There needs to be a conversation, it needs to happen now

Q: It has been almost a year since my boyfriend and I started dating exclusively. Recently, I decided I was ready for him to meet my family and everything went well. I have since learned that he hasn’t even mentioned to his parents that he has a girlfriend. My question would be, why? He tells me that he doesn’t feel like they are ready to meet me. How can he know how they feel if they don’t even know I exist? We have met each other’s friends and we all get along well, so I’m confused as to why he insists on keeping me a secret from his family.

– S.F., Southtowns

A: No one knows better than your boyfriend why he’s not telling his family about you, and it’s about time you find out. There are several possible reasons, including some common ones such as differences in race, religion, culture and economic class. Whatever his reason, after a year of exclusivity, the two of you should be thinking about the future, and that includes showing respect to one another and your families by introducing you to the people he’s closest to.

His refusal to introduce you to his family raises a red flag and is problematic in my opinion. There needs to be a conversation, it needs to happen now, and he needs to be honest with you. Then, once you know why he’s so hesitant for you to meet his family, you can decide whether you want to continue the relationship.

Game guilt

Q: I love video games and my teenagers love them, too, but sometimes I feel guilty when I play a long time on the PS3 or computer while my wife is busy working around the house or doing something with the kids. I don’t play all day, everyday, but when I have free time, I like to play some games and relax. How can I convince my wife to play more often? We used to do that all the time, before the kids came along. And yes, I know, it may be a silly question, but it involves spending more time together, which is difficult when you have kids to raise. Thanks!

– D.W., Buffalo

A: Your wife has probably matured over the years, particularly after becoming a mother, and may have simply lost interest in video games. I’m not saying that you’re immature for enjoying video games, but it’s just a fact of life that people’s interests evolve over time.

Why don’t you find something the two of you both enjoy doing? Have a chat with her about the things she’d like to do in her spare time and try to join in those activities once in a while. It’s perfectly normal for couples to have different hobbies and interests, but there are always options for spending time together. Go to dinner, watch movies, take a weekend trip, exercise together or cook together. Family game nights also are a good idea; there are tons of unique and interesting board games that the whole family can play together.

Since you express guilt for occasionally spending lots of time playing, it is possible that your wife has come to resent the video games, especially if it’s taking time away from your involvement with her and the children. Have a heart-to-heart with her and find out how she really feels.

Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at and please include your initials and hometown.