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November 30, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I am an eighteen year old college student, and I am in love with a 34 year old man. We are currently involved in a relationship which is keeping me very happy. Our relationship is perfect. We have been together for one and a half years and he has never hurt me and I know he truly cares for me. My problem is that I come from a conservative family who would never support or understand my situation. If they ever found out they would lock me up or do anything they can to stop this relationship. I am eighteen years old and I feel that I am old enough to make my own decisions. I am tired of living a lie. I love my boyfriend so much that if I ever lost him I could not go on. Yet, I know that if my family ever found out, I would lose him. I am so torn apart and don't know what I should do. Help.

-- JW

Dear JW,

Yes, living a lie is exhausting. But so, notes Belleruth, is dealing with batsh*t parents.

And that -- the Parent Trap -- is the issue here

As BR says: "This is not about being Romeo and Juliet. This is about separating from parents. You can kid yourself and them and make out like this whole thing is anguish all in the name of love. But the truth is, if you just leave things alone, they will run their course. This relationship will either end or it won't. The longer it lasts, the longer you have a case for it being a 'grownup' thing. And even if it doesn't, you will still feel a little more grown up and individuated and -- hopefully -- move on to, dare I say, more appropriate relationships. Whatever issues you have with the 'rents will surface with this or something else...until you feel like a genu-ine grownup.

And Breakup Girl can probably tell you that this usually takes a few years beyond 18."




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