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Dear Straight Up! I’m Liberal, He’s Conservative: Will It Work Out?

Author:   |  Published: March 6, 2014  |  Leave your thoughts

Dear Straight Up!


I often have fights with this girl I met online. We are complete opposites. She is very liberal while I am very conservative. I am the type of guy who watches Tamil movies and has to have some biryani after a couple of beers. She prefers to drink French wine.


We met up recently and somehow I’ve developed some form of attraction towards her. I don’t know what it is. She’s taller than me, but that’s my favourite part about her. I like the fact that she is modern and also watches Bhagyaraj movies. I like her voice. All of these factors are pulling me towards her. She chats with me as well while I’m just teasing her. She thinks I’m funny but thinks I am a little too conservative for her. Even the “white-washed” guys who are her friends are telling to me avoid her.


Recently, I’ve been having dreams about her and I am really worried about this risky crush I’m having. I fear that if it becomes serious, her liberal values might bring problems between us in the long run and I’ll end up hurting myself. What should I do?


Crushing and Fearing


Dear Crushing and Fearing,


They say opposites attract. Having said that, being at opposite ends of the spectrum with someone can cause more headaches than harmony. In any relationship, both partners have to share the same or similar values for it to work long-term.


You are attracted to the difference. It’s a temporary fascination, an infatuation that will wear away with time and repeated exposure. It’s human nature. When we see something that is completely “new” and outside our norm, we are curious about it. But as we get to know it more and more, our interest dulls and we are no longer “attracted” to it.


Get to know her more as a person. Eventually, clarity will sink in and you won’t like her as anything more than a friend.


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Dear Straight Up!


I came across your website and it has given me a platform to better understand Tamilian culture, as well as a strong sense of empowerment as a woman. I have a dilemma that I was hoping you could advise me on. I am dating a Tamil boy with whom I have been on and off for 5 1/2 years. He has stolen my heart and my soul, and I think we are headed in a marriageable direction.


However, being born and raised in the USA, I have developed a very liberal mindset when it comes to social and political issues. We often clash because he is certainly more conservative. Also, women here are very independent. I am afraid that he will always want to side with his “Amma” if they choose to come to stay with us long-term. With this myriad of cultural clashes, can a conservative Tamil boy live in harmony with a free-souled Westernized North Indian girl?


American Born Confused Desi in Love


Dear American Born Confused Desi in Love,


Relationships are about compromise. Disagreements are normal; if constructively resolved, they can strengthen your relationship. Resolving conflicts requires honesty, communication and a willingness to consider your partner’s perspective even if you don’t fully understand. Sometimes, you can even agree to disagree and negotiate a compromise on certain issues.


Regardless of you being a free-soul Westernized North Indian girl, you will have to figure out if this is the guy that you want to be with, and if you are willing to bite your tongue on certain issues and just go with the flow.


However, remember one thing: this is a two-way street. If you are the only one compromising, you are going to end up feeling frustrated, angry and resentful. He must also be willing to compromise. This is a discussion you need to have with him regardless of how you feel about him. If the relationship has been on and off for 5 ½ years instead of just on, you need to analyze the factors as to what brought you two together in the first place and why you both keep on breaking up.


Regardless of whether he makes you feel butterflies in your tummy, be aware that you won’t wake up every morning feeling all lovey-dovey and with good feelings towards your partner. Being with someone is a choice, and when it comes to marriage that choice is through good times and bad times. You need to make sure that this is someone you can be with through the bad times as well, and move forward from there.


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Check out our previous Straight Up! advice columns:

“Dear Straight Up! Should I Be Open About My Past?”
“Dear Straight Up! Should I Look for a Tamil Girl on My Own or Get an Arranged Marriage?”
“Dear Straight Up! My Best Friends are Dating and I Feel Like a Third Wheel”
“Dear Straight Up! My Fiance is Demanding a Dowry”
“Dear Straight Up! My Parents Don’t Approve of My Interracial Relationship”
“Dear Straight Up! I Cheated on My Girlfriend”
“Dear Straight Up! I Have Feelings for My Best Friend’s Ex”
“Dear Straight Up! I’m Not Attracted to My Boyfriend”

Do you have a question for our advice columnist? Send your questions to [email protected] Check us out to see if your question was answered! Please note this is not a professional help column but for those seeking an objective perspective.


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