16 and that really made me like him in the sense that I can see he takes care of his loved ones very well and we talk a lot about our own futures and what our goals are. And we agreed that no matter what, study and go as far as possible as we like. My parents are aware of how he is. And yet, they’re still the way they are. Im just planning to talk to my aunt when she comes over here to visit and see if she could mediate in some way. Somehow when she talks, they listen whereas me, they wouldnt at all. Im hoping to get them to accept and see that I can growing up and they should let me take responsibility for my own actions. Like IF I did get affected by the relationship I’m willing to accept the consequences. At the beginning of the year I was seeing him but not very often and yet I still managed my work well and WhatsApp him daily and still got good grades and in fact I got a 1st class for my 1st year. Finally, my parents have this thinking that the first guy I met, I’ll marry him. (Its an old-fashioned thinking from a Chinese background) but it doesn’t apply anymore. All my relatives who are the same generation as my parents don’t even think about that. They allow their own daughters to date in college or uni to have an experience. I believe my mum’s first was my dad and the thing is, I found out my dad had several affairs and it was severe to the extent that I have a step sister. To the Chinese community that would be a huge embarrassment. And I just sit here listening to them tell me and expect me to like marry the first guy I date, that’s scary. I mean if I did find someone and if he was my first love and we marry and the marriage is good, then I would be pretty blessed. Who knows haha. My point is, I need them to understand I’m old enough to date and that I want them to have confidence in me that i am much stronger than they think. I’ve always been able to separate academics and other life stuff. When my parents were having issues with my dad’s affairs (that woman came into town) I still managed to push that aside and focused on exams and still came out good. I just don’t know what to do with this wholes situation. I feel like my brother can get support for marrying like that and they can’t even support me on something that almost every girl goes through? Just leveraging on my aunt to help honestly. Sorry my text is so long but I am happy to clear up any blur parts.
View related questions: affair, confidence, cousin, money, my ex, text, university
|<– Rate this Question|
Reply to this Question
Fancy yourself as an agony aunt? Add your answer to this question!
A male reader, WiseOwlE + ♥, writes (10 November 2018):
Simple. Continue dating the guy and stop trying to change your parents. They aren’t changing their beliefs, traditions, or customs; because you think they should. You are just as stubborn as they are, insisting they be the people you think they ought to be.You live in China. The majority of parents there think and parent same as yours. Girls get pregnant, and guys have one thing on their mind in your age-group. They can get you pregnant and dump you. Society allows for it; but treat women differently. Whether you like it or not.They’ve agreed to let you date. They didn’t agree to stop being your parents. They’ll be in your business; until you move out and have your own job and place to live.Get your degree, then change the world.
|<– Rate this answer|