Why are indian parents so strict about dating

Also great for all the people out there with overprotective parents. Get to know someone on an intimate level without even having to leave your house. Sneaking behind your mom and dad's back is the easiest way to date, but it's not always the best. The constant lies, elaborate plans, not to mention it could get exhausting for you and the other person involved , make it less appealing. Talk to your mom and dad, open up a conversation that you are not a child anymore, and you are also not living in It might be painful and awkward at first, but at the end of the day, no matter how many crazy rules and traditions your parents impose on you, they love you.

Amneet is a 4th year communications student at Simon Fraser University. Born and raised in the city of Surrey, she loves the sound of rain, in fact she listens to rain sounds every night to help her sleep. Her favorite past times include: You can get to know her more by following her Instagram: Skip to main content. Go on group dates I know this seems so high-school.

Don't allow 'being in a relationship' to substitute for all the other aspects of growing up that you've asked about like getting a job, setting boundaries with your parents, graduating, etc. There's living under your parents rules while they pay for your education, and then there's being forbidden to go out based on your parents' whims. I think it's probably OK for him to come and go when he pleases. I mean, the interracial relationship thing, that's a much bigger kettle of fish and OP needs to find his own way to deal.

But no, I don't think it's wrong or rash or ungrateful to start standing up to them a little bit. I'm also first-gen Indian, son of pretty strict parents who are also very traditional. I've gone through what you're going through, and my advice is not to tell them. The things like "not letting me go out" are hard to explain to people not raised by strict Indian parents, but I understand how it's difficult for you, especially living at home, which I luckily didn't have to contend with. I also had the older cousin who married a white girl and whose marriage ended badly and all my other cousins who married brown people happened to work out swimmingly so I've heard what your dad has been saying thousands of times.

I happened to have dated almost all white girls in my 20s - I was inexperienced and needed to figure out how to be in relationships, so the simple odds are that you'll meet white girls much more often than others. My first girlfriend I dated for about months before telling my parents - I think once you reach that stage you should consider gently opening up to them starting with the old line about "friends" or "colleagues" , but mainly if you think this is going to turn into a serious relationship and hopefully only after you're out of the house.

Why are Indian parents so strict?

For me, I rarely told them about who I was dating until it was definitely a serious relationship. For them, I think they kinda figured it would be something I would grow out of. And to some extent, I did change my perspective in my 30s and wanted more of a cultural connection. But, when you're young and want to date people you should date who you want and try to learn about yourself and what you are really looking for. No need to rush this. Let's think practically a little. We don't know you or your parents.


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Are your parents manipulative? Do your parents usually get their way? When disagreements have broken out with other family members before, is there a long, sustained campaign against that particular family member? Remember, these are the people that raised you. If your parents fight as dirty as mine, they will exploit any psychological or emotional vulnerabilities against you.

Indian Father Scolds Teens - World's Strictest Parents

And not only you. If going after your girlfriend will yield results, they may do that too. If you're close to a cousin or brother or uncle, they may use them to try to get to you too. It's not like the movies, and it might take a long time.

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Here's a few general things you can do to prepare yourself: Move out of your parents' house, out of their city is even better Very important Make friends that support you, preferably ones that aren't connected to your family at all Have a space away from your family and their home that you can escape to easily Have your own money to spend this only applies if you aren't currently working Possibly look into therapy to have someone to talk to, a family therapist is especially used to handling this sort of thing posted by FJT at 6: OP, would you mind telling us how old you are?

I read 'one more year of school left' and assumed, like, sixteen. Another poster assumed around twenty. From previous questions, the OP is 23 and in college. It's just one of those things. I really, really do not think you should tell your parents though I think this question is very specific to an immigrant experience. I am Chinese-American, and my parents luckily did not especially care what race my boyfriends were although they probably would have been pleased if he had also been Chinese-American, no lie , but they definitely had certain expectations about my behavior that are hard to explain to people outside.

I think you should approach this as a tactician. Is the amount of trouble you are going to stir up worth whatever change in expectations you hope to achieve? What, specifically, do you hope to gain out of this? For many years I kept huge chunks of my personal life intentionally vague to my parents, and I think this was, for me, hugely beneficial. I think I learned to be tactful about certain things, and got better at ignoring others. I learned to change my expectations, knowing that my parents were who they were. I will say that moving out greatly improved my relationship with them.

When you see each other less often, when you don't feel the daily sense of obligation or guilt-tripping or accusations of cultural betrayal or whatever they heap upon you, it gets better. I feel like I relate to my parents as another adult now, because I am more mature and have gained considerable perspective, and it is frankly the best our relationship has ever been. But that took time and distance I suspect it might be the case for you as well.


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  • Oh, right - thanks, jacalata. In that case, I agree with Sara C. At 23, you're way waaaay too old to let your parents dictate your dating life. Seriously, people get married at that age. If you don't stand up to them now, this seems likely to turn into a lifetime of them calling the shots. If I were you, I would be doing everything in my power to move out and live with friends for the last year of school. You've been legally an adult for 5 years. It's the only way I got to live a normal, adult-appropriate life.

    What It's Like to Date with Strict Indian Parents

    I know that, in your case, there are underlying cultural issues that I don't know much about, so I'll leave it at that. For those suggesting that the OP should tell his parents: But you're not abiding by their rules, you're lying to them. Move out if you can. If you can't, come clean if it won't impact your tuition, and take out a loan to cover your living costs if you need to.

    When people say 'at 23, you are old enough to do x', what it seems to mean is 'at 23, you are old enough to be able to move into an environment that you control, so you should be able to make your parents agree that since it is possible for you to leave and do x, they should just let you do x and stay in the same comfortable supported position'. The risk is that the parents will call the bluff and say sure, go ahead and leave. This is why, if he thinks it's at all likely for the parents to respond this way, he should not start openly rebelling unless he's not actually bluffing about leaving and paying his own tuition.

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't mean that. On the contrary, I think it's impossible to 'make' anyone agree to anything. I think that 23 is too old to be living under your parents' roof, accepting their financial support, and lying to them. If I were the OP, I would either find a way to move out and support myself for the final year go part-time and work part-time, if I had to , or cut back on seeing the girlfriend because yeah, no parent is going to believe you're sleeping at a platonic friend's house 4 nights every week.

    At the moment, he's running into trouble because he's having his cake and eating it. Trust me, I can see the attraction, but something's gotta give. It is not unusual for Indian parents to expect to be able to tell their children what to do in many aspects of their lives until their children are 25 or even older. In India many parents still help arrange their adult children's marriages. When the OP says his parents "won't let" him go out at night, that is not because they are manipulative or he is not mature.

    It's a cultural difference. I am not from India.


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    I just have lots of first-gen and second-gen Indian friends. This situation with your parents not wanting you to leave the house may actually prove to be a good test of your relationship. Is your girlfriend willing to be patient with your situation? If you definitely feel that this woman is someone you want to be with long-term, then you may have to make a choice to move out of your parents' house and start supporting yourself earlier than you had planned to in order to make this relationship work.

    In my experience it's uncommon for Indian parents to have such a hold on a child post age This way you'll be able to assert your boundaries better, because you'll have more autonomy over your life. From what I have heard about this sort of thing, this is the plan I recommend for you: And seriously, you can't sleep over there as much as you're doing and still hide it. She's going to have to learn to sleep with a teddy bear or something, because all the sleepovers is an obvious red flag. You don't want to get busted and cut off for this right now, right?

    This is going to be an exhausting, years-long battle, don't fight it with them until you absolutely have to. Make sure that you can take care of yourself first, and that your girlfriend is worth that. I'm going to drop some wisdom, here. Maybe this will be seen by the mods as "not an answer to the question", but it's something I think about every time these questions come up. And I feel like it might be valuable advice for any young person facing parental disapproval.

    Everyone, regardless of race, regardless of class, regardless of what country your parents are from, has to establish their own identity separate from their parents in order to become an adult. You just have to. There is no way to not do this. Now, for some people -- and it's really hard to know whether you'll be one of those people, until you find yourself in this situation -- doing that is harder than you'd like it to be.

    I was one of those people, which is why I have a lot of feelings about it, over a decade later. And so you come to a point. The point you're at right now. Your parents disapprove of something about your life, and they are not afraid to do batshit crazy stuff like forbid you from leaving the house in order to erase this thing they don't like about you. You have two choices here. You can submit to them treating you like a nine year old. This probably sounds like the most attractive option right now, because the stakes aren't all that high and your parents have a degree of control over your life that makes rebellion inconvenient.

    And I think for people who never had to face that fundamental disapproval, those people will always see this as the prudent choice. Or you can rip off the bandaid. Let them be disappointed. Let them rage, and try to ground you, and throw temper tantrums. There's nothing they can really do to you to keep you from being who you are. And the thing about letting them rage is that, sooner or later, it won't seem so scary to you. Which will free you up to make the kinds of choices you need to make.

    Why are asian parents so strict about dating - Lawrence's Fish and Shrimp

    Better to watch them throw tantrums over how many nights a week you go out, or your girlfriend's background, and see this behavior for what it is. Now, it's true that your parents might kick you out or stop paying for school. You should definitely weigh all the consequences before you decide the time is right to rip off the bandaid.

    Don't throw away a world class education for the sake of seeing your girlfriend that one extra night every week. If you don't have a couch you could crash on, a loan you could apply for, a job you could get, then maybe the time really isn't right. I was disowned by my parents when I was 19, over something that is really stupid in hindsight it also had to do with my dating life. It was a really bad time in my life. But it also turned me into the adult I needed to become. And it was worth learning that disappointing your parents isn't the end of the world.

    OP you have my permission to go ahead and ignore the answers from people who are not in the least bit familiar with your culture, or have any idea what it's like to be caught in between two very different value sets, yet insist that their experience qualifies them to tell you how to behave. Tell them you're dating a Pakistani girl of a different religion. They will be so relieved when they find out she's white! Talking to meet people are a new condescending term!

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