Dear Harlan: I’m 17 years old, and I am white. I recently met a boy who I really like. He’s a Christian, just like me. The only thing that is causing problems is my parents don’t like the idea of me dating a black guy. We met in college and clicked from the beginning. The more I got to know him, the more I wanted to end up being with him. I come from a very religious family. My dad is a preacher, and one of the beliefs I don’t believe in that he does is that blacks and whites cannot be together. Both my mom and dad disagree with my decision to be with this guy, but I feel like I have a future with him. I don’t see anything biblically wrong with me being with him. Should I pursue a future with him? How could I date him and keep my family close? Do you believe what I’m doing is wrong? I need unbiased advice … this could mean the difference of my happiness or not.
— Forbidden Boyfriend
Dear Forbidden Boyfriend: I’m cool with interracial dating. I’m cool with same-sex dating. Honestly, the more love there is in the world, the better the world will be. As long as this person respects you, wants you to continue to have a relationship with friends and encourages you to have a relationship with your parents, I don’t see a problem. My advice is to stop looking for your parents’ approval right now. See how it feels to date him. If this gets more serious, find other interracial couples and spiritual leaders to guide you. The MOST important advice is to figure out how to be happy regardless of who you date. Forget race; you don’t want a relationship to be your only source of happiness in college or in life. Make sure you are creating a life in college that includes other people and activities. In other words, don’t hide out with this guy and make him the only good thing in your life.