Cultural Differences Part 2: Am I being used?

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Also, check out our latest podcast Episode 33: Dating questions, dentist fees, pet peeves.  The Guy’s Perspective Podcast.

Here are the six relationship questions we answered on on our latest podcast:

Sarah is beginning to have a change of heart. Now that her man wants to introduce her to his family, she’s unsure how she feels about it.

Dan wonders whether or not he’s being played by the single mom he has recently started dating.

Miss Lady’s boyfriend turned down a trip to Vegas with her, but after his guy friends ask him he’s all in. Now what?

Jenny’s man cheated on her with seven to ten different women, but she still loves him. Why would he do that?

Emily has an admirer, at least that’s what her loving friends tell her. Are they right she wonders?

Riya is confused about a guy from work. They date; he decides it’s not going to work; but then he keeps texting even after she’s moved on. She is curious why he still is trying to be “friends.”

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TGP Episode 33: Dating questions, dentist fees, pet peeves

This week’s questions:

Jealousy: Friends with the opposite sex

Break up confusion; will he come back?

Here are last week’s questions:

Is he stubborn or just not that into me?

The Gym Guy: Is he interested?

Sex after child

Is he playing me?

Dating and Deployment: Should I start a relationship?

Dear Guys,

I have been dating this guy for a year and about 3 months. He will be 30 in December. I am 25, white girl with one child. No baby daddy drama, as he is not in the picture since she was 8 months. He has no interest unfortunately.

That said, I have an Indian boyfriend, whom had asked me to be his girlfriend OFFICIALLY after 3 months of dating. I then found out about a month after, that he has this culture issue. I asked when I was going to meet his parents. He claimed his mother found a picture of my daughter in his wallet and tried to tell him that I was using him and that I would not commit to him. So I let a few more months pass without mentioning anything about meeting them. Then he went on a few guy trips. I felt like he was totally living his life the way he wanted. So now, a year and few months into the relationship with this guy, he STILL has not taken me home.

SO, my question begins with CULTURE. He said that he spoke to his mom five months ago, and she tried to tell him that I will not commit, and if he was so serious about me, we should move in together. I offered for him to move out of his mom’s house and into my house. I only have a 2 bedroom and it is not spacious. SO he said it is too small for him, but he will find something and buy it, and then we’ll move in together.

He says he is looking, but I have no physical proof. Besides that, he is going on another guy trip. To me guy trips = money. I want to know if I should tell him that it has been too long for me not to have met his parents. He said he told his mom that he will prove it to her that I am not like the stereotypical woman she believes me to be. To me that is just a cop out.

I do not know why, but I can slightly understand why a 30 year old man would have a hard time telling his parents he wants to stand up for himself and move out after living for free all these years. I guess this is why I hang on hoping I understand. HOWEVER, I am wondering if I am wasting my time.

My daughter loves him and he’s great with her, but I need to know if I may be wasting our time. And I don’t want her to think he’s here to stay when he may not be.

I have offered him space and distance to see if he needs more time without me to sort things out. He says he doesn’t want time, and wants to be with me. He claims he’s doing everything he can now. Have you heard of this before? He’s East Indian. I read a lot of negative stuff on websites how they use white women until their arranged marriages. He was born in America. He seems Americanized. As a matter of fact I thought he was Hispanic before I learned that he was Indian.

Am I wasting my time? I hate to sound like a fool but I am so in love with this man and I figure if I wasn’t, then I’d have left him the moment he told me his mother couldn’t meet me yet. He’s said I am the only one he can see himself marrying, and that if we have to we will leave to another state… “if we have to?” very tough is blind, please tell me I am not blind..?


Dear Nicole,

Thanks for writing to us. (To read part 1 click: Men and their Guy Trips)

First of all the good news is you’re in love. Whether you end up marrying this man, or moving on with your life, love is a wonderful feeling to experience. So amidst all your worry, try to remind yourself of that and enjoy it.

Second, stop reading reading websites that make you feel badly. Men are individuals and generally live by their own rules. If you are with a man who follows the pack you won’t be happy in the long run anyway. You want a man who has his own beliefs and values, and lives his life by them.

Now on to your questions.

It’s alarming that his mother has so much influence on him. However, in Indian culture, family is very important. And the future of a son seems to be a higher priority than the future of a daughter, although that’s changed considerably in the last twenty years. You don’t say, but is your guy the oldest son, or the only son? If so, he has even more pressure on him to follow his parents’ wishes, and marry within his own culture. We still don’t like to hear that he won’t introduce you to his parents. That certainly is a red flag, and frankly he may not even be telling you the extent of their discontent with your relationship. (Your daughter probably is also factoring into the equation.) You are probably not the vision his parents had when they pictured their son happily married and settled. We’re sure they pictured him with a nice Indian woman. But that doesn’t mean you should give up; just be aware that their feelings toward you may never change, even if you two do get married and have your own kids as well.

You’re right to wonder whether or not he’s using you until a bride is chosen for him by his parents. But truly it sounds like he cares for you a lot and wants to be with you. That doesn’t mean he’ll end up choosing you, it just means that it sounds like his intentions, although a bit meandering, are good.

You are 25 Nicole, and pretty young in the grand scheme of things. Why not wait a bit longer to see how this plays out? If you don’t you’ll probably regret it. And we can’t, AND won’t tell you what you should do, because only you know how you feel toward him, and how he makes you feel.

We say proceed forward, but give yourself some sort of deadline. That’s a tough one, and we don’t even feel completely confident saying it, but you certainly don’t want to turn 30, five years from now, still in the exact same boat, not having met his family, and wondering how this is going to turn out. You deserve more than that, and so does your daughter.

Good luck Nicole.


21 Comments on Cultural Differences Part 2: Am I being used?

  1. That’s a really hard one. Cultural differences can cause problems, especially in a culture where the parents are so involved in a person’s life. I’d be careful, not just for your sake, but for your daughter’s sake. I’ve dated men and had it not work out and my daughter (who also didn’t have a father) was devastated for a long, long time (I eventually stopped dating, partly because of that). The Guys are right, both you and your daughter deserve the best and I think setting some sort of timeline is a great idea. And stick to it. It’s easy for a guy to say he wants to be with you, but showing he wants to be with you is a whole other thing.

  2. Hi Nicole! Wow, are you sure we aren’t dating the same guy? I posted back in December about my Indian boyfriend, and sure enough, almost a year into the relationship I still haven’t met his parents. I don’t have kids, but I am divorced and I am 16 years older than he is. And his parents HAVE NO IDEA

  3. (cat hit my hand, sorry!)
    Anyway, they have no idea he even has a girlfriend. I keep hearing he will tell them “soon” but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Next time they come to town, I am issuing an ultimatum – either he gets real with everyone involved, or he goes back to being single. He knows this is coming, too. At my age, I do have the patience but I don’t have the time to be played. This relationship is meeting every need of his but practically none of mine. “Nice guy” and all, but he, too, seems to be stuck in the college kid lifestyle (guys’ trips where homegirls show up, parents support him, no career yet, inability to face facts and be straight with people…). I thought things would change but they haven’t.

    Any way you slice it, I will email his mother as well next time they go back to Michigan. It will either be “great to have met you!” or “After hearing so much about your family, I really wish I had been given the chance to meet you.” Time for someone to man up and quit having secret relationships.

    Good luck! Keep your and your daughter’s best interests and needs in mind, please. Right now it looks like you are the only one who is capable of doing that.


  4. @Melissa….nice to hear from you. I hope Nicole reads your comments. Well said! We’ll let her know. Sorry to hear things haven’t progressed, but glad you’re going to issue an ultimatum. It seems like it’s time. Keep us posted.

    @Raven…..thanks for your input. Yes, it’s about actions, not words.

  5. Ye si have read all the comments and I am happy yet sad, but i feel clarity. As we all know, sucky situations come and go. MEL sorry to hear your going through this, if you didnt mention they lived in Michigan Ide have thought they were the same person as well. I shake my head at this. I will stick to my guns, continue to keep my guard up as since the day i posted this question, I had a conversation with him that, I am not longer waiting around for his plans and I am looking for an upgrade in life. If i get this promotion I have applied for I am leaving. He can follow or he can stay. Not to say I have given up and do not care, but if people are meant to be they will. I will not wait around for him to do something he has no intention or doing if that is the case, and or, If he does, the invisible timeline in my head is 2012 Mid year. That is my limit, after that he can catch me if he can because my head and my heart are now disconnected =)
    Thank you all for shedding some light, as my priority is my daughter and the saying goes, IF A MAN LOVES a woman, nothing can keep him away, If he doesn’t nothing can make him stay! Keep you all posted =) Have faith

  6. @Nicole…..thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good luck. And keep us all posted.

  7. Annette // July 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm //

    Hi I’m a 46yr old woman I been dating a man for 3 years I love him but is curious if he feel the same he tells me he really like me alot..and finally have me over (spending the nite with him and his 2 young boys) we have gone on one trip together with 2couples which are his friends but other than that I’m not sure 3 years is a long time to just hear someone say they really like you alot. He take a trip every year to his home town to see his grandmother who raised him his mother is not living he says he’s going to take me one year but never does. Just recently while on his trip home he called me and said that he really miss me and really like me alot he said he talk about me all the time to his uncle….but he said he feel he can’t give me what I want…..all I want is a loving relationship….he claims he not into hugging and holding hands and being affectionate and I so want these things….one time he took me out to eat for my birthday…before I could get out the car he was already at the restraunt door 🙁 then he kept leaving the table to go outside and smoke and talk on the phone I was so pissed cause he did the same or similar thing on the trip I’m thinking of backing off and give him some time to really figure out what he want …..I’m up in age and sitting around for years to figure out if this man love ….I don’t know what to do

  8. @Annette….please contact us using the contact form. Thanks so much.

  9. I’m a mexican-american girl that has a indian bf. Whom have been dating for 11 months now and next month is our anniversary he has told all his close friends about me. Which made me feel really happy because he wasnt trying to hide me. But slowly we talked about talking to his brother and parents. But when he finally stepped up to the plate and asked his mom “what if ” she got mad at him and didn’t talk to him till later that night and said that will happen if he does, in other words she won’t talk to him ever again. He was sad about her responce then he tried talkin to his brother but his older brother got after him and told him he was wasting his time and they know what his parents will say. Then last I found out he lied to his brother and told him we broke up…so now he is hiding us from his family while my parents and brother and sister love him. I am at a lost on what to do. He often ask if I was in his position what would I do? And I told him I would say that I would tell my family that i love and care for that person and they shouldn’t be so quick to judge that person till they get to know them. But he has become afraid of what his parents would say. And has supposly already asked his brother if all of us could meet him in person but his brother just turns the other cheek and refuses. By the way my bf is 25 (has his masters degree) and I’m 20 (studying basics for nurse) both of us are well educated and very family oriantated.We both really love each other and when ever we see each other its like falling in love all over again.

  10. @Amy….thanks for your comment. Your situation sounds complicated. We’re sorry to hear that. Do you have a question for us? If so, contact us using the form on the
    Ask the Guys page on our website. One note: Parents often have knee-jerk reactions, but it’s very rare for a parent never to talk to their kid again over a marriage. Let us know
    if we can help in any other way. Questions accompanied by a donation go to the top of the line. Otherwise we have a 3-5 week wait right now. Hang in there.

  11. Hello everyone, Its nikkie again…. so its now January 2012 and I had taken the choice to give him an ultimatum… I said By december 2011 I need you to make moves, tell them and or introduce us so that I know how ot proceed. He agreed he needs to move out he is 30 now, and they are yelling at him for coming home late..(10pm) STILL. Makes me feel he isnt a man… I told him this ultimatum finally in October. Its now January, we have broken up because nothing happened, he made every excuse in the book why my apartment was not comfortable for him, for him to have to go home to fix something ect… Then fianlly He told me His mother puts him on a guilt trip and that it hurts to have to choose between her and me. So i offered my friendship… so that he does not have to choose. He said he cant do that because it would hurt to much to be my friend. (i disagree because we have all friendship qualities that couples lack in relationships) our only fight is “where is this going” when im feeling vulnerable. NOW we are broken up… and because I thought if i did this that he would come around if he truly is ready to fight for me, he will take the risk. Hes hurt and Im hurt. Its not what i want, but i dont know if there is any other options. He offered for me to meet the mom but he said she will be confrontational. Im thinking of talking to her see if it helps… ill keep you posted. good luck everyone. (leaning more towards…not settling)

  12. @Nikkie…..Thanks for the update. We’re sorry this is such a struggle. But we definitely think you need to see this all the way through. Meaning, by all means meet his mom, whether she’s confrontational or not. Maybe the break up did shake him up a bit. The fact that he even suggested for you to meet his mom seems like progress in our minds. Keep us posted.
    And we hope your daughter is dealing with all of this okay.

  13. Ok so here’s my story. I met this guy and instantly I felt sparks. He would take me out on dates be a gentlemen then disappear. I mean he would pull a Houdini. This lead me to believe he had to have been dating other women, so I did not take him that seriously. I felt a connection with him the more time we spent together but after 5 months I gave him a ultimatum. I told him that if he did not make me his girlfriend I would stop seeing him. I braced myself for him to say he wanted things to end, but he didn’t he said He wanted to try a relationship with me and I was now he’s girlfriend, but after two 2 weeks he started acting distant and tried to get me to break up with with him… he ignored me for 2 days which caused my to send him 9 consecutive message which lead him to saying he wanted out because he felt trapped. After that we met up had the break up talk, told him I didn’t want to be his friend, he pouted and we went our separate ways. We did not speak agin for about 6 months. He started commented on my Facebook them twitter, then eventually stated texting then calling and finally I agreed to go to the movies with him. After that we were pretty much inseparable we would Skype when he was out of town talk everyday, he’d text me all day everyday then before I knew he was introducing me to people as his girlfriend everything was great he went to my graduation, celebrated my birthday, we spent Thanksgiving together. Then I go to his company party he introduces me to everyone as his girlfriend people comment on how cute we are as couple and the next day he dumps me in a text message and say “Im not happy were we are”…” When I get back from my trip we should chill out a bit”… I responded Wow…Guess I wasn’t worth a face to face break up. He said that not it but I asked what was wrong so he answered. Anyway later on that day my car broke down and he had to love work and take me home. In the care ride he would not talk to me or tell me what happened. Finally he I asked him to tell me why he was breaking up with me and he stated “I got scared” He said this is his first long term relationship and ppl and asking him if he’s gonna take the next step and he’s not sure being he never feels truly happy in any relationship. After that he dropped me off said he call when he got off work but he didn’t. He sent me a text message that said “:/ ” I didn’t respond but its been 5 days and I haven’t heard anything. What would cause a man to act like that?

  14. @Sasha……This is the behavior of a man who is unsure of what he wants. He’s got a long way to go before he’s ready for anything serious. He’s still pretty much looking out for himself. (The selfish phase.) Which means he really has no idea how to be in a committed relationship. Our advice: Unless you want a project to work on, we think you should move on. This is just going to be more of the same. What do you think?

  15. Hi all, its me again!

    Success. Ive met the parents <3 We are getting married! It was all culture. My best advice is if he is willing to bring you home. Let him live happily. Be a good partner and friend and dont break his balls, bc if he didnt love you enough he wouldnt go through all this. It was a rough year. Fighting for me. I totally see why an escape 3 times a year was needed…. he has also very much so calmed down. Its family vacations and a guy trip or 2.
    – Have hope and patience.
    ps. we've been together 3 yrs now.

  16. @Nicole…..Good to hear from you. Congrats! And thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi The Guys! Here is my problem: I have been with this guy for two years, and we have had a lot of problems. However, we always work through them. I know that he is not happy with his life right now. He is 24 years old, not in school, working at a job he hates, and not as close to God as he would like to be. He is depressed because he says he is not doing the right things in life & sinning. He told me yesterday that he has been sad about this for two years, and that we cannot be together right now. However, when he took his anger out on me a couple days before that & said (after almost being arrested for something idiotic) “we will never work out b/c I’m Muslim & you are not”, I completely lost it. I was hurt and I blocked him from everything in my life & refused to talk to him. This only lasted two days because he continuously called me (about 30 times) & even showed up at my living quarters saying that he will not let me walk out of his life. He was upset that he told me the truth & I that tried to cut him off instead of talking to him about my feelings. That hurt his feelings because he loves me & he knows that I love him. He apologized for taking his anger out on me, but he said that almost being arrested put everything into perspective/he figured out that he really needs to get his life together. However, it hurt my feelings that he didn’t express his worries to me two years ago & I kind of felt lead on. But, he says that he knows he cannot ask me to wait, BUT he does not ever want to lose me. He said he needs to sort out his life first & then we will see what happens. Right now we are pretty much more than friends but not dating. I do not know what to do. I love him and I know that he loves me, but I want more; he is not ready for more. Also, I do not feel like he is giving me the love/attention that I want. He makes plans with me sometimes & never shows up, ignores my calls & calls when he can, but other times he won’t stop calling or texting me. If I ignore him or don’t pick up, he will call several times. What I am confused about it: if he is playing me & doesn’t love me, why would he keep me around for two years & refuse to let me go when I try to leave? And, in general, what do you think is going on really?

    p.s. I have not met his parents, and he has not met mine either. However, he says that he wants to soon, and he wants me to soon. Also, I have met some of his friends, but I have never hung out with his friends & him.

  18. @Lee……Honestly, this doesn’t sound that promising. Is he playing you? Yes, in some capacity. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s being deceitful, but it does mean he’s keeping you from exploring other options. Basically you’re in an emotional holding pattern with still no sense of what he wants. FYI: Guys usually know right away what kind of potential they see in a woman. It’s been two years, plenty of time for him to know what he wants from you. His inconsistent behavior is also a red-flag. You need to consider everything before you continue waiting around for this guy. Remember: You are in charge of your own life. You’re giving him too much control.

  19. @Oneoftheguys sorry! I didn’t see the post on here. Thank you for your response, so I am pretty much a backup plan?
    I ended it with him and have not spoken to him for about a week now.

  20. @Lee….Keep us posted. Hang in there.

  21. Hi Guys,

    Before you get to my question, just letting you know I’m very upfront and blunt. I don’t like wasting time so I thought I’d just end this issue now.

    I’ve been talking to this guy for 4 months. We started talking at the end of the school year (I’m a college student, so is he), and have continued through most of summer. He’s visiting another country so we haven’t hung out.

    Anyway. He says he likes me a lot but never calls even though he’s able to. He has actually promised to call me and never did because he ‘forgot’. He says he likes my personality, looks, and just me in general. He’s asked me on a date( I don’t know why, we’re in 2 different countries right now). And he says he hates texting but will text me all day everyday. But I have never gotten a good morning or good night text, he just falls asleep and texts me when he wakes in the morning. He asks me a lot of personal questions(family,friends,future,past exes,etc) and will answer the ones I ask most of the time. But he tells me about girls hitting on him, people he’s had sex with, and stories about his exes.

    I thought guys called girls they liked and used ‘forgot’ as an excuse for don’t care, sent good morning/night texts, and didn’t talk about or ask about exes. I’m generally confused and I’ve asked him about it. He just says he likes me a lot and changes the subject. Help?

    Thanks a bunch, you guys are awesome.

4 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Is he my boyfriend or am I just a booty call? | The Guy's Perspective
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  3. Dating across cultures; should I wait for him | The Guy's Perspective
  4. Why is he hiding me from his family? | The Guy's Perspective

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