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Trying to figure out where its going with a girl I'm dating

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  • Trying to figure out where its going with a girl I'm dating

    I'm a guy, white mid-thirties dating a girl, British Muslim half Pakistani, half Iranian, she is 20. I'm divorced, work full time make good money, she is a student studying in her second year, she still lives with her parents and her father still exercises a lot of control over her life. She has had one serious boyfirend before, I clearly have a lot more experience. She is beautiful, hot, really smart, she is an extremely classy girl with interests in culture, literature etc, we get on extremely well, chemistry is good.

    Things are going well we've been going out for 4 months on dates, all fantastic and I'm starting to develop feelings for her. We've not had sex yet but have kissed a lot, I did invite her over to my place a month or so back and she advised me not quite ready yet.

    She hints at the idea of a relationship with me but I've not asked her to be my girlfriend as she was pretty adament the first two or three dates that she wasn't looking for a relationship.
    I think she really likes me and is considering a relationship with me, she's been very silent with texts recently, I've not chased her but I dropped her a text today as we're due to go out on Thursday (first date in ten days) and wanted to confirm details.

    I understand that the age gap, cultural differences and problems assoiated with Muslim girls breaking away from their families make the decision to start to have a relationship with me a really tough decision for her. We have discussed and she has said previously that a choice between a man and her family is a choice she would be prepared to make.
    I understand that it may be many months before this girl chooses a relationship with me, I'm prepared to wait, I'm pretty confident she will choose me eventually we really do 'click' and appear to have loads in common.

    Question is: Is the relationship the right thing for her and me?
    • It could really upset her life having a relationship with me that if it gets more serious it could take her away from her family which would be painful for her
    • She does get scared of the relatioship idea sometimes and she could get so flaky on me that she bails anyway, causing me a lot of pain
    • I really am getting far too attached and as this goes on that's only going to get worse
    Should I just have a talk with her about all this and try to decide together what to do, she is very smart and together (esp considering her age)?

    Any advice please...

  • #2
    You're a divorced white man being foolish enough to start falling for a girl that is a Muslim whose father still exercises a lot of control over her life and she's already told you she doesn't want to be in a relationship?

    May I ask why you're pursuing this?

    I think you fear commitment so you're being safe by bonding with a woman that clearly will probably never go further with you or she will and then dump you and break your heart when she finishes school.

    I'll add that if you're smart and you actually use some logic instead of idealism regarding romance, you'll clearly see the folly in seeing her again after your Thursday date.

    How long ago were you divorced and have you been in a relationship after that divorce and prior to dating this woman?
    Last edited by phasesofthemoon; March 12th, 2018, 08:16 PM.
    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


    • #3
      Further: Does her father know she's dating you or is she keeping you a secret like most Muslims do when dating outside their race, religion and culture?
      "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


      • #4
        She keeps our dating a secret from her parents and a lot of her friends, although she talks about me to her sisters, cousins and her best friend who I've met. She has said of our dating 'this is my secret world, my relief'. I think keeping things like this secret is pretty common in her culture, even for dating guys her own age and religion.

        I'm not sure I am a commitment phobe, only this girl is likely to be thinking about marriage and babies more than sex and living together because of her culture. This means if I decide I'm serious, it will get very serious very quickly and could mean arguments with her parents to overcome (she honestly doesn't know how her father will react).

        That she said she'd didn't want a relationship doesn't bother me, woman say plenty of things they don't mean, the fact that she is prepared to date me at all given her culture says more, I think. That she may dump me as she grows up and finishes school is a big fear for me.

        I'm pursuing her because she makes feel things I've not felt before and love is not a logical thing, it's an emotion.

        I've been divorced two years in that time I've had plenty of sexual relationships with woman, this girl is probably the first emotional and intellectual relationship I've had since my divorce.

        Thanks for responding, I want to commit to this girl, only the consequences in doing are a lot more than for a normal relationship which is why I getting a little scared.


        • #5
          I'd be very careful about the way you proceed here.
          She may say she wants to get away from the control from her family, but in the end, very few of these girls actually make that move. I have more than a few friends in similar situations that I've known for nearly 20 years, since our school days. They claimed for years to long for freedom, but whenever the time came when they had to choose to leave their families, they couldn't do it. They ended up marrying inside their culture and religion, sometimes to men they didn't love, just to please their parents.

          And this girl won't make that choice about you either, not unless you have something to offer that's worth more than her entire family. Even if she chooses you and leaves her family behind, she might hold it against you down the line, breaking her away from them.
          Now let's be optimistic and assume her family would eventually accept you as her partner. Have you considered what it would be like to have a relationship with a girl and a probably very involved and meddlesome family with strong traditions that will be imposed on you too?

          I've tried multicultural dating and it didn't work out, so maybe I'm too sceptical. But think long and hard before you take this any further, because it won't be a walk in the park.
          You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf


          • #6
            Thanks Ayla,

            Actually really useful advice and, trust me, I'm thinking about not much else at the moment.

            Kinda sucks as the first few months of hanging with this girl were so much fun not sure why I had to catch feelings and make it all so complicated.

            I think your point 'Even if she chooses you and leaves her family behind, she might hold it against you down the line, breaking her away from them.' is a big fear for me. Although she is the one looking for freedom making someone you love make a choice like that is very tough.

            If the family accept me they'd do it on our terms not theirs (on this she feels more strongly than me, frankly she hates her culture and religion). Neither she or I would accept her family meddling in our life together.

            I think I need to have a serious chat with her about where this is all going and what she wants to do going forward.


            • #7
              I wouldn't pursue it. You don't sound like you know anything about her or her family except how her father would be if he found out about you and that's not exclusive to Muslim fathers! I believe MOST fathers would flip if they knew their university student daughter (age 20) was getting involved with a divorced thirty-something! Without even completing her degree, to boot. Are you out of your mind? All religion and culture aside, what on earth makes you think that this is a good match? If she's docile and pleasant and intelligent to you, the other side of the coin is that she's young and clueless, inexperienced, may grow resentful, hasn't come into her own or isn't even fully grown or educated yet.

              I guarantee you if she is as intelligent as you make her out to be the second she is a grown woman with her own career she'll dump you. I think you ought to be dating someone closer in to your level of life experience and stay away from students and undergraduates without a career. They have their work cut out for them starting off in life and the last thing she needs is a old divorcee slowing her down at a very critical point of her studies/career.


              • #8
                Thanks Rose Mosse, I’m clearly out of my mind over this girl.

                I have a teenage daughter myself and if she turned up in few years with an older guy I’d be sceptical. However if he turned out to be in it for the right reasons I’d like to think I’d respect her choice. 20 yrs old is not a child after all and any parent who thinks they can make those kinds of choices for their children is living in wrong century.

                i take your point on she will grow up, change and out grow me. We sometimes joke together that this could be a good scenario; ie I help her break free of her family, then she dumps me and runs off to enjoy movie stardom!! We are both very aware that we are in many respect living some kind of weird movie-type fantasy, you appreciate the whole affair is a little intoxicating.

                TBH, the advice on this forum is kinda challenging, are you all just hard headed realists? Anyone out there think this can work or is the general consensus that its definitely doomed??

                All the friends I’ve spoken to on this subject think I’ve lost the plot as well.


                • #9
                  Most of the people on this forum have a lot of lived experience and have successful committed relationships. Some of them also have very close friends in the Muslim community or are mixed race or immigrants themselves. And most of them are also educated and have been through the university route (a few times). But that's besides the point, I'd think. We were all 20 once (at least most of us have crossed that bridge). At 20 I was ending a first serious relationship and I can vouch for certain, compared to where I stand now, that I was just a baby both emotionally and mentally. I was also completing two degrees simultaneously beginning at 17 and by the time I was 20, I was two years from convocation, working two jobs, and juggling two faculty advisors for postgrad qualifications, getting references, applying for a real job while looking at programs and finding my place in the world.

                  If you sincerely feel that this is a person you cherish and care about, I'd suggest you move cautiously and slowly. As the older one, you should be respecting her age and her current commitments to school above all else. Adult to adult not adult to child (and yes 20 is a child in my eyes especially in terms of sense and lived experience), what are your finances like after your divorce? Do you carry any debt? What baggage (if any) do you have from your previous marriage? Do you have any assets or is it tied up? What's your career like? While a baby at her age may be refreshing at first, it begs the question why someone like you would be after such a young girl who's not out of school. I'm not specifically judging your personal situation or lambasting you for it (not meant in bad faith) but I am putting the glaring truth out there and the first impression I have of you. You shouldn't have to answer to anyone but yourself either. Why are you looking for validation from others and your friends if you know this is the right thing to do?


                  • #10
                    it is good to get advice from a mix of currently active and historically active people in formuating your determination of the correct path to follow in your dilemma. historical tends to the negative and current toward the positive so a good mixture of opinions to draw upon.


                    • #11
                      I live in a very multi cultural country and can honestly say that many Muslim / non Muslim relationships have ended when the push came to shove.
                      I do not know of any female Muslims marrying a non Muslim male.
                      I do know male Muslims that have married non Muslim females but ALL of the females had to convert to Muslim first.
                      I also know one non Muslim female whose male Muslim partner ended their relationship after 11 years because he was ready to settle down and marry but couldn't possibly marry her.

                      There are are always exceptions to the rule but I don't fancy the odds.

                      I agree with Rose that there is much more stacked against you other than religion.
                      Age, maturity, you are a father, divorcee etc etc

                      At the age of 20, I had a college diploma and had transferred into 3rd year of university.
                      I was intelligent yes, but very emotionally immature. I also had a bf 10 years my senior.
                      I enjoyed dating someone that was working. Had nice meals out, went on overseas holiday etc etc
                      But I outgrew him. I didn't even end it properly or respectfully , I just disappeared essentially. Moved overseas to study more etc.

                      I also kept him secret for a while. Esp from my parents. That was because of his age.
                      My friends, siblings knew about him and met him.
                      Sound familiar?

                      I believe you are wasting your time.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rabbithabit View Post
                        it is good to get advice from a mix of currently active and historically active people in formuating your determination of the correct path to follow in your dilemma. historical tends to the negative and current toward the positive so a good mixture of opinions to draw upon.
                        "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

                        R.I.P Stephen Hawking