Different Cultures: More than a friend; less than a lover

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Dear Guys,

I am from Asian descent and my guy is from a Middle Eastern background. He is more than a friend, but less than a lover. How? We love and care for each other but we can’t claim that we are lovers. We started as friends, but then later I started falling in love with him because he treats me so nicely. I thought he felt the same way but when I told him about my feelings he said he loves me but not as a girlfriend. I tried to understand him but I didn’t. We fight like a couple. We kiss and hug. He stays with me if he is free. We call each other more than 10 times a day, as if we’re  together the whole day. We worked at the same company. I am happy with this arrangement, but the problem is he hides me from his friends and family. Well, he doesn’t totally hide me but he can’t say anything about what relationship we have. He also can’t even answer my call if his family and friends are around.

When we have serious talks I am not included in his plans for the future. He said he will invite me to his wedding and I say the same thing. When we first talked I knew we were just friends, but the relationship has gotten deeper so now it’s hard for me to get out. I’m happy with him and he respects and treats me nicely. But sometimes I think about getting out.

Please advise.


Dear Hanna,

Thanks for your question.

If you’re sticking around hoping he will change his mind about your relationship, you’re going to be frustrated, disappointed, and ultimately unhappy. He sees you as a good friend, maybe even someone to be a little bit intimate with, but he’s made it pretty clear that you aren’t the person he wants to be with long-term.

Your different cultural backgrounds could be impacting his decision. It’s likely he hides you from his friends and family because he knows they won’t likely approve of his choice. Or even worse, they will make it very difficult for him to be in a relationship with you. (Some parents threaten to disown their children if they date outside their culture or religion.) Either way he should not be hiding you from his friends and family.

We know you care for this man deeply, but unrequited love gets old after a while. If he doesn’t change his tune soon, you’re going to start feeling resentful and angry towards him. We think you need to think long and hard about what’s best for your emotional well-being. Are you going to be able to support him as he starts dating other women? Are you going to be happy to attend his wedding when you’re not the bride?

You deserve to be with someone who reciprocates your feelings. All signs say that this guy is not going to be able to do that. Or he’s not going to want to do that.

Best of luck. And keep us posted.


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4 Comments on Different Cultures: More than a friend; less than a lover

  1. I’m an Asian too and attracted to this American guy at work for the past few months. We’re both in sort of stable relationships, but talk/IM all the time at work, weeknights, weekends. We shared many details about our pasts with each other, give each other gifts. Of late, we’ve escalated to dirty talk. He says he’s not interested in me, but he’s also said he cares about me, and I’m special to him.

    Every conversation seems to be headed to sexual topics nowadays, and I can’t think straight anymore. Does he want to get a rise out of me? Should I test things out a little bit? Does he like me? I’m wondering if the cultural differences make me blind.

  2. @Plum……If he says he’s not interested you need to hear that. Yes, he’s confusing you with talk of sex, but understand that that is just sex. It doesn’t mean he wants more than that. Guys are able to compartmentalize sex and love. It sounds like he wants sex from you, but nothing more than that. So proceed with caution here. Good luck.

  3. American n Dubai // April 15, 2018 at 4:42 am //

    I am American and was married to Middle Eastern for over 20 years. Live in Dubai.
    If he doesnt tell his family about you then he never will. They will never accept you and he will never consider you a GF. He will take what you give him.
    It doesnt men he doesnt like you. It means his culture will never allow him to be with you. Even his thinkin of GF is affecing him. Most think Gf material is not wife material.
    you are his time filler. I hate to put it this way. I have seen many girls come here and get hurt. It will never change. You will always be the go to girl for now and his secrete. How long can you accept this?

    Never seen a relationship like his last by the way.

  4. @American n Dubai…..Thank you for sharing.

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mixed Signals; is he just playing me? | The Guy's Perspective
  2. Is he playing me? | The Guy's Perspective
  3. Why is he hiding me from his family? | The Guy's Perspective

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