Originally created 03/15/05

Girl can stick with boyfriend



THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: I just started going out with this boy, and I really like him. My younger sisters and brother get along with him great. My family really doesn't want me to go out with him because they say he doesn't dress well enough and I can get somebody better (really, they judged him before knowing him). On the other hand, they want me to go out with this other boy because his appearance is better, but I don't like him more than the other boy. Should I leave him just to make the rest of my family happy?

HERE'S YOUR ADVICE FOR THIS 17-YEAR-OLD:

l I know it's hard when your parents don't accept the people you like. You can't change the way someone dresses, and you can't change how your parents feel about this boy. Sit down with them one day and ask why they don't like him. Some parents are extremely protective of their daughters; no one is ever good enough for you and no one ever will be. It's no point in leaving the person you like to please your family. They'll find something wrong with the new boy also, so stay true to yourself.

l You shouldn't dump him just because of your family's opinion about him. Talk with your parents about how you like him for his personality and not for the way that he dresses. Invite your boyfriend to dinner so your parents can get to know him. Just because a person dresses a certain way does not define him.

l I don't think you should leave this guy at all. If you really like him, that's all that matters. Ask your parents, "What is more important: how the guy looks or how well he treats me?" In the end, they will realize appearance is not always going to make their daughter happy.

XTREME REPORTER KAMILLE BOSTICK SAYS: Appearance and fashion sense are the last things on which to choose a boyfriend. Looks fade and clothes go out of style, so you wouldn't have much left to go on after a while.

What does provide a solid foundation for a relationship is being with someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him and dealing with someone who treats you respectfully.

If you "really like" the guy you're with now, why give that up to be with someone you don't like as much? So what if this other guy dresses better and your family has suggested that you date him? Don't do it. It's you who will have to invest time and emotion in this, not them.

Your family's objections to your boyfriend are petty and superficial. A good and successful relationship stems from how the people in it relate to each other, not whether they look good together.

For your family to care more about how this guy looks than how he treats you shows they don't have their priorities right (much less priorities you should aspire to meet) or your best interest in mind. If they did, they'd be urging you to find someone who makes you feel special and wanted, understood and supported, not someone who looks good in designer jeans.

Don't go against what or who really makes you happy. You can't live your life to please your family, and you certainly can't love based on whom they approve. For you to try to do either will be nearly impossible and completely unfulfilling because emptiness is what results when we live by standards not our own.

Because you aren't as interested in this other guy as you are the one you're with, stay where you are. Your family might not be happy, but you will. In this case, that's all that matters.

Next week's problem

I have been dating this guy for five months and two weeks. He is really sweet and loving. He brought me tickets to an Alicia Keys concert. The problem is that I am caught up in this situation where another boy is trying to ruin the relationship with me and my current boyfriend. He calls me and tells me all sorts of stuff about him.

The boy is my ex.

Should I tell my boyfriend about him, because he plans on proposing to me ... or should I just let it keep happening and the relationship go downhill?

Do you have any advice for this 16-year-old North Augusta girl?

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