Before reading any further, know that dating in secret is very stressful and causes a lot of meaningless anxiety. However, I neither condone nor encourage the behavior. I grew up with parents who were very old fashioned and didn't approve of me dating anyone, even in high school.
I really believe that one of the only ways I learned how to grow as a person was to do things that were stupid when I was younger. In order to get my parents, my mom specifically, to allow me to do certain things I had to just do them in order to get her to accept that I was growing up and to win myself more freedom.
Have a Discussion with Your Parents about Dating
As much as you resent them and as awkward and annoying as it will be to bring the conversation up with your parents, do ask them why you are not allowed to date. If they can come up with a certain reason other than "you're too young" or "because I said so", pay attention to their advice.
It's irritating having your parents interfere in your dating life and decisions but they do sometimes have the premonition and knowledge of why a certain person will not work for you. They may have had similar situations growing up or someone that you want to date may remind them of that person.
Take their advice, but don't let them make your decisions for you.
I spent almost all of my school days being "the good girl". I always listened to mommy and daddy, did my homework and got good grades. I very rarely asked to go out with friends and when I did I usually was told no. Occasionally though, my dad would stand up for me and I'd be able to go out with friends.
Don't regret obeying your parents and following their wishes, but don't be afraid to go after what it is that you want. If there is a guy or girl that you really, really want to date, consider your options. Fight for what is important to you, but don't be stupid about it. Make smart decisions about the company you want to keep and eventually, over time, your parents will begin to realize that you're growing up.
Your parents may be scared of you getting hurt, but the only way to learn and grow as a person is to make stupid mistakes of your own and learn from them.
Pick the Right Person to Date for Secret Dating
Before you go about stretching your legs and rebelling against your parents, stop and think about who it is that you want to date and if they're worth it. Is this something serious or just a rebellious fling with someone who is fun and spontaneous?
Maintaining secrecy from your parents is a chore. You won't be able to talk about how in love you are with this person and you won't be able to talk about them. It might not matter to you at the time, but being able to have a relationship with your family and your love interest is one of the best experiences you'll have.
You may even find out after the whole thing blows up, that the person you picked wasn't really worth it in the end. You may end up learning something, your parents will be disappointed and angry, but over time they'll get over it and you just may have won yourself a little bit of independence.
Be Cautious of Online Dating/Meetings
I may have gotten really lucky with meeting someone I wanted to secretly date online, but I was smart about who it was that I was talking to and we didn't initially intend to date. Be wary of Craigslist, MMORPG and online dating websites. People are not who they say they are. There are predators out there, so be smart and safe about who you meet and if they ever ask to meet up in person. Do so in a public place, even with a friend, especially if you're young.
If this person is not okay with this, they're not worth your time. Anyone would have the same concerns about meeting someone online.
If they don't understand your fears, they won't be able to support you in life.
Is He/She worth the risk?
He/she sometimes pushes me to do things I'm not ready for (meeting up, secret phone calls)
He/she understands my feelings about my parents.
He/she would make an effort to win my parents over.
He/she only cares about having a good time.
I feel like this person is someone I can trust and talk to.
How to Explain Your Parents to Your Date
If you're wanting to engage in a serious relationship, you're going to have to explain your parents to the person you want to date. If they don't understand how you feel about your parents, they are not worth your time or effort.
A relationship is built upon trust and understanding and if the person you are dating doesn't understand the struggle it is to disobey your parents and the crushing feelings of not being allowed to do what you want, they are not the right person for you. Find someone who doesn't judge you and will support you in your relationship right off the bat.
Sure sneaking around and being secretive is fun at first, but when your parents find out (and there's a big chance they will), you want someone that will support you and be there for you, instead of having your parents turn their back and say "I told you so" if the person walks off and hurts you without a second thought.
As far as the talk, see if your date is in a similar situation of why the relationship needs to stay a secret. You can support each other and perhaps when you're both feeling ready you can break the news to your parents. This may help change your parents mind. They may feel quite bitter and resentful, but in my experience they'll eventually give in (to some degree at least). You may also have to face certain consequences (like being threatened and possibly getting kicked out), which is why it's important to choose someone that you want to fight for. It'll help give you the resolve to stand up against your parents.
Brace Yourself for Your Parents to Find Out
You won't plan on your parents finding out, but sooner or later you're going to slip up. If you and your love get into some sort of a fight and you're angry one day, your parents may ask what's upsetting you, why are you sad, etc.
In this scenario if it's bad and you're really upset and you don't tell your parents what's wrong, they could threaten to kick you out if you don't tell them what's been happening.
There are also texts they could read, emails, chat rooms, browser history, packages that were sent....there are so many things that you have to keep a secret that eventually something will go wrong or you'll reach the point in the relationship where you want to stop keeping it a secret.
Again, this is why having the right person is so important when defying your parents. On my first try, the guy I chose wasn't as great as I thought he was. We both didn't care what our parents thought (although his were fine with me), but my parents never really did approve of him and two years later, I was the one who got hurt. This person never did try to win my parents over or make an effort with them and I was left at loss because my parents would never like him.
Of course I learned a lot from the experience, but try to find someone who will emotionally support you if things do end up going sour.
Final Thoughts of Secret Dating
If you really feel like you need to do it, then go for it, but know what you're getting yourself into. There's a lot of strings to keep in order, secret meetings, secret phone calls and everything in between Be sure that you are ready if things do end up going badly.
Having overprotective parents and feeling like you're being smothered is overbearing at times, and sometimes you need to take a step away from following all the rules to become a better person.
Be smart, choose someone who will be there for you, and be sure of your resolve.
Lucine Rawiya from S- on July 13, 2018:
I've had three online relationships. First one was an abusive jackass. Second one batted for the wrong team. I lost interest in the third one and decided that I wasn't going to date until I moved out. It's so much slimpler this way.
MariaExcala from Germany on September 06, 2017:
you shouldnt take chances in times like this, a secret will usually get out in the open, so there's no point in hiding it but great article!
Noelle (author) from Denver on June 28, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Chace! Yeah, it's the worst when you're proven wrong by your parents, but it's really the only way to learn sometimes! Try as they might, parents can't protect us from getting hurt.
Chace from Charlotte, NC on June 28, 2013:
I totally needed this back in high school! (Especially the table...) There was this doofus that for some reason I set my eyes on and my father said the famous, "because I said so." He told me I'd understand later... and boy did I ever, Lol...