My pack asks: A year ago I introduced a girl as my said sister (a term like “best friend”) to my parents as well as hers. This means we told our parents we’d never become romantic with each other, so they’d let us hang out. But for the last eight months our relationship has deepened, and we love each other a lot. We didn’t know we’d fall in love. We can’t live without each other. Now we have to convince our parents to accept this relationship, as we want to marry. And even beyond our parents, other people might say bad things about her family, that this girl said this guy is like her brother, and now she wants to marry him.
Hi My pack –
I have to confess, this might be a case where, even as a dog, I don’t have enough cultural understanding.
Where I live, in the United States, the most acceptable and “clean” way for a couple to get together is to be friends first. It also bodes well for a marriage, as people trust that a deep friendship will last through many more difficulties than romantic passion or physical attraction.
So to my mind, your parents and hers would cheer to the rooftops if you and she came to them saying you wanted to marry.
And your friends and other society would as well – they already know you two as a pair of nice young people they enjoy; how nice that you two will become a married couple as well.
But as I said, I don’t know everything, and this seems to be a case where I’m somewhat ignorant.
I will say, though, that I imagine it’s important that your families accept you as a couple before anyone else. This might be a crazy idea, but if the families are okay with it, could you guys tell others that you becoming a couple was your parents’ idea? Sort of one step from an arranged marriage, but one where the parents were inspired by what great people you two are?
I can imagine that your parents perhaps might feel a bit betrayed, that they trusted that you two would be “siblings” and might have been doing things behind their back that they don’t approve of. But (even if maybe you guys have done a little of that), you don’t need to tell them that, do you? If you just say you’ve fallen in love, I would think they’d be okay with that.
In fact, maybe they’d put some demands on you, to test this love. “Okay, so if you two want that, then you have to act like a couple dating. Which means you have to spend more time apart, and be chaperoned when you meet.” Well… if they asked that, would that be okay?
As I’ve been struggling with this, my friend Handsome told me the great old Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. They were very much in love, but one day she was taken by Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. Orpheus went to seek her out (literally walking into Hell for his love), and Hades gave him a bargain – if he could walk Eurydice all the way out of there, but with her behind him, never turning to look at her, he could have her again in the land of the living. Orpheus agreed, and walked, not looking back, while Hades made all sorts of terrible frightening sounds to mess with him. But just as they neared the portal to our world, Hades made a sound like Eurydice screaming to Orpheus in terror. Orpheus turned to see what was happening to her – and nothing was. She was fine. Except that she was suddenly grieving at being pulled back into the Land of the Dead forever, not to see her man alive again.
So I’m not suggesting that your parents should put you through a test THAT difficult, but I think the idea of them demanding you change your relationship for a while might be enough to please everyone.
Again, my friend, I’m sorry I don’t know more about the rules of your families. If I’m way off, please feel free to let me know.
But in the meantime, I think telling them the beautiful, romantic, lovely, wonderful truth is going to be the best thing. And then agreeing to whatever they wish, to make up for your beautiful mistake!
Which reminds me – with all these difficulties, I forgot to say, Congratulations on finding true love! A rare and wonderful thing!
All my very best wishes to you. Please let me know how it goes!