DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing "Tony" for a few weeks. He is kind, caring and will make a great boyfriend, husband and father someday. My problem with him is he thinks I'm a "status digger." (It's similar to a gold digger, but he means I care only about someone's standing in the community.) His rationale is based on my friendships.
I come from a privileged background. While some acquaintances in my circle are spoiled and superficial, my close friends and I are not. Because I grew up here, it was only natural I'd date guys from a similar background. While I was not opposed to dating outside my social circle, the opportunity never presented itself.
Abby, I have never measured a guy because of his position in society. The thought never occurred to me. I admit I would probably be more inclined to date someone from a similar background because that's what I'm familiar with, but I don't think this makes me a social climber, status digger or elitist.
How should I address this with Tony? I'm afraid our relationship will end if he can't see me for who I really am. -- JUST ME IN HOUSTON
DEAR JUST ME: Tony may come from a blue-collar background. Because he perceives you and your friends as having had so much given to you, he may feel inadequate, so he's putting you on the defensive by accusing you of being solely interested in social status. Of course, that's stereotyping, and it isn't fair to you. Because someone comes from inherited status/wealth there is no guarantee that it won't disappear. That's the reason some women prefer self-made men to those from a privileged background.
You and Tony should have a frank talk. When you do, suggest that before he assumes any more preconceptions about you are true, he should get to know you -- because if he doesn't, he will miss out on someone who is not only very nice, but who thinks he has a lot to offer.