Everything you need to know

Dear Valerie,

I’ve been dating this guy for a few months, and I think he’s great. We spend a ton of time together, and I’ve already met his parents. I want to introduce him to my parents, but I’m pretty sure they won’t like him. They’ve only ever liked one guy that I dated, and that was back in high school! It would be okay if they didn’t like him as long as they didn’t tell him so, but they always make it very obvious that they aren’t impressed and don’t think the guys are worth my time. I’ve tried explaining this to my guy, but he thinks it’ll be different with him. Should I introduce him to my parents and risk them being rude?

— Putting up with parental prejudice


First things first: Are you sure they won’t like him? Maybe there’s a particular trait that your past boyfriends shared that they’ve disliked, or maybe there was just something special about your first boyfriend. Regardless, you have to ask yourself how much your parents’ opinion matters to you. They might have legitimate reasons for disliking all of these guys (how many were there anyway?), so you should probably listen to their judgment. After all, there was something about all of those other guys you didn’t like, too, or else you’d still be with them. In any case, you’ve warned your guy about the possibility that they might be rude, so I don’t see any harm in introducing him if that’s what you want to do. On the other hand, if you don’t want to do it, that’s fine, too — don’t let your guy pressure you into introducing him if you aren’t into it. In the end, it’s no one’s choice but yours. Besides, you never know, your parents might really like your guy, and you won’t know until you actually introduce him.


Dear Valerie,

My roommate and I have been getting along great — we hang out together all the time and we’re getting to be really good friends. The only problem is that my roommate is really religious and I’m not — I’ve never been to church and I’m not even sure where I stand on the issue of religion. This wasn’t even a problem until now, but yesterday she asked me if I’d go to church with her. I know it’s really important to her, but I just can’t see myself going to church, even if it’s just to keep her company. How can I tell her I don’t want to go without sounding like a bad friend?

— Reckoning with religion


It’s good that you recognize that your roommate’s religion is important to her, and it’s even better that you want to be considerate about letting her know you’re just not that into church. Religion is usually a tricky subject, but if she really wants to be your friend, she’ll understand your lack of interest. So, you know she’s really into church — but does she know you aren’t? If you haven’t made it clear to her before, she might not realize that religion isn’t your thing. In that case, the best thing to do would be to sit down with her and let her know — respectfully, of course — that while you’re glad she’s interested in church, you aren’t. Alternatively, if you have made it clear to her that you aren’t religious, you might need to explain to her that you respect her views, and ask her kindly to respect yours as well. Pushing unwanted religion on you won’t help your friendship, which is something she’ll understand once you make your views clear. Just remember to be respectful and don’t insult her views, even if you don’t agree with them.