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My Girlfriend Is Keeping Our Love a Secret


Published October 5, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated October 6, 2016 at 4:58 p.m.

Dear Athena,

I am in a relationship with a woman I love. I am white, and she is Indian, from Asia. I know she is in love with me, but there are issues. When we spend time together, everything is amazing. But because she is Asian, she doesn't want her family to know about us, and we have a secret relationship. In four years, we have never even been to the cinema together. Except when we've been on holiday, she won't be seen with me in public.

She goes out with girls from work or her sisters, which in itself I don't have a problem with. However, since I'm left at home while she has fun with everyone else, I feel lonely and excluded. We have plans to get a place together one day, but our relationship is built on the promise of a future life together. My question is: Is it worth the wait, or am I wasting my life away on a false hope?

If I let her go, I might regret not giving it a chance. And I have been in a lot of relationships, most of them with users or cheats, so I don't want to go through the dating game again.

This is tormenting me. What do you think?



Dear Tormented,

This is some serious forbidden love. It's a terrible shame that you have to bear the brunt of what seems like some pretty un-evolved judgment. Your situation sounds unbearable. You've been in a secret relationship for four years! That is a heck of a long time to be waiting for a moment that may never come.

Wait any longer, and you'll become bitter. In fact, your letter sounds like the boiling over of feelings that have been brewing for a long-ass time. You say everything is amazing when you're together, but being with your partner in the flesh isn't the only meaningful part of a relationship. You know this, or you wouldn't feel so devastated.

It's time to put on a brave face and offer her an ultimatum. She has to confront her parents, or you have to end it. Otherwise, this could go on for even more years! Can you honestly handle that? I couldn't, and you shouldn't.

You deserve to be with someone who sings your name from the rooftops, or at least someone who isn't afraid to be seen buying gas together. She has to decide how she wants to live her life. If she wants to keep you, she'll have to face her parents. If you two are planning to get a place together, she has to do it at some point, right? It's now or never.

If she won't take that risk, it's time to move on. Yes, putting yourself out there is scary, especially when you've had some shitty previous experiences. But put your bad luck behind you and have faith in the possibility of meeting someone kinder — someone who will be unwavering in her love for you, no matter who sees it.