Real Advice: When Parents Try To Control Your Love Life

Dear Real Advice,

I am a  29-year-old single girl, living in NYC — I have an amazing career and an awesome group of friends and living a pretty happy, productive life. The only thing is, I haven’t had much luck with my love life. And my lovely — and very concerned — parents are not helping. 

Whenever I go back home to NJ, they are trying to set me up with someone from my hometown. My mom and dad choose the most boring guys for these “intros” and I dread going back home because of it. Sure, they are “good guys” with stable jobs, but the few times I did go on a date with them, I felt no chemistry. They were super awkward and the conversation felt forced. I want my parents to stop setting me up with these men, and so I keep telling them that whatever they’re doing in not working, but they won’t listen. They’re worried that I will be meeting some random guy in the city and settle for less than what I deserve. And it’s true, it’s very difficult to meet the type of guys I actually like in NYC, but I also don’t want my parents to “arrange” who I marry. What do I do?


Running Away From Parents


Dear Running Away From Parents, 

First, it’s great that other aspects of your life are going well! Not all people can say that. With that, I’d like to point out that your parents are doing this from a good place in their hearts (you probably know this already), but it is time for them to let you be an adult. 

You said couple of things that made me curious though. Why do you think you need instant “chemistry” in order to have a great relationship? Many love stories actually begin with pretty awkward encounters/first dates, but eventually, as you get to know each other, you begin to feel attraction. Many people are nervous on their first date, so it may not be a 100% accurate reflection of who they can truly be. Give them another chance! 

You also mentioned that your parents’ fear is that you will meet “some random guy,” right? It may be that your parents want to know the guy their daughter will be dating, or at least make sure that the guy is someone who is credible and trustworthy. All parents are protective, so I am surprised to hear that. 

I think that it’s time for you to take control of your own love life. First, next time your parents offer to set you up with someone, take the guy’s number and meet him with an open mind. You don’t want to miss out on a great guy just because he was your parents’ idea. Secondly, I suggest that you use a safe avenue of meeting people in NYC. A dating app like Single to Mingle will actually verify the guy’s profile — his age, what school he went to, things like that — to make things less unknown. I bet your parents will appreciate that! 


Most importantly, be open minded and keep all your options open. You just never know how and when and where love will find you. Good luck!