Dear Straight Up! I'm Not Attracted to My Boyfriend

I’ve dated my boyfriend for about a year now and although we get along and really care for each other, we are not of the same religion. He is a Sikh Punjabi and I am a Hindu Tamil.

Dear Straight Up!

I’ve dated my boyfriend for about a year now and although we get along and really care for each other, we are not of the same religion. He is a Sikh Punjabi and I am a Hindu Tamil. I know that his family is very adamant about him marrying a girl who is also Sikh. Although I don’t know if I’m at the stage where I want to consider marriage, I really like him and hope that it will lead to something long-term. However, I’m not sure how he feels because of our religious differences.

What should I do?


Confused Girl

Dear Confused Girl,

Any relationship has the chance of working if two people are committed to it, no matter what others say. You have to find out where your boyfriend stands on this issue and whether he’s willing to defend his relationship with you to his family. If you ask him and he is unsure, the best thing for you to do is leave. Yes, it will hurt and you will cry. But think about it in the long term – you don’t really want to invest more of your time, energy and emotions in the relationship if he isn’t willing to do the same and stick it through.

It would be much more painful to you if he, without care, said yes to meeting a Sikh girl his family proposes. But if he is willing to fight on behalf of your relationship, it will be a tough challenge for both of you. He needs to be able to stand up to his family instead of cowering and you both need to hold firm in your faith that as a couple you will work out. Most importantly, if he is unsure, don’t stick through with the hope that he will change his mind. If after a year together he still doesn’t know, then it’s not going to change regardless of how long you both have been together.

* * * * *

Dear Straight Up!

Me and this guy have been dating for about eight months now. I really like him – we have similar interests and get along really well. But the one thing that really bothers me about this is that I’m just not attracted to him. He is a great guy and I want to give this a chance but we’re just not physically compatible. What should I do?


Girl with no clue  
Dear Girl with No Clue,

If not being physically attracted to this guy bothers you, it’s clear that it is important to you. What you are doing is compromising your sexuality. Don’t underestimate the importance of sexual desire in a relationship. It’s great that you both get along in every other way, but down the line you will want to experience that kind of sexual attraction, especially if you’re thinking long-term (possibly marriage).

Yes, while passion may fade over time, there is a world of difference between being in a relationship where the passion has cooled off and one in which there was never any heat to begin with. Expecting sexual heat to endure for the long run without any effort is unrealistic. And preparing yourself long-term for a relationship in which there isn’t even any memory of it is, in my opinion, too much of a compromise.

It’s a personal preference – some women can be happy in a relationship in which there is only an emotional connection but no physical compatibility or passion. But if you think it is important, you should reconsider being in a relationship with him.

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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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