All parents want their kids happy with where their lives and relationships take them, and former First Lady Michelle Obama is no exception! Michelle, 58, admitted that her daughters Malia, 24, and Sasha, 21, have been dating, and she shared her feelings on seeing her girls grow up in her new book The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times. She explained that when she and former President Barack Obama were the same age, they were also exploring their romantic options. “Malia and Sasha have been doing precisely what Barack and I were each doing at their age, which is dating around,” she wrote.
Michelle revealed her daughters have “gone out with different people and tried on different styles of relationships,” but she’s encouraging them to take their time in navigating their romantic lives. “It’s just one part of the life-building that’s happening for them these days, a piece of the larger puzzle. The truth is that I’m hoping our daughters won’t rush out of the flea market too quickly. I hope they will instead linger a while, allowing their relationships to remain fluid and youthful,” she explained.
The former first lady explained that she wanted to “prioritize learning the skills of independence” before the girls were “signing up for a lifetime spent with another person.” She explained her own philosophy on dating and eventually settling down. “When you know your own light, you are then better prepared to share it with another person. But you have to practice your way through all of it,” she said.
When it comes to marriage, Michelle said she hopes that Malia and Sasha don’t feel pressured into anything either by themselves or by societal expectations. She hopes if the girls do get hitched one day, they feel confident in whoever they choose to marry. “I don’t want them to see marriage as some sort of trophy that must be hunted and won, or to believe that a wedding is the sort of spectacle they need to properly launch a fulfilling life, or to ever feel that having children is any sort of requirement. My hope instead is that they’ll experience different levels of commitment, figuring out how to end relationships that aren’t working and how to start new ones that seem promising,” she wrote. “When and if my kids do choose someone, finally, to be with for life, I want them to do it from a place of strength, truly knowing who they are and what they need.”
While Michelle quickly said she wouldn’t divulge more about her daughters’ romantic lives for privacy reasons (and “because surely they would kill me”), she has occasionally spoken about her daughters dating in interviews, like when she reflected on them growing older during an interview with Ellen in April. “They’re bringing grown men home. Before it was just a pop band, now they have boyfriends and real lives and all that stuff. They have grown up right before our very eyes, and they’re doing well,” she said on the talk show.