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POLL RESULTS: Look who's coming to dinner: (8 comments)

POLL: Look who's coming to dinner

Friday, March 08, 2013 - 12:00 AM


A reader writes...

Q.: OK. So I have a girlfriend and she's black. We've been dating for 8 months and she wants to meet my parents but there's a problem. My parents aren't exactly "cool" with black people. I haven't told my girlfriend because I'm afraid of what that would do to the relationship. WwwWhat do I do?

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POLL: W-w-w-What should he do?
 
4% (64) Don't mention it. Maybe they won't notice.
 
8% (131) Don't bring her home to meet the parents. Why subject her to that?
 
67% (994) Bring her home and proudly introduce your girlfriend to your parents. This is a *perfect* time for them to join the rest of us in the 21st century.
 
19% (283) Try this: "Mom, I'm gay. Just kidding. Say, there's someone I'd like you to meet..."
1472 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Amanda
Lover

Posts: 30

Registered:
Oct 2008
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 01:16 AM (#62826)

I assume she's been black her whole life and she dates outside her race so I'm sure she's met some racist parents before. Just talk to your girlfriend about it. Maybe she has some ideas from her experience. It's not like you approve of your parents' prejudices or hold them yourself so it shouldn't hurt the relationship too much to just tell the truth. I think keeping her from your parents without telling her why would hurt the relationship far more because it might make her feel like you think she's not worthy of them or that the relationship won't last. In the mean time, you're going to have to tell your parents about her. Just mention how amazing she is and wait a little while before you mention her skin color (but don't spring it on them right before she comes over.) You'll probably need to ease them into the 21st century because they've spent so long living in the past.


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JonahGrimm
Lover

Posts: 4

Registered:
Feb 2012
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 07:49 AM (#62827)

I'm with the above poster: there's nothing wrong with forcing your parents to come to terms with today's reality. However, if you don't talk through it with your girlfriend first, you'll be making a terrible mistake.

She has a right to know about potential issues before they happen - you don't get to 'spring' this on her; she'll be well within her rights to make that an incredibly short home visit.

You should be prepared for your family's reaction, and have an 'out' planned ahead of time - don't get trapped in a bad situation. E.G. - make sure you can leave, if they go off the deep end. Don't fly in, don't rely on them for a place to stay, transportation, or anything else during this particular visit.

Good luck! Here's hoping they surprise you in a good way.


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TxDeadhead
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2013
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 08:58 AM (#62828)

I remember telling my mother that my ex-wife (girlfriend at the time) was black. This lead to a long discussion where my mother told me how disappointed she was in both of us, that we didn't have enough respect for our respective races that we would mix like that. This lead to a six month period where we didn't speak at all. When my mother found out we were getting married, she changed her tune. She accepted the situation. When we divorced, she was sorry it happened, but relieved.

After that, I told her that, in the future, I'd tell her what she needed to know about my love interests, and that if she didn't ask, I wouldn't tell. She, of course concluded that I was going to see more black women. She told me that she couldn't get behind it, but I was old enough to know what I wanted.

It'll all work out, or it won't, but the main question, is what's more important? Your parent's approval, or love.


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kradeiz
Lover

Posts: 2

Registered:
May 2012
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 09:21 AM (#62829)

Might not be a bad idea to sit down and discuss things with your parents before your girlfriend meets them, too. So it doesn't come as an enormous surprise and someone doesn't end up saying somnething they regret.


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Fahrenheit
Lover

Posts: 2

Registered:
Feb 2013
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 11:35 AM (#62830)

Just as it'd be wrong to surprise your girlfriend with racist parents by just bringing her over before talking to her, it's just as wrong to bring her over before talking to your parents.

Give them a chance to come to grips with reality while your girlfriend isn't standing on the welcome mat, waiting to be invited inside.

You don't have to be a dick about it; and you don't have to hope it's all just going to work out. And you don't need to schedule some sort of racist intervention.

Have a pic of the two of you together? How unusual would it be to show pics to your parents of you and your girlfriend? e.g. "Hey mom, here's Sally and I at the water park! I can't believe they got a pic of us going down that waterslide!"

Letting your parents see that you're dating 'outside your race' without YOU making a big deal of it gives them an opportunity to not make a big deal of it. Doing it before you introduce them to your girlfriend gives them a chance to adjust, and avoids an unpleasant situation for everybody involved - you, your girlfriend, AND your parents.


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Aces_Away
Lover

Posts: 4

Registered:
Feb 2013
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 08, 2013 - 11:36 AM (#62831)

Your parents might change how they feel once they meet your partner. It's one thing to feel a certain way about a nebulous group of strangers, but quite another to be "not cool" with a specific person that you've met, and have something in common with. (You - they have you in common.)

As other people have said, talk to your girlfriend and your parents, separately, before introducing them. Make it clear to all involved that you would like them to get along, but if they don't, you hope that won't change your relationships with any of them. Be calm, don't use that as a threat, but be firm about it.

If things turn nasty, it might be an idea to back off for a while, but don't dump your girlfriend or disown your parents over it. They care about you, they'll come around. Patience.


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abb3w
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 09, 2013 - 01:23 AM (#62834)

Definitely warn the girlfriend about the parents. Emphasize that the main hesitation isn't because you're embarrassed of her, but because you're embarrassed of them.

Pragmatically, if you're in college, and the parents are paying for it, it could be easier if you can graduate before risking disinheritance; that's a judgement call. But if you're mostly out on your own, having your parents face the challenges presented by life in the 20th century seems a perfectly appropriate thing to do in the 21st.


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HoneyBea
Lover

Posts: 3

Registered:
Jan 2013
Re: Look who's coming to dinner (Score: 0)
posted Monday, March 11, 2013 - 03:52 AM (#62835)

abb3w has the right idea.

I say tell your girlfriend about your family and their mindset so that she is aware of what she may be in for. As a couple you can prepare and decide together when to visit the folks.

At the same time do the same for your folks. Let them get to know her as a person not her color.


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