There’s a girl whom I like and she likes me back. She never said it directly to me but we hold hands, kiss, go out everyday and the reason she is afraid to get committed is because I don’t match several criteria that her family looks out for in a groom (same caste, high income, etc.). She is treated badly in her home and is always scolded for anything. She is also scared of the trouble that may happen if we decide to get married. But I like her very much and she also does and I don’t want to throw this away because of her family’s dislike for me. Please help.

A; Thank you for asking this difficult, yet very important question. It is on the cusp of many timely and complex cultural, emotional, familial, and social issues. Yet there are three things that make working toward a deeper understanding important.

First, you are very conscious of the problems and concerns in front of you. This is important because it means that you are aware of the issues confronting you — they are not random, or illusory. You are meeting life on life’s terms and this is a brave and mature thing to be doing.

Second, you are not alone. Many young people in your country are feeling the same conflict and are seeking guidance. When many people are having similar thoughts and feelings about their needs it is often a time changes can come about.

The final point is where all the work is –this is not something that you can accomplish on your own. You state that she has not said that she likes you back directly. This is the key element in the story. You need to have an open and honest conversation with her about moving forward. The two of you thinking this is a difficult yet important undertaking is the first step in finding help. If she doesn’t want to move forward with you then you cannot make progress. You will be on your own trying to make a relationship work. This doesn’t work for any relationship anywhere. Talk to her about what she wants to do. Only then can you both find counsel that can help with moving forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral