January 14, 2011 in Features

Relationship is costing you dearly

Washington Post

Hi, Carolyn: I am an only child from a conservative family. My parents and I moved to this country almost 20 years ago. I have assimilated to the culture here; my parents, however, have retained a lot of the customs from back home.

I have been in a relationship for two years now. I can’t say enough great things about him or our relationship. Here’s the problem: He is African-American and I am not. While his family has met me and approves of our relationship, I have not breathed a word of it to my parents.

This is a huge burden for me. I hate lying to my parents, and I hate feeling as though I lead a double life.

There are times when I feel as though I can’t move forward with this relationship. I want to tell my parents but I am afraid of disappointing them, and, worse, I am afraid they will no longer love me.

I feel like in the end I will be forced to make this terrible choice. – A.

“In the end”? This “terrible choice” has been in your lap for the better part of two years, and you’ve chosen to postpone it.

At significant cost, I might add, to the causes of integrity and decency. Your boyfriend deserves full membership in your life, or freedom to join someone else’s; your convictions deserve your courage; your parents deserve to have their beliefs either embraced, or openly challenged.

From here, your actions don’t resemble wrestling with an awful choice so much as they resemble this: having your cake, and eating it, too. You’re enjoying the taboo boyfriend and your parents’ approval.

Just because it’s going to cost you something dear to you doesn’t make you special or unique or justified in your deception. Everyone’s choices cost them something. Your costs are high, yes. All the more reason to either go public or get off the pot.

E-mail Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com.

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus