Love + Sex, Love

I’ve had a boyfriend for a year, and my traditional family still thinks I don’t know how to talk to boys

You're probably thinking, “Girl, you put yourself in this situation.” You’re right.

Soon it’ll be five months since we decided to make it official.

Five months of corny jokes, sweet surprise gifts, late night to early morning talks, Thai food, and a whole lot more that makes us unique. Through it all, the one thing I find it hard to believe is that I’ve gone almost half a year in this relationship without my family knowing.

In my family, dating isn’t allowed at all, at least not for me. For my male relative, it’s a different story. I don’t have a long line of guys waiting for me to be free, but it still sucks being that girl who has to tell people that she can’t date. I’m a responsible, hard working daughter who’s too smart to fall these players’ traps and I’m definitely old enough to date.

But alas, *insert huge sigh*, my family believes I’m incapable of being involved with someone romantically.

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If I was writing this a year ago, the story would stop here. But since last year, I got much closer to a friend of mine, so close that we started dating – in secret. 

Like I said, I’m not allowed to date, but my boyfriend is. To keep me from getting in trouble, I’m “just a friend” to his parents and he’s “just a friend” to my parents. Sometimes during school, we kept our distance, and we weren’t fully honest about our relationship with our close friends.

“What about the rule?” you ask? Well, if I can’t publicly date then I have to do it on the down low. Did my parents really believe that no one would find me at least a little bit interesting? My boyfriend and I are making it work and we’re both happy, but I’d be lying to you if there weren’t cons to having a secret boyfriend.

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As much as I hate my parents for holding this double standard above me, I still feel guilty for keeping something as huge as this a secret. Even if I’m going off to school this fall, I don’t know if I’ll tell them knowing how strict they are and how harsh their reactions can be. It’s a lot of work though.

I have to make sure my white lies are difficult to detect, try to not get caught during dates, and use my best friend’s name when asked who was on the phone.

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I want to tell my mom how wonderful he is and the fun things we’ve done together.

I want to share his corny jokes and the pictures we took together. I want to finally tell my relatives that someone actually likes me the way I am. My first relationship is important, but all I can do is let those thoughts circle around in my mind.

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My heart hurts a little every time my boyfriend tells me when he imagines meeting my parents and having dinner with us. I would love to have him come over as a person I’m involved with, not just a friend.

I want to have that special moment when someone I care about meets the other people I care about in my life.

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We’re not able to hold hands, be close, or act a little affectionate in front of certain people. We have to act like we’ve never had feelings or spent a single moment alone together.

And as someone who’s had secret crushes before, this hurts a lot more.

You’re probably thinking, “Girl, you put yourself in this situation.” You’re right.

I take full responsibility for that. I knew what I was doing wasn’t going to be easy. I just wish I didn’t have to drag someone so amazing into this mess. Being sneaky doesn’t give me some “thrill” or “excitement”, it’s what I have to do until I’m comfortable enough to confront my family with the fact that I am a person with feelings and that I’m sharing those feelings with someone I want them to meet.