Carolyn Hax: The boyfriend hides their relationship from his parents

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Carolyn Hax is gone. The following is from April 2, 2008.

Dear Carolyn, I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year and a half. He’s Asian and I’m white. For some reason he still hasn’t told his parents about me. We argued about it at Christmas but he said he wouldn’t tell them.

After several arguments, we finally set a deadline for him to tell them, but today (only two days away) he hasn’t. I’ve dropped a few hints the past few days, but haven’t exactly reminded him. If the deadline comes and goes and he still hasn’t told them, what should I do? By the way, they are not completely ignorant of me. I have met them and they are aware that we are friends.

M.: You have been together for a year and a half, you have argued openly about the parenting issue, and the sum of your insights into his behavior consists of: “for whatever reason…”?

Either he’s not talking or you’re not listening. Or both.

There is room for speculation about “old fashioned” parents and dutiful sons, but that would be the equivalent of letting your cancer run its course while I process your paper clip.

I see so little honesty here. It’s the cancer.

There is obviously his reluctance to be honest with his parents. Then there is his inability to be honest with you about his reasons. You, meanwhile, have failed to demand honesty from him in any real or productive way.

I sense that you don’t know how. It’s not about lobbing words; “Respect me by X date or else” only breeds anger or ridicule. Only deeds are effective: no respect, no you.

However, instead of setting consequences without an ultimatum – the healthy thing – you have done the opposite and given an ultimatum without consequences. You’re asking what to do now, which means that not only did you resort to a threat, but it was also an empty threat – which means you weren’t being honest with him. The most important thing is that you have not been honest with yourself.

What do you need from this guy, why is it important, why do you think it’s lacking, why do you consider him the best person to provide it, are you realistic, what are you prepared to do when and if he do it? not get through?

The relationship you need right now—urgently, it seems—is with your own mind. Please step back from the question of what he tells his parents and try to see if the relationship itself is working. Start with a new definition of “working”: He’s open with you, you’re open with him, and each of you likes what you see.

Dear Carolyn, Is simply “not going” an acceptable way to decline a wedding invitation from a friend you never want to speak to again? I’m ready to end things, but I don’t want it to be formal. Seems like it would be too much energy wasted on someone I don’t want around anymore.

Uncertain, NY: I hear you. After responding to just one wedding invitation, I need a nap.

If you want to be so rude that your friend is grateful to be kicked out of your life, then your wedding is a no-show. However, if in the near future you plan to consider yourself a kind or decent person, then I would suggest that you send a short message stating that you decline the invitation and wish them both the best of luck .

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