Dear Madame Lestrange is The Tempest’s love, sex, and relationships advice column. Have a question? Send it to Madame Lestrange here.  It’s anonymous!

Dear Madame Lestrange,

As a 20-year-old Indian Muslim girl who was born and brought up in the Middle East, I led a life with fewer restrictions compared to others in India, like my cousins.

And yet here I am, engaged to a man 8 years older than me, because of my parents. At first, I said no, but because I wanted to make them happy I went along with it.

Now that I am engaged, I have mixed feelings. 

I am not ready mentally or physically for a relationship. I don’t have any dating experience because first of all my parents don’t approve and because of that, I lost interest in that area.

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But now that I am “of age” they want me to have an arranged marriage (“safely,” as they said) as soon as possible. If I feel like I do not want to get married any time soon. Is it okay to break it off even after the engagement? Also, how can I get through to my parents about this matter?

Here I am, engaged to a man 8 years older than me, because of my parents.

By the way, I’m engaged to a good guy. At least, according to what I know. 

That makes me feel even more guilty in breaking off the engagement, but I don’t feel like I’m not ready. On top of that, our age difference has been quietly nagging at me. 

Please help me. I am so sorry! I really don’t know who to ask.

—Desperate Girl

Dear Desperate Girl, 

Okay, boo, let’s take this one step at a time.

There is nothing wrong with breaking off your engagement if it is the right thing for you.

Marriage is a life-long commitment and an arranged marriage is definitely not something that you should do, just because someone else is pressuring you to. Twenty years old is still quite young and it’s okay if you are having mixed feelings about your engagement, especially since it has been arranged by your parents. 

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You say that your parents “forced you” to get engaged to this man.

That is not okay.

Many parents only want the best for their children, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a say in the rest of your life. Eight years is a big age difference, especially when you are so young. You both are at different points in your life and so it’s important to take that into account.

You say that your parents “forced you” to get engaged to this man. That is not okay.

You should also consider whether the two of you would be able to work as a married couple. 

I don’t really know about the relationship with your parents, but the best thing to do is to be completely honest and open. If you cannot speak to your parents, speak to your other family members.

Sometimes it takes other adults to fight in your corner to get people to understand. Regardless, make sure you continue to remind yourself that this is your decision at the end of the day – no matter what people around you say. Remember that. You’ve got this. 

You’re welcome, 

Madame Lestrange

More Dear Madame Lestrange

I’m planning on having sex with my boyfriend soon. It’ll be my first time but not his and while I’m very excited, I’m also very nervous. I want to make this a pleasurable experience for us both and I have no idea what I’m doing. I gave him my first handjob too and while he did cum, I feel like I could’ve done better. Do you have any tips?

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  • Madame Lestrange

    Someone once told her that their sex life was only as good as it is because they listened to her. That could be you.