Not Asking For Bride's Hand Is Poor First Step For Groom

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Chad," proposed two months ago, but he didn't ask my parents for my hand in marriage. My parents are upset about it.

When I realized that Chad hadn't gone to them, I asked him why. He said he was following what his father had done -- proposing first and then speaking to the parents. But Chad still hasn't done it. In fact, he has yet to be around them at all.

How do I get my boyfriend to speak to my parents? They are no longer as angry as they were, but they still would like to talk to him. I spend lots of time with Chad's family, but I can't get him to even go to lunch with mine.

Dad said that if Chad doesn't clear the air with him, he may not bother showing up at our wedding! What do I do, Abby? -- FIANCEE IN A FIX

DEAR FIANCEE: You appear to be quite young. If I were you, I would take a step backward and see this from your parents' point of view. It appears that Chad wasn't entirely honest with you when he gave his reason for not talking to them. Could he be intimidated?

When a daughter marries, most parents want to know something about the young man -- not only where he has been, but also what are his plans for the future, including where the two of you will be living and whether he has a job. That Chad is hiding from them isn't a good sign.

When most couples become engaged, the parents of the bride and groom usually get together and start to form a relationship. If your father hasn't met your fiance, it makes it harder for your parents to reach out to his. When the in-laws are friendly, it makes for a more harmonious marriage.

As it stands, it appears Chad is not interested in having any relationship with your family. Frankly, I can't blame your father for being upset about it.


DEAR ABBY: My wife and I disagree on whether to tell our kids and friends how we met. When my wife and I met, she was underage. She was 16 and I was 21. We fell in love; it was true love. We have been together for 24 years. We have two beautiful children and have made a wonderful life together. I love her as much today as the first time I met her.

How should we answer people when they ask about how we met and fell in love? I know it was wrong and against the law. -- MIKE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MIKE: You do not have to quote chapter and verse when someone asks a question. In a case like yours, you could say that you met when you were both quite young without going into the specifics.

For a 21-year-old to see a 16-year-old girl is not against the law, as long as her parents approve and they are not having sex. The laws regarding statutory rape were enacted to prevent predators from preying on minors.


DEAR ABBY: When I buy a sweater I usually get an extra button in a little clear baggie attached to the garment. Today, I bought a sweater with a piece of matching thread in the tiny plastic bag.

Why do manufacturers insist on adding something to every article of clothing even if it is just a piece of thread? -- INQUISITIVE IN ILLINOIS

DEAR INQUISITIVE: The thread is provided in case the garment needs to be rewoven in the event you get a hole in it or a tear. It's a courtesy to the customer, so stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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