Monday, January 12, 2009

Expensive Endeavor

Dear Aunt Babz,

I'm 14, i have met someone on-line...i feel love for him.
It may not be all real love but still i have never felt this way about anyone before. I would do anything for him. He is allowed to visit me in my country
My parents will not let me see him...i matter how much i say no danger will happenn they assume the worst. I cant see a way to make them think other wise..please help me..?
I beg.

Dear Anonymous,

A few things that you have not mentioned in your e-mail are picking at the back of my head. You don’t mention how old this other person is, and given that you are only 14 this is a BIG point to omit. I am guessing that he is much older though, otherwise how would he have the funds to visit you “in your country”. That is an expensive endeavor no matter if the countries are not far apart.

So, given that, I will advise you the way that I would hope my daughter would precede should this situation happen to her.

I would suggest that if this person is of your age group, to ask your parents to meet with him as well as you. Making the meetings with your parents will help to alleviate their fears, and will maintain a safe environment for you. Most parents wouldn’t let their 14 year old daughter out without meeting the boy; this is the job of a parent to ensure the safety of their child. They are not being overbearing in this, try to understand they love you and want nothing wrong to happen. Chaperoned visits for the first little while wouldn’t hurt. This decision may not be made because the person you wish to meet as a boyfriend is from the internet, but because at the age of 14, a parent wants to know the people their child associates with. I know when I was growing up my mom insisted on knowing who I was hanging around with, and with my first boyfriend all get-togethers were at either his place or mine, chaperoned by either set of parents. They would give us space in the house after the first few dates, but they wanted to know that we were being sensible, while also “measuring up” the person we were with.

I would also advise you to not meet with this person alone. No matter what the feelings you have for him, you should never put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. You may know him very well, and he may not be dangerous at all. BUT, being cautious is never a bad idea, and is far better to be safe than sorry.

Now, if this guy is much older than you (and he may be lying to you about his age. Not something that you want to hear, but you need to be realistic here) I would hope that you realise your parents worry is very warranted. Age does matter significantly when you are 14, try to understand the worry that comes when an adult is courting your teen-aged daughter. Put on top of that that he is not from your area, and is chatting with you on-line, it is a rational worry. And you should most definitely play it safe.

There are millions of stories out there to make us fear meeting with people from the web, but the ones that have “happy endings” also have caution to guide them. You can ask anyone who has met a person from the net, that they met in a very neutral place with safe guards in place. And, for the most part, these people (who have had a good outcome) are adults. You need to realize that you are still very young, there are predators out there, and you need to be careful.

Please talk to your parents, ask them if they would be willing to meet with your internet friend. Tell them that you respect their wishes, but would still like to just meet this guy, and you know that meeting him with your parents would be the safe and amicable solution.

Your parents may or may not agree to this meeting, but what do you have to lose? Ultimately you need to try and understand that your parents are trying to protect you. Listen to them, try to talk to them, and stay safe.

Good luck, and let us know what your parents decided.


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