by Jasbina Ahluwalia
A Great question, as you are not alone.
I’m sure there are other readers who are
themselves, or know of others, also grap-
pling with similar situations. Since our
matchmaking and dating coaching ser-
vices focuses on South Asians, at times
people are surprised to learn that we do
have clients who have dated in the past,
and/or are open to being matched, with
non-South Asians. As such, your situa-
tion is one I am familiar with.
Jasbina Ahluwalia
is an Indian-American attorney turned entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host and Matchmaker / Dating Coach. She is
the Founder / President of Intersections Match, the only Elite Personalized Matchmaking & Dating Coaching Firm in the country serving Selective Sin-
gles of South Asian descent Nationwide in the U.S. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show featuring conversa-
tions with published authors/experts on relationships, health & wellness. For
info, please visit Feel free to submit a Ques-
tion to be considered for this column to Jasbina directly at
My boyfriend’s a great guy, and we get
along well, part from his problem
with my not telling my parents about
him since he’s not Indian. How can
I deal with this situation?
Given the limited space, I am not able to explore in any
depth the possibility that your resistance to telling your
parents about your boyfriend may potentially reflect at least
some degree of mixed feelings on your part with respect to
your boyfriend and/or relationship. I will
address your
question with the underlying premise that your assumption
of your parents’ disapproval is the reason you have not told
them about your boyfriend.
In my opinion, one of the greatest detractors from
intimate relationships (between any two people, be they
partners, or parent/adult child), consists of one or both
persons unexpressed expectation (s) and/or assumption (s).
Rather than continuing to act on the assumption that your
parents will disapprove of your boyfriend not being Indian,
why not openly and respectfully discuss the (potential) issue
with your parents directly? A few possible outcomes of such
a dialogue come to mind. You may be pleasantly surprised to
learn that your surmise of your parents’ disapproval (extent
of their disapproval) is unfounded. I have come across
ple who are surprised to learn, in some cases years after they
first presumed parental disapproval, that their parents were
actually accepting of their relationship with a non-Indian.
Even if your assumption of your parents’ disapproval bears
out, being open to learning the reason (s) behind your
parents’ disapproval may bring up potential issues you and/
or your boyfriend may not have thought about which may
prompt well-serving discussions between the two of you.
The success of your relationship with your partner will likely
depend to a large degree on your mutual willingness to listen
to each other’s viewpoints even when different, as well as
to honor each other’s relationship needs. Not only will
addressing this issue with your parents gift your parents with
the opportunity to be heard, but it will demonstrate to your
boyfriend that you are able to honor his need to not remain
a secret from your parents.
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