Should I Let My Daughter Run Away with her Boyfriend?

Dear Sara,

My only daughter is eighteen and lives with me. Up until now we have been friends as well as mother and daughter. About a month ago she met a guy who is probably twenty five or twenty six. She thinks she is “in love” with him. Apparently he didn’t finish high school and has no job although he has money to spend. He is planning to drive to California where his brother lives and my daughter wants to go with him. She is in the process of packing her things and is angry with me for saying she shouldn’t go with him. California is very far away and she is my only child. Is there any way I can persuade her to stay?
-Clare

Dear Clare,

Your daughter is probably making a mistake and could regret it in the long run. You might be able to offer her some kind of reasonable alternative. Maybe you could offer her a round-trip ticket to wherever her boyfriend chooses to go. See if she would be willing to join him after he gets settled. .If she doesn’t agree to this then offer a return home ticket if things don’t work out. At eighteen she doesn’t have a lot of experience and can’t see the potential pitfalls. The cost of living in California is very expensive and she may have some problems with money. Also, this does not seem to have the potential for a long-term relationship.
Good luck.
-Sara

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