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Sex Advice: How Do I Tell My Mom To Let Me Grow Up?

“I am an 18-year old college student. I have been dating an amazing guy who is nine months older than me for over two years. He is also in college, but we go to different universities. We have been having sex since I was 17 and the only problem has been my mother, who has disapproved. I thought that when I was in college she would leave me alone. realize that I am an adult, and give me some freedom. But no. When I recently told her that I had spent the night with my boyfriend, she got mad and said that I should have asked her. She doesn’t know that we have sex (after two years, she could hardly assume two hormonal teenagers would behave like saints), but how can I tell her to back off and that I am not her little innocent girl anymore?” — Bird Who’s Left The Nest, via email I am 11 years older than you, and my mother STILL bugs the crap out of me. At 29 years old, I answer phone calls, IMs, and texts from my mom at least 4 times a day. The woman knows EVERYTHING I do!

She has been that way ever since I can remember. It used to drive me nutso in high school, when she would attack my beeper (yes, I had one) if I was two minutes past curfew. I should have escaped her wrath in college, but due to logistical reasons I actually lived WITH my parents for the entire duration. Which meant whenever I was going to stay at a boyfriend’s house, go to a kegger, or stay out until 4 in the morning, I had to call and TELL her…every single time. Sounds fun, right?

It took me awhile (and a lot of screaming matches), but the thing I realized about my mom is that she just wants to feel like a part of my life. She wants to feel INFORMED. Sure, she’s been there to pass judgment plenty of times (“You’re dating WHO?!?”), but aside from the fact that she’s always right, I discovered that the more I told her, the less nosy she got.

I bet your mom wasn’t implying that you should have asked her permission per se, but was instead feeling that you should have TALKED to her before you decided to have sex. Sure, it’s unrealistic to expect your daughter to be a virgin after dating a guy for two years, but in her eyes you’re still her little girl…and will be that way forever (even when you’re almost 30 and over 6 feet tall, like I am).

Next time you talk to her, try letting her into your life, instead of fighting so hard to keep her out. Keep in mind that you’re an adult now, which means she can’t “ground” you anymore, or take away your TV privileges. Try talking to her about real things in your life: your boyfriend, your classes, your friends, etc. If you start communicating to her like an adult, chances are she’ll start treating you like one.

Now if you excuse me, I have to go call my mom. It’s been all day, and I’ve only talked to her twice!

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