Last weekend, me and my 18-year-old son, who just recently enrolled in college, were having a conversation about dating and relationships. I would have never expected this from him in a million years, but along the way he started telling me how he is not interested in dating women here in our area due to the fact that he believes the majority of them are a total turn off and scare him due to their tendency of being immature, trifling, stuck up drama queens. He also told me that he wishes America could one day be like Canada, where prostitution is somewhat allowed. He confessed to me that if that was the case, he would rather hire escorts to keep him company to save up from all the trouble that an actual girlfriend would bring into his life.

I really fear that if he starts doing this, it might one day turn into a vice and corrupt his ability to fall in love and start a real relationship with someone sooner or later.

Now, throughout his life I only saw my son once every week. His mother and I got divorced when he turned four and unfortunately, I lost custody of him. I always suspected that the connection between him and his mother isn't good, and she is not the best person in the world. She constantly abused and neglected him while he was growing up and I’m guessing that this may play a major role in how he sees women now.

Anyways, as I mentioned earlier, this behavior of my son has been worrying me. As any parent I really would like my son to fall in love with a good woman someday, that can make he special and start a good family. But I fear that he will never accomplish this if this is how he sees women. So any advice on how I can help him change his views without harming him in any way?

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    These two statements do not go together I thought that at least he is not coming out of the closet. and I am not homophobic. It sure seems that way. My advice is to not try and change his views. He may find love one day, he may not. He may have no interest. He may be gay and worried about telling you directly. I don't see any reason to worry, and I don't see how you can convince him to fall in love with a good woman and start a family, consider his upbringing. He may be troubled by it, or not. Perhaps he doesn't want to put someone through what he went through at 4.
    – Tas
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 5:18
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    You want advice about how to teach him now that women are more than stuck up drama queens? I'm not sure we can provide you with an answer. Therapy might help him, though. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 5:43
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    Has he ever dated anybody, even casually? At 18, he hasn't met many women much older than high school, and "immature, trifling, stuck up drama queens" is not necessarily unusual for that age group
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 16:38
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    Not all parents want their son to "fall in love with a good women someday and start a family". Some parents just want their kids to be happy, in whatever form happiness takes for them.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:03
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    You probably can not change his views. If he has male friends, he is capable of having female friends, and if he chooses to have female friends, he will learn that most women are not stuck-up drama queens.
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 20:08

5 Answers 5


Growing up I had a friend who feared things in life too, I remember talking to him when he was around 17. To him he wanted a stable job in his uncle's factory, nothing in management. He wanted a simple apartment and didn't want to date. He feared the drama, the stories of heartbreak and struggle, of loss. By the time he was 21 he had become a commanding officer on cargo ships, travelling the world. He was on track to becoming a captain, before looking into office jobs to allow him to get married and have kids.

scare him due to their tendency of being immature, trifling, stuck up drama queens.

I think the main point is being missed here, escorts/prostitutes are arguably 'vulnerable' women regardless of how society portrays them either as lowlifes or 'empowered'. They have more of the issues he is so scared of, they're just paid to hide them in his company. Drug addiction, psychological issues and past abuse behaviour are all very real in that world. I'd reframe the question to him about how he'd feel taking advantage of vulnerable women for his own selfish temporary needs.

I don't mean phrase it as an attack on his character, but just that is the real alternative he is proposing. The cold, detached and in denial way of depicting it as a simple business transaction is a myth.

Further, oxytocin is released during sex which is a bonding hormone, which could end up making him feel emotionally attached to whomever he is paying to sleep with. That's gonna end up feeling worse than rejection when he knows it's only his wallet that is attractive.

I actually don't feel this is the real issue to focus on though. This is a consequence, not the source.

save up from all the trouble that an actual girlfriend would bring into his life.

I think the bigger issue here is his anxiety surrounding relationships and attachment. Clearly there are deep seated issues that he may benefit from talking to a therapist about, which he may feel he can be more open with than his parents. You may also consider what reaction he was hoping to get from you, to shock or for sympathy, or something else. Maybe for answers that whilst your relationship with his mother didn't work out, there's no reason he cannot be happy (If he saw too much or more than you thought).

She constantly abused and neglected him while he was growing up and I’m guessing that this may play a major role in how he sees women now.

It's true, but in brutal honesty you don't come out of that unscathed. There could be resentment at your absence or lack of protection. It may be worth thinking about how you feel about what happened to him, without casting the blame at her but being honest about your own responsibilities. You might want to write him a letter or talk to him about your thoughts after, it might help him. Good luck.

  • Hi, and welcome to the site. Your answer really is pensive, and valuable. Thanks for adding it! Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 23:40
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    I have mixed feelings on this answer, particularly with regards to "The cold, detached and in denial way of depicting it as a simple business transaction is a myth." In a way the same applies to any job, we are expected to put our personal issues aside and have an appropriate demeanor in any work place. Why is that case different? Why does this case become exploitation of vulnerable persons, in a way that hiring them for any other job doesn't? Otherwise this answer feels perceptive, particularly about the difficulties of having an unattached sexual relationship and how growing up affected him
    – Vality
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 23:26

Now hold on there. Escorts and prostitution aren't the same thing. Escorts usually have their own escorts with them to make sure things don't go south. Prostitutes... well, just hit the tenderloin in San Francisco about 1 AM and you'll see a few of those.

Suppose his idea really is that he's OK with the concept of people who only bring him company because they know they can benefit from it. Let's not even go into the whole sexual side of things. Just that he dislikes the general observations of relationships in youth and feels he can find what he wants in other ways without the baggage. He has a valid point. He just sounds too young to realize that all the drama, duplicity, self-centeredness and emotional disruption are largely due to youth never knowing what they want. Like, historically as far back as one can imagine. Young people do stupid things. If they don't, they end up being adults doing stupid things.

I don't know that this comment would concern me all that much. I might just laugh it off and remind him what you pay is what you get. Bring cash to the table, you get someone who only wants cash. They may leave behind a few presents from others who pay cash as well, plus they know you have cash. They will bleed it out of you. You invest time and emotions, you get that back. You invest respect, caution, and sane decisions, you may get that back as well. In the end, after a good decade of being ruined, being yelled at, being accused, being kicked out, being the one who is wrong because she never is, being cheated on, being dumped, being the one who has to pay the rent, being the one who has to apologize, being the one who made the mistakes, being the one who thought he was showing he cared but realizes now he wasnt, being the one who failed, the one who cried it out one too many times, the one who wishes he could go back and do it again so he could undo what he did wrong... then he will know what he doesn't want in a relationship. Or life in general. Then he will be old enough to know you can find something real in a relationship and escorts or prostitutes are a terrible idea. Or were a terrible idea. I get the feeling that the order of approach does matter, but the principal doesn't. He'll make some mistakes but they will define him. If in the end he truly wants a life where he has no emotional attachments and lives like Hugh Hefnor, then at least he discovers what will bring him happiness. To me that's better than living a lie just to appease other people.

I might add that if nothing else, he sounds like he is communicating with you honestly. That's nothing to brush off in itself.

  • Escorts are usually prostitutes, just ones that operate more discretely. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_girl And his son wouldn't have needed to mention legality and Canada if he wasn't talking about prostitution. Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 11:16
  • @Emma - Yes, I am aware. I know an escort who has also gone south. She doesn't anymore. But those call girls are the USA's legal prostitution. You pay for the company. You skirt the system with donations you never hand directly to them. The vast majority of her so called clients paid for company, not nastiness. Not saying they're all like that. But a prostitute is straight to business. An escort can be many things, as well as a prostitute. Also, we can't assume he knows exactly what he's talking about with Canada. He might just have a fantasy based on rumors
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 16:30

Your son is becoming a man now, chances are you will not be able to change his opinion anymore. Maybe it is time to respect he has an opinion of his own now.

I don't think you have much to worry about though, it doesn't sound like he is very serious about it. I think the main problem is that you are giving him pretty bad advice. It doesn't sound like he's not interested in girls, it sounds like he is a bit frustrated that he cannot get the ones he likes. Most (local) girls his age are not so much interested in dating guys their own age. They prefer to date guys that are a bit older, more mature, and often have a job and a car so they can take them to exiting places in the weekend. Your son is ready to go off to college and does not want to date a 15 or 16 year old girl. When you insinuate that he should 'get' a girlfriend, after he has tried and is frustrated he failed to find one, this is probably the best reaction you could hope for. I am speaking from my own experience here, but it all fits so well that I just had to post it.

I doubt prostitution is something to worry about, that is not really an option unless your son has a very high income, or very low standards for his sexual partners. I think the best advice for him would be to be patient and trust that it will be much easier when he is in college, it usually is.


Speaking of personnal experience, here are some hindsights on how to deal with the situation:

First, if you discuss again about the girls being too "drama queens", you can challenge him about that. Two possibilities, one better according to me:

  • "Bad" solution: tell him to adapt for a few time to a drama queen, have sex/company and then leaves when the "drama queen" is upseting him

-> Bad because at the end, he will either never enter a relationship, either be stuck with the first girlfriend because of the sex aspect, even if he does not like the "drama queeen" behaviour

  • "Good" solution: challenge him on all the girls he met: has he girls as friend, and only friend? did he met a lot of them? Are they really all drama queens? In an university, he might find even the total opposite (geek girls, "ecological/revolutionnary/hippie" girls who will not be drama queens....). If he appreciates these "no drama" girls, then let's him try with them! If he does not appreciate/only appreciates these girls as friends, tell him the truth: the "drama queen" are the one he is attracted to, so he should challenge either its attraction, either his concept of friendship and common life.

Either way, if you really want to grab him out of the "prostitute/escort project", you will put him into a choice that is only his choice:

  • only have short and sexual based relationship
  • re consider the "drama queen"
  • interest himself in "no-drama girls"

This is very sad. Unfortunately, porn teaches men that women are sex objects. Pornography treats men that woman are disposable objects to be used by men merely for sexual gratification. In addition, many people in modern culture have grown up very self-focused, leading to consequences such as not thinking a real relationship is worth it. Your child is an adult now, so there is not much you can do to guide his development. Frankly, it's largely too late to guide him.

However, not all is lost. You can begin by being an example of a healthy relationship. That is, be in a healthy relationship with someone. Actions speak louder than words. Your relationship needs to also demonstrate that you are very happy in the relationship.

You may also share articles with him on Facebook (or through other channels) about why healthy relationships are beneficial, but doing so will risk alienating him.

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    I know a fair number of millennials in real relationships. Given the explanation the son gives (immature, trifling, drama queens), it seems more likely to me that he has had a bad experience, rather than learning bad lessons from pornography or generational trends.
    – Acire
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 16:47
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    Me and many of my friends are millennials and we are in good relationships. And porn in various forms has always existed. And the advice that father should be in a healthy relationship for the son to have one is far fetched. Especially because the son is an adult himself. The only point here is that the son has not yet met a girl who interests him.
    – svj
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 4:26
  • @ responses. I admit it was unfair to specifically mention millennials (I am one, so I thought it was OK to do so, but I was wrong.)
    – Eddified
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 18:13

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