April 17, 2014 - submitted by Lourdes, United States of America

My relationship is complicated, my boyfriend and I come from two very different cultures. He's not allowed to date, but he's dating me. Right now, when people ask me about how do I see our future, I always tell them that our future is unknown. His family doesn't know about me, and I don't know if he'll tell them one day. I'm trying to hold on to this, it's complicated, but he makes me happy. I'm just afraid that one day I'll get hurt if he decides to take his family's way. What should I do?

The Oracle replies:

If you love each other it shouldn't matter than you have completely different backgrounds. Unfortunately, in reality I'm afraid that some people still disagree.
Sadly, sometimes differences in culture & faith can put a huge strain on a relationship. Nobody can tell you who to love but if your boyfriend is keeping the secret to respect his parents' traditional wishes while still living with them, you have to also respect your boyfriend desire to do that; there is little you can do about it. That said, you are entitled (to want) to conduct your relationship openly without shame or guilt. If you are not happy about having to hide, this relationship may not be for you.
I don't know what your ages are but I'm guessing you both still live at home and perhaps abiding by house rules has to be taken into consideration. I would hope that when you both reach adult age, talk about the future will shift & become more positive.
You may decide to take the risk that things will change but of course, they may not.
Perhaps you could both learn about each other's culture. You don't have to embrace his beliefs but it may help if the time to meet his parents ever comes.
I don't think it would be wise to put pressure on him or issue ultimatums but I do think you should seriously consider what YOU want and then tell him.
I assume your boyfriend thinks they won't approve or be open-minded but for the sake of the relationship, perhaps you could gently suggest he takes that chance and then you both know what you're dealing with.
Over to you.

I suggest you ask him how he feels about dating you. If he is ashamed, there is a chance he will leave you, but even in that case, you can still have a relationship.
Different cultures and love don't fit always that easy. You know, he is now trying to be a boy like one in your culture, but maybe you should also take a look at his culture. Maybe you two can find a balance between the cultures. I guess, if his parents are not too old-fashioned or too strictly, they'll agree with that. It also helps when the parents know you. Ask your boyfriend to invite you to his house and to introduce you as a friend. I guess, when his parents know you for quite a while, they'll agree with a relationship, and maybe later, marriage.

There can be many answers some that can comfort some that can make you think logically and some that would please you but there are some that you need - it is frustrating when it's complicated but it can serve for good If its true love it will endure all and will make both of you and your bond stronger because true love endures all and hopes all. So cheer up and enjoy your boyfriend. If he takes his family way then you'll move on that will take pain but everything that grows takes a bit of pain. And you will learn something that would be useful for you to learn to know and understand! Marija.

Well, Lourdes, I think now would be a good time to address these concerns to him. I know this isn't an easy situation to work through, but it's not something you can do alone. You've got to make sure he is as committed as you are, because if you find out he chooses his family's way over you it's going to hurt, but it's not something you cannot recover from. But the longer it goes on and the longer you're together, the more painful it's going to be if it doesn't work out.
And I don't want to seem overly negative, because there's obviously a very real chance that he will be committed, and that he loves you that much, and that's a great thing to hear, but it would really help to have him reassure you in that.
I hope the best for the both of you, no matter the results.
Bradley H.

This is a widespread situation, two people love each other but they have different cultures. That's difficult, and seems the problem that will never solved. Before anything else there is one thing you have to answer. Do you love each other? I mean is this true love? If your answer is yes don't care stuff like this. Maybe your parents can be so tough, but think about it they' fell in love so many times in your age and I think they'll understand your situation in the end. Introduce your boyfriend to your family or at least tell one of your trusted and loved ones from your family for example your sister, brother, cousin etc. I'm sure the person that you tell about your boyfriend helps you about your situation. Good luck. Oylum.

I can really relate to your dilemma as I was the one in a similar situation a few years back. It really is his decision as to whether he will stand up to his family, or succumb to their wishes. Perhaps he is looking for a way out of long held values, or maybe this is him testing his wings at hints of independence. Consider what will happen if it is the latter would you be happy? If it the former you may need to offer him much support as he will be going against some strongly entrenched values and ideas. Only by talking to him frankly will you find out what he wants and he may not even know yet. If you need more from him, you may need to look elsewhere. In my case it worked because I knew what I wanted. He may or may not know. Best of luck, Laurie.

With your question we are faced with an age old question.
The question of following your families traditions or breaking away from them and finding your own way.
It seems that you are very concerned about the future of your life and your relationship.
Talk to your partner about it!
The best and easiest way to deal with problems is to talk to someone you can naturally and honestly talk to, without hiding any feelings.
Talk to him about how you feel about his families traditions and how you can try and find a solutions to the differences in culture.
Maybe start off by asking him to tell his parents about you, because if you both are in for the long run, they're going to find out sooner or later.
From there on you can start working on a relationship with his family and, you never know, you might be welcomed to the family in no time.
If they do stay strict about their traditions and you're not welcomed into the family, then it's really your partners decision to either stay with the family culture or part from that, to stay with you!
But if he doesn't want to tell them about you at all, I'd start questioning the point of the relationship entirely, because no one can be happy hiding in someone's shadow.
Ultimately there are a few ways the situation can develop.
Some positive and some negative, which are heavily influenced by the characters and personalities involved.
Greetings, Clemens.

If he really loves you then tell him to convince his parents about you. You cannot put him in this situation only because he really loves you and so do you. You need to think about money for his education, living and everything. You cannot pay for that. His parents have to. The sooner he tell the parents the better it will be. They will understand if he tells without rebellion and anger. He must promise truly his parents that he will work hard to bring his scores up and wouldn't let the relationship get in the way of his future. You can tell your friends that you both are best friends till his parents agree. If they do not ask them why and try to find the solution. Neeraja.

I found myself in the same situation and regrettably due to very different cultural views, I was forced to end a relationship that meant a lot to me. What you have no matter how complicated is still a beautiful thing. Meaningful relationships are never easy and have obstacles, and you can lose yourself in the present thinking about the future. If you can learn to accept cultural differences that could bring you apart then wherever your relationship goes that will bring you closer together. Don't lose focus on what's really important and what brought you to where you are. If you can do these then I know that you'll be more than able to handle whatever comes your way. Mustafa.

You should talk to you boyfriend about your worries first. I know it can be hard when you're from two different cultures and I don't know how long you've been together, but if it's serious maybe its time you told his family about your relationship? His family might be against it, but in the end it's his life and he gets to choose who he dates and who he loves. Good luck!

Try to talk with him and say what's on you're mind. Tell him that your feelings for him are for real and that he makes you really happy. Tbh if he really loves you he will speak to his family and try to make this work. Maybe it's easy for me to say, but you can't ignore real feelings right. I really hope that it's gonna be okay! I wanna wish you good luck! Lots of love and happiness for the both of you. Greetzz Marianne.

Thanks everyone who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you'd like to reply, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.