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by Abigail Van Buren

Stubborn Tot Plays Hard to Get With Frustrated Grandmother

DEAR ABBY: I have fallen in love with "Chris," an amazingly thoughtful, supportive, caring man. We have been dating for seven months. We have many values and interests in common, such as religion, social justice and the great outdoors. However, Chris is visually impaired.

Chris can't drive and has trouble reading regular type or street signs. My parents, whose opinion I respect, are against the relationship because of Chris' genetic disability and his race.

Should I continue this relationship? I know real love is a rare gift, yet I worry that I may be setting myself up for problems in the future. I'm afraid I may end up resenting Chris for what he can't do, and my parents for not accepting him. I would greatly appreciate some advice. Should love be blind? –- INDECISIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR INDECISIVE: Although love is often blind, couples are better off if they go into relationships with their eyes wide open.

People with disabilities often have abilities that enable them to contribute meaningfully to the community, as well as to their families. Do they have obstacles? Certainly. Can they be accommodated? Usually.

You have serious decisions to make about your future. Your parents' unwillingness to accept Chris because of his race will cause a serious rift if you proceed. Is your love for him strong enough to marry him anyway? If the answer is yes, then you and Chris should consult a geneticist to see what the odds are of your children inheriting his disability should you decide to have any.

You are asking all the right questions. However, some of the answers will have to come from within.