Ask Fiona: I'm annoyed my parents are refusing to meet my boyfriend
Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a young woman whose parents are unwilling to meet her new boyfriend
I'M 17 and unlike a lot of my friends, I've always got on well with my parents. They've never minded that I've never really conformed, either in the way I dress, do my hair or in my opinions about things – they've seemed happy for me to make up my own mind. Which is why I'm so confused about their attitude to my new boyfriend. He is really kind, loving and caring and he's the first guy I've been out with who thinks and acts like me. Yes, he's a non-conformist – he colours his hair, he plays in a band and goes on demonstrations about things he cares for, like Brexit and the environment.
They didn't mind when I told them about him, or when I showed them his photo. They were due to meet him but then my elder brother saw him at a concert and things fell apart. My brother spoke to my parents and now they've said they don't want me to see him anymore. I have suggested they let me bring him home so they can judge for themselves, but they won't even talk about it.
My boyfriend and I have managed to talk a few times on the phone, and he's said he is willing to do whatever it takes, but my parents just won't listen. I am so miserable and think the only thing I can do now is leave home as soon as I'm 18 to be with him.
I'M TOO SCARED TO LET MY FIANCE SEE ME WITHOUT MAKE-UP
I'VE SO little confidence about the way I look, unless I'm wearing make-up and have done my hair, that my fiance of three years has never seen me without it. He's really good-looking and he's always telling me how good I look, but I'm sure he wouldn't think so if he saw the real me.
We plan to get married next year but I feel he would lose interest in me if he saw what I really looked like. I've had one lot of cosmetic surgery (on my nose) and I plan to get my teeth done shortly, but what if he goes off me before I've had it done? I don't understand why I worry like this and I've no one I can talk to about it. Please help.
WILL HE HAVE AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE?
THERE'S a guy I work with that I've really fallen for and I would love things to develop further into marriage, and I think he does too. However, as he is Indian, I am worried that I will lose him to an arranged marriage unless I move quickly. He never talks about his culture or his religion – so am I worrying unnecessarily?
HAVEN'T SEEN MY FRIEND SINCE SHE REVEALED FEELING FOR ME
MY marriage went through a bad patch last summer and I relied quite heavily on a friend for support and advice about my feelings for my husband. She gave her time freely, and I am sure if I'd not had her to talk to, my marriage would be over. My husband and I are getting along well again now – so when my friend confessed to me that she had developed feelings for me and that she wanted me to be with her, it was a shock.
I'm afraid I didn't handle it very well, I told her I'm not gay and have never been interested in anyone that way, and so a relationship wasn't possible. She left and I haven't seen her since.
A mutual friend told me that she still feels badly hurt, which makes me feel so guilty, but honestly, I don't think I ever gave her any indication I was interested. All I wanted was someone to talk things through with to help me save my marriage. Is there any chance I could rescue this friendship?