Loves Me But Wants to Stay Friends; Leave Him?

28 April, 2017
Q Two years ago, I met an amazing guy who is Muslim. I am not a Muslim yet. We started constantly speaking and seeing each other. At the time I was not aware of the cultural difference; it only started to cross my mind when he didn't introduce me to his parents which I questioned him about, but he said it was difficult and that he needed time. As time passed, I found out he was sending flowers to a woman with his similar background and also learned that he was flirting with her. He apologized and started to distance himself. I love him, and he says he loves me as well but says that he is not ready for a commitment at this time. After two years, he wants to be friends. With the cultural and religious difference, what friendship is expected? How could I know if he is not just trying to keep me around until his parents arrange for him to marry? Would it be best to leave him alone?

Answer

Answer:

As-salamu `alaikum dear Sister,

Thank you for writing us with your question. Religious and cultural differences aside, based on what you have shared regarding this man’s actions (alone), I would say that it sounds as if it would be best to leave him alone.

Of course, I am only providing my opinion based on what you have told me, but from what he has done with this other woman, coupled with him expressing that he wants to be friends, it doesn’t sound like putting your hopes in him for a future marriage is realistic at this time.

I hope that my honesty is not hurtful to you, but I always believe that in relationships it is best to be up front about matters so as to not cause greater harm later on.

Furthermore, I cannot speak to this man’s actions in light of any cultural differences as I don’t know what culture this man belongs to. It is quite common, however, in “male culture for men” to say one thing and do another while the woman ends up waiting for something to happen that never does.

My point is that I just don’t want you to get your hopes up and wait around for this man when all the signs seem to indicate that he does not have a clear intention to ask you to marry him. I hope that makes sense, and please realize that this is one man’s opinion on the matter so don’t take it as God’s truth.

Feel free to follow up if you have additional comments or questions.

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About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.