Lately I’ve been texting this girl that I seem to like. Yet whenever I imagine us in a relationship I get concerned. And it’s that way not just with her but with any girl I really like. I just turned 22 in February and I’m still in College and have never experienced anything sexually. Never a first kiss, nothing.

I’ve been doing some self reflection trying to figure this out, but I don’t think it’s the fact that I’m new to these things. I think it maybe has something to do with my family situation. My dad, my sister and I aren’t close at all, we rarely even talk to each other, and we live in the same house! My brother and my mom and I have a decent relationship but for some odd reason we don’t feel comfortable expressing our love for each other. We do all love each other as a family, but after some arguments and some bad experiences with each other we seem to have grown apart to the point where it almost feels like were all strangers. The only member of my family I have a perfect relationship with is my little brother who is about to turn 9.

I look at how dysfunctional my family is everyday, and the thought of one day having to bring a girl home who I really like or a girlfriend to introduce or worse, her parents wanting to meet my own, scares me to death.

My parents are always arguing about stupid things, my brother and sister are always arguing, the dog is barking and it really is not what I want for my future girlfriend or even wife to have to see or deal with. My mom is overweight and has bad eating manners, my dad comes home from work and watches tv all day in the second living room all by himself. And my brother and sister lock each other up in their rooms and have zero respect for my parents. I can’t stress enough  how dysfunctional this family is, as of late there hasn’t been any horrible events, but in the not too distant past there has been many bad experiences. My dad has hit my mom before. Things of that nature. My parents provide food, and a roof over our heads and there is nothing lacking in that regard, but emotionally we just aren’t there for each other.

I feel the only way to fix our situation is to spend some time away from each other. That’s why I’ve been trying to save up so that I can move out soon, because I’m nothing like them. I’m an honest person, and I live my life well. Everyone that knows me is always shocked when they see who I live with, because they wonder why I didn’t turn out the same.

Anyways, if I was to tell my parents I had a girlfriend that I really cared about I would feel extremely vulnerable. They wouldn’t change there ways, not even for me and my future, or for the person I care about. And that would hurt me every single day. I hope this is making sense, it would be like a constant slap in the face, it would be like collectively they would be saying “we don’t care about you and your girlfriend, we’re just going to continue our old ways”. And my dad and mom would continue to under-appreciate me and all that I do, and  I just wouldn’t feel comfortable telling my parents about a girlfriend.

This is probably why I also feel odd when it comes to having a girlfriend I really like. I don’t want you to think that I can’t express love, I can and I do it all the time, for my friends and professors anyone else I care about. (Fortunately outside my family, I have plenty of good friends) That’s not the problem. I just can’t with my family, except for my little brother. It just feels “awkward” and strange. I can’t even tell them happy birthday, or happy mothers day etc.

After writing this, I take back what I said about feeling odd having a girlfriend, I’ve now noticed that’s clearly not the problem, the problem is my family, and the vulnerability that comes with them knowing something like this. I would just feel odd and guilty after having treated my girlfriend very nicely, and then I can’t even say a simple “hello” to my own sister or my own dad. I’d feel like a hypocrite, or something.

I’m afraid that the only way this family can be saved is by all of us siblings moving out, and living our own lives, and just not seeing each other for a while, then we can come back and really “start over”. Or maybe this just can’t be fixed.

I apologize for the rant, but I just wanted to be as detailed as possible so that you can clearly understand what’s going on  here. None of this will stop me from being in a relationship with someone special, but what should I do when it comes to telling my parents? And can this dysfunctional family be fixed?

Finally, have you ever heard of a situation like this before? I truly feel alone on this one.