Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Can't stop judging boyfriend's unladylike daughter

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

I've been dating a wonderful man, "Len," for a few months now and it's been really great. We have a lot in common -- we're both divorced, successful and have grown daughters.

I'm struggling with keeping an open mind about Len's daughter, "Becca." While Becca is beautiful and smart, she is also, for someone in her early 20s, opinionated, sarcastic, and very open about her sex life. She describes herself as "aromantic" (i.e., not interested in anything long-term with men), which I would find equally unacceptable if she were male. She couldn't be more different from my daughters, and while I know that's her right, I find myself silently judging her choices all of the time. She also engages in risky sports like rock- and ice-climbing, which worries Len a lot, but she doesn't let that bother her at all.

I'm afraid my attitude is going to become evident, so I'd rather change how I feel about her rather than just keep hiding it. How do I do that?

-- Silently Judging

Wait a minute. Fully grown Becca shouldn't climb because her daddy doesn't like it? She should commit to a man long-term even though she's not interested (and these unions are wretched, regardless of whether a man or woman forces them)? She can be opinionated and sarcastic, but only if it stops by her early 20s?

--Sponsored Video--

I'd take a hundred Beccas over one more 1955.

You don't have to love her or even enjoy her company, but please at least recognize:

How badly the world needs its Beccas and other characters. How your own daughters today reap the benefits of the fearless Beccas of yesterday. How boring the world would be if all the Beccas were shamed into hiding by people who think brassiness is just a failure of breeding and taste.

How unseemly it is to judge others, period, whose chief offense is to be different from you, as if the superiority of your way is a given.

...continued

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