My friend is in high school and she is always getting into bad relationships with college guys who don’t respect her. Now a guy wants her to leave her mom and third stepfather, and move in with him. What can I do?

As you realize, your friend needs to take a break. Because she comes from a broken family, she may have a void in her life that should have been filled by the love of her father. It is common for a young woman who did not receive her father’s love to jump into relationships with older guys in an effort to receive the missing affection, attention, and acceptance.

One woman said, “I thought about the girl who this very night will lose her virginity because she is searching for her daddy’s love. And I want to be able to stop her somehow and tell her that she will never find it in another man.”[1] Your friend might fear abandonment and may confuse the physical affection of boys with love. If she had a loving father who protected her and sacrificed for her good, then she would be more likely to wait for such a man to come into her life. Since she never received this gift, she does not know how a man should properly treat a woman.

There may also be a deep connection between the absence of her father in her life and her willingness to live with disrespect. Sometimes when a child had a distant or critical parent, the child may grow up wanting to please people who hurt her in order to receive their love. In trying to mend those original wounds, the girl may put up with just about any form of disrespect. These are deep problems, and living with a boyfriend will not solve them.

In fact, living with this guy is one of the worst things she could do. Click here and then click on the “research” tab. Then, scroll down to “Living Together” for information that shows the negative consequences of cohabitation. Perhaps you can show your friend some of the facts in order to discourage her from moving in with him. If she wants a lasting relationship, then she needs to work toward it by making smart decisions for herself and her future.

She does not know what to expect from a man, so she will take what she is given. This is why she needs space to figure out who she is and what she really wants. In the meantime, pray for her and give her all the love you can. She deserves it.

[1]. Josh McDowell, Why Wait? (Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Book Publishers, 1987), 63.