Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Couple Should Discuss Religious Differences

DEAR HARRIETTE: I met a nice young man I think my parents would like a lot. He is thoughtful and attentive. He also has a good job and career aspirations even though he’s still young -- 22 years old. The one big thing that could stand in the way is that he doesn’t share our religious beliefs. We are Catholic, and he is Jewish. I’m worried both of our families will be upset about this.

It’s too soon to say whether we want to go the distance yet, but I’m worried that if we actually fall in love and decide we want to get married, our parents will stand in our way. We haven’t talked about this directly, but I know it’s on his mind too. We are both close to our families. It would be awful if they turned away from us. How should we proceed? -- On a Twisty Path, Dallas

DEAR ON A TWISTY PATH: Start with each other. Talk about the elephant in the room. Play the “what if” game. Ask yourselves what if you decided to get married. What are the pros? The cons? How would each of your families react? Do you feel that you could weather the emotional storms that might come from your religious differences? Talk about how you might choose each other when conflicts arise. Play it out to see if you think you could handle it in real time.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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