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Teen breakup during COVID

Teen breakup during COVID

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Casual scribe

Teen breakup during COVID

My 17 year old daughter and her boyfriend broke up during this lockdown. First love, first relationship. She is devastated and sad. He had been avoiding her for a few weeks in person. They finally met up for a walk and he told her that he was feeling insecure, lacked self esteem and he had started to feel different towards her even though he didn’t want it to change. He couldn’t really give her what she needs right now. She took control and suggested they break up as he didn’t want to hurt her. But she is hurting so much as he was the only person she was allowed any contact with during this lockdown, which had been very challenging already for them to meet up as his parents were unpredictable in allowing them regular catch ups. Now no friends allowed either! I feel so helpless as I can’t take her pain away and she doesnt have any normalcy in her life to be distracted. Exams are soon and I’m afraid her focus might now be where she needs. She’s always been very organised and disciplined but I can see the motivation slipping. I’m concerned about the timing of this first ever breakup in her life. It’s a big thing to deal with let alone in a pandemic. They are still best friends texting and snap chat. Not sure if that’s a good idea but she says it’s ok and wants the friendship to continue. He’s a wonderful respectful considerate boy and they had a lovely close happy relationship so I just don’t understand what happened. It’s confusing for my daughter too as she’s lost her closest person/friend that keeps her happy outside of our family. So heartbroken. Please help us understand!
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Community Manager

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

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Hey @Cocochque this is such a horrible situation, but it is truly so lovely to read about how much you love your daughter and care for her happiness - it is so tough when bad things happen to the ones we love Heart

It must be so confusing for both her and you not having a lot of clarity about what is going for him. It's also understandable that she might be a bit distracted, could it be helpful to have a conversation with her about focus and concentration? Perhaps you could look at some mindfulness apps (like this one) together.

 

You're absolutely right that it is a big thing to deal with - and the pandemic is amplifying how tough things are. Is there maybe something nice that the two of you could do together? Maybe something to distract her a bit and make her feel good - ideally it would make you feel good too! Your wellbeing is important as well. Maybe something like a long walk together or doing a face mask? Your daughter is lucky she has you looking out for her Heart

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Casual scribe

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

Thank you so much for your response and suggestions.

It is very hard seeing her so sad. She’s a trooper though as she’s managing her practice exams well under the circumstances.
I know she listens to my advice which I’m grateful for. I have actually convinced her to meet up with a friend for a walk.
We are very close which is probably why this is so hard for me too. We spend a lot of time together already going for walks, doing art or watch her favourite show, but right now she’s not willing. She wants to be alone.
The good thing is we are still talking and she opens up a little more each time.
She stills keeps in touch with him so I’m very concerned whether this is healthy for her healing. She tells me it’s ok as they are still best friends. What are your thoughts on this?

School holidays are also coming so I feel that all the spare time will amplify how much she misses him and less distraction might make compound the sadness.
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Community Manager

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

Thanks for getting back to us @Cocochque, thats great to hear her practice exams are going well, I'm sure the support you've been giving her has helped her a lot with maintaining some level of normal.

That is so lovely that you two are so close, I can imagine that it must be hard that she wants to be alone a lot. I feel like her opening up a little more gradually is promising, do you think so too?

 

In terms of them maintaining a friendship, it's really hard to say for sure whether it's healthy for her healing. The fact she has other friends is great, so she's not entirely relying on just him for friendship. Have you spoken to her about how her current friendship with him makes her feel? That might give a bit of an indication of how healthy it is. If she's leaving conversations with him feeling upset and missing him it could be good to have a break, but if she feels  supported by his friendship it might be a really healthy relationship that is good for her. Do you think that could a be conversation worth having with her?

It could also be an idea to talk to her about how you're feeling. You could maybe tell her that you want to make sure she has a good holiday break and ask her if there is anything you can do to help.

It sounds like you two have a lovely, open relationship Smiley Very Happy

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Parent Community Champion

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

So sorry you've ended up in lock down in Melbourne again. We ended up sending a care package down to our nephews family as we really felt for them going through it again. So, here I am sending you a virtual care package instead. I am mum to a 16 year old boy and a 14 year old girl and we live in NSW. Our 16 has his first girlfriend and is in Year 11 and so far so good. Our 14 year old has her eye on someone and something's starting up there. However, I also remember being dumped in year 11 and getting very derailed myself and just being completely heartbroken. Your daughter is sounding like she's ahead of where I was and I compounded things by going out with someone else and when that broke up a few months later, being even worse off. Your daughter sounds sensible and that goes a very long way. Most teens are going to be going through the dating rollercoaster as well as being very derailed by covid, especially in Victoria. So, in terms of her academic progression, since she's staying close to being on track, she's at least keeping up with or ahead of the pack. However, the mental health impact of covid is huge and I've also experienced what I call a cognitive overload from having to think about so many things. I'm immunosuppressed and in a semi lock down myself and everything is complicated and in ways that aren't being publically acknowledged either. So, I'd tend to say many of us, maybe even most of us, are not okay. When you add being in lock down and being away from your friends and the break up, that's tough. However, it's not insurmountable. 

It might be that after lock down and a bit of sorting out his stuff, the relationship will get back on track. He might just be a valued friend and that's important too. Encouraging her to build up some close female friends, especially ones who don't have the same taste in guys and are into their study, would be great. My son belongs to Venturers and their leader gave each member a little animal pot with grass seeds and they had a competition to see whose grew the longest and they'd bring them along each week and it was a great connecting point. That group really got our son through. Just as school was going back here, he had a really rough time. Said his mind wouldn't stop whirling round and he brought up issues from years ago which had been on his mind, like the death of the family dog three years ago. We pointed out to him that lie in lock down was the reverse of every recommendation for good mental health. He wasn't going out for a walk and was gaming a lot. Still is. I think it might've been the girlfriend who was counting her steps because he suddenly bought a fitbit and started walking 10,000, 20,000 steps a day and he was so much better for it. He's pulled back on that now. Couldn't last at that intensity but it did get him out of that funk. 

I hope that helps. 

Best wishes,

Birdwings

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Casual scribe

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

Hi Hannah
Thank you for your response and insights.
We are super proud at how she has handled her exams. There is a spark when she tells us about them and how she did.

I have asked her about keeping in touch with him and she says that she ok being friends. Doesn’t seem to be upset or more sad from the contact. I too am glad she’s reaching out to her girl friends. The hard part is that they are part of a large group of friends who are all close so it would be difficult for her to break off completely. Perhaps she recognises that and accepts the friendship.
It also seems like he is more open to her about his feelings since the breakup as he was very closed before while figuring things out and not trying to hurt her. He seems to care for her and checks in on how she’s feeling. So maybe that’s a good thing and the lack of pressure can enable a more honest friendship. I’m just letting her lead with this but I’ll keep my eye on it without being pushy and too opinionated. I guess they way we would deal is different so I have to trust her instincts.

I still worry and I feel super anxious about her mental and emotional state. I’m not use to seeing her so sad. I know this is part of growing up but I feel that was the most important relationship she had during this lockdown. I know time will heal and it’s forcing her to make time for other friends which is positive.

Thanks again. I really appreciate this support
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Casual scribe

Re: Teen breakup during COVID

Hi @Birdwings

Thank you for your virtual care package and support.  Right back to you too.

It is terrible that we are in lockdown for another 6 weeks at least. It’s been very difficult but we are doing the right things. 

I have asked my daughter about her friendship and remaining in contact with her boyfriend and it seems like that’s what she’s happy with. 
He is still keeping check on how she’s feeling and they both seem more open about their feelings and discussing the break up. I know they were very close friends before so maybe this friendship can be supportive for her. I feel that now the pressure of a romantic relationship is gone that he’s more open and at ease. His family were very unpredictable about letting them catch up during lockdown too and it seemed like a lot of effort. Our family were flexible and we respected their decisions but I can’t help but feel that it was too much for him to organise catch ups as on many occasions he was left with uncertainty or hanging from his parents. They adored my daughter and we adored him so as you can see it makes it hard to comprehend when they were so happy together. Anyway, things change and now we must focus on getting through this with her and support her through the rest of this horrible year and her VCE exams. 

Take care of yourself and your family. 

We will continue to smile and focus on the good things in our lives.