Q I met a guy on one of the Indian dating sites, and we’ve been communicating both through the phone and email for about five months now. Things are great between us and we feel completely compatible even though it’s been a long-distance relationship. My parents automatically distrust him because they believe that he must be using me to get a green card or U.S. citizenship. He has an H-1 visa, lives in the United States, and would like to settle here permanently. I’ve had numerous arguments with them about the subject. What do you think?

A A couple of different issues jump out at me from your question.

In my opinion it is very important for the two of you to spend quality time together in person. While doing so may involve a great deal of investment in time, energy, and money, it is important to ensure that the two of you are compatible when meeting face-to-face as well. Five months of a long-distance relationship without meeting in person even once cannot be adequate to assess compatibility.

With respect to the green card and citizenship issue, do ask your parents the reasons underlying their beliefs. Their concerns may be legitimate. Are there any particular red flags they have noticed? Try your best to be open to hearing what they have to say. Since you are emotionally involved with him, it is likely easier for you to ignore or not notice red flags. That said, if the only reason for your parents’ concern is that he is not a permanent resident, in my opinion it is not disrespectful for you to agree to disagree with their opinion. Best wishes to you during this challenging time.

Q I was in an abusive relationship a few years ago—since then I can’t seem to trust men. What should I do?
ACurrent relationship issues can be deeply affected by experiences from our past. It is not surprising or uncommon that your previous abusive relationship has led you to be cautious.

You may want to consider consulting a therapist to help you navigate your recovery. One starting point for a referral to such a professional is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You will reach a live person at that number 24 hours a day, and he or she can offer you referrals to licensed professionals in your state to aid you in your recovery. I sincerely hope you get the help you need to live the life you want.

Jasbina Ahluwalia is a former attorney and the founder of Intersections Matchmaking, the only national, personalized, matchmaking firm for singles of South Asian descent. www.IntersectionsMatch.com.  Jasbina@IntersectionsMatch.com.

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