Dating teenage guys
Teenagers are both new to romantic relationships and not exactly known for their selfless and compassionate natures, if you get my drift.
So when they don’t speak the same language in these scenarios, the typical result is a lot of hurt feelings and defensiveness (and—sorry—a breakup, because that’s a lot “easier” than doing the work to come to understanding).
It doesn’t matter if the hurt feelings were unintentional, or even if you really do believe the other person is overreacting.
A true apology is about acknowledging that your actions caused pain and trying to make amends for it, separate from any other conversation about the overall situation.
Her birthday was last week and he completely forgot about it.
When she told him about it, he responded with something like “Oops, I’m sorry I forgot.
My guess is that your son doesn’t see birthdays as that big of a deal, whereas his girlfriend sees them as a very big deal.
Bottom line, she thinks he’s being thoughtless and he thinks she’s overreacting, but communication is how any situation like this gets resolved.
I’m not clear from your note whether your son is asking for your input or not.
She has to be clear about what she wants/expects (none of this passive-aggressive “I shouldn’t have to tell you,” because expecting anyone to be a mindreader is unfair, and multiply that tenfold when your target is a teenager), and he has to explain that he didn’t understand how important this was to her, and he didn’t realize how uncaring his actions appeared.
It’s worth having a discussion with your son, if you haven’t before, about the notion of “fair fighting.” The two key rules are to stick to the matter at hand (no bringing up other stuff from the past) and use “I” statements (“I feel like you’re overreacting” is marginally better than “You’re overreacting,” but better still is “I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was to you”).
I may have rolled up my sleeves when this one came in, folks. V writes: I thought you might have some good insight on this situation.
My 17 year old son has been dating a lovely young lady for the past few months.
You may disagree with me and that’s your prerogative.