The Nice Advice: Daughter upset she has not had a boyfriend

Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Nice Advice by Leah Albert

Dear Leah,

My 18 year-old daughter is quite attractive but has not yet had a boyfriend. Her mom and I are generally good with that but it’s really starting to upset her. She sees all of her friends in relationships and it hurts her self-confidence — like “what’s wrong with me?”

Email newsletter signup

She has a strong will and isn’t easily swayed by other types of peer pressure. Her situation is complicated by the fact that her sister is in a five-year relationship, and they don’t get along very well. I want her to be happy with herself, but I don’t know what to say. Should I let my wife address this or is there something that a concerned and heartsick dad might be able to say?

Signed, Heartsick Dad

Dear Dad,

Your daughter would probably appreciate comforting words from her dad, particularly since it may be less typical than support expressed by her mom. Make sure that you focus on your daughter’s feelings rather than on your own expectations or comparisons with her sister.

Start by telling your daughter what you’ve observed in terms of her behavior, and give her an opportunity to talk about why she’s unhappy and not as confident as she’d like. Listen thoughtfully to what she has to say instead of quickly jumping into problem-solving mode. But if she wants advice, brainstorm ideas with her. Above all, continue to encourage your daughter to just be herself. In doing things she loves, she will eventually meet people with similar interests and maybe find love. Take care.


Leah Albert is a fictitious character. She likes wine and writing. Don’t ask her to be a matchmaker. Do send your questions to Leah at