“Mom, Penny and I have been together over a year,” Sally said, “And it’s weird because we haven’t had a fight. It weirds me out.”
My daughter Sally was referring to her girlfriend Penny Pineapple. In January, they celebrated one year together, and I met Penny for the first time. So as of today, they’ve been dating a year and 3 months.
“That’s great! Relationships should be easy and fight-free,” I said. “You’ve been around me too much; you don’t know what a good relationship looks like!” I was half joking. I’ve had some relationships go well, for short periods of time. I wouldn’t fight in front of the kids, but kids always seem to know when you’re unhappy. I changed the subject. “When are you getting married?”
Sally’s eyes got round and stopped breathing. I thought she might be having a stroke. “We’re going to wait until after we’ve lived together for six months before we talk about that,” Sally said. “I’m living in the dorm at UT for my first year of college, then we’ll talk about moving in together. So marriage is a ways off.” She took a breath. “We’ll talk about kids after I earn my PhD.”
I smiled. Sally is a planner, like me. I knew that she’d have a plan. And this was a good one, because Sally just turned 18 in March. It makes sense to wait another year or two before discussing such a big step.
“No fights at all, Sally?” I asked. I was very impressed. My little girl—uh, young lady—is more mature than some adults I know.
“We’ve had a couple of discussions. She kinda freaked out at the one-year mark, and I thought she was going to break up with me. Then I freaked out, and she thought that I was going to break up with her,” Sally admitted.
“Ya, I understand. One of my friends went through something similar recently,” I said, referring to a woman who is about 30 years old. It’s not surprising that an 18 year old and her 22-year-old girlfriend would experience something similar. What was surprising is how well they handled it!
“We talked it out, though, and we’re fine. We didn’t fight!” Sally said, with obvious surprise.
I smiled. “That’s awesome!”
Sally has called me a couple of times for relationship advice. I laugh every time; I’m single, but because I wrote a book, I’m a Dating Expert. To my credit, I usually have decent advice. Now if I could find a decent guy! Wait, this is about my darling Sally.
One Year Ago
“Mom, I’m freaking out,” Sally told me over the phone.
“Take a deep breath. What’s going on?” I asked.
“Penny said that she hadn’t talked to her ex-girlfriend in over a year. But on Facebook, her ex tagged her in a picture. AND SHE COMMENTED ON IT!! Why are they Facebook Friends if they haven’t talked in a year? And why is her ex tagging her? WHATS GOING ON?” Sally said.
“Deep breaths. Was Penny in the picture?” I asked.
“No, it was the ex walking a dog or something. The caption was something funny; I guess it was a joke that Penny would get,” Sally said.
“Ok, so what was Penny’s comment?” I asked.
“She just laughed, ‘ha ha.’ That’s it,” Sally said.
“Ok, then you need to ask Penny about this. Let Penny know that you’re upset that she’s still friends with her ex…” I started to say.
“Crazy ex! She…” Sally started to tell me a story about the ex-girlfriend.
I interrupted her. “That doesn’t matter. Go talk to Penny. Don’t get all worked up; there may be a simple explanation.” I was trying to be neutral. After all, every story usually has multiple sides, and until you talk to everyone concerned, you don’t really know what happened. If I had told her to dump Penny immediately, then she found that Penny was innocent, I would have become the bad guy. Better to be cautious; if Penny isn’t doing anything wrong, then it will all work out.
Sally talked to Penny, and called me the next night. “Mom, Penny had forgotten about that post! She’s just not on Facebook very often, so she didn’t even think about. She de-friended the ex immediately!” Sally sounded so happy.
I was happy, too. Sally was in a healthy relationship with a woman who would communicate with her. Communication is so important! Listening, understanding, and taking action to make the other person happy, is what a great relationship is based on. Like any parent, I want my child to be happy. I’m glad that Sally found someone to put a dimpled smile on her face.
Maybe I should I go for an older woman, too? Nah, different strokes for different folks. I’ll keep looking for my dream guy. Then I’ll call Sally for relationship advice, because she’s becoming the expert!
Cheers! Congrats, Penny and Sally, on your anniversary and continued happiness! May you continue to be fight-free, and instead of weirding you out, may it become the norm! : – ) I love you!