Dear Straight Up! My Parents Don’t Approve of My Interracial Relationship


Dear Straight Up!

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for six months now. I met him while I was overseas and we were good friends for a few months prior to when we started dating. I’m back home now and we are continuing our relationship long distance. We fell in love very fast and we both feel we are ready to commit.

The problem is my parents. My boyfriend is white. He lives in the US and works for the Army. I have strict, conservative Tamil parents. I’ve tried to talk to my mother about the possibility of marrying outside my ethnicity but she won’t hear it. My dad on the other hand has conceded to allowing me marry anyone with brown skin (that’s how much he doesn’t want me to be with a white person).

On top of ethnicity, there is the issue of education. My boyfriend is the smartest person I know, but he only has a high school diploma while I have a Master’s degree. He plans to join law enforcement after his commitment to the Army. He is also willing to move to Canada.

I have no idea how to break this to my parents. One of my good friends was in this situation and her family basically disowned her and slut-shamed her for years. She stuck to her guns and now things are healing with her family. But I can’t imagine going through what she did. I love my boyfriend and I don’t want to be with anyone else. At the same time, I don’t want to “shame” my parents. Yet it seems like there is no happy medium. What should I do?


Dear Lovestruck,

You will have to make the decision yourself about whether or not you want to stick to your guns. You are not going to have a happy ending on both sides. But if your boyfriend is who you really want, then both of you are going to face some really tough challenges in getting the approval of your family.

However, one thing I will advise is to give your relationship with your boyfriend some more time. Six months is too short of a time frame to make that commitment. True love is not based on a heartwarming feel-good feeling. Rather, it is full acceptance of who that person is – faults and all – and loving them regardless, even when you don’t feel that love inside you. It is something that grows over time as you get to know each other. Time will not be your enemy should you choose to wait before making that commitment down the line.

And if you are going to stick with him, then see if the end result is worth it to brave any future drama with your parents that your relationship will certainly bring about. You don’t want to go against your parents and then not have it work out with your boyfriend. If that is the case, then I guarantee they will say “I told you so” and you will end up feeling a hundred times worse. Give your relationship a year or so and then decide for yourself if this is the right decision for you in the long run.

Another thing I will say is don’t ever let other people – regardless of whether they are your family – make you feel bad for following your heart. Loving someone, regardless of their race, is not a cause for shame. Don’t let their words guilt you into giving up on something that might be good for you just because it goes against what your family considers culturally appropriate. Make sure your decision is the right one for you and not out of some sense of duty or guilt, but because it will bring you peace and happiness.

* * * * *

Dear Straight Up!

I’ve been seeing a guy I met on e-Harmony for 2 months. We have a lot of things in common and we enjoy hanging out all the time. We see each other about twice a week and take turns asking each other out. The dilemma is that neither one of us has made a physical move. So no handholding, no kissing and obviously none of the other stuff either. We’ve never talked about our past relationships, haven’t acknowledged that we met on e-Harmony and so forth. I’m trying to figure out the best way to see if I’m into him as more than friends and vice-versa. How should I do that?

Stuck in Limbo

Dear Stuck in Limbo,

Two months is enough time to know if you are truly into someone. Apparently, you both click. But what you want to know is whether the two of you are physically compatible. First of all, I applaud you for being able to wait for two months. If I was in your situation, I would have probably made the first move out of sheer frustration and impatience!

However, if that is a big no to you, then you can give him little hints that you want to engage in something a bit more physical through your body language. The next time you meet, while you’re engaging in a conversation lean forward and stare into his eyes as if you’re getting lost in them. While he’s talking, look at his lips then look at his eyes. Touch him. For example, if he has a watch on his wrist then play with his watch under the guise of checking the time while either one of you is talking, or just lightly touch him throughout your conversation. Play with your hair – smoothing, stroking, twirling, pulling back or throwing back your hair – are cues that you’re exhibiting sexual interest.

These are all strong signals that show that you want the guy to make a move. And if he still doesn’t get it, then ask him straight up if he is interested in you. Be straightforward in what you want and what you expect, and ask him if he is on par with you. If he is making an effort to spend time with you on a weekly basis then he probably is, but is just clueless or simply too shy to take your relationship further.

Are you single? Are you interested in meeting Tamil singles in your city and across the world? Join!

Check out our previous Straight Up! advice columns:
Dear Straight Up! I Met Someone Online but Don’t Want to Give Him My Number
Dear Straight Up! I’m Liberal, He’s Conservative: Will It Work Out?
Dear Straight Up! Should I Be Open About My Past?
Dear Straight Up! Should I Look for a Tamil Girl on My Own or Get an Arranged Marriage?
Dear Straight Up! My Best Friends are Dating and I Feel Like a Third Wheel
Dear Straight Up! My Fiance is Demanding a Dowry
Dear Straight Up! My Parents Don’t Approve of My Interracial Relationship
Dear Straight Up! I Cheated on My Girlfriend
Dear Straight Up! I Have Feelings for My Best Friend’s Ex
Dear Straight Up! I’m Not Attracted to My Boyfriend

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Tasha Nathan

Tasha Nathan

Tasha is a Toronto based freelance writer and author. After publishing her first children’s book, No Monster in the Closet, she found her interest grow to empower youth and young adults. Her first young adult book, Follow Your Heart, was published last year. Her focus lies more within women's empowerment and gender equity, particularly within the Tamil Community.

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16 thoughts on “Dear Straight Up! My Parents Don’t Approve of My Interracial Relationship

  1. Tamil Culture? Is seems this site is on quest to destroy Tamil Culture. Interracial dating exists in our community, I accept that. But what does that have to do with our culture? I think you need to identify what Tamil is and what Tamil culture is?

  2. I love the fact that you discuss all sorts of topics. I think many people are misunderstanding the intent of this magazine… it’s Tamil lifestyle magazine. I hate to burst some people’s bubbles but many of us are Tamil and we all have different lifestyles. Just because you date someone that is non-Tamil, it does NOT make you any less Tamil. Many of our existing races and cultures are products of previous interracial relationships however very few people are even aware of this because they do not take the time to research that.. instead they choose to live for society.

    Dear LoveStruck,
    I’m basically in your situation except in my case, he is not white. There is NOTHING wrong with falling for someone that is not Tamil. You’re right, don’t shame your parents because they have done so much for you… and I agree with ‘Straight Up’…take your time before you do anything. Personally, if this guy is worth it.. I would just tell my parents and tell them this is what I want.. Im going to continue to date this guy however I wont marry him until they give me their blessings. Any parent that loves their child WILL come around… I PROMISE!

  3. Vanakkam kannu! One questionungo! What language does a kid born to white father and tamil mother speak? Sangathamil? The kid will 99% of the time ignore his mother’s heritage. Just look around some douche born to white and asians. He is a diploma holder. Will any tamil female with a masters date a tamil person who works as a waiter in Macdonalds? Whitu boyna udaney okay? 300 years of slavery under British. Why not the other way round? Why so hard for guy to date a white chick without having some money or showing their intellectual skills or career? Dont give me this shit about interracial marrriage. Asian boy with white girl. Black female with white male. North Indian Male with a South Indian female. Damn, Don’t we just see them too often?

  4. And one more before people bullshit about globalisation and technology, Its part of process etc. Indian Tamil Brahmins came here before S.L tamils to North America. They still marry within caste. வனத்துல மேஞ்சாலும் இனத்தோட மேயனும் கண்ணு!

  5. @1934d823abaea13f303e7816a43630f4:disqus you seem to be quite the expert on what it means to be Tamil and how Tamil culture should be defined. Care to share your views? I’m really hoping you’re not one of ‘those’ super annoying people who just rant without actually contributing anything of value to any community.

    Kudos to the TC folks for doing something they believe in. You’re doing a great job of showing the diversity that exists within the Tamil community. Maybe the ‘Tamil Police’ should go out and create an anti-TC site 😉

  6. @1b8e0d652618bbe45377ce5dab51e5fa:disqus you seem to be quite the expert on what it means to be Tamil and how Tamil culture should be defined. Care to share your views? I’m really hoping you’re not one of ‘those’ super annoying people who just rant without actually contributing anything of value to any community.

    Kudos to the TC folks for doing something they believe in. You’re doing a great job of showing the diversity that exists within the Tamil community. Maybe the ‘Tamil Police’ should go out and create an anti-TC site 😉

  7. @1934d823abaea13f303e7816a43630f4:disqus Sorry! Comment above was meant for @1b8e0d652618bbe45377ce5dab51e5fa:disqus

  8. army guys are sketchy as fuck. its the only job in the world that encourages whoring and drinking. what is his mos id ? If hes infantry RUN. if hes some technical nerd you might be lucky. plus US military guys get paid peanuts 20-25k. plus he might have ptsd and wont put up with bullshit like rest of the tamil guys.

  9. @edacbf853d81129975505c3a27be25fc:disqus sounds like you tried to land a white chick and failed miserably. tis ok try to be happy for others who find successful interracial relationships

  10. Successful interracial relationship in 6 months with some red neck from the Army? * Insert bitch please face*.This girl has watched too many mel gibson movies. Bad ass white mofo for the asian women! not the 80s anymore girls..The point is tamil girls see caste, skin colour, education, family background and all kinda shit when it comes to dating tamil guys but don’t give a shit when its white guys.White supremacy exist big time in interracial relationships. inter ethnic marriages are not easy. Read this. Gosh! These liberal talibans!

  11. Wow, there is a lot of hate going around. I wonder why all of it coming from Tamil males? Are you angry about something?
    Personally, the reason I didn’t go for a marriage with a Tamil guy, was so I could avoiding dealing with judgmental, selfish racist men like you.

    BTW, just because a guy is in the military doesn’t mean he makes peanuts. It also doesn’t mean he is old. You can move up very fast, I have friends in their late 20s who are Captains.

  12. lol the problem isn’t your caste, skin colour, education or family background. The problem is your personality, mentality and total lack of class. Your posts alone are perfect examples of why things wouldn’t work out for you. Before you throw accusations; not all women look at any of that bullshit. If he’s a man.. and by that, I do not mean violent and condescending to women (much like you) I mean the man that doesn’t look at a white woman or any woman for that matter, and refer to them as STEAK.

  13. @anjaligirl 
    How very judgmental and hateful of you too. So you dated or known every Tamil guy out there?

  14. @pulipandi According to my uncles Makka, it’s plenty!  And a lot of them learned Tamil, as well as teach us kids many of the world’s languages: Portugeuse, Dutch, German for example.

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