Cross Cultural Relationship; East meets West

Hi Guys,

I love your work! It’s great and very entertaining. Cracks me up mad :)

I’m not sure if you guys have any experience about relationship dynamics between an Asian and a Westerner. But I’d like some opinions.

My man is from the States and I’m an Asian. Also, he is almost 40 while im in my late 20s. We have been together seven months, going strong and happy.

I asked him before if he is committed and he said he is. He used the term “all in” which made me very happy indeed. But I am unclear as to what kind of expectations or dynamics does a white guy in general hold towards a lasting relationship. I might have subscribed erroneously to the belief that westerners don’t regard commitment as seriously as Asians would. Can you please tell me the differences between a white man and an Asian man in terms of perspective and expectations for a lasting relationship?

Also, is there any advice for a young lady like me to know about dating an older man? Issues I should look out for perhaps?

I’d just like you to talk about your take on a lasting cross cultural relationships, and compounded with a bigger than usual age gap.

Many thanks!

Candy

Dear Candy,

Thanks for your question and for your kind words. We do try.

We think you may be a bit too concerned about the stereotypes you may or may not have heard about “white” men—let’s say Western men—as opposed to Asian men. Obviously cultural differences factor into every aspect of of a person’s life, but from our experience there are many Western guys who take their commitments just as serious as any guy in the world. Sure, maybe there’s less divorce in Asia—we don’t have exact statistics—but that still doesn’t mean there are more happy marriages or long term partnerships in Asia. It could just mean that more people stay together, whether they’re happy or not. So we think you need to focus on the individual—your guy— rather than try to understand him from a cultural perspective.

The one cultural phenomenon that you should be aware of is that some Western Guys have a certain “thing” for Asian ladies. It’s only worth mentioning because we would be remiss if we didn’t mention it, but it’s not something you necessarily need to focus on. It’s a matter of taste. And although that may sound very superficial, men pursue women they’re physically attracted to—at least at the onset. And when that physical attraction is there, men also think about commitment more seriously. It’s a good thing.

Now let’s address your question about your age difference. We’re guessing it’s around a 12 year difference? Is that about right? He’s probably 39 and you’re 27. (How’s our guess?) If this is the age difference then this doesn’t really fall into the category of dating an older guy. If you were in your early twenties that would be a big difference. But since you’re in your late twenties you’ve experienced life without him. You’ve probably been out in the working world, and probably have dated other men. Concerns about dating an older guy come when there’s a striking difference between experience—usually when the difference is creeping towards 20 years—which throws off the power balance. If you find him trying to “educate” you and treating you like a young girl rather than an equal, now or in the future, that might be a concern and a red flag. But otherwise, no. (Watch our video on the topic: Dating Older Men)

Candy, if you really love this man and trust that he loves you we don’t see your cultural differences or your age differences being an issue. Of course we can’t look into the heart of this man and tell you for sure that he means what he says, that’s up to you to decide. But when a guys says he’s “all in” that’s generally a positive sign.

We wish you all the best,

THE GUYS

ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks!

Readers and Candy: Check out some of our other posts about dating across cultures. You may find them interesting. 

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Other questions about dating across cultures: 

Why is he hiding our relationship from his family? 

Cultural Differences Part 1: Am I booty call? 

Cultural differences Part 2: Am I getting played? 

Different cultures; more than friends, less than lovers

24 Comments on Cross Cultural Relationship; East meets West

  1. Hi guys – thankyou for answering my question!

    You are spot on with our age! You are also right that we have both traveled, met and dated many people know what we want, and are independent. He obviously has more experience in life and career than I do but he never talks from a top down perspective. He shares and talks to me like he would a peer. Very unlike some Asian men. 

    I can’t help agreeing with you that I might be overthinking cultural differences. I should focus on him as a man instead of as a guy of different ethnicity. I did ask him if part of his attraction to me has to do with me being Asian, I didn’t want him to think I subscribe to the typical submissive stereotype. He told me that it isn’t so, but who doesn’t love a little exoticness in his girl! Haha, don’t know what to make of that…

    Anyway, this is a small sharing from me as I imagine it will be nice for you to know our dynamics and see your readers beyond a name and a problem/question. 

    Keep doing what you’re doing, and I do indeed let my friends know about you. Every girl can use some guy’s perspective on love and life :)

    Candy

  2. @Candy…….Thanks for giving us some positive feedback, and for giving us a few more details. We wish you all the best. Hope you visit again. And ask another question anytime.

  3. Hey Guys,
    First off, I realize this is long, but if I’m going to get sound advice, it’s going to be here so I want to be thurough. PLEASE please please read the whole thing. I welcome your feedback!
    I am a white American girl who just got out of a 7 month long relationship with an Indian man. It was the best relationship Ive ever been in. He is a doctor here doing his fellowship at a nearby hospital and I am currently in school majoring in Marine Biology.
    When we met (online) I was in a great place. For the first time in my life I was perfectly content to be single. I was focused on school and happy with my path. But, as I am 25, all of my friends and family have paired off and gotten married, and are now starting to have kids. So I thought, “Hm… if I want to be headed in that direction in the next few years, I should probably meet some new people.” So I gave a popular dating site a shot. Within the first week he had messaged me. My first thought was honestly that he was too good to be true. VERY handsome, intelligent/educated, seemed very nice. What was he doing on this site? So we chatted for a few weeks until he finally asked me and I agreed to meet for a drink. This was after much deliberation. I was a little nervous (as I had never dated outside of my race and knew little to nothing about Indian culture) and almost cancelled at the last minute. My expectations were honestly very low when I got to the bar.
    When he walked in everything changed… I don’t believe in love at first site, but I am sure that when people say they experienced it that this is exactly what they’re talking about. I have never been so spun around before in my life. Imagine, if you will, a freezing cold, miserable northeastern evening. I’m sitting in a nearly empty bar, drinking a beer while I wait for him to arrive (since he got stuck at the hospital doing a procedure). I’m talking to the bartender about my low expectations for this date, but at least it would be an evening out. And in walks this gorgeous indian man. Dressed in dark jeans and a grey pee coat. I literally thought, “Holy shit”. And his confidence (that’s what really got me.. in combination with his incredibly flirtatious eyes :) was tangible. He walked right up to me, looked me straight in the eyes, handed me his picture ID from the hospital and said, “I’m here to settle all of your concerns about who I am.”wow. I was a goner. I didn’t have a chance. We sat and talked about all kinds of things. I found myself enchanted with his life experiences, with differences between my life and his. The whole time I felt very at ease. I never felt invaded or uncomfortable. I found myself engaged in wonderful conversation. The night progressed quickly and Ive never looked back.
    Since then a whirl wind of things have happened. I was surprised at how enchanted he seemed to be with me and how often he wanted to share in my company. We talked every day. Simple texts: goodmoring :), How has your day been?, goodnight :), when do you want to come up again? I would see him (in the beginning) twice, sometimes three times a week. It would soon settle into once a week.
    Both of us went into it calling it what it was: We were dating. But we didn’t have any expectations for the future. I come from a pretty conservative Christian family, who would have a hard time (although not be devistated) if I married someone who wasn’t also a Christian (although I have no problem with this). And he had told me about some of the pressures of arranged marriage in Indian. However, whenever (and I mean whenever) he talked about it, he was always very vocal about not wanting to marry an Indian girl. He was always very optimistic about marrying a white girl. He would say things like, “My parents would prefer I marry an Inian girl but they wouldn’t be too upset if I didn’t”. We talked about it often. We talked a lot about his expectations for his family even if he marry’s a white girl (i.e. his parents moving here and living with him, etc.) None of which I had a problem with. I come from a much more traditional family myself. I still live with my parents, my grandparents live with us, there has never been divorce on either side of my VERY large family, we all still live in the same area and are very close. So the Indian way of life isn’t totally foreign to me, like it might be for a lot of white american’s.
    Because we didn’t feel the need to pressure each other into any specific commitments, our relationship grew so naturally. We had so many wonderful conversations and had plenty of time to really get to know each other. Nothing was off limits. I grew so much because of these conversations and found myself really starting to fall for him. I began doing things like cleaning and learning to make indian dishes for him (which naturally he loved). The first one of these meals was a surprise for his birthday. He was so surprised and touched. The first time I cleaned for him, I thought the smile was going to come right off his face when he got home from work to find me washing the dishes. This is when the marriage comments began. He was say things like, “see this is how it’s supposed to be, husband comes home from work, wife is taking care of the house, they eat dinner together…” the whole time he’s grinning from ear to ear and kissing me over and over again. “You deserve a nice gift for this. I’m going to take you out to dinner anywhere you want to go.” Of course I was content just to be in his company on the couch. :)
    Shortly after this he started doing things like buying me gifts at the indian store (a pair of earings, a nose ring, some bindi’s). Just because he was thinking of me. He tried to get a sari but couldnt find one in my size. Randomly, one night, he stopped what he was doing and all of sudden said, “I should give you an indian nickname!” “Um ok..*chuckle*” I said. “would you like that?” he asked. “Of course I would.” So the next time he saw me he informed me that he had decided that my nickname would be Soniye (which he said meant cute or lovely one). He would save this name for sweet moments, not calling me by it all the time. But when he used I knew I had dome something he really appreciated.
    We started talking about more serious things. How we want to raise our kids. Where we’d want to live, so on and so on. One night, we decided to go for a walk along the river. It was a beautiful night in the beginning of spring. We were walking quietly, enjoying the weather and he suddenly said, “Life takes you to strange places sometimes.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He said “I mean 6 years ago, when I came over here I never would have thought that I’d have met a girl like you and be walking along the river with you tonight.” He looked at me and smiled and in that smile I saw such contentment. I realized how content I was. I realized I was in love with him. He said these same words to me many times after that, always with the same sentiment, so content.
    He used to to this thing all the time… every guy does it. lol You all get this look on your face when the girl you like has clearly done something to endere herself to you. It’s this look of pure affection. It’s a “you’re so cute, I just want to kiss you right now” look. He used to stare at me like this all the time. And whenever I’d ask him what he was thinking, he’d just shake his head, unwilling or unable to tell me. One particular night, not too long after the walk, he was looking at my like that. So I said, “what?” like I always do, expecting no response. Instead he looked into my eyes and said, “You’re the kind of girl I want to marry”. I honestly don’t even remember what I said in response. But I was shocked to hear him say that. I remember that much.
    In May his parents were coming to visit the US for the first time. I didn’t expect to see him while they were here and I certainly didn’t expect to meet them. So naturally, I was surprised when he invited me up for dinner. At the time, I thought of it the way any normal american couple would. It’s important, but it’s not the biggest deal in the world. I had no idea how big a step this was for him. I didn’t realize it was the first time he’d ever done it or what it would inspire in his parents. He introduced me as a friend and I knew he would. His parents were LOVELY. His mom loved me. She was very vocal about this the whole night. She kept complimenting how sweet and pretty I was. “I really like your friend, Ro. She’s very sweet and very pretty” She kept saying to him while looking at me. She made dinner, we sat and ate while she asked me about school and what my plans were. Ro definitely took this opportunity to show me off a bit. After dinner we ate the hulwa I had made and brought with me. She made Ro take pictures of her and I together, both of her arms rapped around my waste and her head on my shoulder. She called out to her husband to come take a picture with me too. Then she wanted to watch her favorite Bollywood movie with me (I couldn’t understand a word but I love the music and colors of Bollywood so I was happy! :) After that it was time to say good bye. She presented me with a gift of jewelry and gave me hug, wished me well and I left. The next day I asked him if everything was ok after he walked me to my car. He said “Yeah, everything was fine” But that’s all I heard.
    After they left, I went to see him the next day. He was so happy to spend time with just me. But toward the end of the night, he started talking to me about how much pressure he’s feeling from them. He told me that they brought up marriage multiple times to him. He seemed so sad. I didn’t interrupt him because he clearly needed to talk. But he could see that I was upset. He walked over and took my face in his hands, “It’s nothing to be upset about though. I don’t always make decisions based on what my parents want. I care about my own happiness too.” This was when I realized why he had introduced me to them. I realized that I didn’t know enough so I started researching. Ive come to find that his mothers reaction to me was very good but that i’m sure she’s still going to push for an indian girl. I realized that I needed to decide how I felt and left him know. If he was going to be forced to make a decision about this soon, he needed to know that I wanted to be part of the equation.
    I had it all planned out. But of course, things rarely go as planned in life. Instead of telling him this in a sane, intelligent way, my emotions totally took over. The conversation didn’t go at all how I planned. I started crying and he had no idea where it was coming from. I wanted to simply say, “I know we both went into this not necessarily having expectations. I don’t want you to feel pressure from me, I’m not trying to influence your decisions. But if you are going to have to make these decisions soon, you should know that my perspective has changed and it’s definitely something that I want.” The conversation ended with us decided to talk about it when we were less tired and less emotional. I realized i wasnt going to be able to be non-emotional about it, though. So I wrote a letter instead. I explained what I loved about him, the fact that I had fallen in love with him, that I understand the trials involved, but that I thought we could over come them. He responded in a very appreciative way. He said thank you for all the nice things I said, sared some of his own compliments for me. Then he told me that his mom asked if we had a romantic relationship. He told her, “no” to which she responded, “It’s better that way” (at least that’s all he told me). He told me, “This is what’s expected of me.” “Trust me when I say this is very hard for me to say to you” is what he ended the letter with.
    After that letter, the next time I saw him, he was way more affectionate with me than he normally is. Every time I saw him for the next month, he had to have a hand on me the whole time. Clinging to me almost. It was like I was water in the Sahara Desert. He couldn’t stay away from me.
    A few weeks later, i felt him pulling away a bit. We still saw each other just as much and when we would he was just as clingy. But in between our visits he was distant. He didn’t respond to my text as quickly. I found out he was talking to a girl his parents wanted him to be talking to. It’s not like this is the first time. I know they’ve been doing this for years (he’s 28) He felt so guilty for it and apologize numerous times. “Are you mad at me?” he’d always ask me (that seemed to be his biggest concern whenever we’d have an emotional conversation). I told him I wasn’t but I didn’t want to be in the dark either. Be honest with me. Tell me whats happening.
    Again he went into emotional mode. Always wanting to see me (sneaking out of the office with his pager on, during the day to spend a few hours with me). I was house sitting again one particular weekend and I took him there. We went to a movie and out for a drink first (where we sat and actually flirted for the first time in a while, at the bar). Back to the house where I made dinner and then cuddling on the couch like we always did before the night ended. The whole night he kept asking me what I was thinking. It was clear he wanted to talk about it but I didn’t see any point so i brushed it off. I was sitting on the courch waiting for him to come back from the bathroom. When he did he sat down, wrapped both arms around me and put his head on my shoulder and said, “I know Ive been acting a little aloof with you lately and I’m sorry for that but you know how it is for me.” “I know” was all I could say. But I didn’t really. How is it for him now? I know he loves me… that much is clear. But things seem to have changed since his parents have been here.
    A few weeks after that is when we broke up. We got into a bit of an argument (hardly an argument really… we just discussed a topic we don’t agree on and had to agree to disagree in the end) and then I found out my mom has become pretty suspicious (they don’t know about it either) and it was all too much in one weekend I guess. I ended up texting him and the conversation went downhill very quickly. He could see how much it had started to affect me and felt responsible. He said, “We knew this would happen someday.” I told him I didn’t know. I said, “You always talked about it so optomistically. You always made it sound like you were definitely leaning toward marrying a white girl. I feel like you were able to put the pressure off while you’re parents werent here. All you had to do was hang up the phone and go back to you life. But after they came everything changed. The pressure was too real. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how it seems to me.” “That’s exactly what happened” he said. I told him that I was having a hard time understanding why he’s so willing to sacrifice his own happiness in this major decision when he’s sacrificed so much and gone against the grain in many areas to get where he is. “why can’t you marry for love and still marry someone who fits the criteria that your parents look for?” “Ashlee, I really care about you but I never thought about marrying you. I didn’t love you.” WOW. what a blow. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s saying what he needs to here, I know he did love me. I don’t doubt that. He wouldn’t have gone to the trouble he did (introducing me to his parents) if he hadn’t thought about it. He knew what they would think. He knew they would ask him. He was testing the waters. At least that’s my observation. He told me he was surprised with himself for not cutting it off afterhis parents left. “Why didn’t you?” I asked. He couldn’t answer me.
    I didn’t want that to be the end. I wanted to see him again. So he agreed to meet with me two days after this. I went up to his apartment (he was again sneaking out of the hospital to see me) for a few hours. Even though it hurt him, he let me sit and explain why I fell in love with him. I wanted him to understand that i wasn’t sad simply because i liked him and wasn’t working out. I wanted him to realize how MUCH I loved him, WHY I loved him. He said, “I don’t want to feel guilty, Ashlee.” “I know. I don’t want you to either, but I need to say it.” “Ok. If you need to say it then say it.” I could see him absorbing everything I was saying, just as I had seen him struggle with his own feelings so many times before. I asked him if he remembered the night he told me that i was the kind of girl he wanted to marry. I expected him to deny it. He wouldn’t look me in the eye and with his head down he said, “Yes I remember.” I asked if that was just him having a weak moment. He said, “No. I meant that. I do want to marry someone like you. I HOPE I marry someone like you.” He told me it had nothing to do with me. I was a great girlfriend. I had done everything right. He didn’t want me thinking that Im inadequite in some way… like I made a mistake.
    And then he let me lay with him one last time and ball my eyes out. THIS I know was particularly hard for him because he hates it when I cry. He tried to stop me at one point but all I had to do was say was his name and wrapped me and just let me cry. “Ok, just cry if you need to”. His shirt was drentched by the time I was done. I asked him for one last kiss before I left. He took my face in his hands and kissed me over and over again. He held on for a while with the last one. He walked me to the door, one last kiss and then said what he always does, “Get home safe” and I left. He text me a few minutes later and said, “Whoever gets you will be a lucky guy, Ashlee. take care of yourself”
    That was the last time I saw him. He made it very clear before I left that I could text him whenever I missed him. In the last month and a half (which is how long it’s been since we broke up) I have text him twice (really only in the last week). He has text me back but waited almost a day each time. I can feel his reluctance. He wishes me well and asks how I’m doing but I haven’t received any text from him unsolicited. This month has been extroidinarily hard for me. Barely a moment goes by where I don’t think about him.
    I don’t know what to do. Everything in me tells me to fight for him. Even though I am pretty certain that he loves me, his last words still cause me to doubt. I know men don’t do half the things he did for me, even until the end, if they don’t love you. They have no reason to cause themselves such guilt. But it’s still messing with me. That last time I saw him he said, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, Ashlee. Maybe I’ll marry an Indian girl, maybe i’ll marry a white girl. I don’t know” I said, “You know if you changed your mind, all you’d have to do is call.”, “I know. Thank you for saying that.” He responded. I know why it ended. His career is incredibly important to him, and rightfully so. He has sacrificed so much to get here and it’s such a crutial time for him. Because he introduced me to his parenst and opened that door, he’s now faced with balancing his career, how he feels, how his parents feel, and how I feel. That’s too much. He cant’ make such intense decisions right now. He wouldnt want to marry anyone right now let alone someone he’d have to fight for. It’s not the right time. He doesn’t have the emotional or mental energy to spend on that while trying to focus on his fellowship.
    Right now I’m trying to give him space and take some time for myself. I need to regain some control (which I feel Ive been mildly successful at). It seems obvious enough to me how he felt. I realize that his family is important to him but that his own happiness is too. Is he just not ready to make the decision? Am I over-thinking his actions? Was I correct in believing that he loves me? Is it possible for us to get back together?
    If it is possible, what should I do, if anything? I realize that guys communicate differently than women. I want to make education decisions and move forward in a way that best helps both of us. Our relationship has always been one of open communication, but I feel like that’s out of the question right now. What should I do?
    Thanks!

  4. @Ashlee…..This is really hard. We’re sorry. Did you get a chance to read any of the other posts on our site about this topic? You’re certainly not the first person to have this issue. In fact, we’re pretty certain we’ve had three or four questions about dating an Indian man. Maybe reading them will make things slightly easier for you. Maybe not. We’ll try to address all of your questions. Yes, we agree that he did/does love you. But did he ever actually say it? Did he ever say the actual words, or did he just hint around it? Maybe it seems unimportant, but there is a distinction there. For someone to actually verbalize what they’re feeling, means they are announcing it to the world. And that means much more than hinting around. However, even if he didn’t, we still he think he did. But frankly, he seems a bit formal and stiff and traditional. His comment about the way marriage is supposed to look—husband comes home from work, wife cooking, eat dinner together—was telling. That was an indication that he still thinks in a traditional way, which also means he still thinks that way for the big picture too. His parents visit was the turning point. His mother may have liked you, but she was putting on a show. It’s clear she’s very connected with her son, and since she’s probably a bit “progressive” she knew that treating his “friend” poorly wouldn’t be good for their relationship, and that matters to her.. But you took her behavior as an endorsement, when really it was her being a nice host and a shrewd negotiator. The bottom line Ashlee is that your guy chose his family and traditions over you. This is not really about his career, this is about fulfilling expectations that were set in motion the day he was born. He believes in that, and thus, he’s going to follow through with that. We’re not saying you shouldn’t fight for him. (You have to do what you have to do.) But we’re not encouraging you because we don’t think anything’s going to change unfortunately. We’re truly sorry. We hate giving this kind of feedback, because we know you’re in a lot of pain. But that’s really how we see it. He made a calculated decision, a pro-con decision. He didn’t choose with his heart, he chose with his mind. And when a guy is able to do that, he’s going to go the whole way with it. It’s a cultural thing and unless you’re part of that culture, it’s really impossible to understand. Your thoughts? Questions? ps. Yes, this was the longest comment we’ve ever gotten. But interesting. We hope you’ll share our site with friends. We appreciate it. Thanks.

  5. Wow. I appreciate the honesty. Really. I think it’s the most down to earth, straight forward answer that Ive gotten so are. I find that people are very concerned with saying something that will hurt my feelings so they surgar coat it instead. So I appreciate this.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hate that I’m reading this. It’s pretty crushing. Maybe I just have too many notions that Love can conquer all things. Sometimes this isn’t the case. It’s true that I don’t understand the ability to make a decision that hard from a totally logical stand point, forsaking all emotion. I pride myself on being a logical woman, not ruled by how something makes me feel (which is why I appreciate the truth) but I’m not that separated from them.
    I see your point about his mom. I don’t think it was contrived but I realize that even if she liked me as a person, I am not what she’d prefer for her son. It’s not that I don’t think that could change with time. But that would take him shower her, which apparently he doesn’t want to do.
    I guess the only thing I can do is sever communication at this point. As much as that KILLS me, I don’t see any other option. If what you’re saying is true, there’s no point in trying. He’s already moved on anyway.
    Thanks guys.

  6. Oh and to answer your questions:
    I have read your other posts. I have read ALOT of posts/blogs/books, etc. on the subject since we broke up. I found them informative.
    No he has never said the words, “I love you.” I didn’t expect him to (I’m not a need to hear it kind of girl.)

  7. @Ashlee…..Understand our words come from a supportive place. We’d hate to see you in a holding pattern for months/years, waiting for this to change. He made a choice. It makes no sense to you. And we understand that. But your plan is the right one. Move on. But one point we’d like to make. You might not be the “need to hear kind of girl” but you still deserve to hear that. You’ll be happily surprised when it happens and you feel the same about the person. And we know it will happen for you. When it does, please come back and let us know. In fact, keep us posted on how things are going in general or ask as many other questions as you’d like. We are interested. Take care of yourself. And spread the word about our site. We would truly appreciate it!

  8. I know they come from a supportive place and I thank you.
    I know I deserve to hear it, and I will be excited when that happens. :) I would have held out for it If it weren’t for your response so thank you for providing clarity. I will keep you updated. And I’ll certainly spread the word.
    Thanks again.

  9. @Ashlee….You’re welcome. And take care of yourself.

  10. Dear guys,

    This is my first time ever consulting my problems on a website and and I really hope I can get some answers from you, because I have never ever loved someone so much that I became so courageous… The feelings that I have inside me are driving me crazy…!!!

    My exboyfriend and I live in different countries. I spilt up with him a month ago. We had been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years. At first, we could see each other every two months and be with each other for three weeks or sometimes even longer. He lived with me. When we could be together, he totally just focused on me and we always had the best time together. He told me he felt the same way that I felt and I believed him. Then following by a difficult year this year, he changed his job in order to be with me and hopefully he could be sent to where I am. Then, things didn’t turn not that well. He was sent to Japan once this year for two weeks in August (We were apart since February). I put my job on hold and went to visit him there. He paid my plane tickets, so I assumed that he really wanted to see me and make this work. But the problem was when I went to visit him, I used his laptop while he was at work. I found out that he had been chatting with other girls randomly when I couldn’t be with him, and that destroyed my trust to him. We talked about this and he promised that he would never ever do it again. He said he just couldn’t handle being so far away from me. He didn’t mean to hurt me. I wanted to break up, but he just hugged me so tight and begged me to wait for him and ever since that he had been trying so hard to get a job where I am, so he could be with me, but he failed to get his company to transfer him here. Then after being apart for nearly four months, finally he was here for a business trip for a week. I couldn’t help but browsing through his messages and photos on his phone when he was asleep even though I know I shouldn’t have done that. Again, I found photos of one girl that I recognised who had been chatting with him online. Photos of her being almost naked. I know men are visual animals and he probably didn’t take her seriously. He was probably just enjoying getting pictures?! What really concerned me was I also found a girl who lives just an hour from him had been messaging him and the way they texted each other didnt look like they are just friends. He didn’t know that I went through his stuff the first night he arrived. The next day I checked again, every single of his messages with her was gone as if it never happened. He texted me regularly and very often when we were away from each other. Nothing seemed odd or irregular. He always replied my messages very quickly. I just couldn’t figure out how he did that without that girl noticing it or maybe they are just friends and I just overreacted??? What’s more, he hadn’t asked me to meet his parents… I felt that I am undercovered. So, I was planning to move to where he is to study my postgraduate degree, but instead of getting a positive feedback, he said nothing. Those things hurt me a lot, so that was why I broke up with him by saying I had enough. Then, I asked about the texts and the photos, he just gave me a cold shoulder by accusing me browsing through his stuff and he didn’t want to continue like this anymore. I didn’t try to contact him after we broke up. He had been sending me messages every few days to ask how I was. One night he sent me a text message saying he missed me a lot but he didn’t apologise for what he did or say he still wants to be with me. He hurt my feelings, but ridiculously I want him back??? We were so happy as a couple when we were together. Is he waiting for me to ask him back because I broke up with him or is he just playing with my feelings by telling me he misses me?( I am sure it wasn’t a drunk text…) I guess what I felt for him was real and he was once, too. I feel so hopeless right now. Please give me some suggestions from guys perspectives. What should I do?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  11. @JJ……We know this is difficult. We’re sorry. A few thoughts come to mind. We know you miss him and still have feelings for him, but that doesn’t mean you did the wrong thing by breaking up with him. Without trust, love doesn’t mean much. And if nothing’s really changed, do you really think you can start this back up and everything will be fine? Doubtful. Why? Because he’s been lying to you. Even after he said he would stop his behavior he still continued. And then he has the audacity to accuse you of snooping. (Have you read our other post: My boyfriend is on dating sites. Is he cheating? You should read it and all the comments.)
    The distance makes all of this harder, but that’s all the more reason you need to be with someone you can trust. Guys are visual, but he’s gone well beyond the visual. He’s conversing, flirting, and possibly cheating with these women. Is that the kind of guy you think you can build a life with? To even consider getting back together a few things need to happen. 1. He needs to apologize to you. 2. He needs to reassure you this will never happen again. 3. He needs to take steps to change his behavior. (See a counselor or professional perhaps) 4. Commit to moving. (No reason to be in a long-distance relationship if the goal isn’t to be together.) if he does those things, then maybe, you have a chance. But even still, we can’t guarantee that this will work out well. Finally, he should be the one to pursue you, NOT the other way around. What do you think? Ask as many follow-up questions as you’d like. ps. We hope you’ll share our site with all of your friends. Follow us on Twitter; @TGPBuzz. And take a moment to help a fellow reader. Please VOTE on our Ask our Audience page. Thanks!

  12. Hi guys,

    Thank you so much for responding my post so fast. I truly appreciated it!

    I guess I have been thinking for the past few days about what I did wrong in my previous relationship. He told me that he was the happiest man in the world when he could be with me, but he had also been through the worst time when he was apart from me… It was my first time that I went to visit him and I found out he liked to chat online. We talked and he spent a lot of time on skype with me when he felt like talking to someone,
    but part of me just couldn’t trust him completely. Before that, I didn’t go out with friends at night and get drunk at bars even though how much I missed him. Ever since I came back from that visit, I went out on weekends and always got so drunk that sometimes I didn’t answer his phone calls. I wasn’t trying to get him jealous or let him worry how my nights ended. I just simply didn’t know how to deal with the feeling of infidelity. So, one night, I went out and I didn’t use to drink, so I got completely drunk by just two glasses of wine. He had been trying to reach me, but couldn’t… He left me an angry voice mail and said he would stop caring me that much. I cried and apologised the next day and told him that I felt that I hated to be so far away from me and that was the only way that he would actually call me to check up on me. After that, I tried to focus on being a better person and go out occasionally, but he didn’t try to reach me when I went out at night after that incident. I was always the one who called him at the end of the might. He came over during the New Year and I introduced him to my parents. My parents absolutely adored him! Then I started to make my own study plan. I went to a language school and studied his language. Now after a year, I am able to convey my ideas. So, I thought I could find a job in his town, but I also failed. Then I thought maybe applying for a Master’s degree is a pretty good idea, so I texted him about what I was planning to do. He sounded excited as much as I did. I started to prepare the admission exams in September and he flew here in November. I told him that I might get accepted because I scored high in my exams. He was like “Did you talk to your parents about it? How are you going to do that? (I guess he means who is going to be my financial support?! )” He told me he couldn’t see me fail again and he just wanted me to be happy. I was thinking I was doing this for both of us to be together and all of a sudden he had doubts?! I was willing to move to a new place and face all kinds of difficulties because I believed love can conquer everything. I believe he is an amazing boyfriend if we are not so far away from each other. He didn’t message any of his “potential” girlfriends during all of his stays with me, even when I wasn’t around. I met up with one of our mutual friends the other day to return my ex item and his gift that my parents gave him for Christmas. (My parents don’t know yet that we broke up.) He told me that he knew already that we broke up. He said it was a better decision for both of us. His words hurt me because he was the one who once said my ex and I made a lovely couple. I broke down crying when I got home. That was the night that I realised even though he disappointed me, I still miss him and I am still willing to give it a second chance? I know I should be pursuing him which I am not. When he said he missed me and would take him years to get rid of the feelings he has for me. I told him that I missed him, too. I had the urge to tell him that he could reverse that we didn’t have to do this. I wasn’t sure if he was giving me a hint or just simply expressing his feelings? (I read a post about missing people doesn’t necessarily mean you want them back?) Anyways, if stopped sending me messages last week to check up on me. Do you think it is a good idea to apologise for the things that I did wrong in the past? And message him about we can stop missing each other because I can be where he is? I want to find a closure because he seemed angry and hurt when I broke up with him and he was unwilling to make any comments. He just simply agreed. Before the taxi drove away, he turned around and looked at me until the taxi vanished at the end of the road. (Thank you for your patience. I think it is a fantastic website. I will definitely share this with people who are in the same status as me.)

  13. Sorry for posting it after another post. He ended up telling me three weeks ago when we just spilt up that he had never ever loved somebody so much, otherwise he would have given up long time ago. Then, why was he hesitating and being worried about me trying to settle down where he is? He said it is going to be difficult and he doesn’t want to see me in pain. Ironically, his stall was the reason why I am in pain.Whenever I was with him, I just wanted him to be happy around me, so I left a lot of unquestioned questions… That is probably why I am sitting here and wondering” what if…”. I have been reading the posts, related articles, but I am still confusing by the signals he sent me. I just can’t get my head straight.

  14. @JJ…….It’s going to take a while to get your head straight. Be patient with yourself. Based on your last post here’s our suggestion. You need closure. And if apologizing and trying one more time to make things right will help you get closure one way or another, then by all means reach out to him and try. There’s nothing worse than regret in this life. And if you don’t do this you may feel like you didn’t do everything you could to save the relationship. We will tell you that we don’t have high hopes for this plan. We think he’s moved on, and we think you should do the same. However, we support you giving this one more shot if that will help you get to a better place. What do you think?

  15. Will I hurt my self esteem and my dignity by doing that?

  16. @JJ……It’s a tough call. You know where we stand on the situation. (Move on) But we also understand that sometimes in order to move on, a person needs to do everything they can in order to gain closure. If you have good self-esteem we don’t think this will hurt that fundamentally. Sure, it might be a blow, but if you feel good about yourself, it will only be temporary, just one more knock in life that you pick yourself up from. Once again, you’ve got to make that call. Take care and good luck. Keep us posted.

  17. Thanks a million, guys! You are great and this site is brilliant. I will think it through how I am going to write him. I will keep you posted.

  18. @JJ…..Thanks and good luck. And definitely keep us posted.

  19. I wrote him and finally put my mind at ease. One night he sent me a text message and said told me he wants me back and he regretted letting go of me. After a long chat about why we failed last time and agreed on me moving there next year, being a bigger part of his life by introducing me to his family and friends, and spending more time on skype we we are apart. We got back together, because I still love him. I know we had problems, but he convinced me that he could do better. Ever since we got back together, he has been distant. He used to say he misses me and he loves me, now he rarely says that to me. I asked him the other night if he is still happy with.me or does he need space, he said that everything is fine and he is now “relaxed”? What is that supposed to mean? I also let him know whenever he needs space, please let me know. He told me that I have been thinking too much. I just don’t know how to react around him, whether I should back off and stop showing him that I care? Or should I still be supportive and caring? Why is he being distant, after all he was the one who wanted me back. :( I am confused and I feel hurt because I did tell him how I feel about this, but my questions didn’t get answered by him.

  20. Oh, guys. Thank you for being there for me. Merry christmas and happy new year.

  21. @JJ……You may love this guy, but ask yourself, are you happy? Because now that you’re “back together” it seems like things are just as they were when you were broken up..(He’s distant, non-communicative, etc.) Maybe this is just who he is, but if that’s the case, is it possible that this particular type of personality doesn’t work with yours? This happens a lot. To us, it seems like this relationship is forced, and that is just isn’t quite working.

  22. Hey Guys,
    I commented on this threat about 6 months or so ago about my intercultural relationship and subsequent break-up (mine was the longest comment you’d ever gotten.) I found the advice helpful and straight forward.
    I’m back again with an update and a few questions.
    First, It’s been about 7 months since we’ve broken up. In that time We may have talked 4 times or so. Mostly “Hey how are you? are you still alive?” sort of texts. One random text from him in the middle of the night about a month or so after we broke up, about a hoody I had forgotten to return in the beginning of our relationship. I was confused about why he even text me because it was clear he didn’t want the hoody back. I never returned it. Other than that, no contact. I haven’t seen him at all in that time, no phone calls, just a few short texts.
    As the time in between texts has gotten longer, the text have also. Nothing to write home about, but a bit more comfortable.
    This week was his birthday. I couldn’t remember if it was the 18th or the 20th so I text him on the 18th just in case. Just a quick Happy birthday. But for some reason, totally on impulse, I ended up texting him,
    “On a side note, I’d like to return your hoody. I’d be up for grabbing a coffee sometime. Or I can just mail it, it which case, just let me know your address hasn’t changed and I’ll send it back.”

  23. Sorry about that… for some reason the comment got posted before I was done writing.

    Anyway… as soon as I sent the text I felt mild regret. But then I thought, “he’ll almost certainly say no.” In fact, If i had to bet on it, I would have banked that his response would be, “yeah my address is still the same.” But to my surprise, he responded, “We can meet up for a coffee or a beer or something sometime.” I was shocked. I didn’t responde right away so about ten minutes later, he said it again. I suggested Firday (today) and he said that he wasn’t sure about that day but he would let me know. I told him that if this Friday doesn’t work that next weekend would.
    I didn’t want to push the subject so I waited for him to text me and let me know. Yesterday (thursday) rolled around and I hadn’t heard anything from him. So later in the afternoon I text him and asked, “Where do you wanna meet tomorrow?” It’s now 9 o’clock Friday morning and I haven’t heard anything. I know that he has a crazy busy schedule and may be busy. But to me, in the era of instant communication there really isn’t an excuse for waiting this long to let me know. If today doesn’t work that’s fine, but please tell me so I don’t waste my time. I’m also very busy.
    The questions I have are:
    1. His positive response to my invitation seems like a good sign to me. Is it? The conversations that Ive had with men, the reading that Ive done, etc. They’ve said that men usually don’t meet up with an ex if they have no emotional investment anymore. In other words, it’s just not worth it them. (Forgive my girliness but I just don’t think like a guy) Is his meeting with me an indication of a possible desire to reconcile?
    2. Is there a reason he hasn’t gotten back to me?
    3. Any tips for when we actually meet?
    If I think any other questions i’ll post. :)
    Thanks,
    Ashlee

  24. @Ashlee……We don’t want to crash your party, but all the issues are still there. Why does he want to meet up with you? Who knows. Maybe to have sex? If he really wanted to get back together with you he would have been calling you and begging you to come back. Don’t you think? He answered with a nice response to your invitation. And now he hasn’t followed up. Being busy is just a lame excuse. You should read THE RULES. While we think some go a bit far it’s not a bad starting point. So we have no tips except we say move on from this. You’re still in an emotional holding pattern. Take care. And sorry to be such a bummer.

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