Dear Steve and Shirley, 

I'm a 22 year old black female living and working in New York City. Many people consider me to be the model of a young girl climbing her way to the top but it seems as though even I can escape the conundrum called the black male. Anyway when I was 19 I began to date a 25 year old man from Harlem. To me he seemed to have a promising future as a cartoonist. He was funny. He was caring and he accepted me in all my quirks. The problem is my parents and my friends hate him. 

They dislike the way that he dresses which I can admit he needs a wardrobe update. 

But just because someone is not fly doesn't mean I can't see past that. My father actually said that his appearance is disrespectful. I have told him many times that my family is big on appearance and I've asked him to please dress appropriately when he knows that he will be around my family. Recently on Thanksgiving and came to my grandmother's house for dinner I was appalled to see that he showed up in jeans and a t shirt a dingy t shirt. At that when I confronted him about his attire he told me that it seemed superficial to him that appearance should count so much and that even if he were a millionaire he would have worn the same thing to prove a point. I wanted to scream you are 28 and you should use common sense to realize that it is not about your point it is about appropriateness. My parents and my friends have been pressuring me to break off my relationship with him because they feel like he is not worthy of me. But I have feelings for him now since I think not since thanksgiving have I been able to have a conversation with my parents about this topic coming up and after having it pounded into my head I feel like it is the right logical thing to do. But my heart is telling me different. Is there something that I am missing. 

Is there something about this guy that my parents can tell by looking at him that I cant see because I'm caught up?