Luv Doc: Pledge of Support

An ass-kicking with a cheering section is still an ass-kicking

Luv Doc: Pledge of Support
by Dan Hardick

Dear Luv Doc,

My boyfriend of six months told me recently that he is not out to his parents. They are coming to visit over the Fourth of July and he wants me to just say that we are "friends." I am not sure I am okay with this. My parents already know about him and me and will be in town, too. I was planning on inviting both sets of parents out to dinner, but he is absolutely against it. I don't think he has considered that this will make things awkward for me and my parents because they are looking forward to meeting him. He is saying we should basically part ways until all of our parents are out of town. I told him I want to live honestly and openly and that this is as good a time as any to come out and that he would have our full support. Am I being too pushy?

– Outy

Well Outy, I'm sure your boyfriend appreciates your pledge of support. It's good for him to know that you've got his back. That said, your boyfriend's family situation might be – very likely is – vastly different than your own. At this relatively early stage in your relationship, I think you should give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and allow him the space he needs to deal with his relationship with his parents in the way he thinks is best for him.

Look at it this way: If UFC legend Conor McGregor is trying to pick a bar fight with you, it's small comfort to know your friends are pledging their support. When the fight actually starts, you're going to be the one getting punched in the face. Hard truth: An ass-kicking with a cheering section is still an ass-kicking.

My bet is that your boyfriend is well aware of the consequences of outing himself to his parents. At minimum, he has about 18 years' more experience with them than you do, and while your fresh perspective on his situation might be underappreciated – might indeed be the best solution – it's up to him to make that choice. Ultimately, he is the one who will be dealing with the consequences. He will be taking the punch in the face.

You, however, will have to decide whether you are willing to deal with the consequences of his inaction. Does his unwillingness to out himself belie some weakness of character or innate dishonesty, or is he simply trying to negotiate what he knows is a very difficult situation as best he can?

I don't think you are going to know this until you meet his parents, and quite honestly, it might be much longer after that. This problem isn't going to be resolved quickly and easily, but breaking up with him because you think this might be awkward with your parents is kind of a dick move. My advice is to explain the situation to your parents, get through the weekend, and then maybe work on a longer-term solution once the stress dies down.

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Luv Doc, Dan Hardick

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