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If this is your first boyfriend (and they’ve said you’re too young to date) or some other situation that could be drama-filled, it helps to have an advocate on your side while you tell the other parent. DON’T lead with the stuff they might see as negatives. It’s no biggie to you but it will be to your folks.

It’ll help humanize the mystery guy so that they can stop imagining some scary dude stealing their li’l girl. Sexy selfies or pictures of the two of you hugged up can be saved for another time, like Neverary. It’s natural for them to feel bittersweet about you growing up. Visualize the future: You love him, your parents love him and he didn’t even mind when your little brother kicked him in the shins.

So, how do you navigate the murky waters of dating someone when your family isn’t as excited about them as you are? Odds are, your parents don’t entirely like the person for a specific reason.

For all intents and purposes, when it came to me, my parents were extremely lax.

This is probably because unlike my brother and sister, I always remembered to call and check in, in high school my social life consisted of debate tournaments and practically nothing else, and beyond that I was always capable of talking myself out of anything remotely fun if I thought it might upset someone.

You may not care about the fact that they don’t have anything to offer but emotional support, but in five years, you may have wished you did.

This is how your parents are thinking, because they desire a good life for you and someone that will support you not only emotionally, but in any way life has to offer in the future.