Time to Face the Music: Tell the Parents!

I fell in love. I fell in love hard. After a few years of dating and multiple breakups in between we were finally together. However, even in the midst of these ups and downs I knew I needed to tell my parents. They didn’t need to know the exact details and certainly didn’t need to know all the details, but I figured they needed to know.  So, my parents have been in the loop regarding the seriousness of my relationship for the very beginning.

Within a few months of officially dating I told my parents I was serious about Shreemati and that I loved her very much. In fact my sister and mother both talked to Shreemati during this time. I felt the communication needed to be open and I needed to be up front with everybody. I needed Shreemati to know that I was for real and that I’d be willing to deal with the consequences. I needed my parents to start imagining this future and start dealing with it sooner rather than later.

As things progressed, Shreemati and I eventually visited Nepal.  It was an official introduction trip. She met everybody and everybody met her. It was a great time, however, later that year we broke up. We still had some issues to work out.  Things were not as smooth as we had thought. I didn’t tell my parents of this breakup. I didn’t feel it was necessary for them to know right away, but I was planning to tell them if it became “permanent”. I really felt like things would work itself out and we’d be back together again. I also figured that news of this breakup would affect their support later.

I bring  this up because I am reading about a lot of relationships where the guy hasn’t told his parents and the years are just ticking by. I know everyone’s situation is different. But I will say this, there does come a point where a man has to be a man and talk to the parents like a man and face the consequences. Its pretty plain and simple.

Dragging it out and just kicking the can doesn’t help in the long term. If you love her and you’re worked out all your issues (and you’re already living with her), then its time to deal with the consequences.  I don’t think its fair to the woman or to yourself to keep dragging.  Afterall its not like you just woke up one day and realized there would be consequences. You knew there would be consequence for  becoming involved with  a Western woman for the day you left South Asia.

One of my mangers gave me a book called “Eat That Frog”. It is a self hep book that provides tips on how to better manage your time and get things done.  The idea being that you do the most uncomfortable task first thing in the morning. That way you can enjoy the rest of the day doing the stuff you like to do. Similarly, once you’ve been dating for a year and you’re serious its time to eat the frog, tell the parents and enjoy the relationship.

I know it’s not easy. Believe me. I’ve been through it. But let me tell you this, even the most hard core parents will eventually bless your union once the grand-kids arrive.  South Asian parents (regardless of how traditional) will melt their hearts out when they see your offspring. So, it’s only bad for a few years!

16 responses to “Time to Face the Music: Tell the Parents!

  1. I really value your perspective. Thanks for posting.

  2. Fully agree with you on this one BB.

    What I also feel sometimes is that the SA men sometimes get away with ‘bad’ behavior towards their western girlfriends when there’s no way the same behavior would have been tolerated by SA girlfriends. I can’t imagine a Nepali girlfriend from the same socioeconomic background [or Indian for that matter] putting up with comments about weight or domestic duties.

    I remember once trying to get out of playing dodgeball in middle school by saying it was against my culture and religion to play such a violent game. It worked until the first parent-teacher meeting when my parents were asked about it, lol.

  3. intercultured

    A guy who doesn’t want (or thinks he can’t) tell his parents about a serious relationship simply lacks balls. And it doesn’t matter if he is South Asian or not. It’s a matter of having an adult’s integrity and internal value hierarchy.

    I can’t agree with your statement about hardcore South Asian parents and “accepting” the relationship when kids are on the way. Why should I “exercise my fertility” in order to get their blessing? I don’t care about their blessing. By the time I have kids, they will have been CUT OUT from my life for good.

    People don’t change. Their mentality doesn’t change. And having grandkids doesn’t change them either. They just want to jump over one generation and erase what they don’t like. It is very simple, people who don’t accept me, will never have access to my kids.

    • I’m assuming you’ve talked about this with your partner? I don’t know that I think of it that harshly or with an all or nothing mindset. But as long as you’ve discussed it with your partner then that is the most important thing.

    • TheYChromosome

      You sound like a bitter woman who has had the misfortune of dealing with grade-A (A for a$$hole) in-laws. Thankfully, yours is a fringe case and most people would not relate to it.

      As for the lacking balls comment – you nailed it. There can’t be credible explanations for kicking the can along. These are grown men, not five year olds.

  4. americanepali

    Nice post. Agreed 🙂

  5. I am (probably) going to Pakistan to meet the parents this November, a though that terrifies me.

    • Julia – that’s great! It is terrifying no doubt. I remember the first time I went to visit Shreemati’s parents – they lived in Europe at the time. It was quite terrifying even though I had met them in casual settings before. This time it was to make it “offical”.

  6. I have seriously been dating my Nepali significant other for a year and a half now. I have since been to Nepal with him to attend his sister’s wedding. However, he has yet to tell his parents that we are dating, and when I visited Nepal with him, he referred to me as his ‘Saathi’. I want him to tell his parents, but he insists that if he were to tell them now, he would potentially be cut from his family’s life and would rather wait until after college until he tells them. He says that when he tells them, he wants to make sure that he will be able to support himself in case they react greatly enough to the point of ‘disowning’ him. I highly doubt that would be the case, as they were very welcoming of me when I visited, despite their suspicions of me being more than a ‘friend’. We are now halfway through college and I can’t imagine waiting another two years until he tells them. His sisters and various cousins know of our relationship, but I am confused as to how should approach/feel concerning the issue of him being reluctant to tell his parents. Perhaps better communication regarding the subject should occur between us. Either way, it is frustrating.

    • Y – based on how the Nepali mind works, the fact that you went to Nepal with him and that he introduced you as “saathi”, most adults have put two and two together. But of course his parents mind not want to admit this. Having said that they wouldn’t know how serious you are until he tells them. If the cousins and sisters are so open about it, I highly doubt he will be disowned.

  7. Hi. Liked your blog and it is really nice to get the other side to the story. Most white women probably think that South Asian guys are not to be believed. But yes, it is a question of different cultures and so it is difficult indeed!

  8. Shreeman, Thank you for sharing the SA male version! I got engaged to a Nepalese man on Monday! We dated for 6 years- always wanting to get our parents blessing first. My fiance spoke with his parents and his maternal uncle- and got their approval…or so he thought. He dad is very supportive- wishing only for our happiness- but his mother is having a more difficult time accepting our decision to wed. I have written her letters- and let her know my efforts to learn Nepali language and how I’ve been submersed in the culture for years- and truly accept and enjoy it. She still is against the union- is there any tips or advice you can give us?? We want both sets of our parents at the wedding- and involved in the planning. What can we do to reassure Ama? Is there anything I could send/say at Dashain that may help? I know that babies will help, but I’d like it for my fiance’s sake if they were on board at the wedding. He is struggling a lot with her disapproval. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance….

    • Made to Mix – Sounds like you have done everything you know to do and are getting frustrated. The fact that his dad is on board is a good sign. I think what might be helpful is if you started connecting with those around Ama – those relatives and ladies who influence her. So, if you had a good relationship with Ama’s sister for instance (assuming they have a good relationship), then watching you two interact, Ama will start to come around. I am confident that in time she will come around, but you just have to be patient. Remember some mother-in-laws have a hard time accepting even Nepali daughter-in-laws. I know my own mother never really felt accepted by her mother-in-law for many years. So, you cant’ ignore the other dynamics at play here. So, the strategy is to surround Ama with key relatives who our your die-hard fans. All the best to you and your fiancée.

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