My first boyfriend; Dating across cultures (Relationship and Dating Advice)

Dear Guys,

I started dating a guy friend four months after he broke up with his girlfriend of four years. (He had intentions of marrying her.) He and I are dating and I know that we’ll never end up together. But is it wrong for me to want to be a real girlfriend in the mean time? We talk everyday, practically all day. Texting. We hardly talk about anything of substance; I feel he saves those conversations for his older friends. It’s not like I don’t expect him to talk to them about things; but he could talk to me too.

We hooked up rather quickly and whenever he mentions “I miss you” it’s always in conjunction with “let’s have sex.” So, when we do meet up, just the two of us, he always wants to know what naughtiness we’re going to do. It’s been five months and we’ve been on a total of four (max) dates where we just spend time together.  It’s been four months since we’ve gone on a date, just the two of us. But he makes regular time for his friends.

He says even though we don’t see each other often, we talk every day. But our schedules are not ridiculous where we can’t see each other. And I don’t think it’s fair to only see each other to hook up.  He says he cares so much for me and he loves me, but what if he’s just saying what I want to hear. If I bring up the fact that we don’t spend enough time together and I feel like it’s all about sex and I’d like to chill out on the sex part and have a more meaningful relationship, he’ll want to break up.

So, I don’t tell him and it instead reflects in my attitude. And sometimes I think, I should just tell him and if he wants to break up, then that’s that. We’re gonna split eventually. (Due to religious differences) So why should it matter? Did I mention, he’s the first guy I’ve ever dated, i.e. my first boyfriend. We’ve “broken up” before, but he still wanted the sex part of the relationship to continue and I guess he realized he couldn’t have it without being more emotionally involved. So, what if it’s just a song and dance?

I used to compare myself to his ex, because before we started dating and even knew it was a possibility. He had told me about her and how he felt, the things he would do with her.

I don’t know what to do.


Dear Ria,

Thanks for your question. There’s a lot going on here. We’ll try to address each issue one at a time.

First of all you’re not doing yourself any favors by keeping all of your feelings to yourself for fear that he’ll break up with you. Not only are you selling yourself short, but you’ve given him all the power in this relationship. You might be okay with it for now, but believe us, over time all you’ll feel is resentment towards him. Don’t settle and accept emotional crumbs. If you want more, then talk to him. Our rule: If you’re having sex, then it’s not too soon to define the relationship, or at least have a conversation about it.

However, from what you’re describing he seems pretty clear that he just wants sex. Maybe he’s agreed to some sort of “relationship” but honestly he would be exhibiting very different behaviors if he saw you as long-term potential. (He’d be taking you out on dates, introducing you to his friends, wanting you to meet his family, spending money on you, and making you feel quite special.) Basically he only makes you feel special when he wants sex.

Now we understand that the cultural piece is factoring into this situation, but we don’t think it’s the primary issue. So instead of exploring that issue here we decided to provide you with some links to questions we’ve previously answered on the topic. Check them out below.)

Bottom line: Don’t settle Ria. You deserve to be with a guy who’s as excited to be with you as you are to be with him.

Our suggestion: Talk to him as soon as possible. If he breaks up with you, he’ll be saving you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Let us know if you have any follow-up questions. And keep us posted.


ps. We hope you’ll do us a favor and share our site with your friends. Also, help a fellow reader out. VOTE on our Ask our Audience page and leave a comment if you have a moment. Thanks. We appreciate it!

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

Cross-cultural relationship; east meets west


2 Comments on My first boyfriend; Dating across cultures (Relationship and Dating Advice)

  1. So, I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month. He’s 32 and I’m 24. He’s from India and has lived in the US for 11 years. I mention this because his culture may make this current issue more of a problem than it should be. It is very clear that he likes me a lot: he calls me generally twice a day, he’ll even call in the afternoon when we already have plans to see each other in the evening, and not to mention he’s constantly telling me how much he likes me. Honestly, this is the first guy that I have even come close to entering into an actual relationship with. It’s been going really well, though maybe moving a little too fast. It’s clear he’s thinking of this with long term potential as he’s constantly asking me about future plans and my thoughts on family dynamics. I’m only 24, so I’m always telling him what I would like but also emphasizing that I’m still thinking about going back to school. So there’s some background for you, now from the problem. Our last date went really well…at first. But then we were just hanging out after a movie, talking, laughing. I was showing him some pics on my phone and he was the one who was actually scrolling through them when I watched as he scrolled to pic I’d forgotten about. It was me kissing another guy…it was from a year ago and is actually a very tasteful nice photo, it looks like the kind of kisses you see at the end of a movie, which is why my friend had taken it (without my knowledge) sent it to me and them she saved it to my phone. Well, he completely shut down when he saw it. 5 minutes later he was asking if I was ready to leave. I told him I felt guilty that he saw it, though I’m not ashamed of the pic as I didn’t know him then. A little later I asked him if he was upset, he said no and I know we’ve only been seeing each other for about a month and that I really liked him and didn’t want a stupid pic to ruin it and he said ok. We made a little more small talk before he dropped me home and then he barely kissed me goodbye which is really out of the ordinary for us. He’s going out of town this weekend, and he did ask me if I would’ve gone with him if he’d asked and I said most likely, except that I had work, so I’m a little confused as to where he’s at with this especially since he also texted me in the middle of the night right after asking if I was asleep. I was and didn’t get that til the morning today and responded asking him what was up and sorry I was sleeping. He still hasn’t responded.

  2. @A…….He doesn’t know where he stands with you and so the picture really threw him off. No guy likes to see a picture of their girl kissing another guy or worse. To be clear: You did nothing wrong. And you’re right, you didn’t even know him then. But no guy cares if the picture is tasteful or not. Next time you need to be more aware of what’s on your phone, etc. That said, just keep being consistent and let this guy know you are into him. The cultural piece could be factoring in. But be careful here. You don’t want a guy who is always going to be jealous and thus force you to live in a “small world.” It’s okay that he’s jealous now—and normal—since the two of you don’t have an established relationship, but keep your eyes open for a pattern.

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