Gifted teens and romantic relationships

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Gifted teens and romantic relationships
4
Thu, 03-08-2012 - 8:48pm

My daughter has just started dating, and she's really troubled by the loss of control over her emotional life. She has always been very guarded, and is really struggling with the idea that she is emotionally vulnerable. She went on two dates with this guy earlier this week (they are on spring break), and has been angry and cranky for the past couple of days. I do think he likes her, but she hates the idea that someone else has an influence on her emotional well-being.

Any words of wisdom?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 03-09-2012 - 3:27pm

Pushing the boy away is typically what she does. Honestly, some of it is to protect the boy's feelings in case she finds, after analyzing the relationship to death, that she doesn't feel the same way, and some of it is just because she really doesn't want to take risks. I do think this is related to her perfectionism (if I can't guarantee a good outcome, why take the risk?) and her need to be in control. Intellectually, she knows she needs to put herself out there a bit more--she has always come across as very reserved, self-sufficient and perhaps a bit chilly--

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Fri, 03-09-2012 - 11:34am
I've got two gifted teens circling the edge of this abyss. Ds15 has a lovely almost-girlfriend who is over the moon for him, and he thinks she's awesome, but still he keeps pushing her away to prevent that vulnerability. Dd18 has dated in the past but only in situations (like summer workshops) where she knows immense distance will soon intervene to create obstacles which will naturally end the relationship. She has a very close male friend now whom she's in a very similar situation with to what her brother is. Pushing him away to prevent that vulnerability.

So no words of wisdom here, sorry.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 03-09-2012 - 10:05am
No wisdom, just in the same boat. It's fine with me that DD 15 doesn't date but what bothers me is she is actively dismissive (and frankly, a little mean) to any boy who stops treating her like one of the guys. She freaks out when I try to talk to her about it. She's not ready, great, but I really wish she could handle it better.

No advice, just a hug. It's hard to see your child have any issues you feel powerless to help them through. It may just take time and experience.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Fri, 03-09-2012 - 9:58am
Tough one. It is hard to be a parent in this situation. If she is open to it, I would talk to her about being true to herself, but also open to the relationship and that it is possible to do both. If you are to have a real relationship, you are also going to be vulnerable in some ways.

I would also talk to her about not letting the boy push her into moving faster than she wants to. One of my kids had a year-long relationship (broke up when they left for college). One reason it worked for a long time (in teen terms) is that they were not completely joined at the hip - they made sure they kept up with their other friends and activities. I would reassure your dd that it is possible to be in a relationship and not lose herself.

Hope it turns out to be a great thing for her.