How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Boyfriend

Three Methods:Talking with Your ParentsConvincing Them with Your ActionsOrganizing Your Thoughts and Feelings

You’ve met someone that you really like and you want him to be your boyfriend. Even if he is interested, you still may face a roadblock: your parents. It’s difficult to approach your parents with a personal subject, like dating, but you need to get them to sign-off on your relationship. To convince them, you need to sit down with them for a calm, detailed talk about how you feel. And, you must show them that you are mature and ready to handle a relationship through your everyday actions.

Method 1
Talking with Your Parents

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    Find a good time. Pick a time when they are in a good mood. Avoid approaching them right after a hard day at work. Try to figure out their mood by asking, “How was your day?” Choose a time when you will not be interrupted or competing for their attention with other persons or issues. Right after dinner or before bed is usually a pretty peaceful and private time.
    • If you don’t get a chance at home, you can also be more creative and talk with them while out on a walk or even while riding in the car. You might say, “Dad, do you want to go on a quick walk? I have some things I’d like to talk with you about.”[1]
    • You can always talk with just one parent too and ask them to approach the other one, if needed. This works best if you know your mom, for example, is a bit more lenient or if you feel closer to her.
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    Be honest. Staying honest and straightforward is just one way to show your maturity. So, don’t lie. Avoid even small white lies. If you’ve already gone on a date with this guy, you might as well tell them now, if they ask. If you are caught in a lie you will lose any ground that you’ve gained.
    • Avoid comparing yourself with others if it involves exaggeration. For example, don’t tell your parents that your best friend has had a boyfriend for the past 2 years, unless it is really true. Your parents will sense that you are not being honest and can easily check the facts.
  3. 3
    Compromise. To get what you want, you may have to give a little. If your parents agree to let you have a boyfriend, they will most likely place some conditions on their agreement. If these are promises that you can actually keep, it is best to say yes. You can also bring up compromises as a way to bring your parents back to the bargaining table if they say no initially.
    • Many of the conditions will involve your performance at school. For example, you must keep a certain GPA to have a boyfriend. Or, you need to spend at least 1 hour each night studying. These are all goals that you should have anyway, so there is no harm in agreeing to them.
    • It likely that they will also try to limit your time with your new boyfriend, out of an effort to keep you from getting in over your head. They may ask you to only go out once a week or to stick to a strict curfew.
    • They may also want you to see and talk with a health professional. You will need to decide individually if you are comfortable with this type of compromise.
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    Stay calm. Keep control of your emotions during your talk. Avoid yelling, crying, whining, or begging. A temper tantrum of any kind will make them lose all respect for your position. To stay calm, repeat in your head the word “control” or “calm.” Count for five seconds, in your head, before you answer any questions or make any statements you may regret.
    • Make sure to watch your tone as well. It is really easy to say nice words with a sarcastic attitude. For example, “That’s great,” sounds really different depending on your tone of voice.[2]
    • If you feel increasingly frustrated by the conversation, plan a way to blow off some steam after. Visualize taking a long run, swimming some laps, or going shopping with friends.
  5. 5
    Listen actively. You parents will most likely have quite a bit to say back to you, so make sure to pay close attention to what they are saying. Look into their eyes when they are talking. This will help to show that you are not embarrassed or ashamed to talk about your possible relationship. Nod your head when they make good points and even smile if you really agree with something.[3]
    • A big part of active listening is asking questions. If they say “no” to you, respond by asking, “Why not?” Tell them that you honestly want to understand their perspective in this situation. This will help you to figure out what is bothering them and make it better too.[4]
  6. 6
    Agree to a 'sex talk.' If you haven’t already discussed it, your parents may want to sit down with you at a later time to discuss their concerns about you having sex. Again, this ‘sex talk’ could actually be really useful for you. This will be a safe time for you to ask questions or express concerns.[5]
  7. 7
    Write a letter. If you just can’t talk to your parents face-to-face, you may need to write down your feelings and thoughts via a letter. This is also a good idea if you think your parents may have an extreme reaction to your request.[6]
    • Make sure that your letter is well written and calm. Do not write anything that you will regret. Instead of saying, “I’m going to have a boyfriend whether you like it or not,” you might write, “I really want you to understand where I’m coming from.”

Method 2
Convincing Them with Your Actions

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    Let them get to know him. Introduce your parents to your potential boyfriend. You can do this via photos, showing them some of his texts, or in person. Give them an idea about his personality and good qualities. If he does well in school, brag about it. Tell them about his major and future plans.
    • If you have them meet in person, set it up in advance. Don’t just spring your boyfriend on your parents or they may feel ambushed and you may get a more negative reaction.[7]
    • A boyfriend should be supportive of your dreams as well. Make sure to highlight that trait. You might tell your parents, “He always asks how my SAT prep is going.”
  2. 2
    Arrange a group date. Tell your parents that you will only go on group dates with your guy for one month. This gives your parents the security of knowing that you will be safe and will have time to get to know him without the pressure of being solo.[8]
    • Group dates provide some safety, however, they also result in peer pressure. Address these concerns by reminding your parents that they have done a good job teaching you to be your own person. You might say, “Don’t worry, if I’m in a group I never drink and won’t just because others tell me to.”[9]
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    Show your maturity. Follow all of your parent’s rules. Show them that you can honor commitments over time, even if they are boring or annoying. For example, always make your curfew, do your chores without being asked, and avoid petty arguments, if you can.[10]
  4. 4
    Be patient. Show your parents that you are in control of yourself. You have the self-control to know that they will need time to think over this issue. To show your patience, you may decide to wait two weeks before bringing up the subject again.[11]
    • For example, if they say, “Your Dad and I need to think this over.” You might respond, “I understand, this is an important decision.”
  5. 5
    Practice gratitude. Demonstrate your appreciation for what they’ve done for you over your life. You might say, “Thank you!” more often. Or, you might do little nice things for them, like making breakfast. If they say that you are just trying to convince them, you can respond, “Of course I want you to say yes. But, that is because I value your opinion too. I want you to know that.”[12]

Method 3
Organizing Your Thoughts and Feelings

  1. 1
    Wait until you find someone. Don’t ask to have a boyfriend in advance of finding a guy you really like. You can end up in an argument with your parents and you will have few details to back you up. Instead, if you have someone in particular, you can think about what you like about them and bring that up. [13]
    • You can also use this as an argument to convince your parents by saying, “I’ve waited until I found someone I really like to approach you about this.”
  2. 2
    Question yourself. Are you actually ready? Or, do you just want a boyfriend to fit in with others your age? Are you willing to set boundaries, even sexual ones, to protect yourself? Are you prepared to handle rejection? Your parents will surely question you, so get ready by thinking through these issues on your own.[14]
    • Ask yourself whether he is a good guy in general or a good guy for you in particular? He may be a great person, but this may be the wrong time due to an age gap, difference in experience levels, etc.[15]
  3. 3
    Talk with friends. Your friends are probably aware of your feelings and they may know your parents too, so it is a good idea to seek out their advice. You might ask them how they think you should approach your parents or how to describe your guy to your parents? You could even invite some of your friends over and let them talk to your parents about the boy, if you are comfortable with that.
  4. 4
    Talk with another trusted adult. If your parents refuse to budge from “no,” then you may need to bring in reinforcements. Meet with your pastor, a family friend, or another relative and tell them about your situation. Ask for their advice. You might say, “What kind of compromises can I suggest that will make my parents happy?”[16]


  • Accept their response. Some parents are just going to say no. Don’t sneak around or keep begging them unless you want to damage your relationship with your parents. Instead, be patient and try to wear them down.[17]
  • Try going on a double date with your parents. It can be embarrassing, but it will show them what you and your soon-to-be boyfriend do when you two are out on a date.
  • Staying friends with a guy isn’t always a bad thing. You get to know them better, your parents get to know them, and gradually something could change.
  • Make sure that your potential boyfriend’s parents will allow him to have a girlfriend. If not, you could be having this talk with your parents for no real reason.


  • Remember that you are the most important person in a relationship. Do not change yourself to please someone else and do not stay with someone who treats you bad or makes you feel bad about yourself. [18]
  • If you are interested in dating someone years older than you, your parents might act even more concerned. Be aware that there are also laws in place to prevent minors from being with others who are non-minors. The U.S., in particular, has laws against having sexual relations with minors who fall below the “age of consent.” This age varies from state to state, but generally falls somewhere between 10-18 years of age.[19]

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