My New Girlfriend Is Lebanese — Do I Tell My Parents?

I’m a college student about to finish my junior year. Six weeks ago I met a Lebanese girl and I fell in love. She was born in Lebanon, and moved here when she was five. Her family is Muslim, though not too observant and pretty Western overall. I’m only 21, so I have no idea if she is going to be the girl I marry, but I do really like her. I haven’t told my parents about her yet, but am now contemplating it.

My family isn’t too observant or anything, but they are very pro-Israel and have some of the anti-Muslim, xenophobic tendencies held by some Zionists. I, on the other hand, am very critical of Israel and am an outspoken advocate against the settlements and more.

As such, I am debating whether to introduce her, or even mention her, at all this summer. We are both doing internships away from our families in New York City, so they will have no idea unless I say something or get everyone together when they come visit. On one hand I think there is no point in telling them right now, but on the other hand I think it might help them understand that there are real people on the other side. Still, I hate the idea of my relationship getting pulled into politics like that. So, better to lie by omission or tell the truth and have this turn into another ugly debate about loyalty to our people?

The Seesaw is a new kind of advice column in which a broad range of columnists will address the real life issues faced by interfaith couples and families. You can email your own questions, which will remain anonymous, to: seesaw@forward.com

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My New Girlfriend Is Lebanese — Do I Tell My Parents?

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