He refuses to change his look for family visit

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating a man who regularly gets his fingernails painted and has a lot of facial piercings.

Harriette Cole

I didn’t care for the piercings much when we first met, but as we grew closer, I realized that they were a form of self-expression, and now I really admire them.

He will soon meet my family for the first time, and we’ve already started bickering about his piercings and nail polish.

I don’t want them to judge him or say something hurtful to him. I asked that he simply remove the piercings and nail polish before meeting my family, and he won’t do it.

He says that they should accept him for who he is, regardless of his appearance.

I’m hurt that he wouldn’t honor my request to make me feel comfortable. Is he wrong for refusing to remove them, or am I wrong for asking him to change?


DEAR PIERCINGS: I can understand why he does not want to change and why he is pushing back.

You had a choice when you met him as to whether you could accept him for who he is and the way he presents himself. Did you ever talk to him about your initial reaction to him, or how you previously felt about piercings and nail polish on men, for that matter? Is your reluctance to expose him as he is to your parents something you ever told him about before? If it is brand new, your boyfriend probably is feeling hurt.

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