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Dear Abby: With racist parents, teen shy over guy

Dear Abby: I am 18 and live with my parents. I have a part-time job and I also attend a local university. My parents and I have always gotten along, and I have been obedient and respectful of their rules.

I have suffered from depression for years, but now I have finally met someone who makes me happy and treats me as if I am worth something.

Abby, he is of a different race, and this doesn’t mean anything to me because I know he’s a great guy, and I really like him. The problem is that my parents are very racist.

However, they have done so much for me that I feel guilty dating someone they don’t approve of; they have told me to never date someone like that. I am ashamed of them, but I am torn about this conflict, and I don’t know what to do.

How do I break it to them? Am I wrong for being with a genuine, amazing guy who finally makes me happy?

– Finally Met Someone

Dear Finally Met Someone: I’m glad you are finally feeling better about yourself as a person, but before discussing this with your parents, it would be better if you separate the issues of your chronic depression and your feelings for this young man.

If this relationship were to end for some reason, would you cycle back down? If your parents react badly – as they may – would you be able to live independently? Are your parents capable of moderating their attitude about people of a different race? And because racism can be universal, how does his family feel about you?

Please consider these questions carefully, because until you have the answers and are prepared to be out on your own, I don’t think that you should make any announcements.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write to Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.