Advicereality check

Reality Check

I’m part of an ethnic/religious group that values dating and marrying
within itself. Even though I know it doesn’t make a ton of sense all the
time (because I know that people from different groups can have things
in common), I usually feel like dating partners from within my group is
easier (less explaining or racist comments) and much prefer it. The
problem is that there aren’t many of us and that I lower my standards
tremendously in order to date within my group. I’ve stayed with partners
who were immature, who cheated, who ignored me, etc., all because I
value dating someone who I could potentially marry and start a family 

Being part of this ethnic/religious group is a prerequisite for
marriage for me, but I keep dating losers in the hope that they will
grow into better partners. I feel guilty dating good people outside of
my group and unfairly see them as less desirable. I know that this is
wrong, but I guess I’m brainwashed. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do
here except for explore the world around me and hope that the backlash
(from my community/family and from potential partners that don’t like my
ethnic/religious group) isn’t too bad.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with my values (which don’t always serve me well) and my emotional needs? I feel like I can’t have everything in just one person because of this and that I need to date many people in order to fill in the gaps that my “matching” partner doesn’t. I keep dating losers, I keep putting up with bullshit, and I keep restricting myself from potentially
positive relationships. How do I un-brainwash myself?


Caught Between Two Worlds

You obviously have prejudices of your own, and whether or not you can blame it on brainwashing is not for me to say. Gods forbid I would call your ethnic/religious group “brainwashed,†because that would make me the racist one, right? You say you only want to date within your particular ethnic/religious group because those are the people whom you can imagine starting a family with. But what makes you think that somebody who is not currently part of your group wouldn’t be willing to raise children with your traditions? I mean, obviously you can’t change a potential partner’s ethnicity, but you could possibly convert them to your religion.

The idea that somebody is inherently “better†because they are part of your group has already proven wrong, over and over. And clearly you have had some bad experiences with people who are not part of your group saying ignorant things. That is a shame. But we have all had crappy dates and crappy boyfriends, CBTW. What you have to do is focus on finding a guy whom you are physically attracted to who has the qualities you want in a person—like intelligence, compassion, a sense of humor—and then you can explore whether or not they have the right qualities to be a husband and father. Right now, it seems like you’re just going about it all wrong, picking random assholes whom you happen to share ethnicity and a religious background with and then hoping that they will turn into good people if you wait around long enough. This is almost as backward as dating somebody who holds your background against you and hoping that they will eventually learn to forgive you or ignore it.

You shouldn’t have to apologize for who you are or what you want. I think if you find a guy whom you really like and are compatible with and who treats you well, then you will either convince your friends and family to accept him or you will stop caring what they think.

I’m adopted and am getting ready to marry in about a year. Fortune has
favored us to where my fiancé and I are looking to pay for the whole
thing. The problem I am having is this: I was adopted by a family who
already had kids. I am not close to my brothers at all, because of the
drastic age difference and huge lifestyle differences. I am 22, and my
youngest brother is 35, with the eldest being 45. I am libertarian, they
both are Republican/rednecks/whitetrash. 

Am I required to invite them to the rehearsal dinner? What about their children? They both have two each, and they are very poorly behaved and not disciplined at all. I don’t want to foot the bill for demons to ruin what could be a fun night out, but also understand how it could be awkward not to invite them if my fiancé wants to invite his sister to the dinner. Do we not invite
either sets, do we just invite his, or do we suck it up and let them all
come and tell them to get a sitter? How does one ever tell someone to
leave their spawns-of-Satan at home?


I May Be Poorer Than I Thought Soon

This is your day, and you are footing the bill. There is no reason why you should feel obligated to invite anyone. I don’t see how your brothers would even know that a dinner was happening if you didn’t tell them. That being said, this is a nice time to get family together and share in a big moment, etc., etc. And don’t underestimate the power of guilt to ruin a good time. You obviously wouldn’t be writing to me if this wasn’t a big issue for you, and if you are going to be second guessing yourself the whole time, you might as well just suck it up and send the invite. (Though it is entirely possible that this is just residual guilt left over from my brief time as a Catholic talking—who knows?)

The part about the kids is very simple. You send invitations addressed to your brothers and their wives. Write each of their full names on the envelope, all fancy-like, and write inside “Please, no guests under 21 years of age†or some such. Trust me, people do this all the time. And hell, if their kids are that awful, they will probably be happy to have an excuse to leave them at home.