I have been dating an Indian man, whom I met online, for about four months now. Things are great between us, and we feel completely compatible even though it is a long distance relationship.
My parents automatically distrust him because they believe that he is using me to get a green card or citizenship in the U.S. He has an H-1 visa and lives in the U.S. and would like to settle here permanently. In addition, his parents are separated, and this is a real deal breaker for my conservative Indian parents.
I've had numerous arguments with them about the subject. Is there any hope of compromise? What can I do to convince my parents that he is not the evil guy that they assume he is?
A couple of different issues (each one of which other readers may be grappling with as well) jump out at me from your question.
As you’ve met online and are in a long-distance relationship, keep in mind that it is important for the two of you to spend time together in person. While doing so may involve a great deal of investment in time, energy and money, it is important to ensure that the two of you seem compatible when spending time together. Four months of a long-distance relationship may not be adequate to assess compatibility.
With the green card and citizenship issue, ask your parents the reasons underlying their beliefs. Their concerns may be legitimate. Are there any particular red flags they have noticed? Be open to hearing what they have to say. Since you are emotionally involved with him, it is likely easier for you to ignore or not notice red flags.
That said, if the only reason for your parents’ concern is that he is not a permanent resident, it is not disrespectful for you to agree to disagree with their opinion.
His parents’ separation is another area where you and your parents may need to agree to disagree. Once again, be open to hearing your parents out. If they feel strongly about this issue, try your very best to be as open as possible to what they have to say.
Find out if your parents are basing their opinion on red flags they have noticed. But remember, adopting your parents (or anyone else’s) deal-breakers without considering your own beliefs and values, is not being respectful to yourself.
Your parents might be concerned that his family situation could lead to a similar marital outcome for the two of you. However, do consider that offspring who come from divorced/separated families will not necessarily have troubled relationships. Many times, their experiences lead to them being attuned to conflict resolution and motivated to have a better marriage than their parents.
If your parents are concerned about what others (relatives, friends, acquaintances, the community in general) may think, you must be the one to decide the role you want others’ opinions to play in your decisions.