TROUBLESHOOTER / Should I help my daughter save her failing romance?

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a housewife in my 40s. My daughter, a first-year junior high school student, is dating a boy in the same school year. I’m worried that it’s not going well.

He confessed his feelings first and my daughter happily told me about it. They’re both still children and it’s heartwarming to see them together, but when I happened to read some texts on her smartphone, it seemed like recently my daughter’s feelings for him are too strong and he’s pulled back.

As a result, she seems to be intentionally trying to talk with other boys to get his attention, and asking her friends to find out why he’s cold toward her. Based on my own experience, it seems like the old pattern of being dumped with the statement, “I like someone else now.”

Love certainly is blind. I understand philosophically that she’ll mature through bitter experiences like these, but the boy is cheerful and interesting, and I hope he’ll keep dating my daughter in the future if it’s possible.

I’m wondering whether I should advise my daughter, or just wait and see how things go.

G, Tokyo

Dear Ms. G:

This is a heartwarming letter. I can imagine how you’re enjoying your daughter’s romance, and are excited about it, like it was your own. It seems to me the boy is nice enough that you like him.

Like you, who have experienced love, wrote in your letter, I also feel that the boy wants to break up with your daughter. It must be hard for you to see your daughter trying in vain to stop him from leaving. I was once asked by a reporter for a women’s magazine, “Is there any good way to get back together with a guy who dumped me?” but sadly I couldn’t think of any good answer.

And as you know, your daughter will grow up through the process of loving people and having bitter experiences. I think your only choice is just to watch over her warmly.

Please don’t say anything to her until she brings it up. And of course, don’t contact the boy. I think you and your daughter will have a better relationship if you talk about your experiences when her heart has recovered and she can talk.

Masahiro Yamada, professor

(from Oct. 3, 2018, issue)Speech

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