How to deal with Indian parents when dating a Caucasian girl? - white girlfriend | Ask MetaFilter
Both my parents met each other on their wedding day (but that's a Growing up with strict Indian parents, I found a way to find loopholes in. 3. Because of this, your parents don't understand what you do. . You don't react well when your parents say exactly what's on their mind. Your controlling parents may want a say in your relationships. They are always around when you invite your friends home and often eavesdrop on your.
Yes Mummy, I was never comfortable telling you, but there were always boyfriends. Still, my career remained my priority above anything else—how could I let go of a top job offer? Then how can you suddenly change tracks? I know that I am approaching my 30s and it worries you.
I know that you think that my options are becoming narrower; I know that the one thing that you pray about is that I settle down with a nice man of my liking—and of yours.
I know that more than anything else—more than a job promotion or a salary raise—you want me to become a mother. You worry that I will remain unmarried—it is your worst nightmare. I am sorry, Mummy and Daddy. It is not my intention to hurt you, to cause you pain or embarrassment. But I am an adult now and my life is my own. I take full responsibility of my decisions, marital or otherwise.
And neither will yours. I will remain your daughter, I will still love myself, and more than anything else, I will always love you. So please, dear Indian parents, wherever in the world you are, understand today that your daughters are your sons, and that your sons are your daughters.
Ingender boundaries are blurred and boys and girls are equal—or almost. I do hope that as you raise your daughter into adulthood, you cherish and respect her choices, her life, and most importantly, her dreams. Views expressed above are the author's own. Blog India in Love India is going through major social changes today and changes in love, sex and marriage affect every one of us. This blog will chronicle observations and experiences of an India falling in, and then out of love in the 21st century.
Topics will range from but not be limited to, arranged marriage, sexuality, changing sexual mores of an entire generation, sexual crime and violence, women and their changing expectations, love and divorce, and much much more. I am Chinese-American, and my parents luckily did not especially care what race my boyfriends were although they probably would have been pleased if he had also been Chinese-American, no liebut they definitely had certain expectations about my behavior that are hard to explain to people outside.
I think you should approach this as a tactician. Is the amount of trouble you are going to stir up worth whatever change in expectations you hope to achieve? What, specifically, do you hope to gain out of this?
For many years I kept huge chunks of my personal life intentionally vague to my parents, and I think this was, for me, hugely beneficial. I think I learned to be tactful about certain things, and got better at ignoring others. I learned to change my expectations, knowing that my parents were who they were. I will say that moving out greatly improved my relationship with them.
When you see each other less often, when you don't feel the daily sense of obligation or guilt-tripping or accusations of cultural betrayal or whatever they heap upon you, it gets better. I feel like I relate to my parents as another adult now, because I am more mature and have gained considerable perspective, and it is frankly the best our relationship has ever been.
But that took time and distance I suspect it might be the case for you as well. In that case, I agree with Sara C. At 23, you're way waaaay too old to let your parents dictate your dating life. Seriously, people get married at that age. If you don't stand up to them now, this seems likely to turn into a lifetime of them calling the shots. If I were you, I would be doing everything in my power to move out and live with friends for the last year of school.
You've been legally an adult for 5 years. It's the only way I got to live a normal, adult-appropriate life. I know that, in your case, there are underlying cultural issues that I don't know much about, so I'll leave it at that.
But you're not abiding by their rules, you're lying to them. Move out if you can. If you can't, come clean if it won't impact your tuition, and take out a loan to cover your living costs if you need to.
The risk is that the parents will call the bluff and say sure, go ahead and leave. This is why, if he thinks it's at all likely for the parents to respond this way, he should not start openly rebelling unless he's not actually bluffing about leaving and paying his own tuition.
Can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't mean that. On the contrary, I think it's impossible to 'make' anyone agree to anything. I think that 23 is too old to be living under your parents' roof, accepting their financial support, and lying to them. If I were the OP, I would either find a way to move out and support myself for the final year go part-time and work part-time, if I had toor cut back on seeing the girlfriend because yeah, no parent is going to believe you're sleeping at a platonic friend's house 4 nights every week.
At the moment, he's running into trouble because he's having his cake and eating it. Trust me, I can see the attraction, but something's gotta give. In India many parents still help arrange their adult children's marriages.
When the OP says his parents "won't let" him go out at night, that is not because they are manipulative or he is not mature. It's a cultural difference. I am not from India.
What It's Like to Date with Strict Indian Parents
I just have lots of first-gen and second-gen Indian friends. This situation with your parents not wanting you to leave the house may actually prove to be a good test of your relationship.
Is your girlfriend willing to be patient with your situation? If you definitely feel that this woman is someone you want to be with long-term, then you may have to make a choice to move out of your parents' house and start supporting yourself earlier than you had planned to in order to make this relationship work. In my experience it's uncommon for Indian parents to have such a hold on a child post age This way you'll be able to assert your boundaries better, because you'll have more autonomy over your life.
And seriously, you can't sleep over there as much as you're doing and still hide it. She's going to have to learn to sleep with a teddy bear or something, because all the sleepovers is an obvious red flag. You don't want to get busted and cut off for this right now, right? This is going to be an exhausting, years-long battle, don't fight it with them until you absolutely have to.
Make sure that you can take care of yourself first, and that your girlfriend is worth that. Maybe this will be seen by the mods as "not an answer to the question", but it's something I think about every time these questions come up. And I feel like it might be valuable advice for any young person facing parental disapproval. Everyone, regardless of race, regardless of class, regardless of what country your parents are from, has to establish their own identity separate from their parents in order to become an adult.
You just have to. There is no way to not do this. Now, for some people -- and it's really hard to know whether you'll be one of those people, until you find yourself in this situation -- doing that is harder than you'd like it to be. I was one of those people, which is why I have a lot of feelings about it, over a decade later.
And so you come to a point. The point you're at right now. Your parents disapprove of something about your life, and they are not afraid to do batshit crazy stuff like forbid you from leaving the house in order to erase this thing they don't like about you.
You have two choices here. You can submit to them treating you like a nine year old. This probably sounds like the most attractive option right now, because the stakes aren't all that high and your parents have a degree of control over your life that makes rebellion inconvenient. And I think for people who never had to face that fundamental disapproval, those people will always see this as the prudent choice. Or you can rip off the bandaid.
Let them be disappointed. Let them rage, and try to ground you, and throw temper tantrums. There's nothing they can really do to you to keep you from being who you are. And the thing about letting them rage is that, sooner or later, it won't seem so scary to you. Which will free you up to make the kinds of choices you need to make. Better to watch them throw tantrums over how many nights a week you go out, or your girlfriend's background, and see this behavior for what it is.
Now, it's true that your parents might kick you out or stop paying for school. You should definitely weigh all the consequences before you decide the time is right to rip off the bandaid. Don't throw away a world class education for the sake of seeing your girlfriend that one extra night every week.
Telling your traditional Indian parents about your intercultural relationship | Madh Mama
If you don't have a couch you could crash on, a loan you could apply for, a job you could get, then maybe the time really isn't right. I was disowned by my parents when I was 19, over something that is really stupid in hindsight it also had to do with my dating life. It was a really bad time in my life. But it also turned me into the adult I needed to become. And it was worth learning that disappointing your parents isn't the end of the world. They will be so relieved when they find out she's white!
No, I'm just joking. When you're ready, you will experience what Sara C. Everyone has their own voice apart from their parents and the whole problem in your question is that yours isn't loud enough yet. Biologically I'm a part-Indian, part-German woman who grew up outside of Indian culture both cultures, really. I really didn't know anything about Indian culture at all until university where I was roommates with an Indian woman from my high school.
About five years ago she had an arranged marriage to an Indian man, with whom she completely and mutually fell in love with in the process of the engagement.
He also happened to be the oldest son which meant they'd move in with his parents. Once the wedding was over, their marriage seemed to nosedive right into a dark period wherein her parents-in-law aggressively exalted their parental authority over them.
For the first couple years their marriage suffered tremendously.
However she maintained that she was in love with the man they had arranged her with, and she had already started her family with him. She and I had a single visit after she got married, wherein she confided her struggles and maintained her course of action. This was followed by radio silence for a few years, with the odd message maybe once a year. Yes, compared to Western standards and through a Western lens we may describe this as dysfunctional, but interwoven in the choices of you and your parents truly is a value system plainly different from that of Western society.HOW TO DEAL WITH STRICT INDIAN PARENTS? MY PARENTS ARE SO STRICT! #strictindianparents
There's more than just dysfunction at work here -- there is a clash and blending of cultures on multiple fronts, which leads me to another nugget from my life experience I can share with you I also happen to have a German female cousin who married a Sikh-Indian man her high school sweetie.
You bet his parents reacted adversely to her from the onset, yet several years later my cousin and her beau and their three lovely boys are still here, still managing to navigate his parents. Sure, some things are still powerful points of contention the boys go to church, not the templebut consider this: And from my perspective, whether you go traditional or western in choosing a woman to be with, it seems to stand that regardless of whether she's a perfect ethnic fit or not, you will still have to contend with bringing your girlfriend into a strongly traditional family.
So just some food for thought from my perspective. I'd also like to add, do recognize that even though your girlfriend is "white" that doesn't mean she's necessarily lacking a possibly contentious cultural identity of her own. I know it wasn't easy for my German cousin on both fronts; she was from the proud German branch of the family and also had to maintain her choice of husband to her own relatives.
An open letter to Indian parents from their unwed daughters
Both women in these stories have my admiration for that. In short, I think your best bet is to definitely wait until you're sure the relationship is serious, that this is the woman you want to marry, and that she is on the same page with you before introducing her to your parents.
If you're truly serious about her, then building your own autonomy and getting out from under your parents' roof will without question make the process of introducing your parents to her go much more smoothly for all parties. FWIW, I think it's quite an auspicious coincidence you posted this question today, as this morning for the first time in the four years since she married, I had lunch with my Indian friend. She's a happy mother of two, is still happy with her husband, and has found her power in balanced relation to the respect she has for her in-laws as well as her cultural identity.
In fact we were chatting about the how "white is right" mentality can be almost poisonous to Indian identity, and how Westerners simply do not have all the answers. Even if we can only start seeing each other once or twice a year, I know it's signal she's been figuring things out and that's fine by me. The crucial part of your story is that you live at home.
Their house, their rules. They love you, but they can make your home life miserable if they find out.
Plan on moving out. Plan on losing their financial support when you do tell them, and you should, but only after you move out. Plan on them being angry and obstinate, maybe for a short time, maybe for a really long time. Plan on losing them, at least for a while. It will be painful, but it will be a necessary step in leaving the nest and making your own life. Do you want to follow what your parents want or do you want to follow what you want in your life?
You don't have to decide this tonight or tell your parents tonight. Finish school, get a job, move out of family home. Gradually assert your independence. And, for the love of God, don't string a woman along for years just to settle with the parents wishes! Or equally worse, marry the girl of parents choice, have kids, get frustrated with life and then start having affairs or hitting on other women to make up for what you "missed".
You can blame your parents and culture for only so long. Part of growing up means taking responsibility for your life and decisions. You haven't given us enough information to know if that's true. However they react though, taking responsibility for your own life and decisions is something you absolutely must do, background culture aside, and this will make any difficult experience in your life easier, whether it's this specific situation or not.
Your parents love you. Whenever they think about the people you're dating or will date, they are not just thinking about her. Their thoughts are tied in with their experiences coming to this country, their expectations of how she will interact with them, how they will interact with her parents, how the rest of your family will interact with her family, how both families will interact with your kids. But there is no doubt in their minds that they love you completely and that they want to love the person you end up with even if she's white, and they know it, because they have definitely considered that possibility — promise.
And, while everyone has their opinions, I think that the whole idea of families coming together is a pretty awesome thing and should be preserved.
Heck, in a Punjabi wedding we have the milni - literally "meeting" - ceremony where all the relatives meet each other before the bride and groom meet up for the ceremony. My point is that I don't think the right method for you and your parents to work through the ups and downs of your dating life is through butting heads, stamping feet and ultimatums. The only method I've seen work in my family and for myself after 15 years of figuring it out through lots of butting heads, stamping feet and ultimatums with them is through love and kindness personally, I wish lots of problems in society were solved from that perspective but that's even more off topic.
Not to say that there won't be arguments or dark periods along the way — there most certainly will — but they want you to be happy from the perspective of love, and it's the best way for the whole thing to work when dealing with them. What that means for your present situation and whoever you date in the future is that you both need to love each other and, when you bring your relationship public, do it from the perspective of respect and kindness as a team.
As I mentioned before, I dated and introduced my parents to non-Indian girls I had serious relationships with. Some, they really liked and some they really hated. In hindsight, the girls they liked eventually, and often with many false starts, but eventually were the ones where our relationship was built on love and respect for each other and our mutual respect for those around us.
Naturally, that's not just "an Indian thing", but for your parents it's the only way they can approach the issues around who you're with. So, when I suggested waiting to tell them, I'm mainly saying that there's no immediate rush to tell them.
Figure out your relationship with the girl, figure out what you both want now and in the future. Basically, build a strong relationship with the person you're with then approach your parents with some of the strategies I suggested above. The part where she's not Indian will be really tough for them, but at least you and her will have figured your own stuff out before approaching your parents. She will certainly need to be strong through it and should be willing to be strong with you.
And they've totally thought about these things, too. They just have, unfortunately, very different ways of approaching the solutions and poor ways to communicate having been raised in a very different way, on the other side of the world.
This is a wildly inappropriate and simplistic thing to say. Please do not tell the OP--and literally millions of other people in similar situations--that they suck at being an adult because they are struggling to find a balance between living autonomously while maintaining a good relationship with their parents. Possibly relevant bio about me: My wife did not tell her father about me--and I did not meet him--until about three months before I proposed marriage. Although my wife and I did not personally experience the challenges that you describe because her immediate family holds pretty cosmopolitian attitudes toward these issues, I know that some of my wife's distant relatives, and some of her closest friends, have had a more difficult time.
You have my sympathies. I think that jenfullmoon pretty much nails it exactly. I'll add only that if you do eventually decide to marry outside of your culture, but you don't want to sever your relationship with your parents because of it, you may wish to consider striking a careful balance between being assertive and being deferential to your parents when you break the news.
Something like "I'm old enough to make my own decisions in life. I love this person and want to marry her. But I also love you both and want you to accept my decisions, attend the wedding, continue to be a part of my life, etc. I don't want you to think that my decisions mean that you are bad parents.
Just the opposite, it means that you have done a great job raising me to be a smart, confident individual, etc. I am truly happy with [fiancee] and want you to share in my joy.
Perhaps make sure that other people's bios are not more relevant before deciding to not give an ounce of the benefit of doubt to your fellow MeFites. OP, I didn't say they suck at being an adult. I said they suck at taking responsibility. Two very different things. Not all adults are responsible, as we read on here often. Or worse, see in real life. Being one does not automatically result in the other.
You have to make active, conscious decisions to be responsible.