You Asked: Why Does Race Matter to My Parents?


Dear Sugar,

I have been dating my girlfriend for a couple months, and we both have this feeling that it's going to work out between us. I met her online, and we met a week later and have been together ever since. When my parents found out, they were furious. Since she is of a different race, they won't accept her. My dad is always talking to me about her, how she isn't the one for me and how I should only date within the race. He says that I'm betraying my race by dating another, but I don't see see it like that. We're both adults, but it seems that no matter what I do, he is going to be there to do whatever it takes to get me to do what he wants.

In my culture, I have to obey my elders, but when it comes to love, I don't really care what they have to say. It's my life, and I'm the one who is supposed to choose who I love, right? I'm going to stay with her no matter what, but I know my parents will be there to try to break us apart. Got any advice? — Torn Thomas

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Dear Torn Thomas —

This is a very difficult place to be in, and my heart truly goes out to you. I can't imagine anything worse than having the parents you love not approve of the woman you love, but it sounds like they are simply standing by the customs of your culture. I'm sure they only want the best for you, but in doing so, they've failed to realize that you've already done that for yourself.

You are correct: You're an adult who is capable of making your own decisions, so even though you want it all, it looks as though you're going to have to choose between your parents' approval and the woman you love — and from the sound of it, you already have. Try to understand that we are from a completely different generation than our parents — they have a hard time drawing outside the lines, so to speak. But hopefully in time, your parents will have a chance to get to know your girlfriend and realize how happy she makes you regardless of her race. I wish you luck Thomas, and keep following your heart: It usually doesn't steer you wrong.

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