Two years from now, my eldest child will be a college freshman. Not that I’m that old now, I happen to have her when I was in my late teens. Having a child at an early age left a permanent scar in my life. For years, I had troubles dealing with my own insecurities and guilt for not being prepared for parenthood. In the Philippines, a woman is considered a damaged good if she has an extra baggage and that used to be one of my insecurities before. I am open with my daughter about my life as a teenager and as a young parent. I always tell her to be a better person than me and to be wise enough in handling her emotions should she enter into a relationship. It’s hard to explain everything to a 14-year old girl who’s still very much a child in thoughts and appearance. Let me just share some of the things that I lectured to my daughter.
1. Your boyfriend should share your values and principles- It’s fun to have a little contradiction sometimes but MAJOR values and principles must never be compromised because if you believe in these values and principles by heart and just lose them because of your boyfriend, then you will not be happy in the long run. If you believe that you value FAMILY relations while your boyfriend thinks otherwise, then your relationship is doomed from the start.
2. Your boyfriend should respect your body- Public display of affection (PDA) comes with the right location. If you feel that your personal space is being violated and he thinks it’s okay, then something is wrong in how he views you as a woman.
3. Your boyfriend must be an inspiration, not your source of unhappiness- I hate it when boyfriends get so needy. I hate it when instead of spending time to study or do some homeworks, the boyfriend will appear and steal the girlfriend’s study time. I hate it when boyfriends dictate and dominate. There was a time when I needed to study my lessons inside the ladies’ room because my boyfriend would follow me (and disturb me) every now and then. I didn’t like it and I hated it. I was unhappy to be constantly being followed and I was deprived of my study time.
4. A little jealousy is fine but too much is not- Jealousy is a big sign of insecurity. If your boyfriend is insecure, you can never really please him unless he removes all doubts and reservations. A jealous boyfriend will frown at the sight of you being friendly with your male classmates. A jealous boyfriend will follow you everywhere until you feel suffocated. A little jealousy is fine, it’s even sweet. But too much of it is intoxicating and IRRITATING!
5. Your boyfriend must have enough money to spend on your date- I am talking about important dates like anniversaries and birthdays. Boyfriends must prepare for those special occasions instead of expecting girlfriends to chip in.
6. It’s okay not to see your boyfriend everyday- Believe me, it’s very tiring to be with your boyfriend everyday. When you’re young, pretty and smart, you need to explore the world! Join a dance club, Math club etc. Just don’t be confined with being with your boyfriend seven days a week. Why? You’re young and you’ll be missing a lot of opportunities. Instead of hanging around with your boyfriend after class, why not spend your “me-time” in the library to discover new information? You can’t grow if you’re always together and soon, one of you will outgrow the other.
7. Report any violent actions done by your boyfriend- Nobody has the right to hurt a person physically. Losing one’s cool does not give him the permission to slap you, kick you and push you. Don’t stay with a violent boyfriend for your own good.