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On Dating & Parental Pressure.

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Last week a friend of mine lamented to me that her parents were putting pressure on her about her love life. "You're not getting any younger," they said. Sound familiar?

Parents are tough. In general. Maybe your Mom always nags you to stop picking your nails (oops) or your Dad won't get off your case to go to law school. It's not that you don't love your parents - but let's be real, our parents put a lot of pressure on us to be successful and make 15-17 Jewish babies. This whole Royal Wedding hubbub doesn't help much either, except discern that you will definitely not have commemorative buses, mugs, sweatshirts, or stickers to commemorate your special day (I hope, as well as above-linked .org OFFICIAL ROYAL WEDDING SITE!)

Dealing with your parents and dating in general is really hard - you want to give them good news, but you also don't want them to be ringing your doorbell and asking your latest hookup whether or not he wants to come to Thanksgiving. In addition to your Mom asking whether you have a boyfriend, why you don't have a boyfriend, and if you are a lesbian (which can I say, just because you don't go around with six boyfriends at once does not a lesbian make) being somewhat annoying - it can be upsetting.

I know myself, from friends, and from girls and guys in their 20s at large - dating in our disjointed and go-getter environments is tough. Your parents want to you to be happy and find someone great. But where are all those great people? (All congregating together, apparently, in a town that is not where you live.)

This post is not meant to trash the padres, but I want to give a few thoughts on dealing with the pressures that parents place on dating and getting married.

I've had FFJDers email me that their parents made them a JDate account without their consent, won't stop setting them up (against their will), to weird looking boys with zero social skills or some girl who definitely isn't someone you're interested in, and more. It can be frustrating when parents (or other relatives for that matter) overstep boundaries into your personal life.

You adore your Aunt, but if she tries to set you up with her hairdresser's dog groomer Stephen, whose leopard-print Mohawk is something you don't need to see on a second date, then it's too much.

In a lot of ways, we've let our parents in (arguably, too far in) - from obsessing over our Haftorah portion, or scouring our college apps, or baking 651 color-coded cupcakes for the lacrosse game that you were sure you'd lose. But it might be time to draw the line and create some boundaries - about this important and very personal topic.

And to any FFJD moms and dads (Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas) that this post gets sent along to...trust that your amazing kid with amazing taste will find love and when they do you'll be the first to know (after Becca and cousin Josh obvi).

(ps- how bout those camp/ college care packages? Send FFJD one! And don't go stingy on the leftover chocolate gelt.)

Your parents love and care about you, know that. I really sound like an afterschool special, maybe one with STD prevention, teen pregnancy, and something like when Punky Brewster refused that GIANT bag of pills from the popular girls. (It's funny, as much as I adored that show that's the one episode I remember. And now that I think about it, if you had essentially a pillow-case full of drugs, you'd be able to buy a lot of vodka sodas. Not realistic.)

Talk to your parents and tell them that while you appreciate the noodging, the pressuring, and that you know they just want you to be happy, that being single is your choice and your problem. Because the truth is, it is. Sure, you may want a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, or a hetero life-mate, but you can always be dating. It's dating someone you really like that's the tough part.

Ultimately, it's up to you if you date someone or not. While your Mom might be trying to help by setting you up with every male walking the planet, let her know you can handle your own love life. Unless you'd like to go out with Stephen again. In which case, be my guest.

What do you think?

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