July 27, 2012 - submitted by Paul, United Kingdom

I'm in a really tight situation, and I could really do with your advice.
I'm been in a relationship with my girlfriend for just over 7 months now, and things have been going really well. There's always been one problem though - she's never told her parents about me, and has stated she never plans to. Now, I don't know why, but I find this difficult to cope with, because not only is it unfair on them, but we have to keep our relationship secret, and she can't see me as much as she wants to, so it's unfair on me too. We've argued over it a lot and she's threatened to dump me over this. What do I do? I've been told her parents are really nice people, so I don't see why that should be a problem, but she says she just can't, and offered no valid reason why she can't tell them. Please help, I'm desperate.
Thank you for listening.

The Oracle replies:

Paul, the two things that bother me most are that she never plans to tell her parents and is threatening to dump you if you keep challenging her on the matter.
If she gave a good reason why, I think you'd have a starting point to discuss things but to have you kept in the dark is unreasonable and grossly unfair.
It must be very frustrating.
Trust is such a vital part of a relationship so I feel she owes you an explanation at the very least.
You, however, don't need to explain your reasons for being hurt by it - I think most people would - but you wrote to me so it's obviously bothering you a lot.
I suggest you ask yourself if you are prepared to accept her terms in order to stay together and not question her reasons but accept them.
If you can't, sadly the only thing I can offer you is probably not what you're expecting or hoping for.
If anyone is issuing ultimatums I think it should be you; either she tells her parents or it's over.
Over to you.

I kind of understand what your girlfriend is going through as I've been through something similar myself.
A couple years ago, I was in a relationship with a guy and he really wanted to meet my parents, but I wouldn't even consider it. My parents are really protective, old-fashioned people. (They met when they were twenty-one and as far as I know, that was the first time any of them ever got into a relationship and they have been together ever since.) I just knew they wouldn't allow it. I don't know how old you are, but I was sixteen at the time. So maybe that's why she won't tell them. Because she's afraid of how they will react. You should talk about it, but don't try to force her into doing something she's not ready to do yet. Catherine.

If your girlfriend isn't willing to introduce you to her parents and is threatening to dump you there is defiantly a problem. You should have a sit down talk with her and tell her how much you care about her and that if this relationship is going to work you deserve her full respect and honesty, tell her that either she tells her parents of this relationship isn't going to work out. Besides if she's willing to dump you over wanting to meet her parents after seven months she probably isn't exactly "the one".
Maddie, USA.

I can understand your situation! Perhaps your girlfriend is worried on what her parents would think. You sound like a completely nice guy, but some parents can be very protective and picky over their children's romantic partners. Maybe you should look more into it. Try to really get your girlfriend to explain why she is negative about it. Now if she keeps it up, maybe you could call up your parents or a relative for some advice. Trust me, my parents have helped me in many bad relationship scenarios! I'm no love guru, but this is the best advice I could give you!
Don't ask your girlfriend with an angry,frustrated tone. She will be less stressed if you ask her nicely. If she raises her voice, you still stay calm. Arguing will make the situation worse than it is.
Good luck! Meghan.

I feel you have every right to be concerned over this, seven months is a long time and if, as you say it is going well, why the secrecy? Many possibilities for this... maybe she has been hurt in the past and does not wish to share this in case it goes south or it could be she is hiding something. Perhaps her parents don't approve of her choices. There could be more to it than meets the eye. You need to ask yourself if you feel that in time, she will be more forthcoming, if not, how comfortable can you be with this? Is your relationship strong enough to handle this? My feeling is after all this time it is right for you to want to be closer to her, and it's a red flag that she does not share this. Be brave and tell her how you feel and be prepared to live with the outcome good or bad. If she does not want to be honest with you now, then when will she? You deserve someone who will be. Take care, Laurie.

This must be a very tricky situation for you. You need to be careful and sensitive about the way you deal with this, you don't know what has happened in the past with her parents and relationships. It could be a touchy subject and one that your girlfriend would rather hide, this may be why you argue when you bring up the topic. I would suggest that you ask your girlfriend if you could be firstly introduced to her parents as a friend, then you could meet them and it might give you more information about why she doesn't want you to tell them about the relationship. Then one you have had a few meetings being called a friend your girlfriend may possibly feel more comfortable telling them about your relationship once you have gained her parents respect. Good Luck, Elle.

It is quite simple. You have to confront her over this and explain her your feelings and what you think. She has to understand that since you want a serious relationship with her, you must get to know her parents. So she must get over her fears and talk with her parents or you will have to simply end the relationship. You can also seek her opinion on why she does not want to tell her parents about you, which seems very weird. I wish you the best of luck and simply remember that if someone does not want to introduce you to her parents, she does not deserve you. Mariano.

I am very sorry to hear about that situation. I believe that 99.9% of the the time, honesty is the best policy. And I do believe that this is a situation where that is the case. There is no reason for her to be keeping the relationship away from her parents. There might be something more than what she is telling you and you might want to investigate it. If she persists in not giving you more details than I would guess there is probably something more. If that is the case, you might want to consider moving on. If she is not honest with her parents, it is hard to say whether or not she will be fully honest with you. Wish you the best!
Joseph S.

Trust is the foundation of a lasting relationship. Whether it becomes a friendship down the road or remains romantic, this is essential to an enduring fruitful intimacy. If your girlfriend values the relationship, she will open up and not keep the parents issue secret. She must trust you with that issue. If she refuses, and you have tried to assure her, this relationship has no where to go. Save your heart now rather than later. NKQ.

Because you've been with her for over 7 months, it sounds like you guys have some very genuine feelings. This being said, it's important to meet her parents if there is going to be a future. You definitely need to talk to your girlfriend - tell her how you feel, very openly, so she knows that you respect her and like her, and is why you want to meet her parents. Maybe she has a good reason, and you two can talk it out and figure it out. Then the two of you can sit and talk to her parents. It's wonderful you care about her so much, and her parents, so if she cares that much about you (which I'm hoping and assuming she does) she will talk to you. Tell her that as well-maybe she doesn't see it that way. Good luck, I'm with you, Paul! Marcie from Canada.

First of all, I applaud you for taking her parent's opinion in this matter into consideration, it definitely shows good character.
That being said, you need to continue pursuing an answer from your girlfriend about this. If you plan on taking this relationship to a serious level, you can't let it be a secret.
However, be gentle with this, if she's threatened to break up over this, then chances are, it could be something serious. Don't let it sound like it's the biggest concern on your mind, downplay your concerns a little, but not it's importance. Remind her that you if you're going to be a serious relationship, then you can't spend what little time you spend together hiding in the shadows.
Wish you two the best!
Bradley H.

Thanks to all those who wrote in with their thoughts. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's question, and send us your answer.