Ask Aunt Steph: Should her daughter accept dates extended via text messages?
Ask Aunt Steph is a bi-monthly advice column by Stephanie Baffone, LPCMH, NCC, a licensed, board-certified mental health therapist, freelance writer and beloved aunt to 41 nieces and nephews.
Dear Aunt Steph: My daughter and I can’t agree on an issue, so we thought we’d write in to “Ask Aunt Steph.” She has a new boyfriend who only invites her to go out on dates via text messages. I told her she shouldn’t go out with him unless he calls her on the phone. What’s your take on this? – Not Sure if Old-Fashioned
Dear Not: Oh boy. I’m going to sound like such an old bitty when I say this, but things sure have changed since we were kids. I’ve come around to the idea of accepting dates via text message, but here’s where I don’t compromise: He should pick her up at the door. Period. It’s a sign of respect. However, since lecturing kids alienates them quicker than if they were seen in public with you sporting stripes and solids together, — take advantage of this opportunity to engage your daughter in an open discussion. Give her a voice and then explain to your daughter why you feel strongly that she guard her self-respect. Abdicating it does have costly consequences. Help her understand what those are, so she will make smart decisions.
Dear Aunt Steph: I'm 24 years old, and my beloved Dad died unexpectedly a year ago. Here is my problem: I feel like I don't exist to anyone, and no one cares that my dad died. I’m expected to “move on.” I can't. It’s so painful. I have a boyfriend, but sometimes, I feel that he, too, doesn’t even know what to say. I know my boyfriend cares, but how can I make him understand that my Daddy is gone and I’m still lost? – Lost Without Dad
Mark your calendars to join Aunt Steph at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 on WDEL/1150AM. She’ll be taking calls, answering your burning questions about love, loss, parenting. You name it!
Dear Lost: I am really sorry about your Dad. It sounds like you’ve been through a tough time and are grappling with a multitude of emotions. You’re right. Your boyfriend probably doesn’t fully grasp the profundity of your loss and isn’t sure what to say. Men tend to dive into their emotional toolboxes for an implement to “fix” things. When there is no tool to “fix” a situation, men often come up short. Do yourself and your boyfriend a favor. Tell him what you need. Be specific. Do you need him to hug you when you cry? Do you want him to talk about your Dad more? Give him a roadmap so he can support you the best way possible. Keep in mind, grieving is a life long process. The goal isn’t to “move on,” as much as to learn to integrate the loss into your life now. I wish you all the best.