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Thread: My son's girlfriend - Rant

  1. #1
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    My son's girlfriend - Rant

    My son (25) has a Chinese descent girlfriend. Her parents are from mainland China and speak very little Spanish. She is very sweet, and pretty. They have been together for a year now, and they love each other. However, they are having some differences as she is clingy, and he is independent. She is sedentary, and he is into fitness. He is into hanging with the boys at least once a week, and she does not have girlfriends and resents his outings, he loves dancing, she does not. They met in high school and he told me she would chase him in the school and take pictures of them together.

    My son lives with my mom, and she sometimes spends the night, in the guest bedroom. Sometimes several days in a row. She cooks for them three when she is there. He has asked her not to stay over out of respect for my mom, but she stays. She chats with him all day on the cellphone and keeps him from concentrating on his job. I have had to tell him to please not chat while at work. He can chat on his breaks, but she keeps texting him, he has told me he does not like the constant texting just to say "hi".

    On mother's day, she invited her mom, my mom and I for Chinese breakfast, her mom is very sweet too, but speaks very little Spanish.

    On her birthday, she invited my mom, Nick and I to a formal dinner at the best Chinese restaurant in town, with her parents and uncle, so we could all meet. The amount of food served was incredible, about 12 different dishes for just 7 people. The dishes included jumbo shrimp, clams, calamari, and lobster. I am telling you this so you have an idea that this meal was not casual at all. They would serve us from the main plate into our plates and I ate so much, I later got sick... but how to refuse?

    After dinner, when we were leaving, her mother approached me and told me that she was not happy at first with my son because she did not want a Panamanian boy for her daughter, but since they love each other, she is OK with that. I thought that was rude.

    I found out today that we are invited for Chinese New Years. I am wondering what polite way there is to refuse food in Chinese culture, I am ok with soup but that's it. I have been reading about it, if someone has advice or a link I would appreciate it.

    I also found out that my son is expected to travel to China to meet the grandparents. He is not happy about this, mainly because he has to pay for his own ticket and he is not making a whole lot of money.

    My concern is that I feel he is being railroaded into a level of commitment that he is not ready for. He has told me he feels smothered. He does not make enough money to support a family, he does not have a place of his own, and may not have one for at least a couple more years. Also he will probably have to study a masters degree to have more opportunities.

    By accepting these family invitations, I feel that I am playing along. I have no idea how the Chinese culture works, but in my culture, when a young person meets the parents, things are serious, but when parents meet each other things are super serious. What if they break up over her clinginess, will my son have stained her honor?

    Plus the issue that I cannot eat this huge amount of food without getting sick for at least 2 days.

    Sorry about this rant, but I am trying to figure out how committed (engaged) my son and all of us are to this relationship. If my son would be 100% happy I would not be writing this, but he is not 100% happy, and I think some of their issues are serious.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  2. #2
    gorillagirl Guest
    in terms of the mom "being rude" and wishing her daughter would choose a chinese guy, that makes perfect sense. the two families would so much more easily blend and work things out with a common language and common culture...it just makes things more simple without cross-cultural and cross-linguistic issues. it's not rude, it's just practical. is there a large chinese population in panama? in terms of you not wanting to overeat, just say "no thank you , i am watching my weight." it does seem like big pressure for your son to marry the daughter (meeting the grandparents). aside from sex, please give me one good reason that your son is staying with this clingy woman. your son "staining her honor" is her problem, not his. one should not marry and spend 50 miserable years over "obligation," including having taken one's virginity.

  3. #3
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    You are right GG, I am not going to worry about her honor, I do not know if she was a virgin, I am not asking, and we are in the XXI century.

    Panama has a big Chinese population, she would not have any problem finding a Chinese descent boy. I think that her mom's comments are rude because we are both in the same boat, having to deal with a different culture and language barrier, yet I would not dream of telling her that I wish my son would rather date a Panamanian. I mean, I like her a lot, I am just not liking the speed of things.

    My son, young as he is, thinks that you can change people. He likes many aspects of her, and hopes to change those that he does not like. (Clinginess, sedentary, insecure). He asked me to buy her a gym membership (he would pay me for it behind her back) so I would invite her to exercise with me. I refused. They have had fights over her texting at all times, even at midnight on a work day, and over her showing up to spend the night at my moms in the middle of the week.

    I think that the speed she is putting into getting to engagement or marriage is not giving my son enough time to realize on his own if her "minuses" are something he can live with or not. He wants to wait at least 3 years, but I see by the speed of things that she wants marriage sooner than that. The only thing I can do is to remind him to wear a condom.

    On a related issue, and since we live literally right behind the venue of the New Years celebration, (a convention center) I know there will be a HUGE fireworks display. Roxy and Mia will be terrified and with us gone, there will be nobody to comfort them, like we do every time there are fireworks. I have 3 ideas: To board them in a kennel far from the venue, to ask a friend who also lives far to baby sit Roxy (she hates cats), or to give them a sedative. Suggestions?
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  4. #4
    gorillagirl Guest
    kennel sounds good. your son has alot to think about. i suggest you plant the seed, if you haven't already, that he doesn't need to marry her just because they have "dated," and that people usually don't change. pretty is not enough. i wouldn't take mom's comment as rude. i would just take it as direct/truthful. it was actually quite a strong compliment.
    SheLikesKitties likes this.

  5. #5
    christina923 is offline Senior Member
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    honestly, your son needs to speak up. fly to china to meet grandparents... ummm, no. her showing up to spend the night, umm, say no. her texting, don't return messages. he is just playing into her control issue.

    as for the new years celebration... just say thank you, but we won't be able to attend. you don't owe any explanations. put some distance on this. and encourage your son to do the same.

  6. #6
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    I decided we are going, the New Years dinner will be at their home, this Sunday, and there will not be other family members except her parents. I am sure that it is my son's gf's idea to have this dinner, not theirs. They are having a separate dinner on Saturday for the rest of their extended family. I cannot believe that a hostess is happy to have two sets of guests two days in a row. I know I would not. Too tiresome!

    Anyways, my friend is willing to take the cat too if crated, so that's settled. We will pick them up after the dinner so my friend is not inconvenienced for too long.

    My son and I will be working together for 2 days in a row and I will take the opportunity to subtly talk to him about what Christina said... sometimes just say no.

    And also, as GG said, remind him that people do not change. Is he willing to take her at face value?
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  7. #7
    NY10's Avatar
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    Like Christina said, say NO.

    When I get a text message and it's not an urgent message and I am working or doing something I don't reply until I get a chance. He needs to learn to have a back bone here and not allow her to always get her way.

    I do not think he going to China is a good idea. They've only been dating a year and from what you said she sounds like a stage 5 clinger and she doesn't want to leave his side. Going to China to meet the grandparents, it's not like they are even engaged.

    Maybe a little heart to heart with your son is needed here.

  8. #8
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY10 View Post
    Going to China to meet the grandparents, it's not like they are even engaged.
    My point exactly!
    I will try to approach this as:
    You will want to visit China when you actually have news for the grandparents. Traveling across the world to be introduced as just a boyfriend may be confusing to traditional, elderly people.

    At his moment, since they speak very little Spanish, and I do not speak Hakka, I do not know if she has told her parents they are engaged. They are acting as if they were. There must be a misunderstanding somewhere.

    P.S. My ex already met her parents. She posted the picture of both fathers and my son in FB.
    christina923 likes this.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  9. #9
    christina923 is offline Senior Member
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    ask your son IF they are engaged, as that is the impression her and her parents seem to have. that he is in deeper then he thinks he is, and it appears he needs to clarify that with
    girlfriend and set some guidelines.
    Last edited by christina923; 02-19-2015 at 04:19 PM.
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  10. #10
    degausser is offline Senior Member
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    As far as the food, definitely don't be afraid to say you're full, watching your weight, whatever. Being polite is one thing, but there's no reason to make yourself sick. If someone takes offense that you're full, they need a new hobby.

    It sounds like your son has to put his foot down on a few issues. I think you should talk to him and have the "you can't change people" conversation and the "you're allowed to say no" conversation. He can like or love her and still find she has characteristics that he can't deal with long term, and that's fine. If he feels smothered, he has no obligation to continue to put up with it. He should set some boundaries - no, you can't sleep at my grandmother's, I really can't talk during work, etc. See how it goes. If they can't agree on or respect each other's boundaries, then they aren't compatible.

    The trip to China is absurd. That's not like, "Hey come meet my grandparents, they live in the next town over." Expecting anyone to make a trip to another country that they can't afford to meet family is unreasonable. I would find that unreasonable even if they were engaged. What would be the consequence if they were engaged, and he didn't go to China to meet the grandparents? 'If you can't pay your way to China, you can't marry our daughter'?

  11. #11
    NY10's Avatar
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    I doubt they are officially engaged. Sometimes people get the wrong idea. It seems to me she is more in love with him than he with her, and it also appears she is taking this relationship a lot more serious than he is.

    I don't know much about other cultures but maybe they feel being they have been together for sometime and she spends some nights with him and they seem to always be together they may feel an engagement is coming or something along those lines.

    I would seriously sit him down and get the full info here. This girl and her family are both a little too invested into a young love here.

    But I stand strong on my feelings about China.

    I have been with my boyfriend for four years and still wouldn't travel across the world to meet family just for a visit with no news to share, especially being so young and like I said before, I get the impression that they don't really share the same exact feelings in regards to where this relationship is.

  12. #12
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    We had the New Years dinner yesterday. It was mostly fun, the food was great, and I just ate until full. There was talk from her aunt about marriage, and about how old my son's gf is (24), which was uncomfortable for my son's gf, my son pretended not to understand her accent, and ignored her, and so did I.

    So now I know where my son's gf is coming from. Tremendous pressure from the family.

    Let's see what happens.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  13. #13
    NY10's Avatar
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    I'm glad you had a great day yesterday and enjoyed yourself.

    I am sure that your sons gf is under a lot of pressure from her family and I am sure it's not ALL her wanting to push him into all these things.

    I guess for now all you can do is be there for your son and hope he makes all the right choices and doesn't feel pressured into doing anything he fully doesn't want to do.
    SheLikesKitties likes this.

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