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I Don't Know If I Should Break Up With My Boyfriend


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my parents are insane control freaks. I am a college student 19F in my first relationship. i have been with my boyfriend 20M for a little over a year and a half. i have to keep our relationship a secret from them because 1. it is an interracial relationship 2. they are very traditional and do not believe in dating before marriage (if you like someone and they like you back, stay friends and have your parents talk to each other when its time to get married) 3. my parents would use my partner against me-- example: your grades are slipping because of that boy-- and i dont want him to be weaponized against me. 

for over a year, i was able to keep our relationship a secret. through school breaks and vacations (we live in different states when not in school) and managing to get to my apartment before my parents do on days they visit me in college i have been able to sustain a very healthy and loving relationship. One oversight, however, unraveled everything. about 18 months into the relationship, my father checked the phone log on our cellphone plan and saw incoming and outgoing calls from the same number every single day, at all hours. I told my parents it was just a friend but they did not believe me. My mother threatened to pull me out of school and gaslit me, saying if i was just truthful about my relationship then they wouldnt be upset. I have tried in the past to tell my mom about my relationship and she has always ended up crying. I have not spoken with my father since then (January) and now it is the end of March. Everything I have done in my entire life has been to please them. It takes a few phone calls to reduce it to nothing.  I am in no means a perfect daughter, but i do everything I am told to do by them. 

My parents have been extremely controlling for my entire life. when i finally moved out to go to college, i was so happy. i met my boyfriend a week after i moved into dorms. for three weeks after, we spent practically every second of the day together until we had to move home due to COVID. that means for one week if my life, I was not emotionally dependent on anyone and way truly independent. He has loved me more than anyone in my entire life has and has shown me that love can be gentle and unconditional. He has supported me through every obstacle my parents and school have put me through and I am so gracious for his time and love and effort. But, I think i need to break up with him. I dont want to necessarily, but the brainwashing that my parents have raised me in has made it so I can not differentiate my personal goals and my parents' desires. I do not know if what i want is because I want it, or because it is what my parents want. I do not know myself as a person. Again, I had one week in my entire life truly and genuinely to myself. Without belonging to anyone. I am scared to be single because I have never known who I am independently. 

My culture is very important to me and that is not something I can share with my boyfriend. i find myself flirting with men at college parties when they flirt with me first, and hesitate to tell them I have a boyfriend. I refrain from telling them until they are practically leaning in to kiss me. I would never cheat, nor do i have the desire to. so i know this tendency comes from a selfish need for male validation. 

I am happy with him. he is not toxic and he listens to me and cares for me. at every possible opportunity, he puts my needs above his own. when my parents found out and demanded access to my bank accounts and location on my phone, I could not take the train to his house on weekends. now, he spends two nights a week at my apartment. he always has my back and i love him. he has never caused me to question his loyalty or love for me. 

I don't see myself marrying him. i dont know if thats because it is so far in the future or because i see myself marrying someone who is also from my culture. I wish i could change how i feel. 

Do I break up with him? If I do, that is the end of us. We will never get back together or be able to be friends. He does not want this breakup. i have been crying about this every day for months and am so confused. my head and heart are in completely two different worlds.

TL;DR

I don't know if I want to break up with my boyfriend to "find myself" and because we can't share my culture and my parents will never accept. I love him and he is perfect for me but I can not tell if I want to break up with him for personal reasons, or reasons I believe are personal because it is what my parents want. My head tells me this is right, you need to have a sense of independence and self. work on yourself and your career. my heart tells me that I am going to regret this and that if he loves you and you love him, nothing else matters. 

Edited by NeedHelp0917
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20 minutes ago, NeedHelp0917 said:

My culture is very important to me and that is not something I can share with my boyfriend. i find myself flirting with men at college parties when they flirt with me first, and hesitate to tell them I have a boyfriend.

I don't see myself marrying him. i dont know if thats because it is so far in the future or because i see myself marrying someone who is also from my culture.

Don't string anyone along. If your parents are financing all this, focus on your education. Decide if using this BF is simply to rebel against your parents.

When you graduate and support yourself you can do whatever you wish. In general, don't use people, whether it's guys for attention a BF to rebel or your parents for money.

Edited by Wiseman2
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23 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Don't string anyone along. If your parents are financing all this, focus on your education. Decide if using this BF is simply to rebel against your parents.

When you graduate and support yourself you can do whatever you wish. In general, don't use people, whether it's guys for attention a BF to rebel or your parents for money.

I can assure you, I am not using my BF for anything. If i wanted to rebel against my parents I do so simply by being friends with the opposite gender or through college drinking/partying. He is more than something I use as a ploy against my parents. I can not use my parents as they have forced me to do everything for them. From my education to my personality, everything revolves around their preferences and standards. 

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45 minutes ago, NeedHelp0917 said:

i find myself flirting with men at college parties when they flirt with me first, and hesitate to tell them I have a boyfriend. I refrain from telling them until they are practically leaning in to kiss me.

If you're doing stuff like this, you are not ready for a relationship. 

And at just 19, it's perfectly normal to be be ready. But you need to let your boyfriend go. You're already crossing boundaries and one day, it will go too far. You're dancing closer and closer to that moment. 

 

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3 hours ago, NeedHelp0917 said:

My culture is very important to me and that is not something I can share with my boyfriend. i find myself flirting with men at college parties when they flirt with me first, and hesitate to tell them I have a boyfriend. I refrain from telling them until they are practically leaning in to kiss me. I would never cheat, nor do i have the desire to. so i know this tendency comes from a selfish need for male validation. 

I don't think it's quite so sordid. It's part of being young and growing up. But if you're doing this, you shouldn't have a serious boyfriend.

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12 hours ago, NeedHelp0917 said:

my parents as they have forced me to do everything for them. 

So it's all about rebellion for you. If you don't want an exclusive relationship, set both yourselves free.

Don't drag anyone into your battles with independence from your parents. You seem a bit spoiled.

You're the one who doesn't see yourself being able to "share your culture" with him and you're the one who "sees yourself with someone from your own culture". So you're just like your parents as far as that goes.

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Learn to be more stealth.  I can relate a bit.  Get your own phone line.  Get a part-time job to cover certain expenses, and deposit in a local bank with your own separate checking account any pay checks that you direct deposit.  Make sure it's paperless statements, and any mailing address is for your dorm.

Having super strict parents means having to learn how to cover up your tracks better.  You deserve to have fun.  You can date your boyfriend, and it does not mean you have to marry them.  You are old enough to have your own phone and bank account.  When you are on break, leave the other phone at your dorm.

Flirting isn't cheating.  You are a teenager - have fun!  Anyone who says flirting is bad doesn't get you are still a teen, not a married lady with kids.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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