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Finding My Independence


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Hello, all!


I wasn't sure where to put this, but I hope this is the correct forum topic.


So, I am the youngest of three girls by ten years and I've always been treated as such and until fairly recently, I haven't been independent nor treated independently.


I'm 25 at the moment, and I still get calls from my mom to check on me after about a week of no calling (which I don't mind).


One of my main reasons for posting this is because of a situation I can see arising in the possible future.


Granted, a part of the issue here is my fault, but I feel as though it's been long enough and they've seen me mature enough that maybe it won't matter.


Roughly 4 years ago, I was very dumb and still immature and made a lot of online friends with the wrong "intentions" through certain "types" of 18+ websites. I thought I was discovering myself, and in a way I was, I just think I was going about it in a very dumb and naive way.


Anyway, on top of that and having my own personal blog, I made two male friends online, both of which lived on the west coast and my family and I actually planned to visit the west coast that summer. One of the guys I was infatuated with and I made secret plans to meet on our trip and luckily when I mentioned it to my family, they agreed and I did get to meet him and he was actually very gentlemanly and we just walked around mainly and that was that.


The next situation was a bit different and unplanned. We visited Vegas and the second guy was a bit more desperate to meet and I was, again, dumb and naive and wanted so desperately to be a "woman", so I lied to my family to go hand out with this guy for about an hour or so, in Vegas, by myself. We didn't actually hook up, but things did happen that I regret to this day.


Anyway, I posted about all of this on my blog and months later, my sister found it and she had a stern talking to me about all of it, understandably. I was mad because I was an adult and I should have been able to do whatever I wanted and blah blah. Looking back, I see exactly how dumb and dangerous what I did was and I haven't done anything like that since (including having a blog like that).


My reason for making this post is because over the past year, I've made a super close knit group of friends online. We're all from different countries, states, and cultures and we've kind of become a family to turn to when we don't know who to turn to in real life.


One of the people I've gotten closest to lives in Vegas and I really do hope to meet him one day. It's nothing like either of the previous guys I met via the 18+ sites. Neither of us are even interested in anything of that sort.


My problem is, 1) if we go to Vegas as a family again, I feel like they'll say no to me meeting him and 2) if I save up to go to Vegas (even to go with friends) I feel like the answer will be no or met with EXTREME displeasure.


No one else in my family knows about the second guy in Vegas other than my sister. They wouldn't even let me go to the beach in my own state with people I know without being met with some resistance.


Anyway, I'm just trying to figure out how I can get a little more independent freedom. At that point, if it happens, I'll be 26. I'd be willing to give any info about him they need to keep their minds at ease.


At 24, I had to leave a guys entire history just to go on a date...


A lot of this is wishful thinking. I might never meet this guy, but if the opportunity does arise, I want to make sure my lack of being seen as independent doesn't get in the way.


I want to be seen as an adult finally.


BTW: Please don't tell me to "make real friends". It is possible to have friends online as well. If that's all you have to offer to this, please don't bother responding because that's not the question that's being asked.


Plus, I know a lot of you will say it's only seen as immature because I'm attempting to meet online people. I can 100% see that, but my parents are skeptical about me going on any sort of trip, even with people I know.

If I decided to take a beach trip with my 21 year old cousin, I can almost guarantee we would be told no, and that's family.

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I have online friends from around the world too, so I understand how a person can become quite friendly with others they may not have met. I've met several of my online friends and we've been friends for well over 10 yrs., one for 20 yrs at least.


Are you living on your own? As an adult you can travel anywhere you want without your parents' permission. Do you work and earn your own money? If so, you can away for said holiday. I think if you want to go meet someone somewhere that you have never met, you need to exercise caution, simply because you dont really know that person. Go with a trusted friend or relative.


Do you actually have to tell your parents you are going on a short trip for X days?

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It would be a lot safer for you to go to Vegas with other people you know really well, friends or family. You're probably wiser now and more responsible, but you can't same the same with 100% probability about someone you don't know really well in real life. That's just life, even if, say, I'm a mature, experienced person, I can still be disappointed with somebody or the person can turn out to be a psycho. Chances are the guy you want to meet is nothing like that but more or less what he's presenting himself to be. Still, the method I use - I act cautiously every time, even if I trust the person. I follow certain rational protocol like: first meeting in a public place, always give my family/best friend some contact information to the guy or people I'll be with, etc. This way, 19 out of 20 times I'll be too cautious, but 1 of 20 times I'll be much safer. If someone is normal, they will understand.


The other point is, you're still very young, and even if you feel like you made a lot of personal progress, you may still be rather vulnerable, but you'll be able to see it only once you'll be even older. If you have a history of making wrong choices, if I were you, I'd assume that I'm still a bit vulnerable, and I would ask my family/friends for advice to see if I'm going on about things the right way, and at least take that advice into consideration.


In this specific situation, given that it would be hard for you to travel to Vegas, why don't you just invite your friend to come here? It's quite simple that a girl is more vulnerable in a situation like that, and the guy should be the one to travel and rent a hotel and see you in a public cafe. It's a mistake I make every time - I try too hard for my online friends and I always assume that I should be the one going to them, but that's not true. So have self-respect and make your male friend come to you. Is he the same age as you? If he is the same age or older, he should be the one to travel.


If you insist on travelling to meet your online friends, go with a friend, and hang out together all the time. And always inform people at home (your sister or your parents or some best friend that your family knows well) who you're hanging out with. It's not silly to do that if you're in your twenties, I'm 29 and I still take precautions and inform my folks about stuff, so do my female friends when they travel or meet someone for the first time. Really, being independent is about being responsible - not having debts, preferably earning for oneself, living independently if that's possible, setting your own goals, organizing your life, cleaning your own mess, taking responsibility for your own mistakes. That's independence. There's nothing immature about voluntarily sharing information about what you do and taking precautions. Sure, your family is a bit overprotective, but there's nothing to be done about that - you will probably earn their trust by taking small, well-thought risks with a very responsible mindset, and proving them that you were worth trusting. You should definitely start by going to a beach with your cousin Just tell them you're going, it's not like they can stop you - you're a mature person. Travel with your friends for vacations without your family. Show them that you don't need to be shielded by the world out there - you know the world and its risks, and you know how to take necessary precautions. But maybe you shouldn't start with traveling to another state alone or with some group of people to meet someone for the first time in real life. Start with travelling with friends to some supervised sport summer camps, or well organized vacations, that are not centered around dating or parties.

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I do live on my own and make my own money. The issue is mainly that we're so close. On any given day, they could ask to come back or hang out and I could say no because of work, but I just feel like lying is the wrong way to go about gaining their trust and my independence. I don't know.

I have considered that though.

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@Firelily, I agree I should probably start by planning a trip with my cousin first. They'll have a fit, but that'll be a fun and a lot safer.


The reason I would plan to go to him is because there's a million more things to do there than there are here in my small town. I would much prefer to go to Vegas just in general. And I absolutely would never meet him or anyone for that matter in a private place upon first meeting. That's one thing I've learned! I've ver cautious when it comes to people. Male and female alike.


And I know people's personalities can change once you've met them in person as opposed to online. I've been able to kind of gather who he is from other people as well. Three people who have met/live near him and one person who actually came to visit from another state who had an outsiders opinion on all of them.


Also, granted, IF I meet him, it wouldn't be until next year, closer to summer.


I'd much rather go to Vegas with family and them be okay with me meeting up with him to hang out for a bit. I don't even know if I'd just up and travel to Vegas just to meet him. But even being there with my family, they'd still be skeptical and I can pull the "I'm an adult" card, but that'll just result in arguing.

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I do live on my own and make my own money. The issue is mainly that we're so close. On any given day, they could ask to come back or hang out and I could say no because of work, but I just feel like lying is the wrong way to go about gaining their trust and my independence. I don't know.

I have considered that though.


You are 25, you live on your own. You make your own money. The only thing that is keeping you from being independent is yourself. You are an adult. Your family can worry all they want you get to make your own choices.


You can tell them whatever you want. You don't have to lie. You could say "I'm going to vegas to meet some of my friends". That isn't a lie. You want to be independent? Do it. The only thing holding you back is yourself. For safety make sure one of your friends has all the details... but meeting people who you've known on-line isn't any more dangerous then meeting a stranger in a bar. Probably less dangerous if I'm honest.


You are letting your family make choices for you when you are a grown *ss adult. You pay taxes, you vote, you can rent a car... you can choose how you spend your money and your time. If you want them to treat you like an adult act like one. Don't seek their permission. If they try to control you through manipulation or intimidation remind them that you are an adult who gets to make their own choices.

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I'm your age.


I think before you even think about going off and meeting people online, you need to learn how to stand on your own two feet as an adult. Emotionally and socially. If you're 25 and you're still unable to do what you want with your life because you feel bound by rules or peoples disapproval I think there's a lot more you need to work on before attempting to put yourself in a situation you might need backbone in. Which right now, you're lacking.


And I'm not trying to be mean or snarky with this, just it's the truth. You're living in this bubble because you're too afraid to put your foot down in your own life and make your own rules. I'm your age, I could never ever fathom someone telling me they disapprove of something I want to do or living my life the way I want to (unless I'm actually doing something wrong/harmful/etc) and just lay down and be like "well okay since you said so cause you make the rules in my life." No, you're an adult, that doesn't mean you're magically mature and know right from wrong - but you're an adult. You need to make your own rules, and you need to learn to stand on YOUR own two feet, know who YOU are, and run YOUR own life even when someone tries putting you in a corner. You're the star of your own show, no one else. Stop letting others direct your life.


If you're gonna go meet someone online, tell someone you're going to do it, let them know where, when, work out check in times, the PUBLIC location you're gonna meet at. If they disapprove, oh well, it's not their life, but if they care about you as much as they seem they will still help in making sure you're going about this safely. This is your choice and you have every right to want to meet someone you are good friends with online. That's a fair and normal thing especially for our generation - just don't be careless and dumb about it because you simply can't handle taking charge of your own life.

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I really appreciate this @Witch.


I personally feel independent. I have a job. I haven't had to ask for financial help. I pay for my rent, insurance, so on and so forth and if I went, it's more or less the disappointment that would bother me.


I've always been sheltered and even more so because I'm not at prim and proper as my older sisters and my family knows that and they see that as me being a "wild child" of sorts.


I do want to go and another friend of mine who has met this other person before said he would gladly accompany me if I do decide to go.


It wouldn't be until next year if I do decide to go, but between now and then, I'll be working on myself.


I guess it's more or less nerves. I haven't asked them to do or go anywhere in over 2 years and that's mainly because it's within my state and I just haven't thought to bother them with every detail. But traveling alone for the first time would be something different for me and something I would want to let them know about.


But I do need to put my foot down an act like an adult and maybe they'll finally see me as one.

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