Hello, I am new here...have never really posted to a messageboard before but had found this site some time ago while helping my cousin plan her wedding. Now, it seems, I have my own etiquette dilemma.
I am a European university-aged girl dating an American boy of the same age. It bears mentioning that I spent much of my childhood in a country known (in America) for it's "mail-order brides", and I have very heavy descent from the country, as well. I have been living in America for over five years now, and am well assimilated -- fluent in English, here legally, everything. I am not in university at the moment because I am unsure what path to pursue, or even if extended study is right for me. My situation is such that I will be able to live comfortably without a career, so for now, I am taking a break.
Now that you have the backstory, let me tell you the problem. I have been very seriously involved with this young man for just about a year now. We have a wonderful relationship, which is not surprising as we had corresponded constantly and quite amicably for the past five years (we were introduced through a mutual offline friend). We both live separately in the city where he attends university, and I met his parents for the first time in August. We have met on several occasions since then, and I have found them to be very friendly and agreeable, and felt most accepted. When my boyfriend asked what they thought of me, they both unwaveringly approved of me, and as far as we both knew, still did.
Now, my boyfriend is set to graduate university in December, and his parents know that since I have moved here in August, I have not had a job nor attended school. My family funds my living, not my boyfriend, although he does buy things for me sometimes (and his father must know this as he has made note that boyfriend's spending habits have increased). Yesterday, my boyfriend told me something that really surprised (and hurt) me. Over the winter holiday, his father sat down with him and, rather bluntly, accused me of "putting my life on hold while (I) wait around for (him) to marry me". He also said that the amount of time we spent together seemed unhealthy.
This is a reaction that my boyfriend has never seen from his usually quite rational father, and I do not understand from where it could have come. He sees them only about once a month, and the past two or three times I have been invited to a gathering with his family, I was unable to make it -- and in fact, was not in the country for the entire winter holiday. I am not sure how that constitutes spending too much time together, as the only indication he has that we do would be my boyfriend's sister who merely said "they spend a lot of their time together". Neither my boyfriend nor I have ever mentioned an engagement or marriage to anyone, especially his parents! And there has been no indication from anyone that I was looking for a marriage. Honestly, the only reason I can think of this is that the father fears I am a "mail order bride" and just looking for a greencard or an easy life. On my second or third meeting with them, he took me aside as I was leaving and asked me if I was an American citizen, and how it came to be. He claimed that a colleague of his was interested to know, but now I really wonder.
Please, am I thinking irrationally? The odd thing is that his father is still quite eager to have me along with my boyfriend on visits, and I have been invited to a beach trip coming later in the year. What should I make of all of this...and how should I act to my boyfriend's father when next I see him? I know I ought be polite, but it may be a bit hard. Thank you.