Well - I am not entirely sure if this is the right forum, but if you know any, I would really appreciate if you could recommend me some.

This is about parenting... from the son's perspective.

I am 28 and my parents are pushing me to marry someone. Since they are Asian and belong to a somewhat more traditional society, they have even made semi-arrangements with daughters of their friends and colleagues - who are now contacting me asking for dates!!

Now, the main problem is that I am already "engaged" to someone. We are in a relationship since 5 years, but we don't want to officially marry until we are established in our careers. I am becoming a lawyer and she is becoming a math professor. It would just seem wrong to marry now. We cannot afford it.

But... my parents don't approve of her as she is "Western".

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    I hate to be blunt at times, but you're 28. Act like an adult, and tell your parents what you want for yourself, and ask them to stop looking for someone for you. Being straightforward is the best thing you can do in this kind of situation, especially since you're very much an adult.
    – Waterseas
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 21:31

4 Answers 4


This is a very challenging situation: your parents hold beliefs that you do not share. You're not going to change them and they're not going to change you (most likely anyway.)

It's most likely that you will simply have to deal with the situation, kindly explaining to the women they send your way your true situation. They, in turn, will have to deal with your take on life. They may not like it and depending on how rigid they are in their beliefs, may develop some strong emotions about it, but in the end they cannot force you to do what you don't want to do.

I'd suggest that, if you have not already, you politely explain your view of things. Once will be enough and don't expect immediate acceptance (unless you're lucky).

I wish I could give you more comforting advice, but I hope it is in some form helpful.

One final thought: never hold a grudge against them as this is how they were raised and part of their core beliefs. They may change at some point in the future and then you definitely want them an active part of your life.

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    My mother's parents were against her marrying my father because he wasn't of "the right religion." Mom took the same tact as Jeremy offers here and over-time they have come to see what a good man he is and actually have a deep friendship with him now. Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 0:39
  • Good point Jeremy. Actually, I am also wondering how I should deal with all these "daughters of friends". The funny thing is some of them are like "haha, how funny, our parents are trying to arrange us. That's so last century style. But would be interested to meet you anyway". Isn't that a trick??
    – RebelSon
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 1:01
  • 1
    IMO, yes, it's a trick. You can counter it to see if they're just interested in meeting to know someone semi-close to the family by having your fiancee meet them with you. ;) If they turn that offer down, then they have exposed their true motives. Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 1:27
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    I'd like to add that, accepting the person you have chosen (not refusing to talk or meet and avoiding any rudeness with them) should be a condition to continue a relationship with you. I.e. if they do not slowly get better, you would slowly stop interacting with them. This tends to be rare with pushy families such as yours though so I wouldn't worry. Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 8:29

I think with Asian parents, theres no changing there minds. Its up to you to decide if you're serious about the girl you are with currently and if so let it be known. Loud and Clear. Introduce her to them. To others in your family too. If you have open minded relatives whom you are close to bring them into the picture. See if they cant try and get your parents to let up a bit.

Openly tell their daughters friends that you're not interested as your already committed to someone else. Once word spreads hopefully you'll get approached by future suitors less.

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    They're not going to change their minds if you ask now... but if you go ahead and get married, they most likely will once the grandchildren come along! Commented May 15, 2014 at 3:27

Ask each of them separately "what would you have done and told your parents if they said didn't want you to be with dad/mom"?

I have little confidence in this to actually change their views, but hopefully that should at least make it clear that your mind is set.


Bit late to the party, but as no one else mentioned it....

A very effective way to deal with "arrangements" is to be a bad date. Your parents appear to be conservative, their friends likely are the same, so meet the set-up acting as unsuitable as possible. Biker jacket, jeans, don't shower, cheap restaurant (strip clubs work great here. Or breastaurants like Hooters) and tell the server when you both sit down that it's separate cheques. Keep the dinner conversation at a construction worker level (ogling the waitress at least half the time) and it's highly unlikely you will ever hear from the girl again.

(Assuming you're not really a complete jerk, give the server a big tip. Like $50)

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    That seems very rude to your 'date', who isn't at fault here. Nor is it a good idea from the perspective of your reputation, which might affect employment prospects. Honesty is always better, even if it's uncomfortable.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 16:20
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    How sad. This course of action would mean the humiliation of the innocent dates and the young man's parents when news from the angry and insulted dates' parents reached them. Bad for business all around, as well as simply deceitful. What if the fiancee got wind of his boorish behavior? Terrible advice on so many levels. Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 3:27
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    How is this rude to the date that he doesn't want in the first place? Rude is saying "your ass really does look fat in that skirt". He's simply presenting himself as the wrong person for her. The description above should be the wrong person for just about every woman I've ever met, and she's free to turn him down, preferably permanently, at the first suggestion of meeting at the French Maid. We're hoping for this result. And you tell the fiancee in advance.
    – peter
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 11:56
  • 3
    Usually the statement "better late than never" is perfectly valid. However, that's not the case with this post.
    – NotMe
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 23:04

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