Ask Honey: My Son Forgot His Girlfriend's Birthday

Dear Honey, My 17 year old son has been dating a lovely young lady and things seemed to going quite well for a while but he is now in the doghouse in a very big way. It started when he completely forgot his girlfriend's birthday (she did not forget his). Then, as a belated gift, he bought her a Victoria's Secret bra for her birthday present. I know, cringeworthy to say the least!

She interpreted that as a not so subtle hint that he wanted "more" out of the relationship, and it didn't help that he got her the wrong bra size to boot. She's a 34C and he got a 34D, which she sarcastically referred to as "wishful thinking" on his part. After a heated exchange, she exclaimed "you don't respect women," flung the bra across the room, and then slapped his face and walked off. I think this could be a teachable moment for him, and I also think he can repair his relationship with his girlfriend if he goes about it the right way.

Just wondered if you had any nuggets of wisdom to offer. I'm hoping this is the last time he has to learn a lesson with the ladies via a red handprint on the cheek.

Best Regards, Veronica

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Dear Veronica,

You are the ‘nugget of wisdom.’ There are a million and one romantic and thoughtful gifts a young man can give to his girlfriend. Why a bra? There are many ways an unhappy young girlfriend can express anger. Why a slap in the face? These kids are children who have to be taught the rules of courtship and the value of “respect.” A mom is the person to do this. You are that mom.

I would sit down with my child and explain the rights and wrongs of gift giving and the rules of courtship. I would also explain to him the importance of choosing the right girlfriend. Is it a girl who slaps his face? His choice of finding the right girl is more important than his poor choice of a gift. Perhaps she didn't know how to respond and responded out of anger more because he forgot her birthday than over the gift, but either way, it's something to consider. I would talk to him and evaluate the situation. You are a pro and I know you love your son. You can teach him one of the most important lessons of all -- the art of a loving relationship.

Best of luck!

Warmly, Honey