I am in a romantic relationship with a woman who loves me. She is all that I have ever dreamed about, so I love her too. And my family accepts her. However, her family and social circle do not accept me. The problem is that our skin color is different, and they won’t even give me the opportunity to meet them (and have only seen me in photos). That bothers her a lot because we are happy.

We want to get married, and sometimes we are so desperate that she has suggested that we elope. I can’t agree to this due to my principles. I believe that love does not do anything inappropriate.

Dear Friend,

Congratulations on your relationship! It is wonderful that you have found the woman of your dreams.

Is eloping inappropriate? It depends on the circumstances. Some couples elope to avoid the high cost of a big wedding reception. That would be appropriate and even wise for those who can’t afford to meet the expectations of their families and friends. Eloping is a much better alternative than living together without being married.

However, in your case eloping would be a way of escaping unpleasant confrontations, so we agree that it would be inappropriate. Confrontations usually come whether you are married or not, so it is better to work it all out rather than alienate her entire family by running away.

We have no idea how old your girlfriend is. We don’t know if your income can support a wife. And we don’t know if there are other factors that are causing her family to disagree with your relationship. It is possible that skin color may not be their primary objection.

If she is of age, and if your combined income is enough to live on your own, then we suggest that your girlfriend tell her family that she loves you and that she wants them to have the chance to get to know you. Then she should tell her parents that you are inviting them out to dinner, for just the four of you. If they refuse or object, the two of you should keep asking and keep insisting, being very patient and understanding. Demonstrate your maturity by being willing to give them some time to get used to the idea. We suggest that you give them a year of opportunities to get to know you.

We also recommend that the two of you develop a personal relationship with Christ, asking Him to forgive you for your sins and to become the center of your lives. When the two of you have a shared faith, you will have a much more stable foundation for your marriage. And you will be able to trust God to direct your future.

We wish you the best,