I met this girl about six months ago. We started crushing but kept it casual and under the radar because it was at work. Also, we had both just ended terrible relationships. Before Christmas, her ex broke into her social networking accounts and found our messages, some of which were romantic. He showed up at work and vandalized her car. She quit her job because she didn’t feel safe there.
Here’s the kicker, she’s over 21, but her parents are old school strict. “If you live in my house, you live under my rules…” type of parents. The are not OK with her dating another girl. When they found out about me they started making rules to keep her from going out. Our cultures are drastically different—she is a Latina and her family is deeply religious, I am Caucasian and agnostic.
Since the boyfriend incident, she and I see each other only each other briefly—maybe once or twice a week, but we talk constantly. I care very much for her, but I don’t know how to approach the topic of us becoming something, ever. I know she has a lot to deal with, and I’m willing to support her through it and wait. But for how long and am I waiting for nothing?
—Waiting in Florida
It’s not fair, SO NOT FAIR, but as you recognize, you and your girl are facing many obstacles. That’s not a reason to give up; I have faith in the power of love. But, you’ll have to both be willing to fight for it and face whatever drama comes your way.
The first step is talking to her directly. No use waiting and wondering. Does she want a more serious relationship? Is she willing to stand up to her parents? Is she willing to endure the judgement of her community? Does she feel safe and if not, what can the two of you do to make sure you aren’t threatened by her ex? This is big, serious, real life stuff.
It’s not like you have to jump into a heavy duty commitment—and you can tell her this—but given the situation, find out what her intentions are. The LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAD has many resources that can help you find support though this if you need it.
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